Maastricht Institute of Arts is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. An exciting annual programme has been created during this anniversary year. As one of the highlights, we are proud to announce the congress "Cast Plaster, Art or Craft?", which will take place from 22 to 24 November 2023 at Maastricht Institute of Arts.

This congress will focus on the following topics: cast building ornamentation in plaster for interiors and cast plaster sculptures from educational and museum collections.

The revival of plaster casting in interiors, education and museums forms the basis for the congress days in Maastricht. The variety of plaster ornaments in interiors will showcase many producers and applications.

Plaster collections for art education are being used in new ways in these digital times. Replicas of important sculptures from times gone by will come from museum depots and regain their lustre in current and future displays. The focus will be on how all this heritage can be used alongside and with modern digital techniques.

Come to Maastricht on 22, 23 and 24 November 2023 to experience it all!    

Learn more about the full programme and register can be found by clicking on programme or register

The organisation of the congress is in the hands of Maastricht Institute of Arts, Rocaille B.V. and the Stichting Het Nederlandse Interieur.

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On 22, 23 and 24 November 2023, the Maastricht Institute of Arts of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Maastricht will host the congress 'Cast Plaster, art or craft'.

The congress will address cast plaster ornamentation in buildings, the various collections of plaster sculptures and the growing interest in these interior and reproduction practices.

The material plaster can be cast in moulds. These repetitive elements decorate interiors from Roman times onwards. From the Renaissance onwards, this method of decoration increases. A growing interest in this method finds highlights in the Baroque and nineteenth centuries.

In the Renaissance, the practice of casting important sculptures and architectural fragments arises. In this way, casts of famous sculptures are spread around the world. Museums thus make the art historical past visible. Art schools use the sculptures for teaching drawing. Large collections emerged all over Europe.

In the twentieth century, when Modernism prevails in architecture and art education, plaster ornaments and sculptures are 'framed' as old-fashioned and dusty. Plaster ceilings disappear behind a suspended ceiling at best and plaster sculpture collections into the dumpster at worst.

That the tide is now turning for plaster ornaments and sculptures is proven by the various exhibitions, publications and conferences on the subject recently.

During the congress 'Cast Plaster, art or craft', attention will emphatically be drawn to the craftsmanship used to make the ornaments and sculptures. There will also be demonstrations of plaster casting in different types of moulds associated with the different parts of the congress.

Besides the exchange of knowledge, the aim of the congress is to increase understanding of the place of ornaments in monumental and decorative interiors. For plaster sculptures, more support for the preservation and proper management of sculpture collections at educational institutions and museums.

The programme can be found on the website Register for the congress from 15 August 2023

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