This course is part of the minor Beeldcultuur en Samenleving.
About this course:
During the last few decades, art historians have become increasingly interested in art’s political and social context, which is reflected in recent studies on art patrons, art institutions, art reception and the role of the arts in defining or contesting identities, status and power. Historians for their part have become more and more interested in the visual arts and visual culture generally as a source of interdisciplinary historical research. Such an interdisciplinary approach is a good starting point for studying the visual arts in relation to collective identities and ideologies in the modern age. In this course we will focus on art and politics in moments of crisis: war, revolution, civil war and state terror. We will take a closer look at the visual arts, for example, during the First World War, the Spanish civil war, the Third Reich, the Cold War, and overseas empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will search for similarities and differences between these cases, and try to explain them. In doing so, we will engage in different and sometimes contradictory levels of analysis, varying from the original intention of artists to the (political or politicized) interpretation of art critics and the use of art by politicians and interest groups.