Art history and discourse on the centre and periphery - An homage to Ljubo Karaman
Since its founding in 1956, the Croatian Society of Art Historians has brought art historians together to promote the importance of our profession through a variety of events and publishing projects.
Over the past eight years, we have undertaken a project entitled "Croatian Art Historians", which we believe will have an important impact on domestic and international dialogue.
This international conference encourages academics and scholars to meet and exchange ideas and views in a forum that will stimulate respectful dialogue by bringing together European and international university scholars to share ideas and research on the dualistic centre-periphery paradigm in terms of art history based on work by Ljubo Karaman.
Ljubo Karaman (1886–1971) was a Croatian art historian. Karaman’s theoretical and practical work strongly marked the formative period of art history and conservation in Croatia between the two world wars and in the immediate postwar period. His most important contribution to the general history of art lies in his theoretical considerations of the notion of the periphery, the true historical basis of which is the artistic heritage of the Croatian regions. Karaman combined the theoretical results of his research experience in the study of national heritage in his book O djelovanju domaće sredine u umjetnosti hrvatskih krajeva (Über die Einwirkung des einheimischen Milieus auf die Entwicklung der Kunst in den kroatischen Ländern, Zagreb: Croatian Society of Art Historians, 1963). Karaman’s study was an internationally acclaimed contribution to thought on one of the key issues in contemporary art history and cultural history. This issue is still relevant today, as confirmed by the numerous international conferences, research networks, and projects that focus on it. Contemporary critical thought is trending towards the complete deconstruction and overcoming of ideologically manipulated dualism in the valorization of cultural production in the ‘periphery’. Such manipulation perpetuates the paradigms of the relationship between power and influence, which are dictated from the very centres in which they were created. The conference in Zagreb will contribute to a critical reflection on the origins, application, and challenges of the dualistic paradigm, primarily in art history between the Adriatic and Central Europe, which was the focus of Karaman’s work.
Ljubo Karaman was educated at the Vienna School of Art History at the beginning of the 20th century; his approach to historical art phenomena was essentially determined by the cosmopolitanism of the Vienna School and its affirmative attitude towards art in the ‘provinces’ (or peripheries). Another important element is his dialectical attitude towards the ideas of early 20th-century Austrian, Italian, Croatian, and Yugoslav art historians. Likewise, as a conservator, Karaman was delimited by the norms of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (k. k. Central Commission für Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale), which was marked by the concepts and methodology of the new conservation movement in central Europe. In the field of conservation in the 20th century, Karaman was responsible for connecting European centres and the Croatian periphery.
Karaman’s conservation work took place during a period of great changes and challenges, not only in the field of cultural heritage protection, but also in the field of politics. After the Italian occupation of Dalmatia in 1941, Karaman moved from Split to Zagreb, where he accepted the position of director of the State Conservation Institute during the Independent State of Croatia. He remained in this position in the new, socialist Yugoslavia until 1950, when he retired. His active and critical role in three different political, economic, and ideological structures still encourages reflection on the possibilities and achievements of art historians, conservators, museologists, and experts in related disciplines in the scientific interpretation of heritage and the protection of monuments, in ‘primitive’, local parochialist, or nationally ideologised environments, i.e. under totalitarian regimes and social systems. This simultaneously begs the issue of the freedom of art historians/conservators and the conscientious, professional, and impartial performance of their duties.
Conference participants should focus on one of the following issues in their presentations:
- critical reflection on the emergence, application, and challenges of the dualistic centre-periphery paradigm,
- the centre-periphery paradigm in the field of conservation and monument protection,
- the Vienna School of Art History and interpretation of the art of the periphery (provinces) during the monarchy and after its disintegration,
- national art histories and the centre-periphery paradigm,
- the professions of art history and conservation in the 20th century between provincialism, cosmopolitanism and political totalitarianism,
- new insights into the life and work of Ljubo Karaman,
- the reception of Ljubo Karaman’s work from the perspective of “entangled” art history,
- the reception and implementation of conservation theories and conventions between 1920 and 1965.
Franko Ćorić, PhD, Department of Art History Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb
Ljerka Dulibić, PhD, The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Jasenka Gudelj, PhD, Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, Ca’ Foscari University Venice
Zvonko Maković, PhD, president of the Croatian Society of Art Historians
Predrag Marković, PhD, Department of Art History Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb
Milan Pelc, PhD, Institute of Art History, Zagreb
Martina Petrinović, secretary of the Croatian Society of Art Historians
Organizing Committee is responsible for nominating Keynote and Featured Speakers; developing the conference program and overseeing the reviewing of abstracts submitted to the conference
Abstract Submission Deadline: January 25, 2022
online application form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe0Z8ixdS1CqcHv2Ta72hYBAMZjeX3v9T-rR65NFGkFEcOEmg/viewform?usp=send_form
Presentation format: oral presentation (15 minutes) – each presentation is followed by short discussion
Conference fee: 55 EUR (after acceptance)
Contact: Croatian Society of Art Historians // dpuhinet.hr // www.dpuh.hr // Preradovićeva 44, Zagreb // +38514812920
CFP: Art history and discourse on the centre and periphery (Zagreb, 19-21 May 22). In: ArtHist.net, Nov 28, 2021 (accessed Jan 20, 2022), <https://arthist.net/archive/35423>.