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A ‘geography’ conference for art historians

Kristina Jõekalda (1-2/2010)

Kristina Jõekalda scribbled down a few thoughts 


The international historiography conference The Geographies of Art History in the Baltic Region last November focused on changes that occurred in the discipline of art history during the past century in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, on questioning the canon of art-history writing, and on trying to see the impact of modern approaches and theories on an international scale. One of the central problems seems to be that the Baltic states are exclusively engaged in researching local matters (often of a national character) while applying foreign theories – a scheme that may not always work. Despite the value of such an attempt, not all speakers chose to discuss the uncomfortable issues of self-reflection that the conference proposed; and none dared to draw broader conclusions regarding some or all of the states, so that the overall impression was rather mosaicked.

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