Detail of the Apocalyptic beast from The Apocalypse: The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb, 1498, by Albrecht Dürer

The Art Historian:
National Traditions and
Institutional Practices

May 3–4, 2002

This Clark Conference, convened by Michael Zimmerman, explored the formation and professionalization of the art historian within different national traditions and historical settings. Despite its origin in European models, the practice of art history in the United States has evolved into protocols distinct from those of, for example, Germany, France, England, and the Netherlands. How might we characterize these disciplinary geographies, in theory and practice, in the past and in the present? What is the function of higher education in different national contexts? For what roles in culture are art historians being prepared? To what extent does professionalization encourage or delimit critical innovation? How much, and what, can we still learn from each other’s disciplinary practices?

Participants included:
Mieke Bal, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands; Stephen Bann, University of Bristol, UK; Frederick Bohrer, Hood College; Horst Bredekamp, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany; Whitney Chadwick, San Francisco State University; H. Perry Chapman, University of Delaware; Georges Didi-Huberman, Centre d’histoire et de théorie des arts, Paris, France; Eric Fernie, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK; Françoise Forster-Hahn, University of California, Riverside; Carlo Ginzburg, University of California, Los Angeles; Mark Ledbury, University of Manchester, UK; Deborah Marrow, Getty Grant Program; Karen Michels, Universität Hamburg, Germany; Vivian Rehberg, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, France; Alain Schnapp, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, France; Michael F. Zimmermann, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, Germany

In order of discussion

Legacies of the Fathers
Moderator: Whitney Chadwick

Battling over Vasari: A Tale of Three Countries
Carlo Ginzburg

History and Image: Has the ‘Epistemological Mutation’ Happened?
Georges Didi-Huberman

Ananas and Mayonnaise—Why Not? European Art Historians Meet the New World
Karen Michels

A Neglected Tradition? Art History as ‘Historische Bildwissenschaft’
Horst Bredekamp

(Inter)national frames
Moderator: Frederick Bohrer

New Institutions and International Art History
Deborah Marrow

Archaeology and the History of Art in England Now: Mapping Intellectual Territories
Eric Fernie

Another Renaissance? Reviving Modernism in Postwar Paris
Vivian Rehberg

Her Majesty’s Masters
Mieke Bal

Comparative Reflections
Moderator: Mark Ledbury

Pre-Histories of Art in Nineteenth-Century France: Delaroche, Valentin, Gautier
Stephen Bann

Texts Against Monuments: The ‘Imaginaire’ of the Ruins in Eastern and Western Culture
Alain Schnapp

The Art Historian as Gypsy: Practicing Art History in the Old and New World
Françoise Forster-Hahn

Reading Dutch Art: Science and Fiction in Vermeer
H. Perry Chapman

Art History as Anthropology: French and German Traditions
Michael F. Zimmermann