Edited by Dr Alexandra Gerstein
Publication date: May 2007
242 x 168 mm, hardback
168 pages, 60 illustrations
ISBN 978 1 903470 30 5
Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing
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The relationship between sculpture and pedestal is at the intersection of a number of art-historical disciplines, ranging from the history of design, architecture and urbanism to museum studies, yet because of its supporting role it has remained a largely neglected and unstudied field. This book will show how rich a seam it is for investigation. Essays range from 16th-century Venice to 21st-century London, and provide a fascinating variety of approaches to the issue. Each essay is a focused exploration into the making, placing or abandonment of the pedestal, plinth or socle within a particular context. Among the topics under study are the display and reception of sculpture (with or without bases), and the displacement or mediation of sculptural meaning through inscriptions, ornament and other devices. While approaches differ, the essays all consider particular moments in the history of the relationship between sculpture and pedestal.
This collection of essays is based on papers from two symposia entitled ‘Sculpture and the Pedestal’, which took place at the University of Reading in January 2002 and at the Courtauld Institute of Art in June 2003, but also includes specially commissioned papers by authorities in the field.
Alessandro Vittoria’s Socles: Shaping and Naming
Objet d’attention. L’intérêt pour le support en France à l’époque moderne
Playing with Plinths in Eighteenth-century Sculpture
The Poetics of Sculpture: Pedestal, Verse and Inscription
‘Is the Pedestal to be the Capital part of it?’: Pictorialism and the Pedestal of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square
Fallen Women: The Gender of Horizontality and the Abandonment of the Pedestal by Giacometti and Epstein
David J. Getsy
The Fourth Plinth or the Vicissitudes of Public Sculpture
Homage, Double Act and Decoy: Three Contemporary Considerations of the Art Gallery Plinth