Michelle Facos on exhibitions and institutions in the United States and in Scandinavia 1890-1918

Armory Show, installation detail, New York, 1913. Source: Wikimedia
Armory Show, installation detail, New York, 1913. Source: Wikimedia

Together with the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana we cordially invite you to attend two lectures by Michelle Facos as part of this year Art Exhibiting in Slovenia, from the Early 19th Century to Today seminar.


Artists, Exhibitions and Institutions in the United States 1890–1918
Monday, 6 November 2017, 7 pm,  Faculty of Arts (room 343), Aškerčeva 2, Ljubljana

Tension arose in the United States between the urge to conform to (mainly French) European standards, either academic/traditional or secessionist/progressive, and the desire to foster a singularly American mode of visual expression. The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and especially the Armory Show held in New York in 1913 brought contemporary art to the U.S. and made a tremendous impact on artists and audiences. Private initiatives were equally important: collectors such as Harry Havemeyer and Gertrude Stein and gallerists such as the photographer Alfred Stieglitz introduced American audiences to contemporary trends in European art, while artists of the ‘Ashcan’ School strove to create a uniquely American visual language, free from foreign influence.

Artists, Exhibitions and Institutions in Scandinavia 1890–1918
Tuesday, 7 November 2017, 7 pm,  Faculty of Arts (room 343), Aškerčeva 2, Ljubljana

Following the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889, progressive Scandinavian artists left their cosy expatriate community in Paris to develop national schools of art at home. Their efforts were enthusiastically support by socially-progressive bourgeois intellectuals at home, but with varying degrees of official government support. While Swedes had established the anti-establishment Artists’ Union in 1885, whose early exhibitions were financial and critical successes (unlike those of the Impressionists) and which organized the unofficial participation of Sweden in the world’s fairs of 1889, 1900 (Paris), and 1893 (Chicago), Danish secessionist artists (The Free Exhibition) obtained government support at its inception in 1891. The situation differed in Finland and Norway, which, in 1890, were not yet independent; by 1918 all of the renegade nationalist artists were celebrated as establishing authentic national schools in their respective countries.

Michelle Facos is Professor of Art History at Indiana University-Bloomington and has taught in China (Shanghai), Germany (Greifswald), Poland (Warsaw), and Sweden (Växjö). Her An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art (and website: www.19thcenturyart-facos.com) is used in classrooms worldwide. Her areas of research expertise are identity, nationalism, Scandinavia, and Symbolism. Her Nationalism and the Nordic Imagination: Swedish Painting in the 1890s (1998) and Culture and National Identity in Fin-de-Siecle Europe (co-edited with Sharon Hirsh, 2003) consider the various ways nations sought to articulate singular identities in the decades around 1900.


Organized by: Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory; Department of Art History, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana