Periodization in the Art Historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe is a new volume edited by Shona Kallestrup, Magdalena Kunińska, Mihnea Alexandru Mihail, Anna Adashinskaya and Cosmin Minea and published by Routledge. It is now available open access and includes essays by CRAACE researchers Matthew Rampley and Julia Secklehner, as well as many other fascinating contributions.
Our conference Exhibitions, New Nations and the Human Factor, 1873–1939 will take place at
the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris
on 4–5 April 2022.
The conference on world’s fairs and international exhibitions looks beyond their official, state-sponsored aims and considers the role of individuals and groups in them. Who were the people who organised them, designed them, worked in them and visited them? It places agency at the heart of the discussion. To what extent did those involved adhere to or challenge the ostensible purpose of these events?
CALL FOR PAPERS
Exhibitions, new nations and the human factor, 1873–1939
CRAACE symposium, 4–5 April 2022
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris
Keynote speaker: Professor Mary Pepchinski, Technical University Dresden
It is widely recognised that new political entities that came to existence as nation states from the end of the nineteenth century sought to legitimise their identities externally through participation at world’s fairs and internally through consolidation of their national collections in museums and galleries of art and design. While the official motivations and presentations have been examined quite thoroughly, the agency of many individuals involved in different stages of exhibition design has been overlooked.
This symposium aims to explore the relations – including discrepancies – between the official narratives of exhibitions, as devised by the organisers, and the narratives by individuals whose participation helped to construct the meaning and content of the exhibits. By this, the discussion moves away from the focus on the state apparatus and official ideologies towards the people who designed the national presentations, worked in them and visited them. Our main focus is on how exhibitions were used to consolidate new political identities. The period covered by the symposium begins with the Vienna World Fair of 1873 and concludes with the outbreak of the Second World War. It saw important changes in political and geographical circumstances globally, with the creation and recreation of, for instance, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Hungary.
In the successor states of the Habsburg Empire, official narratives of history tended to downplay the imperial context and highlight the continuous, distinct history of the nation. Nevertheless, while 1918 was undoubtedly a watershed moment, it did not suddenly obliterate the shared past. The built and artistic heritage of the Empire was still present and had to be dealt with, whether through appropriation, destruction, or reinterpretation. The nationalities of the former Empire were in constant interaction with each other, whether politically allied or opposed, and they still lived together in multiethnic territories such as Slovakia or Transylvania. Commemorations and representations of the national past were conceived with an eye on the ‘others’. Remembrance was polyphonic, with different groups forming their own narratives, even if these were not always officially recognised.
The seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories will examine how visual culture in interwar central Europe engaged with the shared imperial past. It will feature papers on topics ranging from the postwar fate of pre-1918 public monuments and built heritage to representations of the past in film, and from commemorations of war to idealised depictions of rural life.
The events will take place on Zoom, every fortnight starting on 21 September 2021 and concluding on 14 December 2021. The sessions will begin at 18.00 CET.
We are proud to launch Art East Central as a journal that will act as a forum for scholarly articles and discussion on the art, architecture and design of East Central Europe since 1800. It will be the only such journal in English, and its aim is to disseminate knowledge and stimulate debate about the art and culture of a large geographical region that, for many, remains terra incognita.
Art East Central is an English-language, open access, peer-reviewed journal that will also include book and exhibition reviews, reports and occasional discussion forums. The international editorial board and a rigorous, double-blind peer review process ensure the high quality and originality of the published texts.
The first issue is now available at arteastcentral.eu. It includes articles on Károly Kós, Lajos Kozma, and Neo-Baroque design in interwar Hungary; the visual intermodernism of Karel Čapek’s Letters from England; the idea of the garden city and its migration to the Czech lands; Lajos Vajda and the Russian idea of universalism; as well as reviews of books on art history writing in Greece; the Department of Art History at Charles University in Prague; women and the Wiener Werkstätte; and abstraction in Hungary.
Art East Central welcomes articles and reviews to be considered for future issues at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are particularly interested in contributions that adopt a transnational approach, examining practices, ideas and traditions that cross the political, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural boundaries of the region. Interdisciplinary approaches, as well as reflection on the particular challenges this region raises for relevant academic practices, are also encouraged. Submissions from graduate students are welcome.