CFP Feb 23, 2024

The Visual Arts in Conjunction with Music around 1900 (Stockholm, 4 Oct 24)

Stockholm, Oct 04, 2024
Deadline: May 1, 2024

Linda Hinners, Nationalmuseum Stockholm

Sensuous Consonance. The visual arts in conjunction with music around 1900.

In the decades around 1900 attempts were made to unify music and visual arts in new ways. Richness of colour, dynamism in time and/or space, and a fundamental (though rarely absolute) absence of words – these characteristics united the two art forms, even as they engaged different senses. An artwork that appealed to both the ear and the eye, in one way or another, and that wholly or partially avoided communicating through words, could be assumed to have particularly favourable conditions for imparting a sense of the intimate as well as the sublime, of hidden connections, and of transcendent meaning.
A Swedish example is the intimate artistic and personal interplay between Alice Nordin (sculptor, 1871–1948) and Hugo Alfvén (composer, violinist and painter, 1872–1960), where practices of beholding and listening, of sculpting and musical composition/performance were conjoined reciprocally in a context of romance and aesthetic experiment, visible in Nordin's bust named after the slow movement, “Andante patetico”, of Alfvén’s Sonata for violin and piano (1896). Another example of art and music in conjunction is Gottfrid Larsson’s sculpture Symphony (1906–09) in the old concert hall of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
With the aim of stimulating cross-disciplinary investigation of such aesthetic endeavours, we invite scholars from all relevant fields of research to propose papers for a one-day conference at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. We are particularly interested in papers that explore one or more of the following subjects:

• Practical and/or theoretical attempts to achieve a profound conjunction between visual art and music or, in a broader sense, between the visual and the auditory. One of several relevant fields is the synaesthetic, theosophically influenced aesthetics of composers such as Aleksandr Skryabin, Arnold Schoenberg, M.K. Čiurlionis and Tekla Griebel Wandall. Another field explores works of public art that, in one way or another, interact with the surrounding sound environment.

• Interdisciplinary working processes and artefacts in connection with friendships and other relationships between musicians and visual artists.

• Visual representation of musical imagination, musical creation, and music listening. Representation of this kind can be found in many portraits of musicians and music listeners, such as the numerous portraits of Beethoven by Antoine Bourdelle, Pierre Fix-Masseau, Max Klinger and others.

• Concert halls, salons and other sites for music where the visual design or the use of visual art aspirers to an intimate relationship with the music.

• Music in art museums and private art collections where the music aspires to an intimate relationship with the visual arts.

• Works that explore the relationship between music and visual art, beholding and listening, sight and hearing.

• Modes of reception that transcend the boundary between the visual and the auditory.

The historical time frame of the conference is approximately 1880–1920. The main focus is on the conjunction between music and painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts, and architecture. We anticipate that the presentations and discussions will explore aesthetic, religious, philosophical, emotional-historical, erotic and other perspectives. Symbolism, theosophy, synaesthesia and the total work of art are likely to be important concepts, but we welcome also other perspectives and theoretical frameworks.

We invite scholars from all relevant disciplines to apply. Please send an abstract of maximum 300 words (for a paper of 20 minutes + questions) to the organisers (see addresses below) no later than 1 May 2024. Language: English. Once all abstracts have been submitted, we may have to make a selection with regard to quality and originality.


Linda Hinners, curator at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm

Tobias Lund, musicologist at Lund University

In collaboration with The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

CFP: The Visual Arts in Conjunction with Music around 1900 (Stockholm, 4 Oct 24). In:, Feb 23, 2024 (accessed Apr 19, 2024), <>.