zondag 26 januari 2014

The Artwork Exposed: Politics and the Arts (1850-1914)

Symposium in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Historical 
Society (KNHG)
Amsterdam, 17-18 April 2014

With a Keynote Lecture on 
“Patriotism, Empathy, and the Politicization of Art”
by Michelle Facos (Indiana University Bloomington)

In art history, the last decades have seen an overwhelming number of
publications that provide political interpretations of a variety of
artworks. It almost seems as if any visual object can be interpreted
in ways inscribing it with political significance. Rather than adding
yet more interpretations of individual works to the canon of art
history, this symposium aims to take the topic of art and politics
into more theoretical realms by asking questions that touch upon the
fundamental relationship between artworks, history and politics.
Artworks are in the first place visual objects. How can artworks and
political history be related to each other, apart from using the first
to illuminate the second – and vice versa? How are visual objects able
to communicate a political message? How can historians deal with the
divide between intention and perception when analyzing artworks? And
whose intentions are we talking about: those of the artist, those of
the commissioner, or those of the viewer?

The conference sets out to develop new ways of thinking about artworks
as objects in networks of intention, interpretation and social
relations that include artists, commissioners, critics and the
audience. It is the explicit intention of the organizers to step
beyond the well-known generalizations of art history, like artistic
styles or schools, avant-garde and arrière-garde, modern and
traditional. It offers a platform that brings together young and
established scholars, both historians and art historians, who are
studying the period 1850-1914. In addition, the conference will
include a visit to the Rijksmuseum for an in situ discussion of the
relationship between arts and politics in the Dutch context.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Location: Van Gogh Museum, Auditorium

13.00–13.30 Registration

13.30–13.35 Welcome

13.35–13.50 Introduction by Camelia Errouane (University of Groningen)

13.50–14.35 Keynote lecture by Michelle Facos (Indiana University 

14.35–14.55 Discussion

14.55–15.15 Break

Session 1: The Influence of Politics on the Reception of Art  

1. Bart Pushaw (Tallinn University): Artistic Alliances and 
   Revolutionary Rivalries in the Baltic Art World, 1890-1914
2. Joes Segal (Utrecht University): The Politicization of Art in the 
   German Empire, 1900-1914
3. Marie Cambefort (Royal Holloway): ‘Das Unbehagen in der Kultur‘: 
   The Reception of Art at the Venice Biennale, 1909-1914

17.00–19.00 Excursion: tba

Friday, 18 April 2014

Location: Rijksmuseum, Auditorium
Day chair: Wessel Krul (University of Groningen)

9.00–9.30 Coffee/tea

Session 2: Artists and their Political Strategies 

1. Tom Verschaffel (Leuven University), Between Politics, the Public 
   and two Capitals: The Strategies and the Network of the Stevens 
2. Laura Prins (Van Gogh Museum), Politics of Printmaking in the Early
   Third Republic, 1870-1914
3. Marlies van der Riet (University of Amsterdam), Artists into 
   Politics: The National Monument and The Hague’s Theatre Debate, 

11.10 – 11.40 Break

Session 3: Political Motivations and the (Dis)appearance of Artworks

1. Geneviève Lacambre (independent scholar), Gustave Moreau and the 
2. Alison McQueen (McMaster University), Discourses of French Colonial 
   Dominance through Public Sculpture: The Monument to Maréchal Bugeaud
   in Algiers, 1852-1858
3. Sandra Leandro (New University of Lisbon, University of Évora), 
   Politics in a Phantom Museum: The Industrial and Commercial Museum 
   of Oporto

13.20–14.50 Lunch break and visit Rijksmuseum

Session 4: The Intentions of Commissioners 

1. Jenny Reynaerts (Rijksmuseum), Heritage, Museumfication and the 
   Political Past: The Decorations in the Rijksmuseum Front Hall and 
   Gallery of Honour
2. Giovanna Capitelli (University of Calabria), Against Secularization
    – Towards Anti-Modernity: Pius IX and the Esposizione romana 
    relative all’arte cristiana e al culto cattolico of 1870
3. Karen Vannieuwenhuyze (University of Antwerp), The Antwerp 
   Municipality and the (Ab)use of Sculptures, Statues and Memorials 
   in the Urban Political Space

16.30–17.00 Final reflections by Wessel Krul (University of Groningen)

17.00–18.00 Drinks

This symposium is organized by Camelia Errouane (University of 
Groningen) and Laura Prins (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) in 
collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Historical Society (KNHG).

To register for this event, please mail to info@knhg.nl and transfer 
the registration fee to 
IBAN: NL25 INGB 0006 9343 91

Registration fee (includes refreshments and lunch): € 40 
Reduced prices for students (€ 20), KNHG members (€ 30) and KHNG 
student members (€ 15).

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