The international conference Politics, State Power and the Making of Art History in Europe after 1945 explores the ways political power seeks to shape and influence the activities of art historians, art critics, museum professionals and cultural institutions in order to control the understanding of art and artistic heritage from 1945 to the present. While this has often been associated with authoritarian and totalitarian rule, efforts to influence the construction of art history have not been limited to such regimes; direct and indirect political influence has shaped the field of art history from its beginnings to the present day, from dictatorship to liberal democracy.
This encounter focuses on Europe, on well-known cases such as Nazi Germany and Communist Europe after 1945, and on less documented regions in Southern, Northern and Eastern Europe. It looks to go beyond positivist accounts, fostering a critical approach and transnational comparisons in order to pinpoint differences and parallels to the way in which politics affects and controls the making of art history, and without forgetting its relationship with the emergence of networks, narratives and counter-hegemonic practices.
. Lecturer of History and Portuguese Contemporary Culture at Birkbeck College, University of London. His current research revolves around the 1970s and 1980s, and is influenced by the formation of radical cultural policies in the sphere of the revolutionary period of 1974–75 and the emergence of new cultural industries in the 1980s. He has recently edited the The Making of Modern Portugal
(Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), a collective book on the formation of contemporary Portugal.
Mª Dolores Jiménez-Blanco. Head lecturer of Art History at UCM (Complutense University of Madrid), where she also obtained her PhD in 1987 with the thesis Aportaciones a la Historia de los Fondos del Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo (Contributions to the History of Collections of Contemporary Art in Spanish Museums, 1987), edited by Alianza Editorial with the title Arte y Estado en la España del siglo XX (Art and State in 20th Century Spain 1989). Noteworthy publications include Spanish Art in New York (Asociación de Amigos de la Hispanic Society y El Viso, 2004) and Buscadores de belleza (Beauty Hunters, Ariel, 2007; 2010), both with Cindy Mack, and Juan Gris. Correspondencia y Escritos (Juan Gris, Correspondence and Writings, Acantilado, 2008). She was also editor and author of the first official guide of the Museo del Prado (La Guía del Prado, 2008). Currently she is curating an exhibition on autarchy and exile in post-war art in Spain, held in the Museo Reina Sofía.
Pawel Leszkowicz. An independent curator and art historian specialised in LGBTQ studies. Recently he has curated the exhibitions Ars Homo Erotica (National Museum, Warsaw, 2010), Love is Love. Art as LGBTQ Activism from Britain to Belarus (2011), Civil Partnerships. Feminist and Queer Art and Activism in the UK (2012) and has co-organised numerous symposiums such as Exhibitionism: A Symposium on Queer Curatorial Practices in the UK (2011) and A Symposium on Contemporary Queer Art in the UK (2012) and has recently published Art Pride. Gay Art from Poland (2010) and The Naked Man: The Male Nude in post-1945 Polish Art (2012).