9: Dec 2013
Priyanka Basu, ‘Ideal and material ornament: rethinking the “beginnings” and history of art’9/PB1
Colleen Becker, ‘Aby Warburg’s Pathosformel as methodological paradigm’ 9/CB1
Rex Butler and A.D.S. Donaldson, ‘Surrealism and Australia: towards a world history of Surrealism’ 9/RBAD1
A.A. Donohue, ‘History and the Historian of Classical Art’ 9/AAD1
Antoinette Friedenthal, ‘John Smith, his Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters (1829–1842) and the “stigma of PICTURE DEALER”’ 9/AF1
Carolyn C. Guile, ‘Winckelmann in Poland: An Eighteenth-Century Response to the “History of the Art of Antiquity”’ 9/CCG1
Christopher P. Heuer, ‘“Hundreds of eyes”: Beyond Beholding in Riegl’s “Jakob van Ruysdael” (1902)’ 9/CPH1
Vlad Ionescu, ‘The rigorous and the vague: aesthetics and art history in Riegl, Wölfflin and Worringer’ 9/VI1
Emmanouil Kalkanis, ‘The “Meidias” hydria: a visual and textual journey of a Greek vase in the history of art of antiquity (c. 1770s–1840s)’ 9/EK1
Kwame Amoah Labi, ‘Afro-Ghanaian influences in Ghanaian paintings’ 9/KAL1
Branko Mitrović, ‘Romantic worldview as a narcissistic construct’ 9/BM1
Parjanya Sen, ‘“Gaur as ‘Monument”: The Making of an Archive and Tropes of Memorializing’9/PS1
Buildings and objects — the Rococo and after:
Kristel Smentek, ‘Introduction. Buildings and objects: the Rococo and after’ 9/KS1
Jean-François Bédard, ‘Beds and thrones: the reform of aulic space in late eighteenth-century France’ 9/J-FB1
Alexis H. Cohen, ‘Domestic utility and useful lines: Jean-Charles Krafft’s and Thomas Hope’s outlines’ 9/AHC1
Michael Yonan, ‘Material transformations: thinking about objects and spaces at the Wieskirche’ 9/MY1
Irish art histories:
Niamh NicGhabhann, ‘Introductory essay: writing Irish art histories’ 9/NNG1
Mary Jane Boland, ‘A troublesome “genre”? Histories, definitions and perceptions of paintings of everyday life from early nineteenth-century Ireland ‘ 9/MJB1
Riann Coulter, ‘John Hewitt: Creating a Canon of Ulster Art’ 9/RC1
Gabriel Gee, ‘The catalogues of the Orchard Gallery: a contribution to critical and historical discourses in Northern Ireland, 1978-2003’ 9/GG1
Nicholas E. Johnson, ‘Performative Criticism: Samuel Beckett and Georges Duthuit’ 9/NEJ1
Róisín Kennedy, ‘The Irish Imagination 1971 – Stereotype or Strategy’ 9/RK1
Una Walker, ‘The Scandinavian Report: its origins and impact on the Kilkenny Design Workshops’9/UW1
To what end? Eschatology in art historiography’:
Jeanne-Marie Musto, ‘To what end? Eschatology in art historiography’ 9/J-MM1
Robert Born, ‘World Art Histories and the Cold War’ 9/RB1
Benjamin Harvey, ‘The rest is silence: the senses of Roger Fry’s endings’ 9/BH1
Henrik Karge, ‘Projecting the future in German art historiography of the nineteenth century: Franz Kugler, Karl Schnaase, and Gottfried Semper’ 9/HK1
David O’Brien, ‘Delacroix, Chenavard, and the End of History’ 9/DOB1
Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Europe:
Sandra Cardarelli, ‘Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: An Introduction’9/SC1
Sandra Cardarelli, ‘Antonio Ghini and Andrea di Francesco Guardi: Two 15th-century Tuscan Artists in the Service of Local Governments’ 9/SC2
Katja Fält, ‘Locality, nation and the ‘primitive’ – notions about the identities of late medieval non-professional wall painters in Finnish historiography from 1880 to 1940’ 9/KF1
Michelle Moseley-Christian, ‘Confluence of Costume, Cartography and Early Modern European Chorography’ 9/MM-C1
Cinzia Maria Sicca, ‘Vasari’s Vite and Italian artists in sixteenth-century England’ 9/CMS1
Alois Riegl, ‘Lovers of art, ancient and modern’ posthumously published as ‘Über antike und moderne Kunstfreunde Vortrag gehalten in der Gesellschaft der Wiener Kunstfreunde,’Kunstgeschichtliches Jahrbuch der K. K. Zentral-Kommission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der kunst- und historischen Denkmale, Volume 1, 1907, Beiblatt für Denkmalpflege, column 1-14, reprinted in Alois Riegl, Gesammelte Aufsätze, Augsburg Vienna: Filser, 1929, 194-206. Translated with an introduction by Karl Johns 9/KJ1
Kristina Jõekalda, ‘What has become of the New Art History?’ 9/JK1
Stefan Muthesius, ‘Towards an “exakte Kunstwissenschaft”(?). A report on some recent German books on the progress of mid-19th century art history. Part I: Work by German art historians on nineteenth-century art-historiography since 2000’ 9/SM1
Stefan Muthesius, ‘Towards an “exakte Kunstwissenschaft”(?). Part II: The new German art history in the nineteenth-century: a summary of some problems’ 9/SM2
Branko Mitrović, ‘A realist theory of art history’. Review of: Ian Verstegen, A Realist Theory of Art History (Ontological Explorations), London and New York: Routledge 2013, 192 pages, £89.72 hbk, ISBN-10: 0415531519, ISBN-13: 978-0415531511. 9/BM2
Andrea Pinotti, ‘Styles of Renaissance, renaissances of style’. Review of: L’idée du style dans l’historiographie artistique. Variantes nationales et transmissions, edited by Sabine Frommel and Antonio Brucculeri, Roma: Campisano Editore, 2012, 343 pp, 91 b & w ills., € 40.00, ISBN 9788888168982. Was war Renaissance? Bilder einer Erzählform von Vasari bis Panofsky, edited by Hans Christian Hönes, Léa Kuhn, Elizabeth J. Petcu, Susanne Thüringen, with a foreword by Ulrich Pfisterer and Wolf Tegethoff, Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag, 2013, 182 pp, 90 colour and b & w ills., $ 47.50, ISBN 9783863281212. 9/AP1
Matthew Rampley, ‘Images of Globalisation: Paris 1889’. Review of Beat Wyss, Bilder von der Globalisierung. Die Weltausstellung von Paris 1889. Berlin: Insel Verlag, 2010, 285 pp., 112 b. & w. illus., € 49.90 hbk, ISBN 9783458174851 9/MR1
Mark A. Russell, ‘“Cannon fodder for respectable question marks”: Fritz Saxl and the history of the Warburg Library’. Review of: Dorothea McEwan, Fritz Saxl – Eine Biografie: Aby Warburgs Bibliothekar und Erster Direktor des Londoner Warburg Institutes, Wien, Köln, Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2012, 344 pp., 36 b. & w. illus., €39.00 hdbk, ISBN 978-3-205-78863-8. 9/MAR1
Kathryn A. Smith, ‘Medieval women are “good to think” with’. Review of: Therese Martin, ed.,Reassessing the Roles of Women as ‘Makers’ of Medieval Art and Architecture, Visualising the Middle Ages, volume 7, 2 vols, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012, 1,280 pp., 287 b&w illustrations, 32 colour plates, ISBN: 978-90-04-18555-5 (hardback), E-ISBN: 978-90-04-22832-0, Euro 215.00 / US$ 299.00. 9/KAS1
Ian Verstegen, ‘Art is not what you think it is (but we can approach it through the Art Matrix)’. Review of: Donald Preziosi and Claire Farago, Art is Not What You Think It Is. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 171 pp. ISBN-10: 1405192402. ISBN-13: 978-1405192408. $28.95. 9/IV1
Jindřich Vybíral, ‘Writing the history of modern architecture after the fall of the Iron Curtain’. Review of: Hans Ibelings, European Architecture since 1890, Amsterdam: SUN, 2011, 236 pp., 735 col. illus. 38 EUR, ISBN 978 90 8506 8815. 9/JV1
André Chastel (1912-1990), Histoire de l’Art & Action Publique, Catalogue de l’Exposition, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, 8 février 2013 – 6 avril 2013. 9/AC1
Jean-Francois Bedard, Decorative Games: Ornament, Rhetoric, and Noble Culture in the Work of Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742) (Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth- Century Art and Culture) Hardcover: 288 pages. Publisher: University of Delaware Press, 2010. ISBN-10: 1611490081. ISBN-13: 978-1611490084.$85.00. 9/J-FB2
Priyanka Basu (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), ‘Ideal and material ornament: rethinking the “beginnings” and history of art’ 9/PB1
Abstract: Beginning with the work of anthropologist and prehistoric archaeologist Johannes Ranke, the article outlines a series of debates about the ‘beginnings’ of art and ornament in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century in German-speaking culture. Taking place between archaeologists, anthropologists, art historians, and art theorists, these show how ‘primitive’ ornament was an area by means of which scholars attempted to bring the study of art under the protocols of scientific study and negotiated issues of human creativity and agency in relationship to material and technical forces. The article also discusses writings of Gottfried Semper, Alexander Conze, Alois Riegl, and Oscar Montelius.
Keywords: anthropology; archaeology; ornament; prehistory; Ranke; Conze; Riegl
Colleen Becker (SAS, London), ‘Aby Warburg’s Pathosformel as methodological paradigm’ 9/CB1
Abstract: This paper explores the differing positions Warburg occupies within Humanities and Social Sciences fields to demonstrate his cross-disciplinary relevance. While the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, his major work concerning Pathosformeln, was never complete and his conceptualization of the Pathosformel was fairly indefinite, his theoretical paradigms nonetheless provide models for scholars working with visual culture. As a case study, the national personification ‘Germania’ is used to test the applicability of his ideas within an interdisciplinary context.
Key words: Aby Warburg; Pathosformel; Germania; visual culture; cultural memory; national personifications; Social Democratic Party; Arbeiterkultur; cultural studies; German nationalism; national monuments; nineteenth-century mass media
Rex Butler (Queensland) and A.D.S. Donaldson (NAS, Sydney), ‘Surrealism and Australia: towards a world history of Surrealism’ 9/RBAD1
Abstract: In this paper, the authors write a brief history of Surrealism in relation to Australia. However, as against the usual national histories of Australian art, in which Surrealism is understood as arriving late to the country, or the later post-colonial revisions of this history, in which Surrealism is understood as undergoing certain transformations upon entering the country, what is emphasised here is the way that Australia is simply part of a world history of Surrealism. There are two wider consequences of this. The first is that Surrealism, as against its common readings, was a global art movement. The second is that we might see the connection between Australia and Surrealism as an example of a new world art history to be written in the twenty-first century, which would be not a simple universalism but something always written from a particular place.
Key words: Surrealism; Australia; world art
A.A. Donohue (Bryn Mawr), ‘History and the Historian of Classical Art’ 9/AAD1
Abstract: The study of classical art occupies an uneasy position in both institutional structures and the disciplinary definitions they reflect. The criteria by which the field is judged tend to be exclusionary in nature and effect alike. Of particular interest to historians of classical art are characterizations of the subject that challenge its very standing as a historical discipline. The most prominent of these is Arnaldo Momigliano’s account of antiquarianism as distinct from history. Although recent critiques of Momigliano’s formulation have done much to reveal its flaws, its influence continues, not least because it was itself founded on deeply rooted ideas and practices that remain problematic, not only for the classification of the subject, but for its practice as well.
Key words: Momigliano; antiquarianism; archaeology; classical studies; art history; historical discipline
Antoinette Friedenthal (Independent), ‘John Smith, his Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters (1829–1842) and the “stigma of PICTURE DEALER”’ 9/AF1
Abstract: The monumental nine-volume Catalogue Raisonné by the London art dealer John Smith (1781-1855), covering the works of 41 painters, appeared between 1829 and 1842. In spite of the common recognition of its importance by the specialized secondary literature, this publication has hardly been looked at in a wider art historical context. Reasons for this may be found in the critical reactions by a few contemporary connoisseurs, as well as in the ambivalent status of the genre of the catalogue raisonné. The issues raised by Smith’s volumes and their reception not only pertain to questions of content, they also relate to such fundamental themes as scientific credibility, professional ethos, and the recognition of authority. As far as can be ascertained, this is the first time that criticism of the market’s involvement in this genre makes itself heard. In the 19th century, art history’s search for a viable position among other fields of study led to considerable tensions. These not only resulted in precise demarcations of the discipline’s scope in relation to other academic fields, they also shaped certain patterns of argument which characterize the reception of catalogues raisonnés even today. In addition to addressing these points, the present study also throws some light on the market’s contribution to the formation of categories and systems of classification in the history of art.
Key words: catalogue raisonné; œuvre; classification; connoisseur(ship); (status of) art dealer; John Smith (1781-1855), art dealer and connoisseur; Gustav Friedrich Waagen; Johann David Passavant; Charles Lock Eastlake; Anton Springer
Carolyn C. Guile (Colgate), ‘Winckelmann in Poland: An Eighteenth-Century Response to the “History of the Art of Antiquity”’ 9/CCG1
Abstract: The art historical writings of Stanislaw Kostka Potocki (1755-1821) are little-known outside of Poland. Potocki intended, On the Art of the Ancients, or the Polish Winckelmann (O Sztuce u Dawnych, czyli Winkelman Polski, 1815) to be a history of world art that used Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s system of analysis as its point of reference. The importance for art historiography of Potocki’s project resides in the presentation of Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (1764) for a Polish readership, in his consideration of cultures Winckelmann had not discussed and in his defense of Winckelmann’s approach against Christian Gottlob Heyne’s critique. Written when art history was a discipline in formation, Potocki’s text gave Winckelmann’s project an ‘afterlife’ in the eastern borderlands of Europe.
Key words: Stanisław Kostka Potocki; Johann Joachim Winckelmann; Poland; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; antiquarianism; art historiography; Eighteenth-century art theory
Christopher P. Heuer (Princeton), ‘”Hundreds of eyes”: Beyond Beholding in Riegl’s “Jakob van Ruysdael” (1902)’ 9/CPH1
Abstract: Alois Riegl’s 1902 essay ‘Jakob van Ruysdael’ is among the strangest and least-understood writings in the art historian’s late corpus. Written in Vienna and predating the Gruppenporträt by mere months, the essay has previously been understood as a précis of Riegl’s later thoughts on Stimmung (mood, atmosphere) and Aufmerksamkeit (attentiveness.) Yet the essay, this paper contends, did not simply distil a method more fully rehearsed elsewhere. For Riegl, Ruisdael prompted meditation upon the beholding act, upon landscape painting as a genre, upon the viewer’s often-irrational role in the interpretation of ‘non-narrative’ subjects and, above all, upon the idea of art historical writing as a creative act. At the same time, the dense and little-read ‘Ruisdael’ essay was deeply engaged with late nineteenth-century models of ‘subjective vision,’ reacting to the theories of Wundt and Helmholtz on perception, anticipating the writings of Carl Einstein, Pavel Florensky, and Walter Benjamin on the destabilization of classical modes of visuality in accelerated capitalism. Riegl’s apparent adaptation – radical, even now – of landscape art as a subject suggesting a creative (and possibly irrational) alternative to pat methodological historicism is the subject of this paper.
Key words: Reigl; Stimmung; mood; Aufmerksamkeit; attentiveness; subjective vision; visuality
Vlad Ionescu (KU Leuven), ‘The rigorous and the vague: aesthetics and art history in Riegl, Wölfflin and Worringer’ 9/VI1
Abstract: The paper approaches the art theory of Aloïs Riegl, Heinrich Wölfflin and Wilhelm Worringer from two perspectives. Firstly, the paper integrates the conception of the image of these three art historians into the phenomenological tradition as founded by Edmund Husserl where the image is described as an immaterial ‘image-object’ distinct from the subject and the material of the image. Further, the polarities that these historians introduced are interpreted from a structuralist perspective as anonymous deep level structures of visuality that are realised in the singular artwork. Secondly, Riegl, Wölfflin and Worringer rejected aesthetics from art history because of a specific understanding of philosophical aesthetics. However, the paper determines that their rigorous description of art historical styles is embedded in vague aesthetic categories and that, in the case of Riegl, the creative act as conceptualised by the notion of the Kunstwollen presupposes the aesthetic experience.
Keywords: image analysis; aesthetic experience; aesthetic categories; phenomenology; structuralism; positivism; art history
Emmanouil Kalkanis (Independent, Mouseion), ‘The “Meidias” hydria: a visual and textual journey of a Greek vase in the history of art of antiquity (c. 1770s–1840s)’ 9/EK1
Abstract: This article examines scholarly publications between the 1770s and 1840s of one of the most published Athenian red-figured vases, a hydria first known in the collection of Sir William Hamilton and since 1772 in the British Museum. It reviews critically several visual and textual interpretations of the vase by a range of scholars of various European nationalities. It offers a new interpretation of a well-known object and reveals the extent to which its iconography influenced the development of art-historical writing and vice versa. While d’Hancarville was a pioneer in his own peculiar way, others were all more or less influenced by him though having their own agendas, not really related to any intrinsic interest in the vase, or any vase, as an object. What the article establishes is that although every writer was the product of his time and culture, only one of them (Eduard Gerhard) really advanced the study of the vase or Greek ceramics being more thorough and imaginative in analyzing the subject matter.
Key words: iconography; mythology; vases; reception; scholarship; art-history; Hamilton
Kwame Amoah Labi (Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon), ‘Afro-Ghanaian influences in Ghanaian paintings’ 9/KAL1
Abstract: Easel painting is a foreign art form whose materials and techniques were introduced by the Europeans into the Gold Coast, now Ghana, in the first decades of the twentieth century during the period of European modern art. Since its introduction as an academic discipline, concepts identified as Ghanaian have been incorporated into it. Hence there is the need for scholarly debate on this subject to define a framework for a discourse on the histories and receptions of Ghanaian painting. This article discusses Ghanaian easel painting by examining some African and non-African voices in the discourse on modern and contemporary African art, its early teaching methods and philosophy, and their impact on modern and post-colonial painters. To what degree did early instructors succeed in their insistence on students incorporating Ghanaian aesthetics and principles in their studies, and what impact has this had on subsequent painters?
Key words: modern art; postmodern painting; Achimota; Antubam; Aggrey
Branko Mitrović (Bergen), ‘Romantic worldview as a narcissistic construct’ 9/BM1
Abstract: The view that human intellectual life and values are predetermined by one’s membership of a collective such as culture, ethnicity, class or linguistic community has been the core of the Romantic intellectual tradition from German eighteenth-century romantics to late twentieth-century postmodernist social constructivists. The view fundamentally depends on the acceptance of a number of paradoxes and theoretical positions that are philosophically difficult to defend; its widespread popularity can only indicate an extra-theoretical motivation to accept it. In this paper I argue that modern psychological research about narcissism provides a comprehensive explanation for this motivation. While the results of the analysis could be applied to any segment of the Romantic tradition, this paper mainly concentrates on German art historiography of the era between Bismarck and Adenauer.
Key words: Romanticism; narcissism; psychohistory; appropriation of the Renaissance; self-esteem regulation in art history
Parjanya Sen (CSSSC Calcutta), ‘”Gaur as “Monument”: The Making of an Archive and Tropes of Memorializing’ 9/PS1
Abstract: This paper seeks to locate the fifteenth-century medieval city of ‘Gaur’ in Bengal, and the various historical and art historical claims which have emerged around it. Beginning with a historiography of early exploration and visual encounters with the site, this paper traces the aesthetic shifts and mediations which occurred during the Cunningham era in British India, which variously attempted to re-produce the colony’s ruins as knowable landscape. Within a larger set of historical/archaeological concerns which were intricately linked with the colonial project and desire to invest the colony with a history, what specificity did Gaur as site attain? The next section of this paper looks at a series of ‘native’ claims on the site and how the discipline of colonial archaeology itself created a variety of subject positions. The emergence of the ‘native’ scholar was both legitimized and co-opted by colonial pedagogy, as is witnessed in the case of Abid Ali. It also led to a series of counter claims which sought to incorporate Gaur as part of a nationalist and regional history.
Key words: brick architecture; Bengal; Gaur; Picturesque; the Daniells; monumentality; ASI; Abid Ali
Buildings and objects — the Rococo and after:
Kristel Smentek (MIT), ‘Introduction. Buildings and objects: the Rococo and after’ 9/KS1
Abstract: As a discipline, art history has tended to privilege fine art and architecture over the so-called decorative or applied arts. In practice, however, the boundaries between designing buildings, producing paintings, and crafting things were not always clearly drawn. The papers published here contribute to the ongoing rethinking of the conceptual divisions that have long structured art history’s fields of inquiry. They do so by examining the interrelationships between objects and buildings in the long eighteenth century, the period in which the fine and applied arts were discursively, though not practically, distinguished from one another.
Keywords: decorative arts; applied arts; Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach; Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier; Thomas Germain
Jean-François Bédard (Syracuse), ‘Beds and thrones: the reform of aulic space in late eighteenth-century France’ 9/J-FB1
Abstract: Court societies relied on interior decoration to make visible their strict social hierarchies. The successful deployment of architecture and furnishings not only enhanced a regime’s prestige but also buttressed its political legitimacy. This paper will address the intimate relationship between buildings and furniture that the architects Charles Percier (1764–1838) and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (1762–1853) orchestrated for the Napoleonic court. By reconfiguring the spaces and décor of the Palace of the Tuileries, the primary site of Napoleonic pageantry, Percier and Fontaine materialized an ever stricter imperial etiquette. This study compares the successive editions of the Étiquette du Palais Impérial, the exacting guide to ceremonial behavior at the Tuileries, to Percier and Fontaine’s architectural and decorative refurbishments of this former royal residence. By probing ceremonial, architectural, and decorative practice, this study intends to challenge the disciplinary boundaries that would otherwise obscure the complex interaction between theatrical politics and their material manifestations.
Keywords: court; etiquette; palace; Paris; France; Napoleon I; Charles Percier; Pierre François Léonard Fontaine; Palace of the Tuileries
Alexis H. Cohen (Princeton), ‘Domestic utility and useful lines: Jean-Charles Krafft’s and Thomas Hope’s outlines’ 9/AHC1
Abstract: Through a study of design publications by the architect and draughtsman, Jean-Charles Krafft (1764-1833), and aristocrat and designer Thomas Hope (1769-1831), this paper examines how Neoclassicism’s material products – its architecture and objects of interior design – participated in an intellectual history of utility c. 1800. This paper gives special attention to the outline drawing, arguing that its graphic idiom is an integral feature of Krafft and Hope’s work, linking the value they ascribe to useful buildings and objects to ideas about how the lines of their illustrations were to participate both in design processes and in the promotion of neoclassical aesthetics.
Key words: Jean-Charles Krafft; Thomas Hope; outline drawing and engraving; technical drawing; utility; Neoclassicism; design publications
Michael Yonan (Missouri), ‘Material transformations: thinking about objects and spaces at the Wieskirche’ 9/MY1
Abstract: The materiality of architecture and the materiality of things have not long been closely linked in the scholarly imagination. Architecture, that largely permanent manipulation of space and the built environment, is in everything but the most abstract speculations a material construction, a physical entity that creates and defines space. Objects, in contrast, seem supremely isolatable, easily detached from their original contexts of production. That objects likewise have wide-ranging spatial dimensions can therefore be as difficult to conceptualize as architecture’s status as a thing. This essay takes up these concerns by examining a particularly rich example of the object/building relationship, one in which the visual language employed for each articulated the terms of an analogy between them. This occurred at the Wieskirche or “Church in the Meadow,” one of Central Europe’s most impressive religious edifices and one long recognized as a cornerstone of eighteenth-century architecture.
Key words: rococo; architecture; objects; material culture; religion; ornament
Irish art histories:
Niamh NicGhabhann (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick), ‘Introductory essay: writing Irish art histories’ 9/NNG1
Abstract: This introductory essay explores some of the critical contexts for an exploration of the historiography of Irish art. It argues that the discipline is currently undergoing a period of revision and redefinition, evidenced by recent exhibitions, interventions by artists, and academic projects such as the Royal Irish Academy’s forthcoming Art and Architecture of Ireland multi-volume publication. Introducing the different essays within this section on the historiography of Irish art, the need for close attention to systems and canons of value around practices of writing about art in Ireland is emphasised. This is particularly important, given the conditions of the development of the discipline from the mid-nineteenth century. Finally, further areas for exploration and investigation in the critical historiography of Irish art are suggested, including the impact and future role of digital technologies.
Keywords: historiography, Irish art, archives, Irish art criticism, design history, exhibitions
Mary Jane Boland (Nottingham), ‘A troublesome “genre”? Histories, definitions and perceptions of paintings of everyday life from early nineteenth-century Ireland ‘ 9/MJB1
Abstract: This article interrogates the historiography of early nineteenth-century paintings of Irish life and offers some suggestions as to how historical approaches to this type of painting can be re-examined and reassessed. By using one case study (The Patron of the Seven Churches by Joseph Peacock) it investigates the perception of the everyday aesthetic amongst historians, critics and audiences over the past two centuries and emphasizes the contribution that an interdisciplinary approach can make to scholarship in this area.
Key words: genre painting; nineteenth-century art; Irish history; interdisciplinary methodology; art in Ireland
Riann Coulter (F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studios), ‘John Hewitt: Creating a Canon of Ulster Art’ 9/RC1
Abstract: This article explores the role of John Hewitt (1907 – 87) in attempting to articulate a distinctive artistic and cultural identity for Ulster from the middle of the twentieth century. Focusing on Hewitt’s interpretation of the visual arts, this essay examines the ways in which he acted as a curator and advocate for particular artists who he felt embodied his sense of a regional style of art for Ulster. Hewitt’s work is contextualised by a broader discussion of ideas of national and regional identity following the Second World War, and also by the increasingly visible avant-garde centres of artistic development in places such as London and New York.
Keywords: John Hewitt; Ulster; painting; Colin Middleton; regionalism; identity
Gabriel Gee (Franklin College, Switzerland), ‘The catalogues of the Orchard Gallery: a contribution to critical and historical discourses in Northern Ireland, 1978-2003’ 9/GG1
Abstract: The Orchard Gallery opened in Derry in 1978. It was set up by Derry City Council, which appointed a then young artist and art teacher, Declan McGonagle, as its first exhibition director. In 1979-80, D. McGonagle convinced the council that the money it wanted to allocate to acquire works and establish a collection should be used to commission artists and art critics to produce artists’ books and publications. The artistic programme of the Orchard gallery aimed to exhibit a wide range of artists including external artists of international reputation who were asked to produce works specifically for the gallery. The additional publishing material furthered the representation of ‘the gallery’s ethos, which was about the place, and the interaction and the relationship between the artist who comes from outside and the place’. Till its closure in 2003, and under the direction in the 1990s successively of Noreen O Hare, Liam Kelly and Brendan McMenamin, the gallery maintained a high profile publishing policy, collecting in prints artists’ ideas as well as critical discourses commissioned from a wide range of critics, artists and art historians. This paper focuses on the critical essays published by the Orchard Gallery, underlining both their role in explicating the aesthetic propositions they accompanied, and in providing a unique contribution to the critical assessment of the history of Northern Ireland as seen from the contemporary socio-political context of the Troubles. They addressed a large range of issues, such as the politics of representation, historical discourse and the visual arts, the role and use of language(s), conflicting identities, cultural transfers, and British and Irish art history. The analysis looks at the authors’ recurrent concern with the conditions of visual interpretation, the range of iconographical themes outlined by the texts, and ultimately the rallying attempt to reach a universal realm of significance, in order to sketch the powerful contributions of the Orchard Gallery’s catalogue to aesthetic discourses in Northern Ireland in the late 20th century.
Keywords: Orchard Gallery; Derry; the Troubles; identity; ekphrasis; iconology
Nicholas E. Johnson (Trinity College Dublin), ‘Performative Criticism: Samuel Beckett and Georges Duthuit’ 9/NEJ1
Abstract: Art criticism is most often expressed as monologue rather than as dialogue, and is generally disseminated in printed text rather than in embodied performance. The Three Dialogues between Samuel Beckett and Georges Duthuit, a series of debates on contemporary painting first published in 1949 in Paris, present a valuable opportunity to question, to counter, and to reframe this tradition. These dialogues highlight some of the ways in which criticism is already a performance, and their actual staging – undertaken in three different contexts in Dublin between 2010 and 2011 – foregrounds the extent to which art criticism can be an embodied, performative practice. The treatment of this text as a script for performance and its insertion into critical contexts raises methodological questions of value to the art historiographer: how can performance function as a tool of criticism, and how to account in art history for ‘events’ of criticism that may not be secured in print?
Key words: Samuel Beckett, Georges Duthuit, Three Dialogues, practice-based research, performance
Róisín Kennedy (University College Dublin), ‘The Irish Imagination 1971 – Stereotype or Strategy’ 9/RK1
Abstract: The paper analyses one of the most influential and contentious essays on post-war Irish art, Brian O’Doherty’s text for the 1971 exhibition catalogue, the Irish Imagination 1959-71. The exhibition, a subsidiary of the international Rosc 71 exhibition, was an important vehicle for promoting contemporary Irish visual art in a global forum. The paper considers how O’Doherty’s representation of modern Irish art relates to the priorities of the art establishment in the Republic of Ireland in the early 1970s. Coming at a crucial moment in the escalation of violence in Northern Ireland and the demise of Modernism internationally, it argues that the essay encapsulates many of the contradictions of its time. The ‘atmospheric mode’ is identified as the key feature of mid 20th century Irish painting. O’Doherty suggests that this ambiguous use of form is the result of a problematical relationship between the artist and his/her native country. Avoiding conventional biographical or art historical narratives in favour of a systematic critical method O’Doherty’s text focuses on the physical characteristics of the artworks. Drawing on both formalist and nationalist rhetoric in its evaluation of Irish art, it makes a cogent, if problematic, defence of local art practice in the face of the dominant cosmopolitan centre.
Key words: Modernism; Post-colonial; formalist; Irish art; nationalism; provincialism; colonialism; taste
Una Walker (NCAD, Dublin), ‘The Scandinavian Report: its origins and impact on the Kilkenny Design Workshops’ 9/UW1
Abstract: The publication of Design in Ireland: Report of the Scandinavian Design Group in Ireland in 1962 has been described as providing the catalyst for change in the approach to design in Ireland. The Report was commissioned by the Irish Export Board and the Scandinavian Design Group was formed for this purpose. It stimulating protracted debate on design education in Ireland, and also afforded a reason for the establishment of the Kilkenny Design Workshops. This paper, which draws on unpublished material from a number of archives, will provide a brief overview of the Report and the rational for commissioning it, followed by an examination of government interventions to improve design standards in Ireland from the founding of the State until the 1960s. It will examine the origins of Scandinavian influence on the evolution of public policy on design in Ireland, question if the Report expanded the discourse on design in industry in Ireland and assess its influence during the early years of the Workshops.
Key words: Irish design; public policy; public taste; industrial design; material culture; design tradition
To what end? Eschatology in art historiography’:
Jeanne-Marie Musto (Fordham), ‘To what end? Eschatology in art historiography’ 9/J-MM1
Abstract: To study eschatology in art historical texts is to study the revelations or the resolution that mark their explicit or implied goals. It is, in this respect, to investigate a feature inherent to any story. With regard to art historiography, analysis of the goals of art might be framed in narratological terms as analysis of the fate of the protagonist. To integrate this conceptualization of the theme with the broader cultural or spiritual significance commonly attributed to art and its ends, I have borrowed the essentially theological term ‘eschatology’. More than the study of goals and resolutions internal to given texts, this term invokes their aspiration to wider cultural, or even quasi-religious, import. Considering eschatology as a structural aspect of art historical texts opens a window onto the temporal difficulty and moral weight inherent in the seemingly straightforward effort to express what art has been and where it is going.
Key words: historiography; eschatology; narratology; sequencing; antistory; backshadowing
Robert Born (GWZO, Leipzig), ‘World Art Histories and the Cold War’ 9/RB1
Abstract: In the two decades after World War II there were a series of panoramic overviews about the development of art published in both sides of the Iron Curtain. These include Mikail V. Alpatov’s “Vseobshchaya istoriya iskusstv” (The general history of art, 1948–1949), Arnold Hauser’s “Sozialgeschichte der Kunst und Literatur” (The social history of art and literature, 1953), as well as, providing a counter-model to a certain degree, Ernst H. Gombrich’s “The Story of Art” (1950). The authors of these works were often art historians who had to leave their home countries due to the National Socialist terrors to continue their research in exile. In this paper the models concerning the development of art elaborated by these authors, as well as their telos, taking into account the contemporary background of their exile and the emerging conflicts between the two political blocks are discussed.
Keywords: Mikail V. Alpatov (1902–1986); Arnold Hauser (1892–1978); Ernst H. Gombrich (1909–2001); Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; World Art History; Cold War; Sunday Circle; Strukturforschung; Hans Sedlmayr
Benjamin Harvey (Mississippi State), ‘The rest is silence: the senses of Roger Fry’s endings’ 9/BH1
Abstract: This paper explores the endings found in some of Roger Fry writings, especially the monograph Cézanne: A Study of His Development (1927) and the essay ‘Art History as an Academic Study’ (1933). In both, Fry invokes silence. In the former, he suggests a fundamental mismatch between language and visual experience; in the latter, he identifies himself with a personification of silence: ‘King Log’ from Aesop’s fable. Fry uses his silent endings to broach larger questions concerning his critical certainty and his critical capabilities; here, too, he will reflect upon and undercut his own role, and even invoke more spiritual realms. Indeed, Fry’s Quaker heritage may have sensitized him to the power of silence, encouraging him to see parallels between silent worship and aesthetic contemplation.
Key words: Roger Fry; Woolf; formalism; Cézanne; silence; Quaker
Henrik Karge (University of Technology of Dresden), ‘Projecting the future in German art historiography of the nineteenth century: Franz Kugler, Karl Schnaase, and Gottfried Semper’ 9/HK1
Abstract: In the mid-nineteenth century Franz Kugler and Karl Schnaase decisively shaped the conception of art history as a discipline. Both explored connections between art of former epochs and that of the present. They understood the art of their day to be the result of a tradition of modernity based on the Renaissance and pointing into the future. Schnaase took an evolutionistic view similar to that of the architect Gottfried Semper: both advised against planning a programmatic new style. For Semper, the potential of new developments lay in the continuation of design patterns inherited from the earliest humans.
Key words: German art historiography; Franz Kugler; Karl Schnaase; Gottfried Semper; Hegel; Danto
David O’Brien (Illinois), ‘Delacroix, Chenavard, and the End of History’ 9/DOB1
Abstract: The art historical visions of Eugène Delacroix and Paul Chenavard had much in common. Both men saw the achievements of the classical period and the Renaissance as highpoints in the history of art and both decried their contemporaries’ faith in progress, believing that modernity’s materialism, commercialism, and technophilia adversely affected artistic production. Yet while Chenavard argued that present-day artists could only offer inferior variations on the achievements of past masters, Delacroix felt that great geniuses could still rival them. Relying especially on the exchanges between the two artists recorded in Delacroix’s Journal, this paper compares and contrasts the eschatological aspects of the two artists’ understanding of history in order to illuminate their attitudes toward tradition and modernity.
Key words: Delacroix; Chenavard; tradition; eschatology; originality; history; art history
Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Europe:
Sandra Cardarelli (Independent, Aberdeen), ‘Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: An Introduction’ 9/SC1
Abstract: This collection of articles draws from papers presented at the session on Travelling Artists at the annual conference of the Association of Art Historians in 2012. They question the reasons that caused artists to expand their activity beyond their city, and the consequences that ensued, the change of patrons, country and political or religious focus to re-evaluate the role of the artist in this process and that of the creation of the work of art. In this context these contributions work towards identifying notions of value in artistic practice and production across Italy and Northern Europe between the 15th and the 16th centuries. It features contributions from Katja Fält, Sandra Cardarelli, Michelle Moseley-Christian and Cinzia Sicca.
Key words: Finnish; historiography; Medieval mural church painting; patrons; sculptors; Early Modern cartography; chorographic tradition; travelling artists; Giorgio Vasari; Lives of the Artists
Sandra Cardarelli (Independent, Aberdeen), ‘Antonio Ghini and Andrea di Francesco Guardi: Two 15th-century Tuscan Artists in the Service of Local Governments’ 9/SC2
Abstract: Antonio Ghini and Andrea Guardi are two little studied sculptors who likely trained in their native cities of Lucca and Florence, but they built their careers and fortune elsewhere in Tuscany in the second half of the Quattrocento. Ghini’s activity is recorded as being connected to local civic governments and institutions in Lucca, Siena, Asciano, and Grosseto. However, Andrea Guardi worked for a variety of patrons including local rulers, and eventually he established a flourishing workshop in the Principality of Piombino in the service of the Appiani family (c. 1466). Neither Ghini nor Guardi were itinerant artists, but archival records and the chronology of their works suggest that they were both compelled to travel in order to acquire prestigious and profitable commissions, and in order to make their workshops viable. In the light of new archival material and remaining visual evidence, this paper seeks to elucidate the relationship between the two artists and the governments and institutions they worked for, and how this exchange influenced their styles and career paths. The way in which the works that these artists produced were displayed, also suggests that they were employed to fulfil the political agenda of their patrons. Thus, reasons of political convenience as well as economic necessity may have induced Ghini and Guardi to travel and/ or to re-locate their workshops within the Tuscan region.
Key words: Appiani family; civic governments; Antonio Ghini; Grosseto; Andrea di Francesco Guardi; Piombino; Pisa
Katja Fält (Jyväskylä), ‘Locality, nation and the “primitive” – notions about the identities of late medieval non-professional wall painters in Finnish historiography from 1880 to 1940’ 9/KF1
Abstract: The article examines a group of medieval wall paintings and how they have been dealt with in the Finnish research history during the period from 1880 to 1940. The paintings have long been referred to ‘primitive paintings’ and thought to have been executed by local men. This interpretation has been in connection to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century history-writing and its attempts to establish and validate a shared national past for Finland. The notion of the ‘primitive paintings’ as something essentially local or ‘native’, was an endeavour of cultural construction that aimed to recreate a continuous, plausible narrative as a part of ‘writing the nation’ in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Finnish historiography.
Keywords: Finland; historiography; medieval; wall paintings; nineteenth century; twentieth century; nation; primitive
Michelle Moseley-Christian (Virginia Tech), ‘Confluence of Costume, Cartography and Early Modern European Chorography’ 9/MM-C1
Abstract: Chorography appeared in early modern Europe as a broad strategy for world knowledge-seeking that gestured not only to physical descriptions of place, but combined for the first time in formal discourse, maps, costume descriptions, histories, chronologies and a host of other descriptors that aimed to frame an identity of place. While maps and textual descriptions of location have long been recognized as an essential part of chorographic studies, this study explores the role that costume imagery and descriptions played in constructing information within a chorographic framework. It is costume’s complex, dual relationship with maps, as well as its perceived symbolism of a people’s character and habits that makes it a consistently included yet overlooked facet of these new epistemologies that searched for ways to understand the difference of place. A central goal of this study is to broadly locate visual costume studies and textual costume description within the chorographic tradition using selected examples from the work of Albrecht Dürer and Wenceslas Hollar. As two artists who travelled widely and produced both maps and costume studies, their work attends to newly emerging concepts and practices of chorography.
Key words: costume; cartography; chorography; early modern Europe; Albrecht Dürer; Wenceslas Hollar; William Camden
Cinzia Maria Sicca (Pisa), ‘Vasari’s Vite and Italian artists in sixteenth-century England’ 9/CMS1
Abstract: Vasari’s Vite provide valuable information about the way in which Italian art reached England, sometimes mentioning specific names of merchants and agents controlling the market. The migration of artists could in fact only occur with the backing of merchant-bankers who provided the financial means to undertake such costly and difficult trips, guaranteed a certain amount of work and in many cases even provided housing in their own company lodgings. The paper presents new archival evidence confirming the correctness of the leads offered in the Vite and argues that the movement of work and people was largely in the hands of a group of Florentine merchants with very close ties to the Medici in Florence and Rome.
Key words: Giorgio Vasari; Pietro Torrigiani; Benedetto da Rovezzano; Toto del Nunziata; art market sixteenth century; Florentine sixteenth-century sculpture; Florentine sixteenth-century painting
Alois Riegl, ‘Lovers of art, ancient and modern’ , Translated with an introduction by Karl Johns (Independent, Riverside CA) 9/KJ1
Abstract: This paper was originally given as a lecture to the Wiener Kunstfreunde and posthumously published as ‘Über antike und moderne Kunstfreunde Vortrag gehalten in der Gesellschaft der Wiener Kunstfreunde,’ Kunstgeschichtliches Jahrbuch der K. K. Zentral-Kommission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der kunst- und historischen Denkmale, Volume 1, 1907, Beiblatt für Denkmalpflege, column 1-14, reprinted in Alois Riegl, Gesammelte Aufsätze, Augsburg Vienna: Filser, 1929, 194-206. It defines ‘art lovers’ as collectors/consumers of old art and includes contemporary practicing artists as potential members of that group. The lecture examines the role of the art lover in history, extending from antiquity to the present day. A crux occurred at the end of the nineteenth century when the art of earlier periods is honored as a temple constructed as an end in itself and not a model for further practice. The emergence Impressionism went hand in hand with the appearance of art lovers as admirers of earlier art on the basis of its age alone. This optical subjectivism is present in the art of the Roman imperial period as well as in modern art. This leads to the question of how optical subjectivism succeeds in arousing, indeed provoking, interest in ancient art. In its effect of conjuring a mood, the contemporary art lovers’ contemplation of earlier art coincides directly with the modern artistic goals of optical subjectivism.
Key words: the market; forgeries; copies; connoisseurship; Trimalchio; optical subjectivism
Kristina Jõekalda (Estonian Academy of Arts), ‘What has become of the New Art History?’ 9/KrJ1
Abstract: The first task of this paper is to mediate and review the topics discussed during the conference ’After the “New Art History”’ (Birmingham, March 2012). In addition, this report offers a historising perspective on the phenomenon of the New Art History since the 1970s, focusing particularly on its present appearances – its diverse manifestations in different regions and contexts. Setting this as the background, visions of the current status, recent history and future perspectives of art history as a whole are touched upon. The review was originally published in the Estonian art magazine KUNST.EE, therefore Estonian art history (since the 1990s) deserves a brief case study.
Key words: New Art History; feminism; social history of art; historiography of art history
Stefan Muthesius (UEA, Norwich), ‘Towards an “exakte Kunstwissenschaft”(?), A report on some recent German books on the progress of mid-19th century art history. Part I: Work by German art historians on nineteenth Century art-historiography since 2000’ 9/SM1
Abstract: Part I. Some younger German art historians have lately spent much effort on exploring the history of their discipline, especially that of the period c. 1820 to 1880. This article concentrates on three works, by Locher, Prange and Rößler, but takes note of books and articles by a number of other recent authors as well. Of particular interest has been the nineteenth century conundrum, summarised as: empirical ‘scientificness’ and, or versus, the metaphysics of ‘art’. It can be found in the writings of two to three generations of German art historians, from Rumohr to Kugler, to Schnaase and to Burckhardt, Springer and Justi. In order to reach an understanding of how the old authors arrived at their analyses, as regards their theories as well as in their dealings with individual works of art, the new investigations use a range of approaches: A broadly contextualised cultural history, a history of ideas approach which concentrates on major philosophical tenets and an approach which explores the textual-organisational structures of the old writings in a more literary sense. In due recognition of both the perspicacity and the thoroughness of the new books this article aims to provide a comprehensive report rather than an overtly critical review. Summarising considerations as well as further problematisations of some of the major issues can be found in ‘Part II’.
Key words: German nineteenth century art history writing; Rumohr; Kugler; Schnaase; Burckhardt; Springer; Justi; Schelling’s, Hegel’s philosophy of art; Empiricism; connoisseurship; biographical approaches; iconography; formalism
Stefan Muthesius (UEA, Norwich), ‘Towards an “exakte Kunstwissenschaft”(?). Part II: The new German art history in the nineteenth century: a summary of some problems’ 9/SM2
This article is based on what has been outlined in ‘Part I’ and on additional references to other new German work, as well as to articles by two of the protagonists of the 1870s and 1880s, Anton Springer and Moritz Thausing. The central issue is the nineteenth century’s desire for a Verwissenschaftlichung of the subject, to render the subject ‘purely scientific’. Principally this concerns the way in which older kinds of connoisseurship were juxtaposed to the new claims of a strictly ‘historical’ approach. Much shorter sections touch on aspects of style, iconography and form, as well as on the history of the provision of illustrations.
Key words: German nineteenth century art history writing; Rumohr; Kugler; Schnaase; Burckhardt; Springer; Justi; Schelling’s, Hegel’s philosophy of art; Empiricism; connoisseurship; biographical approaches; iconography; formalism
Branko Mitrović (Bergen), ‘A realist theory of art history’. Review of: Ian Verstegen, A Realist Theory of Art History (Ontological Explorations), London and New York: Routledge 2013, 192 pages, £89.72 hbk, ISBN-10: 0415531519, ISBN-13: 978-0415531511. 9/BM2
Abstract: Until recently, art history has been dominated by anti-realist and social-constructivist ideologies—arguably, in a more radical form than this has been the case in other fields of the humanities. Ian Verstegen’s book A Realist theory of Art History is an attempt to analyse and examine realist alternatives to social constructivism in art history, starting from the position of critical realism. The particular value of the book is that it presents a series the theoretical problems pertaining to the relationship of art-historical reality to social institutions and it opens a debate about ontological problems that has been suppressed during the social-constructivist era.
Key words: realism; anti-realism; social and cultural constructivism; ontology; critical realism
Andrea Pinotti (Università Statale di Milano), ‘Styles of Renaissance, renaissances of style’. Review of: L’idée du style dans l’historiographie artistique. Variantes nationales et transmissions, edited by Sabine Frommel and Antonio Brucculeri, Roma: Campisano Editore, 2012, 343 pp, 91 b & w ills., € 40,00, ISBN 9788888168982. Was war Renaissance? Bilder einer Erzählform von Vasari bis Panofsky, edited by Hans Christian Hönes, Léa Kuhn, Elizabeth J. Petcu, Susanne Thüringen, with a foreword by Ulrich Pfisterer and Wolf Tegethoff, Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag, 2013, 182 pp, 90 colour and b & w ills., $ 47,50, ISBN 9783863281212. 9/AP1
Abstract: The volume L’idée du style dans l’historiographie artistique. Variantes nationales et transmissions, edited by Sabine Frommel and Antonio Brucculeri (Roma: Campisano Editore, 2012), testifies to the crucial role played by the category ‘style’ in shaping the art historiographical, critical and theoretical discourse, and offers a very useful and stimulating reconstruction of some of the most important stations in the two centuries-development of the ‘history of styles’ from Winckelmann to Wölfflin. The catalogue Was war Renaissance? Bilder einer Erzählform von Vasari bis Panofsky, edited by Hans Christian Hönes, Léa Kuhn, Elizabeth J. Petcu, Susanne Thüringen (Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag, 2013), gives a wide spectrum of the different interpretations of a fundamental and controversial historiographical category like the ‘Renaissance’, focusing on the narrative forms and on the strategies of visualisation in art historiography.
Keywords: style; Kunstwissenschaft; Stilgeschichte; Renaissance; art historical methodology; art historical narration
Matthew Rampley (Birmingham), ‘Images of Globalisation: Paris 1889’. Review of Beat Wyss, Bilder von der Globalisierung. Die Weltausstellung von Paris 1889. Berlin: Insel Verlag, 2010, 285 pp., 112 b. & w. illus., € 49.90 hbk, ISBN 9783458174851 9/MR1
Abstract: This review analyses the study of the Paris World’s Fair of 1889 by Beat Wyss. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of Wyss’s interpretation, but also examines it in the larger context of literature on world fairs. It argues that Wyss’s book exemplifies a common pattern in scholarly studies of world fairs during the nineteenth century, namely, a tendency to focus on their function as forms of cultural representation, i.e. their role in advancing specific notions of regional, national and imperial identity. The review does not dispute that this was a central aspect of the world fairs, but it also points towards the omissions in such studies. Not only were the world fairs founded as a means of promoting liberal ideas of free trade, they were also used to display the latest technologies in a wide array of activities, such as industrial manufacturing, forestry and farming. These subjects are almost never examined in any depth in the literature on world fairs, the result of a partial and limited approach to world fairs. The review argues that for all its strengths, Wyss’s book exemplifies this approach.
Keywords: world fairs; Eiffel Tower; Paris; republicanism; French Revolution; Latin America; globalisation; French imperialism; anthropology; exhibitionary culture; Indo-China; Algeria
Mark A. Russell (Concordia University, Montreal), ‘”Cannon fodder for respectable question marks”: Fritz Saxl and the history of the Warburg Library’. Review of: Dorothea McEwan, Fritz Saxl – Eine Biografie: Aby Warburgs Bibliothekar und Erster Direktor des Londoner Warburg Institutes, Wien, Köln, Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2012, 344 pp., 36 b. & w. illus., €39.00 hdbk, ISBN 978-3-205-78863-8. 9/MAR1
Abstract: As the first Archivist of The Warburg Institute, University of London, from 1993 until her retirement in 2006, Dorothea McEwan compiled the database of the Aby Warburg Correspondence. McEwan has published and lectured widely on Warburg and Fritz Saxl. The present book is preceded by two previous volumes treating the Warburg-Saxl correspondence: Das Ausreiten der Ecken, Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz, 1998; and Wanderstrassen der Kultur, München und Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz, 2004. Based largely on Fritz Saxl’s correspondence in his various capacities as Aby Warburg’s principal aid and successor, this recounting of the Austrian scholar’s life and work is presented as a narration of the events of his professional career, and not as an intellectual biography per se. Saxl is situated within a history of the Warburg Library, is pictured as devoted to Warburg and his work, and is shown to have been critical to the functioning and survival of the Library in its various forms. As such, the book suggests that Saxl’s greatest achievement was his administrative and organizational contribution to what became the Warburg Institute. Surveying and integrating a large body of material, the author provides the necessary outlines of a career and corpus of scholarship worthy of further exploration.
Keywords: Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg; London; Panofsky; Warburg; Warburg Institute
Kathryn A. Smith (NYU), ‘Medieval women are “good to think’ with”. Review of: Therese Martin, ed., Reassessing the Roles of Women as ‘Makers’ of Medieval Art and Architecture, Visualising the Middle Ages, volume 7, 2 vols, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012, 1,280 pp., 287 b&w illustrations, 32 colour plates, ISBN: 978-90-04-18555-5 (hardback), E-ISBN: 978-90-04-22832-0, Euro 215.00 / US$ 299.00. 9/KAS1
Abstract: This article is a review of a two-volume collection of essays that consider a millennium of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women’s artistic activities over a broad swath of medieval Europe. Both the introductory essay by the editor, Therese Martin, and the twenty-three chapters authored by an international slate of scholars challenge readers to view women’s patronage, consumption, and production of art and architecture not as exceptional, but rather as normative aspects of medieval history and culture. A central argument of Martin’s introduction that is taken up by the individual contributors concerns the flexibility and scope of the verb facere (‘to make’) or fecit (‘made’) in medieval usage. As Martin maintains, and as the individual essays bear out, the term ‘maker’ is applicable not only to the individual(s) whose designed or produced a work of art or architecture, but also to the person(s) or institution(s) that sponsored and funded the work, and even to those individuals whose desires, tastes, aspirations, and needs were the impetus for the work’s creation.
Key words: medieval Christian art and architecture; women’s art patronage; women artists; feminism; historiography; Islamic art; Jewish art
Ian Verstegen (Independent, Philadelphia), ‘Art is not what you think it is (but we can approach it through the Art Matrix)’. Review of: Donald Preziosi and Claire Farago, Art is Not What You Think It Is. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 171 pp. ISBN-10: 1405192402. ISBN-13: 978-1405192408. 9/IV1
Abstract: This review discusses Art is Not What You Think It Is, from the Wiley-Blackwell manifesto series. It focuses not only on the arguments about the presumed ideas about art – the sole maker of objects with unified content – but especially on the ‘art matrix’ that the authors propose to portray the shifting numerical and temporal elements linking makers and objects through forces of creation. The contribution of the authors is contrasted to the relative neglect of semiotics in art history and proposed as a good model to overcome apparent aporias in the field.
Keywords: semiotics; contemporary art; globalization; Aboriginal Art
Jindřich Vybíral (Prague Academy of Art, Architecture and Design), ‘Writing the history of modern architecture after the fall of the Iron Curtain’. Review of: Hans Ibelings, European Architecture since 1890, Amsterdam: SUN, 2011, 236 pp., 735 col. illus. 38 EUR, ISBN 978 90 8506 8815. 9/JV1
Abstract: The book is a praiseworthy attempt to find an alternative basis for the historiography of 20th-century architecture, than the reductive concepts of Modernism provided. Ibelings shakes up the established interpretations of by re-introducing authors viewed by the Modernist historiography as representatives of the regressive forces and as artistic reactionaries. Furthermore, he demonstrates that there was remarkable architecture produced also outside the established European centre, primarily in the Central and Eastern region of the continent. However, even more inspiring is Ibelings’ revision of the purely aesthetic perspective on modern architecture. His considerations are not limited to a more precise description of the relationship between construction, function and the aesthetic qualities. He sees a crucial dimension of 20th-century European architecture in its social function.
Key words: historiography of modern architecture; postmodern critique of modernity; functionalism and traditionalism; Central and Eastern Europe
André Chastel (1912-1990), Histoire de l’Art & Action Publique, Catalogue de l’Exposition, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, 8 février 2013 – 6 avril 2013. 9/AC1
Abstract: p. 3 Avant-propos, Antoinette Le Normand-Romain; Études: p. 5 ‘André Chastel, sa correspondance, ses méthodes’, Michel Hochmann; p. 15 ‘André Chastel et l’Italie’, Eva Renzulli; p. 24 ‘André Chastel et l’Allemagne’, Isabelle Balsamo; p. 29 ‘André Chastel et la Pologne’, Julius A. Chroscicki; p. 34 ‘André Chastel et l’architecture’, Sabine Frommel; p. 45 ‘André Chastel et Louis Hautecoeur’, Antonio Brucculeri; p. 56 ‘Les colloques de Tours’, Jean Guillaume; p. 59 ‘Mythe pour mythe… Dans le sillage du surréalisme’, Françoise Levaillant; Évocations: p. 68 ‘André Chastel historien’, Howard Burns; p. 73 ‘Chastel, une histoire critique personnelle’, Andrea Emiliani; p. 78 ‘André Chastel « millimétrique »’, Carlo Pedretti; p. 83 ‘André Chastel et Robert Klein’, Henri Zerner; p. 84 ‘La correspondance André Chastel – Roberto Longhi’, Mina Gregori; Sources: p. 87 ‘Les archives et la bibliothèque d’André Chastel à l’INHA’, Sébastien Chauffour; p. 93 Chronologie; p. 95 Bibliographie selective; p. 97 Catalogue
Key words: André Chastel; Louis Hautecoeur; art history; art historiography; art criticism
Jean-Francois Bedard, Decorative Games: Ornament, Rhetoric, and Noble Culture in the Work of Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742) (Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth- Century Art and Culture) Hardcover: 288 pages. Publisher: University of Delaware Press, 2010. ISBN-10: 1611490081. ISBN-13: 978-1611490084. 9/J-FB2