Thinking Art History in East-Central Europe

May 14–15, 2010

Tallinn, Estonia

A joint seminar hosted by the Research and Academic Program at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Institute of Art History of the Estonian Academy of Arts. This event was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Getty Foundation.


In order of discussion

In order of discussion
Welcome and Introduction 
Krista Kodres, Michael Ann Holly, and Natasha Becker
Art Histories: National, Transnational, Western
Moderator: Matthew S. Witkovsky
Panelists: Krista Kodres and Renja Suominen-Kokkonen

What are the tensions in the identification of a locality, a region, a nation, and a transnational entity in the specific context of “East-Central Europe”? What does this mean to write about art in these contexts? What models of art history writing circulate and how effective are these in articulating these complexities?

Regions, Networks and Boundaries in Art History
Moderator: Keith Moxey
Panelists: Andres Kurg and Geidre Mickunaite

The idea of networks, movement, connectedness, and community has been a powerful one in new histories of art and the humanities. This session will explore how the concepts, theories, translations, and histories of networks can aid art historians, as well as ask about which are the most powerful “networks” in current art history circles in East-Central Europe.

Migrations of Theory
Moderator: Michael Ann Holly
Panelists: Virve Sarapik and Stella Pelše

This session will explore how influential theories find their spaces in different national and critical contexts and influence thinking in general about visual art. What are the patterns of these theoretical migrations? Have theories for understanding culture, emerging from East-Central Europe, become influential? How have transatlantic and “Western” theories found their place in East-Central Europe?

Audiences for Art History
Moderator: Piotr Piotrowski
Panelists: Lolita Jablonskiene and Epp Lankots

In the light of new cultural-political-artistic projects such as the Estonian National Gallery of Art and other prominent debates about and around museums, monuments, and art history, this session will ask how art history and its various publics meet in East-Central Europe. For whom is art history written? How are art criticism and art history made present in public culture? How do visual arts compare to literature as cultural markers and important national talking points?


Participants included

Edit AndrasHungarian Academy of Science, Hungary
Zdenka BadovinacModerna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
Natasha BeckerThe Clark
Karel CisarIndependent Scholar, Czech Republic
Melina Doerringthe Clark
Michael Ann HollyThe Clark
Ladislav KesnerMasaryk University, Czech Republic
Krista KodresEstonian Academy of Arts
Andres KurgInstitute of Art History, Estonia
Epp LankotsInstitute of Art History, Estonia
Magdalena MoskalewiczAdam Mickiewicz University, Poland
Giedre MickunaiteVilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania
Lolita JabloskieneNational Art Museum, Lithuania
Renja Suominen-KokkonenUniversity of Helsinki, Finland
Keith MoxeyBarnard College and Columbia University
Stella Pelše, Institute of Art History, Latvia
Anca OroveanuNew Europe College, Romania
Almira OusmanovaEuropean Humanities University, Lithuania
Piotr PiotrowskiAdam Mickiewicz University, Poland
Virve SarapikEstonian Academy of Arts
Sven SpiekerUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew S. WitkovskyArt Institute of Chicago
Beat WyssStaatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany