Preservation, Study, Dissemination, Institutionalisation
The treatment of artistic legacies in all its different aspects involves great responsibility. Several players may take part in it: artists, their heirs or legal representatives, galleries, museums, foundations or academic institutions are the main promoters of the preservation, study, dissemination and management of artistic and documentary estates which make it possible to systematically trace the career path of a specific artist.
The management of artists’ estates often involves public or private institutionalisation solutions. These may take many forms: the deposit of the so-called “documentary” estate in public libraries and archives; the musealisation of the artist’s living space; the acquisition by, donation to or deposit of the estate in existing art museums, foundations or documentation centres; the creation of artists’ foundations, art centres and / or monographic museums based on the estate; and the dissemination of collections by museums or virtual archives (cf. Pena 2018, 333-334).
Safeguarding artists’ legacies is a complex and not always easy task, physically, materially and even emotionally. The issue has been debated in recent years within international organisations such as The Institute for Artists’ Estates (Germany), the Joan Mitchell Foundation / CALL (Creating a Living Legacy) Program (USA), or the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) (Switzerland). Their projects problematise some of the aspects related to the management of artistic legacies: mediation with artists or their representatives, legal specificities in the reception and institutionalisation processes of works of art and documents, cataloguing and archiving, creating catalogues raisonnés, and study and dissemination strategies to keep legacies “alive” through academic and curatorial action.
In Portugal, the questions related to this issue are part of the everyday work of institutions that have the responsibility to manage artistic legacies in many different ways. Among numerous possible examples, this is the case with Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva (FASVS), Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar / EGEAC or the recent research projects BAC - Banco de Arte Contemporânea and Laboratório de Artes na Montanha - Graça Morais.
Besides these issues, the debate on artists’ legacies also involves broader topics related to the fields of artistic and cultural studies, such as:
- In what way is the artists’ active positioning in planning the future of their estate – besides personal concerns – framed by contemporary self-determination movements of artists regarding the work’s processes of meaning and its exhibition contexts?
- The safeguarding processes of artists’ legacies stimulate market dynamics, namely by valuing artists and works that had previously been outside of the main trade circuits, and therefore away from the spotlight of artistic players (museums, galleries, critics). How do these relations take place and relate to the development of new critical discourses around works, periods and geographies? Do these movements contribute to a revision or a historiographical rethinking on a greater or lesser scale?
Call for papers
We are inviting the academic and scientific community, as well as artists and professionals from artists’ foundations, museums, and galleries, to submit proposals for a 20-minutes presentation related to the theme. The aim is to share a reflection on active management processes of artists’ legacies in their multiple facets, from the beginning of the 20th century until our days. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• How do artists wish to be remembered? Artists and the management of their legacy: from intentions to practice. Artists, their heirs / legal representatives, and institutions: collaborations, tensions. The active positioning of artists in planning the future of their estate, and in the processes of studying and exhibiting their own work (artist-as-curator and artist-as-archivist).
• Institutionalisation processes: museums, foundations, artists’ archives. The role of institutions in the preservation, study and dissemination of artists’ legacies. Challenges and strategies in the management of artistic legacies and their mediation with the public.
• Artists’ legacies, art history and art criticism. The safeguarding processes of artists’ legacies and the development of new critical discourses about works, periods and geographies / new processes of revision and historiographic rethinking.
• Documentation centres, archives, catalogues raisonnés. The challenges and possibilities of the digital age in the recording and availability of information processes. Documentation and knowledge: authentication, exhibition, reassembling works.
• Legal and juridical aspects. What kind of legal framework is appropriate for these estates? What are the duties and responsibilities of institutions and legal representatives? Should legal representatives intervene – and to what extent – in the study and dissemination of estates?
Reference: Pena, Madalena Nobre. “Considerações sobre a salvaguarda e divulgação dos espólios de artistas contemporâneos em Portugal”. Dinâmicas do Património Artístico. Circulação, transformação e diálogo, ed. Clara Moura Soares e Vera Mariz, 331-337. Lisboa: ARTIS - Instituto de História da Arte da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, 2018.
Instructions for submission
Proposals for a 20-minute presentation (up to 500 words) are welcome. A brief biographical note (up to 150 words), including affiliation and contact information, should be enclosed.
Languages accepted: Portuguese, Spanish, English, French.
Proposals may be submitted in by email to: artistslegacies2020gmail.com.
Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings in digital form.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 December 2019
Deadline for notification of accepted abstracts: 15 February 2020
Registration: 15 March - 30 April 2020
Deadline for submission of the full paper: April 2020
Editorial guidelines will be sent to the authors of the selected communications.
Joana Baião (LAM-GM/IPB; IHA/FCSH/NOVA)
Marina Bairrão Ruivo (FASVS)
Raquel Henriques da Silva (IHA, FCSH/NOVA)
Sandra Santos (FASVS)
Sara Antónia Matos (Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar/EGEAC; BAC project)
Scarlett Reliquet (Musée d’Orsay, Paris)
Venue: FASVS Auditorium, Lisbon
€20 (for both participants and regular attendees)
€10 (student attendees)
Indications about registration and payment will be given after 31 January
CFP: Artists' Legacies (Lisbon, 14-15 May 20). In: ArtHist.net, Nov 20, 2019 (accessed Sep 27, 2021), <https://arthist.net/archive/22134>.