About ESNA

2019 has already been a milestone for our organization: on 20 December 2018, the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art became a foundation. Our new status is a guarantee for the future, and opens up new possibilities for cooperation on both the intellectual and financial fronts. Then, on 25 January 2019 – following the Winter Seminar, Game Changers – we entered into partnership with the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History). This pooling of resources will further strengthen our mission to foster the study of nineteenth-century art and its contexts both at home and abroad, and in the academic and museum worlds. As you will see from the newsletter, we are well on our way to an exciting and fruitful year, and we hope to see many of you in June for our annual international conference, Frictions and Friendships. Cultural Encounters in the Nineteenth Century.

Rachel Esner


CFP – ESNA Congress 2020: Thinking in the Box
Deadline: 20 December, 2019
14-15 May 2020, RKD, Den Haag

Keynote: Liz Prettejohn (University of York)

Submission deadline: 20 December 2019
English spoken

Tradition is art history’s eternal Other: it is that which must be overcome, resisted, thrown off or, if a compromise must be made, creatively appropriated. The history of the art of the nineteenth century, that “great” age of innovation, progress and revolution, is more than any other rooted in anti-traditionalist sentiment, steeped in a rhetoric that privileges innovation and bound to narrative structures geared against artistic tradition. Modernist and other teleological histories of nineteenth-century art have always emphasised change and novelty. But even revisionist accounts of the art of the nineteenth century leave scarcely any room to consider tradition in its own right. These have generally either sung the aesthetic praises of traditional art without much further reflection, or have discussed academic art as innovative in another way, either within a traditional framework or in the sense that the art under consideration points forward to developments other than those associated with formal modernism.

More information

CFP – ESNA Winter Seminar 2020 Eyeopeners
Deadline: 31 oktober, 2019
31 januari 2020, RKD, Den Haag
Dutch spoken

In navolging van de vorige editie zal het zevende Winter Seminar van de European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art (ESNA) zich opnieuw richten op het onderzoeksveld zelf. Waar in 2019 twintig specialisten hun mijlpaalmoment hebben toegelicht en die game changers binnen het eigen vakgebied kritisch zijn geëvalueerd, wordt in de editie 2020 bevraagd wat in het verschiet ligt. De ‘new art history’ heeft een bepalende invloed gehad op het repertoire van enkele generaties kunsthistorici en daarmee op onderdelen van het curriculum van de huidige universitaire opleidingen. Veel van die ‘nieuwe’ onderzoekslijnen zijn intussen niet zo nieuw meer en hebben zich vermengd met bestaande, meer traditionele onderzoekspraktijken. Er is opnieuw nood aan innovatieve methodologische en theoretische benaderingen voor het onderzoeksveld. Wij leggen de bal ditmaal in het kamp van junior kunsthistorici, doctorandi en masterstudenten in de Kunstwetenschappen.

Meer informatie

CFP – Studiedag Historisch Interieur en Design
30 april 2020, Het Pand, Gent

Voor de Studiedag Historisch Interieur en Design kunnen voorstellen ingediend worden voor presentaties van lopend of recent afgerond onderzoek in het domein van de interieur-en designgeschiedenis. De focus ligt op de geschiedenis en praktijk van interieur en design in België/de Lage Landen, of in relatie tot deze regio. De studiedag wil in eerste instantie een forum bieden en een stimulans betekenen voor diverse vormen van onderzoek gevoerd in en over België en Nederland, en gaat daarom door in het Nederlands, hoewel uitzonderlijk ook presentaties in het Frans en Engels welkom zijn.

Beoogd is onderzoek gevoerd inacademische en museumcontext, alsook in de monumentenzorg en erfgoedsector. Ook de presentatie van artistiek ontwerpend onderzoekis welkom, eventueel in een alternatief format. Er wordt gestreefd naar een evenwichtig programma waarin diverse wetenschappelijke disciplines (bv. kunstgeschiedenis, architectuurgeschiedenis, geschiedenis, literatuurstudie, gender studies, enz.), diverse historische periodes, materies, en werkdomeinen aan bod komen, en waarin zowel senior als junior onderzoekers een forum krijgen.
Meer informatie

Monet: The Garden Paintings, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague.
12 October 2019 – 02 February 2020

Monet -The Garden Paintings will focus on the period 1900 to 1926. During this period of over a quarter of a century, Monet lived a secluded life on his property in Giverny, where he produced his renowned paintings of his own gardens. Over time, he depicted the gardens in an increasingly abstract style. Many art historians have wrongly attributed this stylistic change to failing eyesight. But in fact Monet – at the height of his career – was still exploring new artistic frontiers, which later had a major impact on artists like Rothko and Pollock. One of the few major Monet exhibitions in the Netherlands was in 1952, at the Gemeentemuseum. Monet – The Garden Paintings will be the first ever Dutch exhibition of this part of Monet’s oeuvre, and will star the Kunstmuseum’s own Wisteria alongside three of its six siblings.

Online tickets for Monet – The Garden Paintings will be available from 1 October 2019. During this exhibition, a supplement of €3.50 will be payable for entry to the museum. More information

Werkgroep Moderne Tijd: Rampzalig Nederland. De omgang met rampen in Nederland en Vlaanderen, 1780-1940
(Dutch spoken)
Friday 20 December 2019, University Library (Singel 425), Doelenzaal, Amsterdam
Costs: €25,-. For students en PhD candidates: €15,-
Sign up via Marjet Brolsma (M.Brolsma@uva.nl), deadline: 10 December 2019

For program and further information, see here.

Collectors and Scholars. The Numismatic World in the Long 19th Century
University of Tübingen, April 16-17, 2020

In the 19th century, developments in the study and collection of coins  set the cornerstone for modern numismatics: major steps included the foundation of learned societies (e.g. Royal Numismatic Society in 1836, Numismatische Gesellschaft zu Berlin in 1843, American Numismatic Society in 1858, etc.) and the publication numismatic journals from the 1830s onwards (Revue numismatique in 1836, Numismatic chronicle in 1838, Revue belge de numismatique in 1842, 
etc.) leading to a thriving numismatic community.

The 19th century is also the time when previously private (Royal) collections became public institutions (e.g. in Paris following the French revolution, or the Münzkabinett Winterthur in 1861), and when new museums were created (e.g. the Capitoline medagliere in 1873, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien in 1891, etc.). Subsequently, museum curators began publishing scholarly catalogues of their collections, such as the British Museum’s seminal catalogue series (e.g. Greek 
Coins from 1873 onwards, or Oriental Coins from 1875 onwards). Some of the works published in the 19th century were aimed at collectors, such as Théodore Mionnet’s or Henry Cohen’s reference works, but it is notably thanks to their publications that scholars were able to process coin finds as source for dating archaeological sites and discussing social history (e.g. Theodor Mommsen identifying Kalkriese as site for the battle of the Teutoburg Forest, as early as 1850, on the basis of numismatics).

At the same time, large and famous collections evolved, were traded, or finally bequeathed to museums leading to new research on the subject. Whilst earlier collectors were almost always generalists (coins being one collecting field among others such as antiquities, paintings, gems, etc.), collectors such as Hyman Montagu or Virgil Brand devoted themselves only to numismatics. These famous collectors were sometimes scholars themselves, writing noteworthy articles. The 
names of John Evans, Friedrich Imhoof-Blumer, William Henry Waddington, Archer Huntington and King Victor Emmanuel III are the most prominent examples of illustrious collectors with expertise and the desire to promote numismatic scholarship through their collections.

The 19th century is also the time when collectors started paying greater attention to the condition of a coin, and to their provenance, while the new medium of photography and improved book-illustrations allowed for the documentation and recognition of individual specimens in auction catalogues and scholarly works likewise. In the same spirit, numismatists themselves became focus of interest: medals and tokens were struck in their names, and books were written about them 
(e.g. Médailles et jetons des numismates in 1865).

We may also think of the institutional development of archaeology out of philology around the 1840ies to become a discipline of its own that triggered a shift in perceiving coins predominantly as material manifestations of the past. In addition, we need to take into consideration the large scale professional excavations of the century (e.g. the foundation of the Reichslimeskommission in Germany in 1892) 
that enabled new methods in studying coins from an academic perspective. Ultimately, this pathed the way for numismatics to become a university subject with the evolution of university coin collections. The 19th century was also a time that saw the growth of nationalism, which was accompanied by a focus on one’s history as mirrored in the practice of collecting and trading coins. Questions may also include to what extend numismatics was received in the realm of contemporary art such as Eugène Delacroix’s engravings, and literature – for example with the many coin references found in the work of Victor Hugo. These are some of the various new avenues and perspectives the symposium wishes to explore.

Our aim is to explore the numismatic world in the long 19th century – including both, the sphere of academia, and that of collecting and dealing – with a focus on ancient numismatics but also on medieval and modern numismatics, with an interest for the political, cultural, economic, and social changes of the era. Thus, a wide range of 
international experts, including numismatists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians are invited to present their research. Papers that explore specific case studies are particularly welcome, and talks on non-Western numismatics and on medals are hoped for.

Organizers: Stefan Krmnicek (Tübingen) & Hadrien Rambach (Brussels)

Abstracts of no longer than 500 words should be sent by email to:
stefan.krmnicek@uni-tuebingen.de and coinadvisor@yahoo.co.uk

Deadline for the submission of the abstracts is October 31, 2019

For further information visit:

NEW ESNAblog | How do we remember the past?
Exhibition review Black Models: from Géricault to Matisse
By Lisa Lambrechts – Curator in Training at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Aimé Mpané, Olympia II, 2013,
painting made on pieces of contreplaqué, Collection Gérard Valérius.

Read here…

Rampzalig Nederland. De omgang met rampen in Nederland, 1780-1940 Congres Werkgroep ‘De Moderne Tijd’
Vrijdag 20 december 2019

Door de opwarming van de aarde en de toenemende dreiging van klimaatrampen heeft het historisch onderzoek naar rampen en rampverwerking een hoge vlucht genomen. Het besef is doorgedrongen dat overstromingen, aardbevingen, hittegolven, droogtes, en de gevolgen daarvan (hongersnoden, epidemieën, insectenplagen etc.) een grote en vaak blijvende invloed hebben gehad op de ontwikkeling van lokale en nationale gemeenschappen.

In dit congres onderzoeken we de maatschappelijke betekenis van rampen voor het Nederland in de periode 1780-1940. In deze periode hebben zich tal van ontwrichtende rampen voor de samenleving voorgedaan. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan de grote overstromingen van 1825 en 1861, de cholera-epidemie in de jaren 1830 of de grote stadsbrand van Enschede in 1862. Onder rampen verstaan wij in principe natuurrampen en geen opzettelijke fenomenen als oorlogshandelingen en aanslagen. In de praktijk is de scheidslijn tussen door de natuur of mens veroorzaakte rampen overigens niet altijd eenvoudig te trekken: zo kan een overstroming het gevolg zijn van slecht onderhoud van de dijken of een brand ontstaan door een menselijke fout. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan de verwoestende buskruitramp in Leiden van 1807 of de Zuiderzeevloed van 1916.

Meer informatie..

Out now! XIX: Studies in 19th-Century Art and Visual Culture. Vol. 1
Herwig Todts, James Ensor, Occasional Modernist. Ensor’s artistic and social ideas and the interpretation of his art, Brepols Publishers, 2019

This book explores James Ensor’s writings, ideas and works in greater depth than they have hitherto enjoyed in art-historical scholarship.
More information..

Out now! Studies in the History of Collecting & Art Markets, Vol. 6
Jan Dirk Baetens and Dries Lyna, Art Crossing Borders
The Internationalisation of the Art Market in the Age of Nation States, 1750-1914,
Brill, 2019

Art Crossing Borders offers a thought-provoking analysis of the internationalisation of the art market during the long nineteenth century.
More information..