An ex voto is a votive offering to a saint or deity, given as a token of gratitude for a miracle performed. It is, in its essence, a tangible celebration of an ephemeral event, the material commemoration or expectation of supernatural activity. The impulse to create such objects is global and trans-historical. Examples range from antiquity to the present, from the Himalayan slopes to the forests of South America. Ex votos represent an intimate act of religious devotion that bridges cultural divisions.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

10:00 Peter N. Miller

10:10 Ittai Weinryb Introduction
“Ex Votos as Material Culture”

10:30 Jessica Hughes (The Open University, Milton Keynes)
“The Biography of an Anatomical Votive from Hellenistic Italy”

11:15 John Guy (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
“New Evidence for the Circulation of Buddhist Votive Tablets in early Southeast Asia”

12:00 Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Corpus Christi College, Oxford)
“Shifting Scales and Perspectives: Votive Dedications from the Classical Greek Healing Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros”

12:45 Lunch Break

2:15 Megan Holmes (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
“Renaissance Perspectives on Classical Antique Votive Practices: Antonio degli Agli at Impruneta”

3:00 Fredrika Jacobs (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond)
“The Narrative Modes of Sixteenth Century Tavolette Votive”

3:45 Hilary K. Snow (Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore)
“Donated Before the Gods: Popular Display of Edo Period Ema Tablets”

4:30 Coffee Break

5:00 Clara Bargellini (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City)
“Whose Devotion? Votive Arts in New Spain”

5:45 Christopher S. Wood (Yale University, New Haven)
“The Votive Scenario”

6:30 Discussion

Friday, April 29th, 2011
9:30 Breakfast

10:00 Hannah Baader (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence)
“Vows on Water: Ships, Naves, Wreckages”

10:45 Christiane Gruber (Indiana University, Bloomington)
“Nazr Necessities: Votive Practices and Objects in Iranian Muharram Ceremonies”

11:30 Coffee Break

11:45 Diana Fane (Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York)
“A Mountain Made of Amaranth Dough, A Gingerbread Cookie shaped as a Female Breast, A Tortilla Marked by a Christian Cross: Some Observations on the History and Significance of Votive Offerings in Edible Media”

12:30 Kristin Hass (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
“Speaking the Sacred with the Profane? A Return to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection”

1:15 Final Discussion

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“Ex Voto: Images Across Cultures” has been supported in part by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation