Back to Opportunities

CFP: Spring Academy for Young Chinese Art Historians (Paris, 13-31 May 19)

“Arts, Power, and Politics”: Second Spring Academy for Young Chinese Art Historians at the German Center for Art History Paris

The German Center for Art History in Paris welcomes applications from junior scholars and doctoral students from Greater China for a spring seminar titled “Arts, Power, and Politics,” which will focus on French 17th- to 20th-century art. The seminar will take place from May 13th to May 31th, 2019 in Paris at the German Center for Art History and at several museums and research institutes in the French capital and its surroundings. Participants will receive funding for transportation, lodging, and meals.

Scholars interested in participating are invited to attend a one-day introduction to the program on March 21th, 2019, at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China. Limited funding is available for prospective participants who attend the Beijing meeting. Attendance at the introductory meeting in Beijing is not required for admission into the seminar, but is strongly encouraged.

The seminar is possible thanks to generous support from the Getty Foundation through its Connecting Art Histories initiative.

Political systems have made use of art over the centuries. France and its capital city, in particular, offer excellent visual material of this. French politics has been reflected in various artistic genres and media. Regardless of whether it was an absolutist form of government, a revolutionary system, an empire, or a republic — art repeatedly played a central role in national representation. Painting, printmaking, tapestry, decorative arts, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, celebrations, ephemeral decorations, and mass events were strategically employed to make a ruler’s or a government’s claim to power tangible. All kinds of tactics were developed to display political concepts and legitimize them: the heroizing of a person, particularly the ruler; the glorification of individual, mainly war-related, events; the visualization of power and hierarchies in the structure of a city; the mobilization of the population via parades, celebrations, or demonstrations. In examining visualization strategies, aspects of reception must also be taken into account, such as the question of audience, accessibility, and the position of the arts in the social fabric of the country.

The academy will take a look at the time from Henry IV to François Mitterrand. It was Henry IV who first practiced a concept of art politics which was not only addressed to the court but to a wider, general public. Further focuses will be the era of Louis XIV, the French Revolution, the Napoleon Empire and the July Monarchy, the Second Empire and the government of François Mitterand at the end of the 20th century.

The academic content of the program will be presented through lectures and discussions held at the German Center for Art History and through visits to museums, where original works of art will be examined and discussed. Additional site visits will include guided walks through Paris designed to help to contextualize art politics within the city itself. The seminar will include special visits to such museums as the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Pavillon de l’Arsenal and to the castles of Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte. These trips will be guided by specialist scholars and curators.
The seminar’s co-directors are Thomas Kirchner (Director of the German Center for Art History in Paris) and Sophie Goetzmann (rechercher at the German Center for Art History in Paris). They are assisted by Thierry Laugée as senior mentor for the nineteenth and early twentieth century (Université Paris Sorbonne, Paris IV) and Valérie Bussmann, a specialist of the art politics of François Mitterand.

The seminar aims to facilitate dialogue between participants, lecturers, museum curators and members of the German Center for Art History in Paris and to enrich and strengthen study of French Ar

Leave a Reply