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15: Dec16


General papers

Diane Boze (Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma), ‘Creating history by re-creating the Minoan Snake Goddess’ 15/DB1

Abstract: The small faience figurine generally called the ‘Snake Goddess’ is an ubiquitous representation of  the Minoan, prevalent in current art history texts and popular cultural publications, and even personified as leading the development of all Greek culture in the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics.  This figurine can act as the perfect foil to help critically thinking students to recognize the construction of history and the conventional persistence of certain histories despite contrary evidence.   So many of the associated labels promoted by its excavator, Sir Arthur Evans — ‘Minoan’, ‘European’, ‘Palace’, ‘Temple Repositories’, and of course ‘Snake Goddess’ — continue to be used despite their often contrived and misleading connotations.  Recognition of the fragmentation and re-creation of the found pieces and the work’s association with possible forgeries or uncertain provenance can compel the questioning and reworking of the long perpetuated, accepted history.

Key words: Pedagogy, Snake Goddess, Minoan, Crete, Knossos, Arthur Evans

William Casement (Independent, Naples, Florida), ‘Were the ancient Romans art forgers?’ 15/WC1

Abstract: A popularly held tenet in the historical record on art is that the practice of forgery began in ancient Rome, where sculptures made by craftsmen of the day were passed off as classical Greek antiquities. However, revisionist scholars in recent decades have challenged this perspective. One line of criticism denies that forgery was present in Rome, asserting that the evidence for it has been misunderstood. A softer line suggests that while the traditional view overstates the case, there is still reason to accept that the culture of Rome harbored art forgery. This article assesses the competing claims in light of literary references by Roman authors, physical evidence including inscriptions on sculptures, the phenomenon of Corinthian bronze, the nature of Roman copying, social and economic conditions necessary for art forgery to arise, and what art forgery consists of by definition.

Keywords: Roman studies, art forgery, ancient Rome, classical sculpture, copy culture

Bente Kiilerich (University of Bergen), ‘Towards a “Polychrome History” of Greek and Roman Sculpture’ 15/BK1

Abstract: In the early twenty-first century, the polychromy of ancient sculpture has been presented at many exhibitions and discussed in a large number of specialized publications. Scientific analysis has established beyond doubt that most Greek and Roman sculpture was at least partly painted and at times gilded; to some extent even bronzes were coloured. The results obtained by scientific and archaeological investigation should be further explored in art historical studies on perceptual, aesthetic and semantic aspects of sculptural polychromy. In fact, in light of important recent research, a whole new ‘polychrome history’ of Greek and Roman sculpture is warranted.

Keywords: polychromy, Greek sculpture, Roman sculpture, history of ancient art

Gregory P. A. Levin (University of California, Berkeley), ‘Critical Zen art history’ 15/GL1

Abstract: This essay sketches a history of the study of Zen art from the late nineteenth century to post-war reconsiderations, leading towards what I term “critical Zen art studies.” The latter, I suggest, has been undertaken by historians of art and others to challenge normative definitions of Zen art based on modern constructs, revise understanding of the types and functions of visual art important to Chan/Sŏn/Zen Buddhist monasteries, and study iconographies and forms not as a transparent aesthetic indices to Zen Mind or No Mind but as rhetorically, ritually, and socially complex, even unruly, events of representation.

Keywords: Zen, Buddhism, art, visual culture, Sesshū, Buddhist modernism, transcendentalism, post-war

Branko Mitrović (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway), ‘A Panofskyian meditation on free will and the forces of history: is humanist historiography still credible?’  15/BM2

Abstract: In his paper ‘The History of Art as a Humanistic Discipline’ Erwin Panofsky postulated the free will and rationality of historical subjects as the basis of the rejection of collectivist (holist) approaches to history writing. The rejection of ‘insectolatrism’ as Panofsky put it—the idea that collectives such as cultures, ethnicities or linguistic groups determine an individual’s intellectual capacities and drive his or her creativity—is the core thesis of what he defined as humanistic historiography. This paper examines the credibility of this approach to historiography in the context of modern research about social structures in the social sciences and free will in analytic philosophy.

Key words: Erwin Panofsky, philosophy of history, ontological individualism, methodological individualism, free will

Ludwig Qvarnström (Lund University), ‘The Jewish modernist: Isaac Grünewald in Bertel Hintze’s art history’  15/LQ1

Abstract: In the Finland-Swedish art historian and chef curator Bertel Hintze’s art historical handbook Modern konst: 1900-talet (Modern Art: Twentieth century), published in 1930, he introduce the Swedish artist Isaac Grünewald with a racial and anti-Semitic rhetoric. In this article Hintze’s rhetoric is analyzed in relation to a widespread everyday anti-Semitism and the language used in earlier art critical discussion on Grünewald’s art. The article concludes that earlier anti-Semitic expressions, visible in the negative and nationalistically oriented criticism, have been incorporated into Hintze’s ambivalent, but basically positive, characterization of Grünewald. In doing so Hintze translocate the anti-Semitic rhetoric from a negative and disparaging criticism into ‘normal’ art history, an example of how the voice of anti-Semitism have been built into the language and structure of Swedish art historiography, even where anti-Semitism was not the object.

Keywords: Isaac Grünewald, Bertel Hintze, anti-Semitism, Swedish Art History, modernist narration

 Baroque for a wide public


Michaela Marek and Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), ‘Baroque for a wide public: Popular media and their constructions of the epoch on both sides of the Iron Curtain’  15/MPG1

Abstract: This special section of the Journal of Art Historiography aims at exploring the communication of art historical content in popular media during the Cold War era. In seizing on this subject we acknowledge the important role of popular art histories in the forming of persistent concepts of local patrimony and national past in the public opinion.

Key words: cultural policies, Cold War, popular art history, baroque, art historiography, Eastern Europe, Central Europe


Dubravka Botica (University of Zagreb), ‘Baroque in Croatia. Presentation of Baroque culture in Croatia in the socialist period’ 15/DBo1

Abstract: This article analyses examples of the way in which Baroque art and culture was presented to broader audiences in Croatia while that country still formed a part of Yugoslavia. Such examples include the Croatia in the Seventeenth Century exhibition, which took place in 1958 at the City of Zagreb Museum, as well as texts giving an overview of the monuments of a number of municipalities in north-western Croatia published in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Anđela Horvat (1911–1985) in the journal Kaj. The above-mentioned exhibition reflected many key ideas of the 1950s, which constituted the formative period of socialist society’s cultural and artistic identity, all the way from its design set-up and its educational purpose to its ideologically determined emphasis, which concentrated on the subject of daily life in the seventeenth century. By the 1980s this ideologically determined emphasis was less present, leaving much more space for the analysis of Baroque monuments, as well as of the people who commissioned them – the nobility – who, in contrast to earlier times, were then seen as active participants in cultural and art life of the Baroque period.

Key words: Baroque, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1950s exhibitions, topographical overview

Verity Clarkson (University of Brighton), ‘“The works themselves refute geographical separatism”: Exhibiting the Baroque in Cold War Britain’  15/VC1

Abstract: This article examines the collaborative exhibition Baroque in Bohemia (1969) to analyse the significance of the baroque style in Cold War cultural diplomacy between Britain and Czechoslovakia. The exhibition’s intended purpose and its ultimate lack of impact is contextualized by wider geo-political events, notably the Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring. It argues that the ambiguity of the term ‘baroque’ was helpful to the organizers, simultaneously emphasizing links with Western European artistic heritage and proclaiming a distinctive national style apart from Soviet control. However, the wider British public’s apparent lack of understanding of baroque aesthetics undermined the curators’ aim of demonstrating ‘solidarity’ between the Czech people and the West.

Keywords: baroque, Cold War, exhibition, art, cultural diplomacy, Britain, Czechoslovakia

Meinrad v. Engelberg (Technische Universität Darmstadt), ‘Baroque in the Federal Republic of Germany: The variety of narratives as reflected in exhibition projects’  15/MvE1

Abstract: Do individual countries and states develop an ‘image of the Baroque’ that is specific, typical of its era, clearly defined and visibly distinct from that of other nations? Is it thus possible to make a statement about the rather numerous and diverse Baroque exhibitions in West Germany – the ‘old’ Federal Republic of Germany prior to 1990 – that meaningfully integrates the individual case into an overall context? This essay advocates the thesis that a common ‘meta-narrative’ is hidden behind this diversity, integrating the art of the Baroque affirmatively into the simultaneously forming self-image of the young ‘Bonn Republic’, namely, that of a post-nationalist, European-networked, historically rooted, profoundly federalist ‘Kulturnation’.

Keywords: Baroque, West Germany,  exhibitions, regionalism, creating identity

Noemi de Haro García (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ‘Banal art history. Baroque, modernization and official cinematography in Franco’s Spain’  15/NdHG1

Abstract: In this article the newsreels made by Noticiarios y Documentales Cinematográficos (Cinematographic Newsreels and Documentaries, NO-DO), the official film production company created by Francoism, will be analyzed in order to shed light on the political, cultural and social role played by the presentation of art and art history to a wide public under Francoism. Special attention will be devoted to the role played by the imaginaries associated with the visual arts of the baroque and the Golden Age and to the ways in which they crossed paths with the construction of a national identity and the changes experimented by the dictatorship. This will show to what extent ‘banal art history’ can play a relevant role in ‘banal nationalism’ as defined by Michael Billig.

Keywords: NO-DO, Baroque, Golden Age, modernization, Spanish art, tourism, banal nationalism, banal art history

Ivan Gerát (Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava and University of Trnava), ‘The role of saintly personalities in popular discourses from around 1970 on Baroque artistic cultures’  15/IG1

Abstract: This article identifies a number of concepts that have been used in popular discourse on Baroque art, architecture and visual culture on both sides of the Iron Curtain. These concepts are associated with the visual cult of the saints, and especially those that depicted their images, visions and emotions. Can we find significant differences between the various ways in which these images were conceptualised and medialised for the consumption of the wider public in the eastern and western parts of a divided Europe? The first part of the article is devoted to one of the most important examples of popular art history of the time – the famous BBC series and book, Civilisation: A Personal View, by Kenneth Clark. This article reconstructs the conceptual framework used by the author in his presentation of the Baroque cult of saints in the visual arts. This reconstruction then provides a benchmark against which examples of more local popularisations are measured. The author will make this evaluation through a short case study of the Baroque cult of St Elizabeth of Thuringia in Vienna and Bratislava.

Keywords: Slovak art history, Baroque, popularization, cult of saints

Emilia Kłoda and Adam Szeląg (University of Wroclaw), ‘Ribald Man with a cranky look. The Sarmatian portrait as the pop-cultural symbol of the Baroque in Poland’  15/KS1

Abstract: This article analyses how it was that the Sarmatian portrait, a phenomenon typical of Polish Baroque art in the twentieth century, came to be a symbol of Polishness, and to what extent this pop-cultural vision of the ‘Polish Baroque’ was formed by contemporary art historiography. Looking at exhibition catalogues and works published on Baroque art and the Baroque portrait, it explores the origins of the popularity of the Sarmatian Portrait in Cold-War Poland. Despite its direct connection to the ideologically problematic history of the Polish ruling class – the szlachta or gentry – there were many retrospective exhibitions on Polish Baroque portrait art held during the time of the People’s Republic. Due to their supposed realism they were regarded as the emanation of a timeless Polish spirit, and were often juxtaposed to western European portraits of the same period, which were described in negative terms as artificially idealistic and excessively courtly.

Key words: the Sarmatian portrait, the Cold War Era, culture of memory, Polish Baroque art exhibitions, historiography of art history, pop-cultural art histories, national paradigms

Krista Kodres (Estonian Academy of Arts and Tallinn University), ‘Scientific Baroque – for everyone. Constructing and conveying an art epoch during the Stalinist period in the Soviet Union and in Soviet Estonia’  15/KK1

Abstract: This article identifies a number of concepts that have been used in popular discourse on Baroque art, architecture and visual culture on both sides of the Iron Curtain. These concepts are associated with the visual cult of the saints, and especially those that depicted their images, visions and emotions. Can we find significant differences between the various ways in which these images were conceptualised and medialised for the consumption of the wider public in the eastern and western parts of a divided Europe? The first part of the article is devoted to one of the most important examples of popular art history of the time – the famous BBC series and book, Civilisation: A Personal View, by Kenneth Clark. This article reconstructs the conceptual framework used by the author in his presentation of the Baroque cult of saints in the visual arts. This reconstruction then provides a benchmark against which examples of more local popularisations are measured. The author will make this evaluation through a short case study of the Baroque cult of St Elizabeth of Thuringia in Vienna and Bratislava.

Keywords: Slovak art history, Baroque, popularization, cult of saints

Carol Herselle Krinsky (Emerita NYU), ‘Reception of the Baroque in US university textbooks in art history’  15/CHK1

Abstract: Using American textbooks as examples, and drawing from 51 years of teaching American undergraduates, as well as from consultation for textbook publishers, this essay offers reasons why the American approach to art history of the baroque era has excluded the art history of Eastern Europe.

Key words: Baroque, art history teaching, USA, Eastern Europe

Michaela Marek (Humboldt University, Berlin), ‘International exhibitions as an instrument of domestic cultural policy: how Baroque art came to be honoured in socialist Czechoslovakia’  15/MM1

Abstract: At the end of the 1960s the artistic tradition of the Baroque period in Bohemia had gained new acceptance and the established schema for interpreting its history had been revised. This essay asks how it came to this turn. It therefore pursues, on the one hand, the sequence of events in its most important stages and, on the other hand, sketches the gradual reinterpretation of Baroque art as ‘popular’ cultural legacy or at least one compatible with the State’s postulated self-image as a ‘society of the people’. It is argued that this approach to Baroque art derived from a synergy of deliberate strategies of cultural policy and discursive adaptations. The study, moreover, presents a case study for how largely scholarly conceptions and models of interpretation can be dependent on extra-scholarly circumstances and interests – which should by no means be regarded as specific to socialist or communist regimes.

Key words: Baroque, Czechoslovakia, socialism, art historiography, exhibitions, foreign cultural policies, politics of memory and history

Andreas Nierhaus (Vienna Museum), ‘Exhibitions on the Baroque as media of the construction of Austrian identities in the 20th century’  15/AN1

Abstract: This essay deals with the construction of national identity in Austria through museum presentations and exhibitions of Baroque art between 1900 and 1960. The approach understands museums and exhibitions as ‘media’ providing visual expression of a variety of narratives on national identities. Around 1900 the Baroque was presented as being a style ‘typical’ of Austria – a country whose multi-ethnic make-up meant that it lacked the characteristics of a classic modern nation. References to the ‘supranational’ Baroque were thus seen as an appropriate manner in which to construct ‘Austrianness’ as distinction from the the German Reich. Yet, after the 1914–1918 war, Baroque art began to be used to demonstrate the cultural unity of Austria with Germany. Again, after 1945, the grounding for the construction of an Austrian nation – one seemingly independent of Germany and of its Nazi past – once more took hold of historical references to the Baroque, which now served to demonstrate the country’s European orientation. Today, however, the recently rediscovered golden age of ‘Vienna 1900’ seems to have replaced the Baroque as a central reference in defining the Austrian identity.

Keywords: Baroque, nation, identity, media, exhibition

Lenka Řezníková (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague), ‘Beyond ideology: Representations of the Baroque in socialist Czechoslovakia as seen through the media’  15/LR1

Abstract: This paper focuses on representations of the Baroque in Czechoslovakia under state socialism (1948–1989). In this period, policies and politics had a huge impact on the ideological discourses that determined how the Baroque was to be officially interpreted. However, the communist regime and its ideology were not the only determinants of how the Baroque was evaluated. In fact, mechanisms of cultural remembrance, divergent strategies of different mass media, adopting their representations of the Baroque to their respective algorithms, mutual influences from within Czechoslovakia and from abroad, as well as the urge to propagate, on an international scale, the touristic qualities of Czechoslovakia and her cultural heritage, all had their share in shaping diverging representations of the Baroque. Hence the study analyses mnemonic, functional and medial aspects of how the Baroque was perceived in the public sphere and shows how they accorded, respectively clashed, with government ideologies and politics.

Key words: Baroque in Bohemia, guidebooks, film, cultural remembrance, socialism

A Tribute to Donald Preziosi


Philip Armstrong (Ohio State University) and Jae Emerling (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), ‘Introduction: “The Preface of What You Shall Have Been”’  15/AE1

Abstract: An introduction to the importance of the work of the American art historian and cultural theorist Donald Preziosi for a collection of essays about the extensive influence of his work on his peers, colleagues, and former students.  Armstrong and Emerling present the insights, idiosyncrasies, and truly indelible marks Preziosi’s work has made on the fields of art history, museology, architectural history, and cultural theory.

Key words: Preziosi, art history, museology, architectural history, cultural theory

Philip Armstrong (Ohio State University), Jae Emerling (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), and Claire Farago (University of Colorado Boulder), ‘Interview with Donald Preziosi’  15/AEF1

Abstract: An interview with the renowned American art historian Donald Preziosi about his life and work.

Key words: Preziosi, art history, museology, architectural history, cultural theory


Hayden White (Emeritus, University of California), ‘Modernism and the sense of history’  15/HW1

Abstract: Modernism in the arts and literature is conventionally thought of as anti-traditional and therefore as anti-historical, in spite of the insistence by Eliot, Greenberg, Pound, and others of their of their interest in both archaic traditions and the redemption of what was best in ‘the past.’ Modern historiographical theory distinguishes between ‘the past’ and that ‘history’ which is only a part of it. This essay exploits this distinction by seeking to identify the extent to which the first generation of modernist writers rejected ‘history’ as an impediment to a knowledge of ‘a past’ on which to base a reformation of a Western culture grown stagnant and desiccated as a result of ‘modernization.’

Keywords: modernism, modernization, history, the past, tradition


Daniel Bridgman (Smith College, Northampton, MA), ‘An art history of machines?’ 15/DBr1

Abstract: A toast offered in honor of Donald Preziosi on the cusp of his seventy-fifth birthday, this essay considers a range of machine metaphors, their art historical settings, and their implications. Addressing the mythography of Daedalus and his wonder machines in relation to art history’s machinic enterprises, an ancient art-archaeology seminar Preziosi directed at UCLA (in 1988) and the book, Rethinking Art History: Meditations on a Coy Science (1989) form the focus of my thinking about Preziosi’s work. At issue across the essay is the work of recursion, when machines make machines and in so doing create a recessive subjectivity for the maker. The essay ends with the speculation that art history’s disciplinary machinery may owe its generative strength to a perpetual need for replacement parts.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, geranos, mekhane, nautilus, khoros, rhizome, thaumaturgy, recursion

Cynthia Colburn (Pepperdine University, Malibu, California), ‘Whose global art (history)?: Ancient art as global art’  15/CC1

Abstract: Discourse on global art or art history arguably dominates the field of art history today in terms of curriculum and research. This discourse cuts across time and space, impacting all art historical specializations, from prehistoric to contemporary, and from Africa to the Americas. Yet, the mainstream theoretical discourse on global art or art history focuses almost explicitly on contemporary and, to a lesser extent, modern art, operating from the premise that only these arts were created in an age of globalization and, thus, emphasize hybridity. This essay seeks to expand the mainstream theoretical discourse regarding global art to pre-modern examples, given that artistic exchange and hybridity dates as early as the prehistoric era all over the world and is not dependent on newer technologies. Indeed, one might argue that the study of pre-modern examples of global art could provide a powerful historical lens through which to analyze contemporary global art.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, global art, global art history, world art history, artistic hybridity, art historical theory

Jae Emerling (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), “To betray art history”  15/JE1

Abstract: The work of Donald Preziosi represents one of the most sustained and often brilliant attempts to betray the modern discipline of art history by exposing its skillful shell game: precisely how and why it substitutes artifice, poetry, and representational schemes for putative facticity and objectivity (that desirous and yet ever elusive Kunstwissenschaft that art historians prattle on about). This attempt is inseparable from a sinuous, witty, involutive writing style that meanders between steely insight and coy suggestions of how art history could be performed otherwise.  Preziosi’s writes art history. In doing so he betrays its disciplinary desires. It is this event of betrayal that has made his work so exciting to some, so troubling to others.

Keywords:  art historiography, art theory, Donald Preziosi, ethics, Gilles Deleuze, Wallace Stevens, Giorgio Agamben

Claire Farago (University of Colorado Boulder), ‘Stories fort/da my significant other’  15/CF1

Abstract: My statement is abstract enough. I tried to give a sense of our interactions as they fluidly move between the personal and the professional. Difficult to write about the personal in a professional venue. We are all aware of these distinctions – that is not the problem – but we are also aware that the boundaries between personal and professional remain fuzzy. I wanted to give readers of JoAH a sense of our communicating practices – of the unsayable hanging within the said. Not easy to render and I don’t think I did a very good job, but you can judge for yourselves.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hayden White, poststructuralism, deconstruction, collaborative work

Louise Hitchcock (University of Melbourne), ‘What does a transition mean?’  15/LH1

Abstract: This contribution is inspired by Donald Preziosi’s ground-breaking study of the planning, intercultural influences, spatial syntax, and modularity found in the monumental architecture of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete (ca. 1900-1450 BCE) in the Aegean Sea. In particular it considers his ruminations on the meaning of imposing western notions of order and identity in the search for modularity, in order to meditate on the symbolism of transitions and cultural negotiations as found in our temporal frameworks, notions of spatial boundedness, entangled identities in the past and present, ethnocentricities, and academic frameworks and discourses. It concludes that like modularity, transitions are fluid and dynamic, rather than fixed.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, Minoan, architecture, module, transition, Classics, entanglement

Paul Ivey (University of Arizona), ‘In gratitude’ 15/PI1

Abstract: While a new assistant professor at the University of Arizona, Paul Ivey had the opportunity to write critical reviews of regional, national, and even international art exhibitions for THE magazine, published in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Guy Cross. Donald Preziosi’s influence marked these reviews, as Ivey attempted to translate the insights from Preziosi’s seminars and books to Santa Fe’s art publics. Reviews of Beuys and Archigram (Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1994), Mark Rothko, The Spirit of Myth (University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, 1995), and the 1997 Documenta and Venice Biennale are slightly revised critical reflections from THE magazine, punctuated by short notes from Don’s seminars, dedicated as a humble tribute to and celebration of Donald Preziosi’s enduring inspiration in Ivey’s intellectual and professional life.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, influence, THE magazine

Preminda Jacob (University of Maryland Baltimore County), ‘Spectres in storage: The colonial legacy of art museums’  15/PJ1

Abstract: Donald Preziosi’s investigations of art history and museology work toward unmasking the ideological apparatus of the museum institution. With the current proliferation of museum studies programs in academia, Preziosi’s disciplinary critique becomes a key pedagogical device to illuminate the subject of museum ethics. In classroom discussions on museological practices of collection, repatriation and exhibition, complex subjects that are further complicated by the politics of imperialism and globalization, I propose organizing students to stage mock trials of specific controversies in which the colonial legacy of the museum resurfaces in the accusations leveled at one another by the contending parties. This strategy helps tackle the problematic ethics of museums and their colonial legacies without compromising the nuanced complexity of the subject.

Keywords: Preziosi, colonialism, museum, pedagogy, ethics

Amelia Jones (University of Southern California), ‘“I write four times…”: A tribute to the work and teaching of Donald Preziosi’  15/AJ1

Donald Preziosi’s meta-art historical research and teaching has been epic in its call to transform the way we think about art and its histories. ‘“I write four times…”: A Tribute to the Work and Teaching of Donald Preziosi’ uses the ‘frame’ of Jacques Derrida’s Truth in Painting to examine Preziosi’s approach to art history, exploring the different major critical arguments his published work and pedagogy has proffered to challenge the Eurocentrism/colonialism of the discipline in its deepest historical formations.

Key words: aesthetics, art history, pedagogy, Jacques Derrida, poststructuralism, interpretation, Donald Preziosi

Henrik Reeh (University of Copenhagen), ‘Encountering empty architecture: Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin’  15/HR1

Abstract: Claire Farago and Donald Preziosi once pointed out how recent art museums by architect Daniel Libeskind allow for altered relationships between exhibitions and visitors. Indeed, when Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin was first opened in a vacant state during the years 1999-2001, the building itself provided the exhibit for initiatory visits. The present study hightlights the fragmentary process of groundbreaking encounters with this building. The text shows how an embodied and reflexive experience of its architectural interiors and discourses go beyond the simplistic symbolism one finds in mainstream interpretations of Libeskind’s architecture as well as in certain discourses by Libeskind himself. In reality, his extra-functional architecture in Berlin and his early presentations of it constitute a kaleidoscopic field of experience in which critical self-reflexion may occur.

Keywords: Daniel Libeskind, Jewish Museum Berlin, architectural perception, ornament, experience, Donald Preziosi, anamorphosis

Anne Sejten (Roskilde University), ‘Art fighting its way back to aesthetics: Revisiting Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain’  15/AS1

When Claire Farago and Donald Preziosi claim that ‘art is not what you think it is,’ aesthetics itself is implicitly challenged, especially aesthetics’ seemingly inherent correlation with art. However, aesthetics, as complex and ambiguous as the concept of art, calls for a similar suspicion. In this essay, ‘Aesthetics is not what you think it is’ is thus an invitation to break through at the very point in which contemporary art seems to state the opposite—that art no longer should be a concern of aesthetics. The iconic example of Marcel Duchamp’s readymade, Fountain, which writes art history at the threshold of contemporary art, is summoned, on the contrary, to give evidence of an intact, though profoundly transformed, aesthetic engagement by the artist.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, contemporary art, aesthetics, Duchamp, criticism

Dan Smith (University of Arts London), ‘Deferring and materiality: Incomplete reflections on Donald Preziosi’  15/DS1

Abstract: A mark of Donald Preziosi’s achievement in fields of art history and visual culture is the degree to which it can be a struggle to keep up with the work that he has published in the later period of his career, while still trying to work through the implications of writings from decades past. My own reflections on Preziosi settle on this condition, with a particular emphasis on the approach to the study of material culture outlined in the 1999 book Aegean Art and Architecture, co-authored with Louise A. Hitchcock. The approach to objects and interpretation outlined in the book is presented here both as a formative influence on my own work, and as a point of reference that is still worth attending to in contemporary accounts of materiality and material culture.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, material culture, materiality, Aegean art, architecture

Ian Verstegen (University of Pennsylvania), ‘Is art history still a coy science?’  15/IV1

Abstract: The following essay asks whether art history is still a ‘coy’ science in the sense outlined by Donald Preziosi in his groundbreaking Rethinking Art History of 1989. Surprisingly, the answer is ‘yes,’ because Preziosi’s central point has been largely missed. While most art historians embraced forms of anti-foundationalism and relativism as a response to the ‘crisis of art history,’ Preziosi actually pointed to a deeper problem the contingency of a disciplinary vantage point at all. In reviewing Preziosi’s critique of art history, and his demonstration of a healthy reflexivity in his work on Aegean art and architecture, it is shown that the proper response to Preziosi’s challenge is to place the act of writing history at the basis of questions of the discipline’s status.

Keywords: Donald Preziosi, Louise Hitchcock, semiotics, art historical methodology, Aegean art


Donald Preziosi (Emeritus University of California, Los Angeles), Bibliography 15/DP1

Abstract: A bibliography of Donald Preziosi’s complete publications.

Key words: Donald Preziosi


Gail L. Geiger (Emerita University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Approaches and challenges to a global art history’: Circulations in the Global History of Art, edited by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Catherine Dossin, and Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Studies in Art Historiography, Surrey, England and  Burlington, VT:  Ashgate, 2015. $109.95,  ISBN 978-1-4724-5456-0 hdbk, ISBN 978-1-4724-5737-0 ebk-PDF, ISBN 978-1-4724-5738-7 ebk-ePUB  Geiger 15/GG1

Abstract: As many reevaluate the Euro-centric tradition of art history, rewriting a global circulation of visual culture necessitates reconsidering the historiographic traditions, theoretical foundations, and methodological challenges.  The majority of essays focus from the nineteenth-century emergence of Modernism to more recent Conceptual Art, although some address early modern global interchange.  Context and empirical evidence replace mega narratives and the digital age manifests itself in numerous plates of data and maps of global circulation.  Three editors provide an excellent Introduction and the Afterward both celebrates the multiple methodologies and challenges the premise of whether a global art history can be written.

Key words: interculturalization, métissage,  antinationalistic intellectual milieus, global art history, geohistory, transregional, cultural transfer

Ladislav Kesner (Masaryk University Brno and National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany),   ‘Exorcising the demons of collectivism in art history’: Branko Mitrović, Rage and Denials. Collectivist Philosophy, Politics, and Art Historiography, 1890-1947, University Park, Pennsylvania University Press 2015, 242pp., ISBN 978-0-271-06678-3, $89.95  15/LK1

Abstract: Branko Mitrović´s  Rage and Denials. Collectivist Philosophy, Politics, and Art Historiography, 1890-1947 traces the history of collectivist approaches in (art) historiography and debates between the individualist and collectivist positions, with the dominant focus on German-speaking scholarship. Author further suggests that denials and false appropriations and other forms of  bizzare and irrational claims inherent in many of these collectivist historiographies originated in the failures of self-esteem regulation of their authors.  The review then critically examines some problematic claims and assumptions which constitute the theoretical and conceptual backbone of the historical survey.

Key words: individualism, collectivism, historiography, self-esteem, denial, cognition, perception

Marco M. Mascolo (Independent, Italy), ‘From “bad” to “good”: Baroque architecture through a century of art historiography and politics’: Evonne Levy, Baroque and the Political Language of Formalism (1845-1945): Burckhardt, Wölfflin, Gurlitt, Brinckmann, Sedlmayr, 400 pp., 42 ills, Basel: Schwabe, 2015. ISBN 978-3-7965-3396-9, € 68 15/MM1

Abstract: The political element in art history has often played a crucial role and has been individuated as such for artists or their clients. But the political elements that shaped art historical theories or pattern of interpretations are not always clearly addressed as object of analysis. With this book Evonne Levy offers an explanation of the role politics and historical circumstances had on the shaping of an art-historical discourse between 1845 and 1945, focusing her attention on five major Germanophone scholars that had a crucial role in the rediscovery and study of the architectural Baroque. The concept was, as Levy argues in this book, a perfect example to detect the political implications of formalism, which in its reception is often considered apolitical. Aiming to situate formalism in its historical context, Levy focuses primarily on characterising formalist researches about Baroque through the political and philosophical elements that influenced Jacob Burckhardt, Heinrich Wölfflin, Cornelius Gurlitt, Albert E. Brinckmann and Hans Sedlmayr, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Levy demonstrates how Baroque, from a ‘bad’ style and a ‘bad’ element in German art hds gradually become a ‘good’ element of art-historical discourse, situating it at the crossroad between art history and politics.

Key words: Jacob Burckhardt, Heinrich Wölfflin, Cornelius Gurlitt, Albert Erich Brinckmann, Hans Sedlmayr, Formalism, Architectural Baroque, Political thought, Baroque historiography

Branko Mitrović (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway), ‘A refutation of (post-) narrativism, or: why postmodernists love Austro-Hungary’: Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, Postnarrativist philosophy of historiography, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 252 pp., AIAA 2015 edition (1 July 2015), ISBN-10: 113740986X, ISBN-13: 978-1137409867, £60.00  15/BM1

Abstract: Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen’s book Postnarrativist philosophy of historiography presents a new variation of the postmodernist, social-constructivist and anti-realist philosophy of historiography. Kuukkanen articulates a position that significantly differs from some other postmodernist perspectives on history writing, such as Frank Ankersmit’s. In this review I analyse the implications of Kuukkanen’s programme, as well as the application of its tenets in Christopher Clark’s book Sleepwalkers. How Europe went to war in 1914 (London: Penguin, 2012) which Kuukkanen strongly endorses.

Key words: Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, Post-narrativist philosophy of historiography, narrativism, postmodernist historiography, anti-realist historiography, Christopher Clark, Sleepwalkers

Andrei Pop (University of Chicago), ‘Bagley among the Germans’: Robert Bagley, Gombrich among the Egyptians and Other Essays in the History of Art, Seattle: Marquand Books, 2016, 208 pages, ISBN-10: 0692397140, ISBN-13: 978-0692397145, 150 ills, $60.00 15/AP1

Abstract: Robert Bagley’s Gombrich among the Egyptians is an ambitious challenge to business as usual in the teaching and practice of art history, tackling subjects from style and iconography to pedagogy and cross-cultural comparison, all in light of an original account of artist’s materials and techniques centred on prehistoric China. The book concludes on a polemic confrontation with the Anglo-Austrian art historian E.H. Gombrich, which is flawed but offers plenty of grist for further thinking.

Keywords: world art history, Chinese Art, Egyptian art, Ernst Gombrich, iconography, style, sculpture, history of materials

Matthew Rampley (University of Birmingham), ‘A workshop of the mind’: Aby Warburg, Fragmente zur Ausdruckskunde, edited by Ulrich Pfisterer and Christian Hönes. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015. Volume 4 of Aby Warburg: Gesammelte Schriften. 372 pages, ISBN-10: 3110374781, ISBN-13: 978-3110374780, £58.93  15/MR1

Abstract: This review considers the publication of the full text of Aby Warburg’s Fragments towards a Monistic Psychology of Art. The Fragments have often featured in accounts of Warburg’s work, but this is the first time that a definitive version of the text has been made available. On the one hand publication confirms that the Fragments are an important collection of materials that reveal his evolving thematic and methodological concerns. On the other, however, the Fragments should be recognised for what they are: a document highlighting Warburg’s inability to determine a comprehensive conceptual framework. They show the difficulty he experienced trying to articulate his interests, and they also show that during the 20 years that he wrote them, his thinking evolved remarkably little. Although the Fragments will undoubtedly expand knowledge of Warburg, they are not coherent theoretical or methodological set of observations, despite the impression that giving them a title might suggest.

Key words: Aby Warburg, Archive, Warburg Institute, Gombrich, Darwin, Mnemosyne

Matthew Rampley (University of Birmingham), ‘Fish, volcanoes and the art of brains’: John Onians, European Art: A Neuroarthistory. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016. 320 pages. ISBN-10: 0300212798. ISBN-13: 978-0300212792. £40.50  15/MR3

Abstract: This is a review of John Onians’s study European Art: A Neuroarthistory. It argues that the project of neuroarthistory relies on fundamental methodological misconceptions and a simplistic understanding of neuroscience. As a result, it argues, neuroarthistory offers nothing more than ungrounded speculation and empty generalizations.

Key words: neuroscience, Onians, prehistoric art, Neolithic art, mirror neurons, Gilbert Ryle, Franz Kline, David Freedberg


Matilde Mateo (Syracuse University), ‘In Search of the origin of the Gothic: Thomas Pitt´s travel in Spain in 1760’: ‘En busca del origen del gótico: el viaje de Thomas Pitt por España en 1760’, Goya. Revista de Arte, published by the Fundación Lázaro Galdeano, No 292, 2003, 9-22. It is reproduced here in an English translation by kind permission of the Fundación Lázaro Galdeano and Goya. Revista de Arte.  15/MMa1

Abstract: The article examines the Observations in a Tour to Portugal & Spain, 1760, by John Earl of Strathmore & Thomas Pitt, Esq., in the context of the discussions about the origin of the Gothic in the eighteenth century. One of the most popular theories argued that the Gothic had an Arab origin, a theory that has been traditionally attributed to Christopher Wren. This article draws attention to a different and earlier version of the theory which proposed Spain as the cradle of the Gothic. It argues that Thomas Pitt had the mission to determine whether this theory was supported by Spanish medieval monuments. Although Pitt does not appear mentioned in printed histories of Gothic architecture, his refutation of the theory was crucial for the rejection of an Arab origin of the Gothic where it mattered most, in the medievalist avant-garde at Cambridge. It also placed the interaction between Islamic and Christian works and artists at the heart of the study of Spanish medieval art and architecture.

Keywords: Thomas Pitt, origin of the Gothic, Christopher Wren, Thomas Gray, Spanish medieval architecture, medievalism, historiography of the Gothic


Ingrid Ciulisová (Institute of Art History, Slovak Academy of Sciences), ‘Dvořák’s Pupil Johannes Wilde (1891–1970)’ originally published in umění LX (2012), 101-8 15/IC1

Abstract: The study is concerned with Max Dvořak’s pupil Johannes Wilde (1891-1970), who remains well-known as an illustrious scholar of Italian Renaissance Art. Wilde studied art history in Budapest, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Vienna. He completed his studies with Max Dvořák in 1918. In 1923 Wilde joined the staff of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Daily contact with original works of art offered him the opportunity to study fundamental problems related to artistic materials and techniques. It should be noted that he was among the first to recognise the potential of X-radiography for connoisseurship. After the Nazi Annexation of Austria in 1938, Wilde and his wife, art historian Julia Gyarfás, left the country. In London he was able to study the collection of Michelangelo drawings at the British Museum and the catalogue he published in 1953 is one of his greatest scholarly achievements. Like Dvořák, Wilde was also an influential teacher and mentor. He taught generations of Courtauld students, including John Shearman, Michael Hirst, John White, Andrew Martindale, and Michael Kitson, all of whom became influential teachers and scholars. Through Wilde the legacy of Max Dvořák and Julius von Schlosser was transmuted into its own distinctive mode which came to be widely and internationally recognized.

Key words: Max Dvořák, Johannes Wilde, Italian Renaissance, Vienna School of Art History, technical art history,  Courtauld Institute, art history in England

Conference report

Matthew Rampley (University of Birmingham), ‘Julius von Schlosser: aesthetics, art history and the book’, Report on the 150th Anniversary Conference on Julius von Schlosser, 6th and 7th October 2016: Julius von Schlosser (1866–1938), Internationale Tagung zum 150. Geburtstag, gemeinsam veranstaltet vom Kunsthistorischen Museum Wien und dem Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität Wien 15/MR2

Abstract: This report provides an overview of the main themes and questions explored at the conference held in Vienna on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Julius von Schlosser. It considers in particular his attempts to address the challenges presented by what he regarded as the primacy of the aesthetic artefact in art historical discourse. It presents the broader interests of Schlosser’s diverse oeuvre, which ranged from the study of musical instruments and collecting to medieval art and the literature on art.

Key words: Julius von Schlosser, Aby Warburg, Ernst Gombrich, Benedetto Croce, Aesthetics, Kunstliteratur


Richard Woodfield (University of Birmingham), Review of: Uwe Fleckner and Peter Mack, The Afterlife of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg: Volume 12 (Vortrage Aus Dem Warburg-Haus), Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2015, 250 pp., 52 ill. b/w, £29.99, ISBN-10: 3110438305, ISBN-13: 978-3110438307. Published in the Journal of Art Historiography’s blog, 11 June 2016 15/RW1.

Abstract: This volume celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the Warburg Library’s transportation from its home in Hamburg to London covering the years from its move to the late fifties when Ernst Gombrich published Art and Illusion. There are useful and entertaining personal memoires, essays based on the archives and three papers based specifically on Gombrich. The review raises questions that emerge from the collection and argues for more work to be done on the subject as an important episode in intellectual history.

Key words: Fritz Saxl, Gertrud Bing, Hans Swarzenski, Edgard Wind, Roger Hinks, Frances Yates, Ernst Gombrich

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