Barcelona, September 2020 and May 2021


1. Overview

The Association for Furniture Studies (Barcelona, Spain) is pleased to present the III Ibero-American Congress on the History of Furniture, which will take place from September 16 – 19, 2020 in Barcelona, under the theme Connections/ Conexiones/Conexões.

The 2020 edition of the Congress will focus its theme on the temporal, geographical, material and formal connections of the history of Iberian peninsula and Latin American furniture. This is an important opportunity for the cross-pollination of ideas amongst an international community of like-minded specialists, academics, makers and enthusiasts to advance and inspire new interest, research and creation in this field, and to announce collections of furniture, restoration centers and museum-houses of Catalonia.

For this third edition, the AEM (Association for Furniture Studies) would like to recognize the lifetime achievement of María Paz Aguiló Alonso, a renowned specialist in the study of Spanish Furniture.

About the Congress

The Ibero-American Congress on the History of Furniture was an initiative born out of the University of Oviedo and the Portuguese Catholic University of Porto, with an aim to create a bi-annual event where the latest research in furniture studies could be showcased across different disciplines, chronologies and cultural perspectives.

The AEM, founded in 2004, serves as a scientific reference center for research and the dissemination of studies on historical and contemporary furniture. It will be the host organization for this edition and hopes to elevate the 2020 Congress into a space for the exchange of ideas and intellectual growth.

The third edition of the Congress will build on previous bi-annual initiatives and will celebrate the advancements of all those who have contributed to the Congress and the history of Ibero-American furniture. Likewise, it will be an occasion which will recognize the substantial contribution the Association for Furniture Studies has made through its work over the last sixteen years.


Both the Design Museum Barcelona and the Ramón Pla Armengol Foundation will be key collaborators in hosting the 2020 Congress over the course of four days. The Congress will also be supported by the research group GRACMON at the University of Barcelona, the Museum of Modernism of Barcelona, the Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art, the Mascort Fundation, the CSIC (Superior Council of Scientific Investigations) and the CRBM (Centre of Restoration of furniture sakes of Catalonia).
Following the Congress, the University of Oviedo will publish and promote all the papers presented in its international magazine Res Mobilis.

Committees and Organization

Scientific Committee:

Mª. Paz Aguiló Alonso (Research Specialist, formerly at the Spanish National Research Council, Spain)

Gladys Noemí Arana López (Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico)

Celina Bastos (Nacional Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon)

Isabel Campi (Design History Foundation, Barcelona)

Patricia Díaz Cayeros (Institute of Aesthetic Studies, UNAM, Mexico City)

Pedro Feduchi (High Technical School of Architecture of Madrid & Pedro Feduchi Studio, Madrid)

Ana María Fernández García (University of Oviedo)

Mercedes Fernández Martín (University of Sevilla)

Mariàngels Fondevila (National Museum of Art of Catalunya)

Alvar González-Palacios (Independent researcher, Rome)

Mª Ángeles Granados (National Archaeological Museum, Madrid)

Nick Humphey (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Lilia Martín Brito (University of Cienfuegos, Cuba)

Cecilia Moreyra (National University of Córdoba & National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, Argentina)

María del Pilar López (National University of Colombia)

Marize Malta (School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Juan Manuel Martínez (Independent researcher, Chile)

Mónica Piera (Association for Furniture Studies, Barcelona)

Sofía Rodríguez Bernis (National Museum of Decorative Arts, Madrid)

Teresa-M. Sala (University of Barcelona)

Gabriela Sanchez Reyes (National Institute of Anthropology & History, Mexico)

María Helena Souto (IADE University, Lisbon)

Achim Stiegel (Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin)

Paolo Sustersic (ELISAVA, Barcelona)

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos e Sousa (Catholic University of Portugal, Porto)

Pilar Vélez (Design Museum, Barcelona)


Organizing Committee:

Team Organizers:

Ana María Fernández García

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos de Sousa

Mónica Piera Miquel


Congress Secretaries:

Silvia Mateos

Sydne Martin

Maria Rosa Pi-Sunyer


Mercè Benavent

Gemma Rovirosa

Ester Grau

Sirley Rios

Junta y personal de la AEM

3. Objectives

Scientific Objectives

  • To advance knowledge of the spatial, temporal, material and formal connections between Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American furniture.

    Firstly, we hope to highlight the underlying relationships between the centers of furniture production within the Spanish and Portuguese speaking territories and beyond.

    Secondly, we hope to review furniture from the temporal evolution affecting those works that stay remain or otherwise and investigate the changes that occurred in furniture production, with regard to possible causes and effects. We will also aim to reflect on the historical and cultural connections that were essential for any change or evolution in production and commercial activity between the countries, including the Ibero-Americans among themselves.

    Finally, turning to material and artistic elements, we will look at the obvious and not-so-obvious connections between works that are often difficult to explain. This section will allow us to refer to furniture’s relationship with other human productions and advancements, particularly artistic ones.

  • Publicize the latest studies on Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American furniture through the lens of ‘connections’.
  • Promote greater interest in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American furniture and offering new points of view.

Additional Objectives:

  • Strengthen links between those scholars who work in the field of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American furniture.
  • Familiarize scholars with important furniture collections in Barcelona.
  • Approximate furniture and assistants at the congress at the Catalan populace thanks to the project “The furniture congress jumps to BCN’s streets”*: it proposes visits at shops, museums, houses-museum of the city with furniture collections)
  • *It treats of proposals of cultural routes at Barcelona that connect furniture with the communications of the III Ibero-American Congress on the History of Furniture – 2020 through different visits at emblematic places like:
  • – Artur Ramon
  • – Clavell & Morgades
  • – Interior Casa Felip
  • – Frederic Marès museum
  • – El heart of the
  • Barcelona’s Cathedral
  • – Historic arxive of
  • Barcelona’s city
  • – Dalmases room
  • – Oleguer Junyent’s House
  • workshop
  • – Mobles 114
  • – Mobles BD
  • – Gancedo
  • – Palau Antiguitats
  • – Casa Amatller
  • – Museu Museum of Modernism
  • – Gothsland
  • – Fernando Pinós
  • – Pepe Ribas house
  • – Monastery of Pedralbes
  • – CRBMC
  • – Materfad
  • – Behind-the-scenes of Museum of
  • Desing of Barcelona
  • – Behind-the-scenes CDOC

Who Is It For and Why Participate?

The AEM is organizing this Congress for all those interested in furniture who want to advance this field of research. Given the theme of the Ibero-American Congress on the History of Furniture, we would like to make a special appeal for participation to those historians working outside Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries, who are studying aspects of furniture history related to these territories.
The 2020 Congress in Barcelona will be a celebratory event in the scientific community and beyond, that will hopefully strengthen interest in this field while recognize the effort and contribution of specialists in this sector, who are helping expand the knowledge and value of the furniture.
It is, without a doubt, a wonderful opportunity for growth in the study of furniture and an event that will provide an in-depth look at the past, present and future. It is an opportunity for continuums those that want to meet ancient furniture
collections and design that preserve Barcelona.

Methodology of the Congress

Roundtable Themes

 Geographic Connections. Provenances.

Cataloguing and the study of furniture often leads to debates about provenance and the possible origins of works. In this sense, the connections between makers and clients are as relevant as the connections between projects, productions and ideas. This roundtable will be dedicated to studying and discussing geographic relations between Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries, as well as with countries that had relations with each or all of them respectively. Likewise, proposals capable of defining and specifying sources of furniture production, while reflecting on provenance issues will be open to discussion.

Temporal Connections. Dates.

In the study of furniture, historians are often forced to indicate the date of production, which by necessity, tends to result in an approximation. This roundtable will discuss the difficulties surrounding source references and non-linear evolution and focus on studies that present a central discourse around temporality as well as those that analyze the causes and effects of furniture evolution.

Material and Artistic Connections. Influences.

Furniture is made because of necessities and cultural practices, but also of mentalities and artistic tendencies. Superficially, the design and production of furniture reveals the degree to which a society has developed and its connections with other human accomplishments. This roundtable will delve into analyzing the material and formal relations that exist between furniture production and other human advancements. Architecture and sculpture are the most closely related to furniture, however, throughout history many other sources have contributed to its development.

Congress Venues


Design Museum of Barcelona

The majority of the Congress will be held at the Design Museum which is located in the Design Hub of Barcelona in the Plaça de les Glòries. The building was designed by the MBM architecture firm and opened in 2013. The museum exhibits a selection of works from an important collection of Catalan decorative arts and Spanish design that spans from the 13th century to modern day. The Design Hub also houses a Documentation Center, including a library and archives that specialize in decorative arts and design.

During the Congress guided visits will be organized to the exhibition halls and museum’s reserves.

The building also has practical facilities, including and restaurant and large outdoor patio for break-out meetings and networking.

Private Foundation of Ramón Pla Armengol, Barcelona

Nuria Pla Monseny (1916-2011) founded the ‘Ramón Pla Armengol Foundation’, in honor of her father. Among other activities, the Foundation promotes and showcases Nuria Pla’s impressive collection of important Iberian and Ibero-American works of art and furniture in her family’s private residence, built by her father at the beginning of the 20th century.

The welcome reception and cocktail for the 2020 Congress will take place in the residence and private garden of the Foundation and Congress attendees will have an opportunity to view the collection, which consists of 630 pieces of furniture, largely dating from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Catalan Modernism – visits to two important venues

On the last day of the Congress there will be visits to two important venues that showcase some of the best examples of Barcelona’s Modernist furniture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first stop will be Casa Amatller, a building which has been beautifully preserved including the original decor and furniture from this period. Both the building and the decor were designed by the renowned architect Puig i Cadafalch between 1898 and 1900.
The second stop will be to the Museum of Modernism of Barcelona, which houses one of the most important collections of Modernist furniture by some of the leading creators of that period including, Gaudí, Oleguer Junyent, Gaspar Homar and Joan Busquets.

Key Headings and Descriptors for Presentations

It is essential that the subject of each paper presented is about Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American furniture, however, these can be presented in one of three languages: Spanish, Portuguese or English. As such, to help facilitate better understanding across languages, it is advisable to include essential words or headings in all slide presentations.

  • History of Spanish furniture
  • History of Portuguese furniture
  • History of Ibero-American furniture
  • Temporal connections
  • Spatial connections
  • Material connections
  • Formal connections
  • Aesthetic relationships
  • Technical connections
  • Artists’ flow
  • Trade in works
  • Exchanges
  • Identities
  • Buy-sell
  • Furniture dating
  • Evolution
  • Survival of typologies
  • Survival of models

Submission Deadline and Key Dates

  • Proposal submissions: until March 31, 2020 to the following email address:congreso@estudidelmoble.com
  • Proposals must include:

– Summary of content (500 words)*
– Title of the paper
– Name of researcher and brief description of their professional background and/or academic position (15-20 words)
– Email address

*For those proposals that are accepted, the summary that is submitted is the one that will be published in the book of abstracts. Please note, presentations will have a maximum duration of 15 minutes.



Presentation of papers and attendance to the four-day Congress (including welcome cocktail, visits, coffee breaks, copy and publication of abstracts and accreditation for participation):

  • General Registration: 150 Euros
  • Partners of the Association for Furniture Studies, students -25 years, retired and unemployed: 70 Euros
  • Students -25 years: 30 Euros
  • Registration form: link


Attendance to presentations and activities for the four-day Congress (including welcome cocktail, visits, coffee breaks, and copy of publication of abstracts):

  • General Registration: 160 Euros
  • Partners of the Association for Furniture Studies,
    students -25 years, retired and unemployed: 80 Euros
  • Students: 40 Euros
  • Registration form: link

*Partners of CEHA (Spanish Committee of History of the Art) have a 50% of discount at the price of the general registration as speakers or atendees.

For scholarships, contact:congreso1@estudidelmoble.com

Income account number:


IBAN: ES63 0081 0129 4800 0140 8344


Information and Registration

Asociación para el Estudio del Mueble – Association for Furniture Studies

  • Tel: +34 932.566.785 (from 9:00 to 15:00)
  • Email:    congreso1@estudidelmoble.com
  • Web:     www.estudidelmoble.com
  • Address: Disseny Hub Barcelona – Plaça de les Glòries 37, planta -1, 08018.     Barcelona

About the AEM

The Association for Furniture Studies is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004. It is dedicated to the research, training and promotion of furniture from antique to contemporary and has become a leading scientific reference center. Located in the Design Museum of Barcelona, it sustains itself through membership fees, magazine subscriptions, activities, private sponsorship and public grants.