Friday, February 17, 2023 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM New York Hilton Midtown – 3rd Floor – Mercury Ballroom
During the last three decades Viennese 1900 has exploded in popular culture and academia: in countless exhibitions dedicated to painting, architecture, and the applied arts, in myriad books on every well-known Viennese designer, and in the “Klimtomania” that covers umbrellas, scarves and shopping bags. Yet the popularity of Viennese Modernism and the commercial “Vienna 1900” industry simultaneously obscures a problematic series of historical erasures and gaps. All too often, the glittering culture of “Vienna 1900” is studied in isolation from the political exigencies of 1938 and thereafter. Our panel will interrogate the intentional neglect and repression of specific figures, organizations and movements who have faded in the shadow of larger Viennese superstars and a now familiar narrative, or who have been intentionally white-washed. The papers will call attention to some of the “absences” linked directly to the years of 1938-1945, to the “de-Jewification” of the Viennese street scape, to the careful art historical narrative surrounding certain careers, to the reshaping of a “Vienna-in-Exile” within the artistic establishment of post-war New York. In addition, we will show how the very celebration of Vienna 1900 cannot be understood apart from the uses to which it was put following the war, for it cannot be denied, and indeed is richly ironic, that the same period suppressed in Nazi discourse has been used to suppress Austria’s turbulent Nazi past.
“Sculpture, Site, and Space: Objects and Environments in Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe.”
Chaired by Jackie Jung.
The session, with papers by Luke Fidler, Oeystein Sjaastad, Megan Luke, and Ewa Matyczyk on, respectively, the Braunschweiger Lion, Leif Erikson’s ‘Cult’, Site Specific Sculpture around 1930, and the Brodno Sculpture Park, will take place on Thursday, February 17, from 4:30 to 6 pm CST. (See https://caa.confex.com/caa/2022/meetingapp.cgi/Session/9776)
HGSCEA annual business meeting will take place on Friday, February 18, at noon CST. All members are welcome to attend.
I hope this finds you all as well as one can be in these days.
At a recent meeting on Zoom, the Board considered hosting some sort of virtual happy hour in lieu of our annual dinner and reception in conjunction with remote CAA, but decided that another large remote meeting was the last thing that people would want to attend, and that even if they did there would be no way to approach the buzz of numerous small conversations and the energizing conviviality that we all have when we’re in the same room together. Hence, instead of the usual presidential oration, I’m writing this note to let you know about a few things.
To begin, that recent meeting of the Board was primarily devoted to a discussion of the Emerging Scholars Publication Prize for 2020, the ninth iteration of the competition. As always, the pool of submissions was outstanding, ranging from early medieval to contemporary, from runestones and reliquaries to intarsia and photography, from Scandinavia to Austria and from Poland to Paris. The strength of the publications that were submitted bodes well for the future of the discipline in general, the study of German, Scandinavian, and Central European art, and our affiliated society in particular. At the same time, this wealth of scholarly quality and critical acuity posed yet again a challenge for the Board in its capacity as jury. But, after long deliberation and debate, the Board took a vote to determine the result. I am delighted to report that the winner of this year’s prize is Aleksander Musiał’s (Princeton) article “Mentem mortalia tangent – Fragments and Fetishes in Puławy Landscape Garden (1794-1831),” which appeared in the Oxford Art Journal. An honorable mention was awarded to Jordan Troeller (Universität Graz) for “Lucia Moholy’s Idle Hands,” in October. On behalf of the Board, I wish to congratulate both of these colleagues!
As always, a substantial number of HGSCEA’s members are presenting papers or have organized sessions at this year’s annual conference. HGSCEA’s sponsored session, which was proposed and organized by Eva Forgacs (Art Center College of Design) and is entitled “Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948,” brings together papers by Anna Jozefacka (Hunter College), Lauren Elizabeth Hanson, Lynette Roth (both Harvard Art Museums), and Petra Skarupsky (University of Warsaw), with a commentary by Barbara Jaffee (Northern Illinois University). Thanks go to the organizers and all of the participants for persevering in the face of uncertainty and concerns about the new process, and for realizing yet another great session. The pre-recorded papers are, or will be, accessible to those who have registered for the conference. The live Q&A with the authors and organizers will take place on the conference site on Friday, February 12, from 12-12:30 p.m. (US, EST).
In addition, the Board will hold its annual business meeting remotely on Zoom on Wednesday, February 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. (US, EST). If you would like to attend the first, public part of the meeting, please send me an email to let me know and I will send you the invitation to the meeting.
Finally, the Board thought it was important to offer HGSCEA’s membership a special event akin to those that have taken place at recent annual conferences. HGSCEA member Adrian Sudhalter and MoMA curator Jodi Hauptman have generously offered to host a remote curator’s tour through their exhibition “Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 1918–1939,” currently on view at MoMA. The exhibition traverses much of HGSCEA’s geographic terrain and numerous HGSCEA members contributed to the catalogue. The succinct virtual tour through the galleries, will leave plenty of time for questions and discussion. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 5, starting at 7 p.m. (US, EST). Mark your calendars! More details on how to participate will be announced soon.
That’s all there is to report for now. I already miss the annual dinner, and the pleasure of seeing so many friends! I look forward to 2022 in the hope that we can once again enjoy together a delicious meal, good wine, and great company.
Until then, stay well and be safe!
Wishing you all the best,
Jim van Dyke
HGSCEA Session at CAA 2021
Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948
Chair Eva Forgacs Art Center College of Design
The period between 1945-1948 was one of great hopes and initiatives to culturally reunite the war-torn European continent and the world. The 1945 Yalta Conference issued the Declaration of Liberated Europe promising the European nations “to create democratic institutions of their own choice,” while Stalin would increase Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and by 1949, an ‘iron curtain’ would descend, cutting the region off from the Western half of the continent and the world, placing it under Soviet rule. After the war, many artists in Europe pursued a new, united, internationally open European art and culture. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris, the “European School” in Budapest, worked on reestablishing continuity with interwar modernism as well as supporting nascent postwar art. The international CoBrA group was one of the first to reach out to such Eastern European artists as the Czech “Ra” group, hoping to develop further contacts. Papers discussing the apparently wide open possibilities of the post-World War II period internationally, or within the boundaries of any one country, are invited to discuss this chapter of art history, when the recovery of pre-World War II modernism and the fostering a new internationalism was a worldwide effort, anticipating the global, international culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Wednesday, February 12, from 10:30 to 12:00, Williford B (Hilton, 3rd Floor)
Kara Charles Felt (National Gallery of Art), “Alice Schalek: Finding the Neue Frau in 1920s Japan”
Alyssa Bralower (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), “The Making of a Zionist City: Ellen Auerbach’s Short Film Tel Aviv, 1933-36”
Kim D. Sichel (Boston University), “German Typologies Confront French Immersion in Africa: The Ethnographic Photographs of Lotte Errell, Ilse Steinhoff, Thérèse Rivière, and Germaine Tillion”
Elisaveta Dvorakk (Humboldt University), “Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s Photographic Reports in Afghanistan, 1939-40: The Strategy of Metonymy in the Context of Contemporary ‘Orient Photography’
The Annual Business Meeting this year will take place at CAA’s annual conference in Chicago on Wednesday, February 12, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in Williford A at the Hilton.
Special viewing in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the AICon Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. organized by Jay Clarke, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago and a former HGSCEA officer. She will pull out some “greatest hits” prints and drawings from the AIC’s holdings of Scandinavian, German, and Central European art for viewing and discussion. The room can accommodate around 20 people so RSVP to Jay (email@example.com) if you would like to take part. The sign up will be first come, first served.
HGSCEA’sannual dinner-reception, complimentary to members. This year the dinner will take place on Thursday, February 13, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Bistronomic (840 N. Wabash Ave). If you plan to attend, RSVP to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5 February.
Systems and War, 08;30-10:00, Wednesday 13 February, Regent Salon, 2nd Floor.
Jean Marie Carey Raubkunst at the Ringling: Franz Marc’s Schöpfungsgeschichte.
This panel will be in an alternative format and will include an appearance by performance artist Katya Grokhovsky.
Curator’s Tour of “Jan Tschichold and the New Typography”
Sunday, February 17, 11:00 a.m.–12 p.m.
Bard Graduate Center Gallery, 18 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024
Praise for the HGSCEA panel chaired by Allison Morehead from the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH)
106th College Art Association Annual Conference Los Angeles, February 21–24, 2018
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 2–3:30 Los Angeles Convention Center, room 501A
Critical Race Art Histories in Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
Rebecca Houze, Northern Illinois University, “Cultural Appropriation and Modern Design: The Art Colony at Gödölló in Critical Perspective”
Patricia G. Berman, Wellesley College, “Whitewashing Whiteness in Nordic ‘Vitalism'”
Bart Pushaw, University of Maryland, “Visual Reparations: Scandinavian Privilege and the Discontents of Nordic Art’s Colonialist Turn”
Kristin Schroeder, University of Virginia, “From Sideshow to Portrait: Looking at Agosta, the Pigeon-Chested Man and Rasha, the Black Dove (1929)”
Critical race theory, which entered art history through postcolonial analyses of representations of black bodies, has remained relatively peripheral to art historical studies of Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, whose colonial histories differ from those of countries such as Britain, France, and the United States. At the same time, art historical examinations of white supremacy in the Nazi period are frequently sectioned off from larger histories of claims to white superiority and privilege. Centering critical race theory in the art histories of Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, this panel will consider representations of race in the broadest of terms — including “white makings of whiteness,” in the words of Richard Dyer. We invite papers that together will explore the imagination and construction of a spectrum of racial and ethnic identities, as well as marginalization and privilege, in and through German, Scandinavian, and Central European art, architecture, and visual culture in any period. How have bodies been racialized through representation, and how might representations of spaces, places, and land — the rural or wilderness vs. the urban, for instance — also be critically analyzed in terms of race? Priority will be given to papers that consider the intersections of race with other forms of subjectivity and identity.
HGSCEA Members at CAA 2018
Peter Chametzky, “Space, Time, and Motion in Maziar Moradi’s Ich Werde Deutsch” Session: Time, Space, Movement: Art between Perception, Imagination, and Fiction Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m., Room 406A
Sabine Eckmann Co-Chair Session: International Abstraction after World War II: The US, France, Germany, and Beyond” Wednesday, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Room 410
Eva Forgacs “The 1968 Prague Spring in Central Europe. Art and Politics” Session: ’68 and After: Art and Political Engagement in Europe Thursday, 2-3:30 p.m., Room 409A
Peter Fox “Germanizing Intarsia c. 1900” Session: Material Techniques in the Cultural Sphere Wednesday, February 21, 8:30 – 11 AM. Room 409B
Susan Funkenstein “Visualizing Dance in the Third Reich: Gender, Body, … Modernity?” Session: Modernity, Identity, and Propaganda Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Room 501B
Tomasz Grusiecki “Of Mixed Origins: Tracing Michał Boym’s ‘Sum Xu’” Session: Archives, Documents, Evidence Wednesday, 2-3:30 p.m., Room 409B
Charlotte Healy “Knotted, Woven, Unraveling: Fabric as Structure in the Work fo Paul Klee” Session: Structure, Texture, Facture in Avant-Garde Art Saturday, 4-5:30 p.m., Room 501A
Juliet Koss Discussant Session: Avant-Gardes and Varieties of Fascism, Part II Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Room 407
Max Koss “The Intimacy of Paper: Fin-de-siècle Print Culture and the Politics of the Senses” Session: Intimate Geographies Thursday, 4-5:30 p.m., Room 410
Megan Luke, “Books of Stone” Session: Avant-Gardes and Varieties of Fascism, Part I Wednesday, 2-3:30 p.m., Room 501A
Bibiana Obler “A Strip of Red Velvet” Session: Warp, Weft, World: Postwar Textiles and Transcultural Form Friday, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Room 408B
Dorothy Price Association for Art History/Art History/Wiley Publishing reception Thursday, 5:30 pm, Santa Anita-A Room, Lobby Level, Westin Bonaventura Hotel
Jeannette Redensek “Cool, brittle, luminous, clear: Josef Albers and the materiality of glass at the Bauhaus” Session: Structure, Texture, Facture in Avant-Garde Art Saturday, 4-5:30 p.m., Room 501A
Nathan Timpano “Blue Horse, Yellow Cow: Franz Marc, Romanticism, and the Color of Theosophy” Session: Interaction with Color Redux Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Room 402B
James van Dyke “The Vulgarity of Otto Dix’s Facture” Session: Structure, Texture, Facture in Avant-Garde Art Saturday, 4-5:30 p.m., Room 501A
Greg Williams “Practice Situations: Franz Erhard Walther and the Pedagogical Impulse” Session: No Experiments: Art, Culture, and Politics in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949-1989 Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Room 410
Andres Zervigon Discussant Session: Avant-Gardes and Varieties of Fascism, Part I Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Room 501A
Historians of German Scandinavian and Central European Art and Architecture (HGSCEA) Sponsored Sessions:
Revivalism in Twentieth-Century Design in Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, Part I Date and Time: Friday, 02/17/17: 3:30–5:00 PM, Nassau Suite-East/West, 2nd Floor Chair: Paul Stirton, Bard Graduate Center
Christopher Long (University of Texas at Austin) Adolf Loos, Oskar Strnad, and the Biedermeier Revival in Vienna
Charlotte Ashby (Birkbeck, University of London) National – Regional – International: The City Halls of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo
Juliet Kinchin (Museum of Modern Art) The Neo-Baroque, the ‘Folk Baroque’ and Art Deco in Central Europe
Erin Sassin (Middlebury College) The Biedermeier Revival: Artisans, and Ledgenheime
Revivalism in Twentieth-Century Design in Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, Part II Date and Time: Friday, 02/17/17: 5:30–7:00 PM, Nassau Suite-East/West, 2nd Floor Chair: Paul Stirton, Bard Graduate Center
Room: Nassau Suite East/West, 2nd Floor, New York Hilton Midtown
Dragan Damjanović (University of Zagreb) Neo-Historicism in Croatian Architecture of the first Half of the 20th Century
Marija Dremaite (Vilnius University) The Folklorist Revival within Soviet Modernism in the Baltic Republics in the 1970s
Hedvig Mårdh (Uppsala University) Translating the Gustavian: Heritage Consumption and National Aesthetics in Sweden
Anni Vartola (Aalto University, Finland) Eclectic regression? Revivalist phenomena in postmodern Finnish architecture
There’s No Such Thing as Visual Culture
Wednesday, February 3
Chair: Corine Schleif (Arizona State University) Visual display, the gaze, and scopic economies have played important roles in the consideration of German art. Yet visual perception never existed in isolation. In fact, neuroscience demonstrates interactions of many sensibles with respect to cognition, emotion, and memory. Presenters in this session might observe how the visual was augmented, diminished, or contradicted by the interplay of other senses. They might analyze how museum practices have feminized objects by subjugating them through the aestheticizing gaze, thereby foreclosing more interactive sensualities. Participants might theorize liturgical processions, public Heiltumsweisungen, theatrical Gesamtkunstwerke, popular reenactments, or documentary reproductions. Why did our discipline develop as pursuant of the visual? How did early German and Central European art historians support or resist purely visual regimes? Why did the “haptic” gain consideration in German art historiography? What might scholarly production learn either from cinematographic attempts to engage the entire sensorium or from journalistic practices voluntarily limiting visual representation of sensitive material?
Charting Cubism across Central and Eastern Europe Friday, February 13 at CAA and Saturday, February 14 at the MET Museum
This symposium consists of a CAA session sponsored by HGCEA and a related session co-organized by HGCEA and the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Chairs: Anna Jozefacka, Adjunct Professor of Art History, Hunter College, City University of New York and Associate Curator, Leonard A. Lauder Collection, New York, and Luise Mahler, Assistant Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Keynote speaker: Prof. PhDr. Vojtěch Lahoda, Director, Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague
Respondent: Éva Forgács, Adjunct Professor, Liberal Art and Sciences, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
The impact of Cubism on twentieth century art was instant, widespread, and long lasting. Participating in the Cubist circles were artists and intellectuals from various backgrounds, including a large contingent from Central and Eastern Europe. The cultural exchange between this vast geo-political region and Paris – facilitated by the networks of artists, dealers, collectors, critics, and scholars – culminated in contributions that are integral to the theoretical implications of Cubism. Building on the growing scholarship on the region’s artistic avant-gardes, this two-part symposium investigates two inter-related questions. The first concerns ways in which Cubism was integrated into the cultural scenes of the various nations, as it was here that Cubist language diversified and crossbred with approaches to visual form previously unconsidered. The second investigates strategies used by artists, critics, and scholars from these European regions that aided them in asserting their participation in the Cubist movement and the surrounding discourse, both at home and abroad, and by so doing internationalized the movement. As Cubist scholarship begins to address the movement’s global influence, Charting Cubism considers the specificities of the interaction and engagement with Cubism in Central and Eastern Europe, and evaluates how local artists, dealers, collectors, critics, and scholars partook in its growth and evolution.
The papers presented in the first part of the symposium examine the Czech journal Umělecký měsíčník (Arts Monthly), the adoption of Cubism in Latvia post-1918 independence, and the complicated case of Hungarian Cubism. In the second part of the symposium papers delve into the reception of Cubism in the region by focusing on Czech art historian and collector Vincenc Kramář, Ukrainian painter and theorist Oleksa Hryshchenko (Alexis Gritchenko), and Cold War era Soviet art criticism and theory.
“Platform for Czech Cubism – the journal Umělecký měsíčník (Arts Monthly)” Vendula Hnidkova, Ph.D., Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences, Prague In 1911, a group of young Czech avant-garde artists founded an association named Skupina výtvarných umělců. Interested in Cubism, they rapidly ascended as the style’s most influential agents. Their published journal Umělecký měsíčník (Arts Monthly), maintained two objectives: to create a platform for Cubist art, ideas, and theories within Czech culture, and to propagate and popularize local art abroad. The magazine’s editors intended to publish a German and French edition employing regional collaborators and correspondents, among them Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Adolphe Basler, and Guillaume Apollinaire. This paper will analyze the editors’ personal contacts and networking strategies as well as their particular relationships with various artistic localities. Such analysis will allow for an investigation of the journal’s impact on the reception of Cubism in the region before World War I, and the role of Czech Cubist artists on the international art scene.
“Latvian Cubists, Table for Six…” Mark Allen Svede, Senior Lecturer, Department of History of Art, The Ohio State University By late 1918, Latvian political independence was declared, and native modernists sought similar autonomy. The expressionism they explored during the war years was soon exchanged for Cubism, and in Rīga the ascendancy of this style was startlingly swift. The newly formed art museum acquired Cubist works for its collection, grants for travel abroad from a cash-strapped government were awarded to modernists more frequently than to traditionalists, and Cubist maquettes were in such serious contention for national monument design concourses that these competitions were suspiciously, repeatedly interrupted. Cubism’s penetration of public consciousness was such that a popular café named “Sukubs,” a portmanteau of “Suprematism” and “Cubism,” opened in Rīga. The conspicuous success of these progressive artists rankled traditionalists, and critical attacks upon the Cubists soon bore the epithet “sukubisms.” This mutual antagonism escalated to spectacular levels, in the press and in the courtroom, on gallery walls and on snowy cobblestone streets.
“Known and Unknown Hungarian Cubists” Gergely Barki, Art Historian, Advisor of 20th Century Art at Szépművészeti Múzeum – Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest In around 1910, when the spirit of Cubism was predominant in Paris, a young generation of Hungarian artists arrived in the French capital and engaged with this new pictorial language. While a number of them exhibited alongside the style’s original creators, their art appeared only sporadically and exerted less influence at home. Although Hungarian artists produced Cubist work, its near non-existence in Hungary at the time did not allow for a unified Cubist group to develop. Only few works created by older Hungarian painters who had returned to Budapest from Paris after 1906 to 1908 (primarily importing Fauvism and Cézanne-ism) showed Cubist tendencies. Instead, members of the younger generation living in Paris formed a Hungarian Cubist diaspora in Paris. Yet, due to the outbreak of World War I the majority was forced to stay abroad and unable to continue their work and participate in the spread of Cubism in Hungary.
“Picasso, Braque and Kramář: The Czech Reception of Synthetic Cubism” Nicholas Sawicki, Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art, Architecture and Design, Lehigh University Between 1912 and 1914, Picasso and Braque experimented with a range of new materials and techniques that dramatically shifted the direction of Cubism, towards what is often described as its “synthetic” phase. Garnering mostly limited interest from buyers and audiences at the time, these works attracted unique attention from Vincenc Kramář, the Czech collector and historian of Cubism. Kramář viewed them during his travels to Paris and made several purchases for his collection. On his interpretation, this newest body of work marked an important turning point for the two artists: an innovative use of pictorial fragments, truncated lettering and manufactured materials that introduced to Cubism a new “quality of reality,” while definitively breaking with the traditions of conventional representation. Drawing on Kramář’s private and published writing, this paper examines his evolving understanding of Picasso’s and Braque’s 1912 to 1914 production, and its echoes in the Czech artistic community.
“A Crisis in Cubism: The Theoretical Writings of Alexis Gritchenko” Myroslava M. Mudrak, Professor Emerita, The Ohio State University During the critical decade of Cubism’s expansion (1908-1918), the Ukrainian painter and theorist, Oleksa Hryshchenko (Alexis Gritchenko) who first encountered Cubism in Paris in the 1910s, helped mitigate the indiscriminate adoption of Cubist aesthetics by Eastern European artists by empowering them to recognize and incorporate local traditions, such as the Byzantine, and by so doing render abstraction accessible to the public. In his major tracts of 1912 and 1913, Hryshchenko promoted modern painting’s transubstantiation of the object into an absolute, an act meaningful to viewers habituated to scrutinizing icon images. In his 1917 essay, “The ‘Crisis of Art’ and Contemporary Painting” Hryshchenko identified an existential dilemma in Cubist art brought on by what Paris-based, émigré philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev described as “dematerialization” within Cubism, as well as an ensuing threat of alienation from viewers, a dilemma to be played out in Eastern European modernist painting of the interwar period.
“Cubism and Soviet Art Criticism during the Cold War” Kirill Chunikhin, Ph.D. Candidate at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, and Terra Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Although Cubist art was rarely exhibited in the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, dozens of Soviet authors wrote on the subject. Cubism was afforded no exemption from the hostility directed toward all of Western avant-garde art by Soviet art criticism, with the movement described as formalist, anti-humanistic, and bourgeois. However, the voices critical of Cubism were not monolithic. While one is hard-pressed to find official apologies for Cubism during the Cold War, the intellectual arguments and tone of critical discussion of Cubism vary. The paper will focus on different theories of Cubism within Marxist-Leninist aesthetics and on the ways those theories served one common purpose—reproducing the official negative stance on modernism.
Chair: Wallis Miller (University of Kentucky) Popularizing Architecture will focus on the dissemination and circulation of new ideas in architecture to non-professional audiences in Germany and Central Europe since the late nineteenth century, when publications that included architecture began to emerge in large numbers. Over time, architectural exhibitions, film, radio, television, and the Internet joined newspaper and magazine articles to form a complex media landscape that continues to address a wide range of audiences today. Recent research on architecture and media has been primarily concerned with professional contexts, examining case studies focusing on Western Europe and the United States. The session will shift this regional focus to Germany and Central Europe to examine more explicitly the relationship between architectural proposals—theoretical or built, traditional or innovative—and non-professional audiences while also exploring the concept of popularization. Papers on a range of places and periods since the mid-nineteenth century will attend to the following questions: How did non-professional audiences encounter new ideas about architecture? How did this experience diverge from that of professional architects? To what extent did the dissemination of architectural ideas exploit new media? How might a regional focus on Germany and Central Europe prompt particular questions and conclusions regarding architecture and its popularization?
“The Viennese Interior and its Media” Eric Anderson, Rhode Island School of Design Vienna in the 1870s was a city transformed not only by the monumental architecture of the Ringstrasse but also by popular interest in interior decoration fed by a nascent media culture of design. Artists and tastemakers employed a variety of techniques to promote home decoration to a growing middle-class audience. This paper presents four media—a book, a museum, an “ethnographic village,” and an artist’s studio—and poses questions about the mechanisms through which meanings accrued around interiors. How did various media facilitate unique forms of spectatorship? Who consumed these representations? How did meanings vary among different formats and audiences? At stake in these questions are insights into not only the cultural history of Vienna, but also our own, heavily mediated experience of design, in which publications, museums, and trade fairs continue to shape meaning in ways both powerful and too often taken for granted.
“’Building Unleashed’: Building as public discourse in the 1929-30 Bauhaus traveling exhibition” Dara Kiese, Pratt Institute The 1929-30 Bauhaus traveling exhibition was Hannes Meyer’s opportunity to showcase the school’s new approach and accomplishments during his tenure as second director. Publicity, sales and advancing ties to the manufacturing industry were main objectives, but Meyer’s ambitions were greater. This paper considers the exhibition as a springboard for public discourse and user interaction about the built environment through installations, exhibition catalogues, lectures, publications and press coverage. With a focus on theoretical architectural student studies and multidisciplinary practices and methodologies, the exhibition cultivated a new relationship between architect and visitor/consumer/user, in which the end users played an active role in the design and interpretive processes. Current Bauhaus pedagogical principles and designs equipped the public sphere with discursive and practical tools necessary to imagine and create individualized, sustainable environments—building unleashed.
“‘You are Now Entering Occupied Berlin’: Architects and Rehab-Squatters in West Berlin” Emily Pugh, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts In the 1970s and 1980s, the West Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg formed the center of a movement that brought architecture professionals together with political activists and squatters to reform urban housing policy in the city. My paper will focus on an important center of exchange between these groups: the Bauhof Handicraft Collective (Bauhof Handwerkskollektiv). Run by members of the squatter movement, the Bauhof provided a place where non-professionals could learn basic construction skills and techniques, and thus undertake “rehab-squatting.” For professional architects, such collectives, along with squats themselves, provided opportunities for experimenting with new and innovative approaches like community-based design and adaptive reuse. Examining archival materials related to the Bauhof as well as alternative architectural publications, including the journal Arch +, I will consider how politically-engaged architectural practices were “popularized,” both within the rehab squatting community and in professional circles, for example as part of the 1987 International Building Exhibition.
HGCEA’s annual dinner at CAA was held on February 14 at the Scandinavia House and attended by sixty members. The event this year honored the service and scholarly accomplishments of Françoise Forster-Hahn and Reinhold Heller upon their recent retirement from teaching. Their careers and influence were remembered in talks by Steven Mansbach and Allison Morehead, and a poem by Marion Deshmukh.
Shira Brisman, “Sternkraut: The Word that Unlocks Dürer’s Self Portrait of 1493,” in the exhibition catalog Der frühe Dürer, Nürnberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2012.
HGCEA Emerging Scholars
Chair: Keith Holz (Western Illinois University)
Over the past several years the Historians of German and Central European Art and Architecture have sponsored sessions offering an opportunity for young scholars to share their work in progress with a professional audience. We aim to enrich the discourse within the field of German and Central European art history by encouraging a new generation of researchers. This year’s session presents new research informed by critical thinking on Romantic landscape paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, printmaking and printed currency during the years of Germany’s hyperinflation, and on the historiography of twentieth-century architecture in Poland.
“The Eye and the Hand: Caspar David Friedrich and the Organic Instruments of Artistic Creation'” Nina Amstutz, University of Toronto
“TIn the 1820s, Caspar David Friedrich painted several anthropomorphic landscapes. Two such paintings, I argue, take the eye and the hand as their subjects. These organs are not painted in the likeness of the human body; they are metamorphosed into landscape. Eyes and hands are the conventional instruments of the imagination, and are often emphasized in self-portraiture. Their potency as symbols of creation is linked with their religious usage as emblems of God’s creative intervention. Friedrich reduces the traditional Christian iconography of the eye and hand to pure landscape, suggesting a discovery of God’s benevolent eye and divine handiwork in the wonders of nature. But these paintings also read as personal reflections on the status of eyes and hands in the creative process. Looking to analogies between the body and nature in Romantic nature philosophy, I contend that Friedrich conceptualizes the artist’s activity as an earthly equivalent to divine creation.
“Impressions of Inflation: Prints, Paper, and Prices in Germany, 1918-1923” Erin Sullivan, University of Southern California
During the years of rampant inflation in Germany, the atmosphere of economic anxiety encouraged a boom in print production. The inflation is visible as subject in prints by artists including Max Beckmann and George Grosz, and in popular press illustrations. But its traces are also present in the materials and the marketing of graphic works, as prints were increasingly promoted for their potential exchange value. This paper will explore these traces, and consider them next to characteristics of the ever-expanding supply of paper money, or Inflationsgeld. Prints and paper money shared attributes that became problematic in the context of inflation: both were “mechanically” reproduced, and their perceived value was tied to their relative rarity. Both also employed different strategies to affirm faith in the abstract, rather than actual, value of printed paper. The graphic arts, therefore, offer a unique visual and material archive of the inflation years.
“Historical Overhangs: Problematizing Cold War Era Temporal Frameworks in Polish Architectural History” Dr. Anna Jozefacka, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Historians of Eastern and Central European twentieth-century art and architecture who investigate the influence of politics and ideology on such disciplines routinely adapt their work to the well-established pre-war / post-war division of historical time. Validated by the mayhem of World War II, underscored by the establishment of communist regimes, and codified by Cold War era politics, such a politically based compartmentalization of historical time weighs heavily on the art and architectural history of this region. The paper uses the development of twentieth-century Warsaw to investigate the validity of that division and debate its consequences for art historical inquiries. Contrary to many studies of Warsaw’s post-World War II rebuilding, this investigation positions the city’s recovery efforts within a broader temporal framework that takes into account the prior thirty years of architectural and urban design effort to transform Warsaw into a capital city for the emerging modern nation state.
Central Europe’s Others in Art and Visual Culture, Panel I
Chair: Brett Vanhoesen, University of Nevada, Reno, and Elizabeth Otto, State University of New York at Buffalo
From Charlemagne to Schengen, the physical borders of Central European nations have been the subjects of constant dispute. Equally as fraught are the complex debates that have raged around notions of national and individual identity, which have been formed through such concepts as race, ethnicity, nation, temporality, religion, gender, and sexuality. These constructs have been powerfully solidified in visual representations. The papers for the panel “Central Europe’s Others in Art and Visual Culture” exemplify new approaches to concepts of the Other and related ideas of insiders and outsiders in representations from the Middle Ages to the present. Contributors will address discursive arenas and visual cultures that reflect the influence of trade, crusades, colonialism, post-coloniality, and tourism as they helped to form images and ideas of Others. Some of our panelists explore visual culture in relation to subtle and overt challenges to established institutions, structures of inclusion and exclusion, or conventional power dynamics. A number of the papers in this session rethink tropes of particular Central European identities and investigate how supranational constructs such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality were supported or challenged in visual representations of nation or Volk. Lastly, this panel will examine how visual materials enabled those considered marginal to engender agency through subcultures or other sites of resistance. Above all, we hope that this panel will provoke a broad spectrum of rich, rigorous engagement with notions of Othering across geographical and temporal boundaries in the Central European context.
“Central Europe’s Others, Now and a Thousand Years Ago: ‘The Exhibition Europe’s Centre around A.D. 1000′” William J. Diebold, Reed College
“The exhibition Europe’s Centre around A.D. 1000,” on view from 2000 to 2002 in major museums in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, used visual and verbal expressions of otherness to define a central European identity. The exhibition emphasized the similarities between the present and the Middle Ages and argued that central Europe was unified around the year 1000 in ways that were remarkably similar to the kind of unification that was perceived to be taking place at the time of the exhibition, in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Because the exhibition did not take the expected position that the medieval past was other, it needed something else against which to define its view of central Europe. It found this crucial other in the non-Christian peoples of high medieval Europe: the Jews and the various groups that had not been converted to Christianity.
“Site/Sight of Alterity: Albrecht Dürer’s The Men’s Bathhouse of c. 1496” Bradley J. Cavallo, Temple University
Despite its network of intersecting erotic gazes, no sustained attempts have been made to interpret Dürer’s “The Men’s Bathhouse” in the context of early-Modern gender normativity, its Other, or their regulation. Dürer’s print addresses these issues ambiguously by presenting a homo-social setting imagined as the site/sight of a homo-sexual desire that must conceal itself under the cover of inaction. His idealized naked males can look but can’t act on their desires because of their awareness of the unobtrusive act of surveillance performed by a clothed figure behind them. Overpowering them into stasis, his gaze analogizes that of a society desirous to prohibit sexual acts and hence maintain prescribed sexualities.
As depicted by Dürer, passive coercion in the form of acknowledged observation governs bodies best by encouraging them to regulate themselves, aware as they are of the gaze but not when, where, or how they might be inspected and judged.
“Savages on Display: The European Peasant and the Native North American at Central European Fairs in the Nineteenth Century” Rebecca Houze, Northern Illinois University
World fairs and regional exhibitions were important venues in nineteenth-century Central Europe for expressing national identity. Ostensibly organized as celebrations of industry and empire, these events showcased the contrast between primitive and civilized in temporary pavilions and in exhibits of applied arts. By the 1890s ethnographers on both sides of the Atlantic, fueled by cultural anxiety about vanishing traditions in the face of industrialization as much as by the spirit of scientific inquiry, constructed elaborate villages demonstrating lifestyle and ceremonial practice from Moravian village weddings to Kwakiutl potlatches. This paper suggests that the Central European fascination with the Native North American was a response to industrialism and to the rise of nationalist movements in the late nineteenth century, and begins to explore a transatlantic dialogue, in which the image of the European peasant likewise became a surrogate for American ideas about tradition, immigration, and civilization.
“Otto Dix’s Jankel Adler and the Materiality of the Eastern Jew in Weimar Culture” James A. van Dyke, University of Missouri-Columbia
This paper will consider a portrait painted in 1926 by the German artist Otto Dix, one of the most provocative and prominent artists of his day. In so doing, it will reflect upon what this particular picture contributes, on the one hand, to our understanding of the role of the Other in the constitution of Dix’s subjectivity and public image. On the other, the paper is intended to draw attention to the ambiguous, perhaps ironic presence of (anti-Semitic) stereotypes in, rather than simply against, Weimar Culture. The picture in question is Dix’s portrait of Jankel Adler, a Polish Jew who lived and worked as a painter in the Rhineland after the First World War and until his emigration after the formation of Hitler’s government in early 1933. Best known for his paintings of Jewish types and customs, Adler was a prominent figure in the avant-garde circles in Düsseldorf and Cologne.
“The Roma Pavilion: Contemporary Art and Transnational Activism” Brianne Cohen, Université catholique de Louvain
This paper analyzes the Roma Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Entitled “Calling the Witness,” the exhibition staged a stream of live “testimony” by artists, filmmakers, social workers, political activists, art historians, and more in order to interrogate the stateless position of Romani peoples today. Perhaps more than any minority in Central Europe, the Roma have been particularly demonized in the last decade as cultural outsiders. The pavilion assumed a contestatory symbolic role within the Biennale’s nationalistic structure.
Located at the UNESCO headquarters in Venice, “Calling the Witness” was also illustrative of a move away from nation-state-based cultural sponsorship towards other transnational humanitarian, legal, and social-activist models. How may such NGO-like models enliven visual-symbolic resistance to cultural Othering in Central Europe? What are some of the limitations of this shift in contemporary art? Such analyses are critical at a time of increasingly fluid borders and sociopolitical uncertainty in Europe.
Commentator: Maria Makela
Central Europe’s Others in Art and Visual Culture, Panel II
“A Black Jewish Astrologer in a German Renaissance Manuscript” Paul H. D. Kaplan, Purchase College, State University of New York
Among the thousands of images of black Africans in pre-1800 European art, the depiction of a person of color in the act of writing is extremely rare. This paper explores a 1520 miniature by the Nürnberg artist Hans Hauser, an author portrait of the Jewish astrologer Sahl ibn Bishr (fl. ca. 820) which precedes one of his treatises. Hauser, probably at the behest of his patron, Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg, depicts Sahl – pen in hand and spectacles perched on his nose – with emphatically dark skin and African features. This unique image must reflect the influence of Joachim’s brother, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. Albrecht’s devotion to and promotion of two black African saints (Maurice and Fidis) resulted in many Christian images of Africans, but Hauser’s painting, of a Jew who wrote in Arabic for Muslim patrons, represents an unusual extension of this interest in Africans into the secular realm.
“Czech, Slovak, and Rusyn: Nation-building in First Republic Czechoslovakia” Karla Huebner, Wright State University
With the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918, this “multinational nation-state”—inhabited by Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Jews, Rusyns, and many other less numerous ethnicities–needed to create an identity both internally and abroad. However, a major reason for bringing Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia into the new state was in fact the existing tension between Czechs and Germans, which prompted Czech nation-builders to seek a Slavic majority. Who, then, was considered Czechoslovak? How would the new citizens be portrayed in visual culture? This paper examines how Czech and Slovak periodicals represented Czech, Slovak, and Rusyn women during the First Republic and how Czech periodicals gradually but increasingly began to show Slovak and Rusyn women as Other, contrasting with an urban Czech ideal of a fashionable, active, efficient young woman. While remaining respectful, these representations show a growing recognition of difference and the Czechs’ move away from a sense of idealized pan-Slavic unity.
“The Outsider’s Vision: Bohumil Kubišta as Social Critic” Eleanor Moseman, Colorado State University
The Czech artist Bohumil Kubišta (1884-1918) represents a self-imposed outsider fixed on exposing the tensions of class and ethnicity in Habsburg Prague, where Czech- and German-speakers compete for cultural, industrial, religious and political power. Kubišta’s paintings and writings reveal his engagement with the impact of modernity on social structure and the utopian view of art’s role in social progress, a stance not fully attainable without adopting the position of outsider. Steeped in Marxist philosophy, Kubišta targets capitalist mechanisms of access and labor, set against the religious underpinnings of bourgeois society, which reinforce the imperial power of social elites. While economic need dictated his enlistment in the Habsburg navy, the seemingly contradictory status of a modern artist as imperial sailor actually provided Kubišta with the necessary distance to recognize and critique class and ethnic stratification in Prague as symptomatic of broader power structures reinforced by capitalist and imperialist domination.
“From Fiction to Fact: The Need to Document in Post-Yugoslav Art” Nadia Perucic, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
In Denmark, ideas of nationalism were perhaps never more highly charged than during the German occupation of World War II. To the leading modern artists of the period, at stake were not only notions of national identity and political belief, but also the very survival of culture itself. In response, the social-activist collective and eponymous journal Helhesten spearheaded cultural resistance in Nazi-occupied Denmark through a radical art that promoted ideas of community, experimentation, and Danish folk in opposition to the Nazi conception of Volk. This paper explores how Helhesten mobilized the chaos and fear brought about by the occupation to establish a new kind of countercultural movement that set the stage for post-war groups such as CoBrA. It also serves as a reassessment of the emergence of later twentieth-century avant-gardes as well as the way in which art history understands the exchange between national and international, and local and foreign.
“To Hell and Back: ‘Helhesten’ and Cultural Resistance in World War II Denmark” Kerry Greaves, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
Following the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-1995 and the breakup of the country into several states, the new political and cultural leadership established regimes that caused a general closing of society, different from the restrictions that characterized socialist Yugoslavia. Memories of the socialist past were suppressed, unsavory aspects of the present were ignored, and outsiders and other undesirables were marginalized. My paper focuses on Post-Yugoslav artists who, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, aimed to reverse this trend by recovering forgotten histories or highlighting contemporary issues that were censored by their new governments and the mainstream media. These artists often used extensive preliminary research as part of their method, leading to works with a documentary or journalistic format. I will show how, by adopting elements of reportage, artists aimed to position their artworks in opposition to the dominant public discourse in an effort to shape a more comprehensive and inclusive social reality.
Commentator: Steven A. Mansbach, University of Maryland