Politics, State Power and the Making of Art History in Europe After 1945

June 18 - 20, 2015
Eduardo Arroyo. Los cuatro dictadores (The Four Dictators), 1963. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
Eduardo Arroyo. Los cuatro dictadores (The Four Dictators), 1963. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
Scientific committee

Jesús Carrillo, Noemí de Haro and Patricia Mayayo

Live streaming:

From Auditorium 200

Organized by
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Museo Reina Sofía
In collaboration with
Instituto Goethe, Instituto Polaco de Cultura (Polish Cultural Institute) and Instituto Camões

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.


Luis Trindade. 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).


Actividad pasada 18 june, 2015
June 18, 2015

Museo Reina Sofía. Nouvel Building. Auditorium 200

  • 9:15 a.m. Receipt and delivery of documents
  • 9:45 a.m. Opening
  • 10:00 a.m. Lecture by Luis Trindade: Enduring Traditions, Timeless Novelties. Residual and Emerging Aspects in Portuguese Culture During the Cold War (1950–1980)
  • 11:15 a.m. Coffee break


  • 11:30 a.m. Table 1. The Journeys of Art. Cultural Diplomacy in a Divided World. Charied by: Patricia Mayayo
  • 1:30 p.m. Lunch break
  • 3:00 p.m. Table 2. The Institution-Museum and the Reinvention of Europe
  • 5:00 p.m. Table 3. Dissidence and Counter-Hegemony. Chaired by: Diana Cuéllar
  • 6:30 p.m. Coffee break


  • 7:30 p.m. Lecture by Mª Dolores Jiménez-Blanco: Histories of Post-war Art: Narrations, Reviews and Recoveries
  • 8:45 p.m. Welcome drink
Actividad pasada 19 june, 2015
June 19, 2015

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid: La Corrala Cultural Centre , Assembly Hall

  • 10:00 a.m. Table 4. Transitions: Discourse for a New Regime I. Chaired by: Diego Rambova
  • 11:30 a.m. Coffee break
  • 11:45 a.m. Table 5. Transitions: Discourse for a New Regime II. Chaired by: Inés Plasencia
  • 1:00 p.m. Table 6. The History of the History of Art in Spain Between the Dictatorship and Democracy. Chaired by: Jesusa Vega
  • 2:30 p.m. Lunch break

Museo Reina Sofía. Nouvel Building. Auditorium 200

  • 4:00 p.m. Table 7. Institutional Friction. Chaired by: Jesús Carrillo
  • 5:30 p.m. Table 8. Machinic Vision. Narratives of Affective Memory: Praxis, Dissidents and Other [Con]fabulations to Imagine the Silenced . Chaired by: Beatriz García
  • 7:00 p.m. Coffee break


  • 7:30 p.m. Lecture by Pawel Leszkowicz: Art Historians Facing Post-communist Fundamentalism: The School of Piotr Piotrowski in Polish Art History
Actividad pasada 20 june, 2015
June 20, 2015

Museo Reina Sofía. Nouvel Building. Auditorium 200

  • 10:00 a.m. Table 9. Ideological Rereadings of Art History I. Chaired by: Débora Madrid
  • 11:15 a.m. Coffee break
  • 11:30 a.m. Table 10. Ideological Rereadings of Art History II. Chaired by: Noemí de Haro
  • 1:00 p.m. Table 11. Counter-hegemonic Powers and Narratives: Art History and the Politics of Images. Chaired by: Carmen Gaitán
  • 2:30 p.m. Closing session