Art Historical Contact Zones (EKA Research Grant, 2023–2024)

Discussion of the jubilee exhibition of Johann Köler at the Art Museum of Estonia, Kadriorg Palace. Photo: V. Gorbunov, 1951. Estonian Film Archives.

The project “Art Historical Contact Zones: Popular and Fictional Mediations of Art History in Estonia” explores the relationship between art history and the public sphere – the non-academic forms that art writing can take: various fiction and film genres, popular contributions in mass media, correspondence, visual narratives, etc. These encounters take place in what we call an art historical contact zone, where art historical knowledge comes together with subjective claims and means of expression from other fields, and where disciplinary aspirations are mediated to a wider cultural field. Through case studies, we aim to open the ways of mediating art history to the public in Estonia from the birth of art history as an academic discipline in the 19th century to the present day. We ask whether and if they have changed the content of art and its history. We will show how the relationship between the professional and the popular formats of art history has changed together with the transformation of artistic and technological means of expression.

Principal investigator: Krista Kodres

Senior research staff: Tiina AbelKristina JõekaldaEpp Lankots, Kädi TalvojaJohannes Saar

Other research staff: Liisa-Helena Lumberg-Paramonova (PhD student)

Duration: 2023–2024

Project type: EKA Research Grant, A6033UKK2

Financed by the Estonian Academy of Arts

See in the Estonian Research Information System


Team members have given talks and published scholarly articles and criticism on the topic (see individual CVs in the Estonian Research Information System).

The team has conducted reading seminars on multimediality, intermedial studies, the affective turn (with Epp Annus), and the contribution of Aby Warburg to the field.

Study trip to the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, December 2023.

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Posted by Kristina Jõekalda