woensdag 4 oktober 2017

COUR: Belgian Fin de Siècle 1880-1914

'Summer Course for the Study of the Arts in Flanders: Belgian Fin de Siècle 1880-1914'
Coordinated by the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Mu.ZEE Ostend and the Flemish Art Collection

June 24 - July 4, 2018

In the summer of 2018, several Flemish research centres, universities and art museums will collaboratively organise the fourth edition of the Summer Course for the Study of the Arts in Flanders. This edition zooms in on Belgian Fin de Siècle Art between 1880 and 1914. The target group are master and PhD-students in (art)history from all over the world.

The aim of the summer course is to bring to Flanders, annually, a select group of 20 national and international, highly qualified young researchers and to present them with an intensive 11-day programme of lectures, discussions, and on-site visits. The theme varies annually, with a focus on a different art-historical period each year. The aim is to provide the participants with a clear insight into the Flemish art collections from the period at hand, as well as into the available and most suited research methods, the state of the research and the research needs. After the course, the candidates will be ambassadors for the Flemish arts abroad.

The fourth edition of the summer course is titled Belgian Fin de Siècle 1880-1914 and will take place from June 24 through July 4, 2018. Its content is coordinated by the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Mu.ZEE Ostend and the Flemish Art Collection. This edition includes excursions to Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Brussels, Paris, Namur and Antwerp. The language of the Summer Course is English. Some lectures may be in French.

You may apply now through December 1, 2017.

For practical information as well as the application procedure, please refer to the course website.

maandag 25 september 2017

REMINDER: CFP: Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art

'Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art'
Organized by Ghent University and the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art (ESNA), in cooperation with the University of Antwerp and the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent
Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium
15-16 May 2018
Submission deadline: 15 October 2017

Male Bonds is a two-day international conference that aims to explore the place of male bonds in nineteenth-century artistic practice and visual arts. Male homosociality - i.e. social relationships between men - helped structure nineteenth-century European and American society. However, over the course of the century, change was instigated by the increasingly rigorous conception of same-sex sexualities and by other challenges to traditional notions of manhood. The conference strives to probe, challenge and expand upon the academic narrative of male homosociality through the lens of art history. It is to establish a multifaceted survey of the male bonds that underpinned nineteenth-century art, and to consider the theoretical and methodological implications of the study thereof. In so doing, it seeks to build a bridge between traditional art-historical scholarship and the fields of gender and gay and lesbian studies: an interdisciplinary exchange of which the full potential for scholarship on the nineteenth century remains to be exploited.

Please refer to the conference website for more information, including the full call for papers.

vrijdag 8 september 2017

CFP: European Revivals Conference 2017: Cultural Mythologies around 1900

'European Revivals Conference 2017: Cultural Mythologies around 1900'
A partnership between: University of Edinburgh, University of Helsinki, National Galleries of Scotland and Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki
1-2 December 2017 at Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, European artists began to express a new and profound interest in their unique local pasts and cultural inheritances. This was a discourse that was largely shaped by the desire within several countries for cultural and artistic, and ultimately social and economic, independence. Historical scholarship on the subject has been broadly established in many European countries, but research has been dominated by nationalist perspectives that have emphasised the cultural specificity of each country. The European Revivals research project (initiated by the Finnish National Gallery in 2009) aims to stimulate debate on a wider scale. From this perspective, late nineteenth-century cultural revivals appear as a set of complex and interconnected phenomena that are transnational, inherently modern, and with far-reaching consequences.

The topic of the 2017 conference is Cultural Mythologies around 1900. Its aim is to examine issues such as authenticity, ‘rewriting’ and reinterpretation in relation to the production and assimilation of national styles, symbols and cultural narratives in late nineteenth century European art and literature. The conference will draw attention to the constructed and imaginary nature of national identities and the role of various mythical traditions and ‘reinventions’ within this context. Papers are invited that examine this European-wide phenomenon in relation to one of the following three themes:

Reinvention and ‘authenticity’
In the late nineteenth century Europe artists and designers frequently drew inspiration from mythical history, legend and vernacular traditions; they were also inspired by the forms and mysterious symbols of ancient ‘national’ art or recent archaeological ‘finds’. As artists adapted the narratives and symbols of the past to their own aesthetic, political or nationalist agendas, the original meaning was often lost and the concept of authenticity and originality became a key issue. This session takes a critical perspective on the topic, examining the reinvention and reconstruction of our mythical past.

Rewriting and reinterpretation

This session examines the impact of the national revival through the translation and rewriting of ancient myths and legends. The nineteenth-century saw the revival of ancient sagas such as the Poetry of Ossian, the Kalevala, or the mythical and heroic narratives of the Poetic Edda, while gifted female scholars such as Lady Guest and Lady Augusta Gregory translated the Welsh and Irish legends. This session examines the way in which the myths and legends of the past were rewritten and reinterpreted by European writers and artists, often guided by different national, political and ideological agendas.

Spiritualism and secret societies
Spiritualism and esoteric traditions had a significant place in the European cultural arena around the year 1900. This subject has become an increasingly central topic of research in recent years, but its relationship with national revivals has not been fully examined. Yet, it is well known that these two phenomena were often deeply interconnected. For instance, Celtic mysticism had direct links with spiritualism, theosophy and other occult movements, as did the mystical interpretations of the Kalevala that were popular among Finnish artists, writers, and musicians.

Please send a 500-word abstract to Marja Lahelma (marja.lahelma@helsinki.fi) and Frances Fowle (frances.fowle@ed.ac.uk or ffowle@nationalgalleries.org) by 15 September 2017.

EXH: Nature's Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape

'Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape'
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College (Brighton, Massachusetts) 
September 10 – December 10, 2017

Fernand Khnopff (1858–1921), Memory of Bruges. The Entrance of the Beguinage, 1904, Hearn Family Trust.

Since the Renaissance, art in the region of Belgium and the nearby Netherlands has been known for innovations in realistic representation of visual appearances and for an extraordinary fluency in symbolism. The development of landscape as an independent genre was fostered by new market forces and artistic concerns in Belgium in the sixteenth century, and landscape emerged as a major focus for nineteenth-century realist and symbolist artists. Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape traces these landmark developments with a rich array of seldom-seen works.

Illustrating the birth of landscape art, Nature’s Mirror opens with important prints and drawings by artists like Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Cock, Paul Brill, and Roelandt Savery. The exhibition then explores the evolving dialogue between subjective experience and the external world by featuring major modern works by artists from the School of Tervuren and symbolists including Fernand Khnopff and William Degouve de Nuncques.

Displaying more than 120 works, many from the leading private collection of Belgian art in America, the Hearn Family Trust, Nature’s Mirror examines the wealth of artistic expression that bloomed in the regions of Belgium in an unprecedented fashion.

Organized by the McMullen Museum, Nature’s Mirror has been curated by Jeffery Howe and underwritten by Boston College with major support from the Patrons of the McMullen Museum and Mary Ann and Vincent Q. Giffuni.

Exhibition catalogue
Edited by Howe, Nature’s Mirror is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by American and Belgian specialists Anne Adriaens-Pannier, Albert Alhadeff, Alison Hokanson, Howe, Catherine Labio, and Dominique Marechal. They examine artists such as Fernand Khnopff, Henri De Braekeleer, and Léon Spilliaert within the regional contexts that influenced them, the transition of Belgian realism to symbolism, George Minne’s poetic illustrations, and themes of industrialization and labor. Nature’s Mirror presents more than 120 paintings, prints, and drawings in chronological order, from the Renaissance through the First World War, illuminating the evolution of Belgian art in this fruitful period.

maandag 10 juli 2017

CFP: Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art

'Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art'
Organized by Ghent University and the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art (ESNA)

In cooperation with the University of Antwerp and the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent
15-16 May 2018, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium
URL of the conference website



Aimé-Jules Dalou, Brotherhood (La fraternité), 1883, plaster. Paris, city hall of the Xth arrondissement. Credit: Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Male Bonds is a two-day international conference that aims to explore the place of male bonds in nineteenth-century artistic practice and visual arts. The conference invites participants to reflect on the ways in which changing notions of masculinity and male sexuality impacted forms of sociability between men in the artistic scene of the long nineteenth century. In so doing, it seeks to build a bridge between traditional art-historical scholarship and the fields of gender and gay and lesbian studies: an interdisciplinary exchange of which the full potential for scholarship on the nineteenth century remains to be exploited.

Male homosociality helped structure nineteenth-century European and American society. Its pre-eminence at that time follows, inter alia, from the general separation between men and women in social roles if not in social spheres, and from the lack of a strictly binary view of male sexual orientation. The personal lives and careers of men bore the marks of their relations with other men: with brothers, friends, colleagues, pupils, business associates and many others. Such relations were characterized both by the dynamics of comradeship and by the hierarchies of class, age, race, professional status, etc. They were both established between individuals and in collectivities, especially as fraternal organizations flourished from the late eighteenth century onwards. So intense could men’s relations be that they seem to have included possibilities of a romantic and erotic kind that are foreign to normative relationships between men today, even if male-male intimacy relied upon women’s bodies for its consolidation.

Especially in the fast-paced decades around the turn of the century, changes arose in Europe and the United States that affected male homosociality to varying degrees. Categories such as ‘inversion’ (i.e. the reversal of masculine gender identity) and ‘homosexuality’ came into being through the interplay of increasingly visible queer subcultures and of a discursive explosion emanating from the fields of medicine, psychiatry, law, etc. The increasing conception of same-sex sexualities coincided and intermingled with other challenges to traditional notions of manhood - e.g. fears of degeneration, women’s entry into education, politics and the work force - to such an extent that scholars have described a wide-ranging fin-de-siècle “crisis of masculinity”. Men’s answers to these challenges altered the ways in which they related to other men, establishing for instance a “rough and tough” hegemonic masculinity and what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has designated a “male homosexual panic”.

This conference strives to probe, challenge and expand upon this academic grand narrative of male homosociality through the lens of art history. It aims to establish a multifaceted survey of the male bonds that underpinned nineteenth-century art, and to consider the theoretical and methodological implications of the study thereof. Gender studies, queer theory and gay and lesbian studies have made available a great many histories and concepts with which to critically examine the specificity of gender and sexuality in art: an exchange through which all disciplines involved stand to be enriched. We welcome papers that undertake this interdisciplinary endeavor, and mark men in art history as gendered historical subjects.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Friendships, professional ties and family relations
- The artist’s society, the brotherhood, the academy, the studio
- Links with architecture, music, literature, applied arts, etc.
- Links with politics, law, religion, medicine, sports, the military, etc.
- Intersectionality and the role of class, race, sexuality, age, power, etc.
- Ethnicity, colonialism, orientalism and intercultural encounters
- Homophobia and homoeroticism, same-sex desire, queerness
- Women among men, as solvent and/or detractor of men’s bonds
- Male bonds as an artistic theme, the portrait and Freundschaftsporträt, the male nude

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers in English, to be sent to malebonds@ugent.be by October 15. Please combine in one single pdf file: a 300-word abstract, 1 or 2 images, and a 100-word bio. We also welcome proposals for presentations in French and German, but - if accepted - ask that the accompanying PowerPoint be in English. Selected speakers will be contacted in the course of December. Following the conference, a selection of papers will be peer reviewed and published in a journal or edited volume.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Anthea Callen (University of Nottingham and the Australian National University) and Michael Hatt (University of Warwick)

Organizing committee: Thijs Dekeukeleire (Ghent University), Henk de Smaele (University of Antwerp), Rachel Esner (University of Amsterdam), Peggy Hobbels (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), Katharina Pewny (Ghent University), Lisa Smit (Van Gogh Museum), Marjan Sterckx (Ghent University)

Scientific committee: Jan Dirk Baetens (Radboud University Nijmegen), Gert Buelens (Ghent University), Anthea Callen (University of Nottingham and the Australian National University), Johan De Smet (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), Thijs Dekeukeleire (Ghent University), Henk de Smaele (University of Antwerp), Stefan Dudink (Radboud University), Rachel Esner (University of Amsterdam), Michael Hatt (University of Warwick), Mayken Jonkman (RKD-Netherlands Institute for Art History), Katharina Pewny (Ghent University), Jenny Reynaerts (Rijksmuseum), Abigail Solomon-Godeau (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lisa Smit (Van Gogh Museum), Marjan Sterckx (Ghent University), Maite van Dijk (Van Gogh Museum), Catherine Verleysen (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), Kaat Wils (University of Leuven)