The first Art History Festival will be held in Fontainebleau from 27 to 29 May

13/5/11 – Art history – Fontainebleau - Frédéric Mitterand has taken an excellent initiative by creating an annual event devoted to art history, the Festival de l’histoire de l’art which will be held for the first time in Fontainebleau from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 May 2011. A different country will be honored each year and a particular theme will be chosen (this year they will be, respectively, Italy and Insanity). Many conferences and round tables will be organized in the chateau as well as in town, a book and journal fair will be held in the Salle de la belle cheminée, films on art will be shown at the Ermitage Cinema, curators will lead guided visits, concerts will also be held (in keeping with the theme of Insanity), exhibitions will be presented in the chateau rooms, and an itinerary through the churches of the Seine-et-Marne will allow visitors to discover those holding Italian paintings…

The complete program, which can be found on the festival website, appears enticing and we can only hope that this festival will attract art lovers in great numbers. Unfortunately, we regret that the ministry, which is organizing it along with the INHA, has not advertised it more. Too many people, even among art historians, have not heard about it and we fear it will not reach the public, failing to draw attendance and resulting in a disastrous image for this discipline. The many events taking place all at the same time may also mean that the number of visitors will be scattered around even more.

We urge The Art Tribune readers to come to Fontainebleau and participate in this three day festival where we will also be present. On Friday we will lead two debates concerning discoveries in art history, at 11.30 and at 12.30, at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines [1] and, still at the same venue, take part on Sunday at 12.30 in a debate entitled, “How can an art history journal live online ?”.

Didier Rykner, vendredi 13 mai 2011


[1] 35 rue Saint Honoré, 77305 Fontainebleau.

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