CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS - Terms: CIHA Journal of Art History, Vol. 3

Terms: CIHA Journal of Art History, Vol. 3

in art and craftsmanship

A transcultural perspective

Editorial team: Jean-Marie Guillouët (University of Burgundy, France), Atsushi Miura (Ohara Museum of Art of Kurashki, Japan)


From Antiquity to contemporary arts, the technical gesture has been an important issue for artists. This has been the case either because the various forms of know-hows testify to a quest for virtuosity and play a role in the value attributed to the artefact, or because, on the contrary, contemporary artists maintain an ambiguous relationship with know-how in art, if not a certain mistrust. But few art historians have considered technical gestures and know-how as historical objects, subject to different cultural regimes.

In this issue of the CIHA Journal we seek to further our understanding of the role of artistic know-hows in artistic practices. Doing so, we intend to provide a fruitful epistemological framework for the study of art history by turning to technical history. By unraveling the precise processes by which the technical procedures were created and transmitted, one can be led to question the very status and function of these know-hows, especially when they led to virtuoso pieces of art. The relationship to craftsmanship procedures is important, but one also needs to examine the part played by gesture procedures in the captatio benevolentiae , to capture and bewitch the spectator by such “technologies of enchantment”, as Alfred Gell called them. More precisely still, it is in that sort of incomprehension that dwells the power of fascination of the know-how. A power all the greater when the system is opaque and incomprehensible. That is, which is not far from being a bit magical.

In other words, dealing with know-hows in art leads to shift the focus of analysis from the art object itself and its visual aesthetic properties, to the way it is produced by artists and received by the general public. Therefore, from this point of view, the theme chosen for this issue of the CIHA Journal invites to establish a link between the study of the production with that of the reception. Moreover, the study of know-hows in art, from ancient times to the contemporary period, could reveal the differences or similarities between Western and Eastern artistic cultures.

We hope therefore that this issue of the CIHA journal will address various converging themes concerning:

- the discourses and the rhetoric on know-hows and craft practices;
- the differences/similitudes between western and eastern conception of know-hows in art and the permeability between these esthetics;
- the cultural and social effect of the know-hows (mainly the effect of its virtuosity);
- the transmission of know-hows by the mean of incorporated experiences of the formalization of drawings and models;
- the practical conditions for the dissemination of these skills, as well as the cultural constraints on their transmission (standardization of gesture, mediation through processes, etc.);
- the critique and mistrust of the technical gesture in contemporary art and the status attributed since the last century to know-hows in the difference between art and craft.

We also encourage papers that focus the analysis on the intricacies of certain know-hows through specific objects through a material and/or archival study.

We welcome short articles, maximum 15,000 characters, thus leading to a kind of living dictionary of our discipline. Please send a 150-word abstract and a 150-word biography to by June 15th, 2024. Completed manuscripts are due August 31st, 2024. Submissions should be handed in electronically and will be peer-reviewed. All manuscripts should be in US English and follow the Chicago style sheet (17th edition). We encourage fully-illustrated submissions; however, it is the author's responsibility to both provide the images and secure permission to reproduce them (3 illustrations maximum).