Polish Biedermeier – “Domesticated Romanticism”. Study perspectives
30th November – 1st December
Programme of the conference
With the approach of the Biedermeier exhibition, to be held at the National Museum in Warsaw (4th October 2017 – 7th January 2018), we wish to invite you to an international conference planned for 30th November – 1st December. During this event, which will also be held at the Museum, we hope to reflect on the validity, limitations and specificity of the term “Biedermeier” as a category for describing Polish art from the first half of the 19th century; a term which embraces painting, artistic handicrafts, literature and music. We intend to examine local aspects of bourgeoisie and aristocratic culture, along with their rituals, the existing connections with Europe at large, artistic contacts, and customary influences. We also hope to provoke discussion on the subject of the national, social and aesthetic “identity” of the Biedermeier style in Poland. Was it a language of modern design, functionality and simplicity reflecting the growth of the middle class and urban intelligentsia, or was it a manifestation of conservatism and traditionalism, sentimentality and naiveté? Does Polish art even conform to the Biedermeier model described by Virgil Nemoianu as a Central European phenomena, a “lower Romanticism,” an expression of pragmatism, of a reluctance towards grand deeds and aspirations in the post-Napoleonic era, and a symptom of mass culture and of the need for comfort, order and stability? Can we speak of a “Biedermeier attitude” among the Polish intelligentsia and gentry?
Surely, such questions can help re-evaluate the many stereotypes associated with the Biedermeier style and Romanticism, while also revealing the complexity and wealth of the culture of that period. We look forward to much enthusiastic discussion on the conference’s main topics:
Polish Biedermeier: a style or an attitude? Agendas, theories, criticism
Cosmopolitanism and patriotism – the Biedermeier style in Central Europe
The artist’s role in society. The rise of new patronage
The culture of everyday life: in the circle of family and friends
Ties to tradition and modern design
Biedermeier’s reception – inspirations and imitation
The conference is co-organised by the Art History Institute at the University of Warsaw and the National Museum in Warsaw.
Conference language: Polish and English
We ask that you submit an abstract of your talk (~1000 characters) by 31st July 2017.
Contact: Dr. Anna Kozak (email@example.com) & Dr. Agnieszka Rosales Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org)