Call for Abstracts: Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art / Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, Vol. 66: Netherlandish Art in its Global Context / De mondiale context van Nederlandse kunst

  • Deadline: 1 January 2015
  • Notification: February 2015
  • Deadline first draft: 15 May 2015

Netherlandish art testifies in various ways to the increased interconnectivity of the Early Modern world. The Low Countries were an essential node during “First Globalization”: Antwerp and Amsterdam became global capitals while the “world’s first multinational”, the Dutch East India Company, heralded the age of classical capitalism. Fortuitous factors, including successful mercantile logistics, the geographical reach of the Jesuit mission, and the thriving publishing and translation industry made the area a crucible of cultural exchange. Everyday lives changed as foreign luxuries, and local copies, became widely available.

Eventually, Dutch imitations of Chinese porcelain found their way to colonists in Surinam. Not only were these objects implicit or explicit repositories of knowledge, carriers of ideas unto which new expectations were projected; the Netherlands also engendered a worldwide public for prints and a surplus of migrant artists. The Low Countries, as a contested fringe area of the Habsburg Empire marked by internal fault lines, demonstrated a unique intellectual flexibility and creative productivity in the first period of intensive artistic exchange between Europe and the rest of the world.

Outside rare products such as Joost van den Vondel’s dramatization of the fall of the Ming dynasty, literary reflections on this new interconnectivity were remarkably scarce. The visual arts are by comparison eloquent testimony to the global dimension of Netherlandish commerce and culture: from paintings depicting exotica to new iconography directed at global proselytization. Some painters seem to have realized this. When Samuel van Hoogstraten, in Introduction to the Academy of Painting (1678), sought to defend the Netherlandish school in comparison to Italy and the ancients, he highlighted its domain as the “entire visible world” and extended his analysis to East Asia and the Americas. He praised Rembrandt’s The Preaching of Saint John (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie) for the international audience it depicted, including an American Indian and a Japanese samurai.

Recent exhibitions have addressed the “Asian” dimension of Netherlandish art. The Rijksmuseum explored the meeting between East and West in De Nederlandse ontmoeting met Azie (2002). The Getty Museum’s Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia (2013) and Asia in Amsterdam (2015, Rijksmuseum / Peabody Essex Museum) focus on the way the East was perceived in Western eyes. The Victoria & Albert Museum examined the question of style with Baroque 1620–1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence (2009).

Scholars are increasingly embracing a worldwide approach and individual case studies have addressed Netherlandish art. Two of the first collective efforts appeared in 2014. Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia (Kaufmann & North) focuses on the impact of Dutch art, from Persia to Indonesia; Chinese and Japanese Porcelains for the Dutch Golden Age (Van Campen & Eliëns) 2 highlights the unique role of Chinese and Japanese ceramics in Dutch cultural history. Yet an integrated analysis of Netherlandish art from the perspective of global history has not yet been undertaken. Scholars hesitate to re-introduce universalist terms such as “Baroque” or to project back unto the Early Modern situation recent notions of cultural hybridity, imperialism, consumer capitalism, and globalisation.

The next volume of the NKJ intends to explore further the global dimension of Netherlandish art. Contributions are invited which do more than stretch geographical boundaries. In many cases, the trajectory of images of and from the foreign involved “cross-mediality”: being, for instance, first published in print before returning in the applied arts and architecture. The point of origin demands interest, but also the reappropriation in Dutch or Flemish contexts. The editors welcome contributions on the various arts and crafts—including paintings, sculpture, architecture, prints, ceramics, furniture, maps, and models—and their interrelations.

The editors expect not only to bring new case-studies into the discussion but also to contribute to conceptual clarity and directions for future research. What is more, they hope that the comparative approach suggested by global history will put to the test accepted terms of periodization in art history such as “Early Modern”. Themes that may play a role are, amongst others, global versus local; the agency of material culture; imagology; cultural hybridity; network analysis; and the relinquishment of Eurocentric approaches. In addition, contributions may address the growing role of countries outside the West in collecting and studying Netherlandish art in the twenty-first century.

The NKJ is dedicated to a particular theme each year and publishes articles that employ a diversity of approaches to the study of Netherlandish art. For more information, click here.

Contributions to the NKJ (in Dutch, English, German or French) are limited to a maximum of 7,500 words, excluding the notes.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 1 January 2015. Selection of proposals will take place in January and February 2015. The deadline for submission of the full articles for consideration and editorial comment is 15 May 2015. Final decisions on the acceptance of any paper will be made by the editorial board following receipt of the complete text.

Proposals for papers, in the form of a 300-word abstract and a short CV, should be sent to:

Appel à communication : Situating Global Art

DATE LIMITE: 20 octobre 2014

DATE ET LIEU: 12 – 14 septembre 2015, Berlin

“Situating Global Art” is a conference that aims to interrogate the notion of global art and its current transformation and adaptation in local forms of art practice, display, and artistic critique. The guiding question concerns the mutual constitutions of global art and locality, or the relation between situated, local art practices and the globalization of art.

Since the late 1980s, the term “global art” has come to replace both the notions of “modern art” and “world art” when referring to the visibility of today’s art worlds. The discursive shift to global art was accompanied by the emergence of new types of art museums and a proliferation of art events in global cities such as Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Beijing, or Moscow. In these new kinds of events and institutions, curators and artists seek to break away from the old binaries that have for so long defined the art world: distinctions between modern art and traditional artifact, between the Western center and the Non-Western periphery, or between historical art periods and ahistorical cultural legacies. Transcending these dichotomies, the term global art has been established to call attention to poly-centered, plural, and transnational art worlds under postcolonial conditions. Yet this process of globalizing art can also be criticized for producing its own hegemonic and exclusive effects. A global conception of art leads to a reconfiguration of the global as well as the local, and therefore to new normativities and power relations.

From this ambiguous point of departure, the « Situating Global Art » conference proposes to focus on recent art practices that are connected to the global art discourse while at the same time queering or resisting the new hegemonic narratives produced by that discourse. We would like to scrutinize the dynamics that unfold between the institutionalization of global art in specific sites on the one hand and local art practices on the other. More precisely, we are interested in the mechanisms, conflicts, and struggles that lead to new hegemonies and exclusions. In addition, we would like to ask how alternative articulations of the local, traditional, indigenous, or tribal become means of constituting site-specific versions of the global.

We would like to invite contributions that focus on particular art practices, festivals, or exhibitions, and on the ways in which they adopt, appropriate, transform, or reject the de-colonizing but also re-centralizing effects of a global art discourse.

Please submit your proposal including the title, an abstract (300 – 500 words) and a short bio before October 20, 2014 to:



Appel à communication : Curiosity 2.0 : Cabinet of Curiosities

DATE LIMITE :  15 octobre 2014

DATE ET LIEU: 16 – 17 janvier 2015, Dresde, Palais Royal

“No one wants to return to the deliberate chaos of the Kunstkammer as museums.”?Horst Bredekamp, The Lure of Antiquity, 1993 Since the 1990s there has been a more pronounced interest within contemporary art in exploring the Kunstkammer and the cabinet of curiosities as models; the lure of this theme continues unbroken among researchers, artists and curators. The interdisciplinary conference Curiosity 2.0 will seek an overview of current debates and of artistic and curatorial strategies. It is to be held in conjunction with the exhibition Mark Dion: The Academy of Things, which opens on 24 October 2014 and – marking the 250th anniversary of the Art Academy in Dresden – will stage the college’s collections as a contemporary cabinet of curiosities at the Octagon in the Lipsius Building. The show includes another two interventions: one in the permanent collection at the Albertinum and the other in the Green Vault, once the treasure chamber of the House of Wettin.

The term ‘cabinet of curiosities’ has become almost hackneyed in contemporary art criticism. This conference, therefore, will seek to delineate the concept more precisely and encourage some historical sensitivity. After all, not every idiosyncratic, chaotic or outlandish horde of objects is necessarily a cabinet of curiosities. But Curiosity 2.0 is not concerned with market-oriented self projections by the occasional contemporary collector hoping to acquire princely kudos with the aid of precious or obscene objects.
The aim, rather, is to explore links with things that accompany us in our everyday lives and to examine the interplay between our fascination with curiosities and the rise of the Internet. In this context, the Kunstkammer might be defined as a collective and deliberately amateur project, because in the digital era curiosity, inquiring minds and the thirst for knowledge cannot be tamed, amid the spawning of websites and the computerised collections of the cyberworld.This contemporary version of the cabinet of curiosities is playful about things and the networks they form. It is a machine for alternative world views. A chamber of wonders allows us to put the primacy of rationality to one side and to focus on models of knowledge rooted in obsession or magic. Besides, the time has come for a critical examination of the Eurocentrism inherent in the field. What – in the light of postcolonial theories and a revision of the category ‘exotic’ – are the curiosities of the 21st century? Who are the freaks, what the monstrosities and where the mirabilia of the digital age? How do artists and curators attune historical vibrations to the present? How do things and materials relate to digital worlds? How does artistic research subvert the epistemologies of official order? What fuzzy fields emerge when these disciplines cross, and what are the politics, ideologies and dynamics of today’s Kunst- and Wunderkammer?

Presentations will be in German and English.Please send a short abstract of about half a page to Deadline is the 15 October 2014.

Concept of the exhibition and conference: Prof. Dr. Dietmar Rübel, Academy of the Arts, Dresden, Dr. Petra Lange-Berndt, Department of History of Art, University College London