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Elizabeth Mansfield on ‘Where centre and periphery meet: art history in Greece’

9 January 2019

Where centre and periphery meet: art history in Greece

Review of:

Art History in Greece: Selected Essays, edited by Evgenios D. Matthiopoulos, Athens: Melissa Publishing House, 2018, 150 pp., 22 b. & w. illus., €19.50 pbk ISBN 9789602043790

Elizabeth Mansfield (Pennsylvania State University) 20/EM1

Abstract: The edited collection Art History in Greece: Selected Essays features six essays on the development and contemporary practice of the discipline of art history in Greece and Cyprus. Although interest in the historical study of the visual arts existed in Greece by the nineteenth century, it was not until after the 1821 War of Independence that the discipline began to take distinctive shape. Even so, art history remained under the shadow of archaeology, which has been accorded greater cultural authority and social value by successive governments and popular audiences alike since the emergence of modern Greece. The essays collected here provide insight into the history of art history’s emergence as a distinct discipline in Greece and show how current trends in research are, to some extent, a response to the ongoing dynamics of nationalism and the not-unrelated privileging of archaeology.

Keywords: Greece, Cyprus, Greek art history, nationalism, archaeology, National Gallery in Athens, Association of Greek Art Historians

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