The next Festival d’histoire de l’art, from 31 May to 2 June 2013

5/2/13 - Art history - Festival and education - The third edition of the Festival d’Histoire de l’Art will take place this year in Fontainebleau from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June 2013. Given the current period of austerity, it will begin only on Friday afternoon and will have slightly fewer speakers. Interest, however, should remain just as high and, looking at this positively, an overabundance of offerings can often be frustrating as it is impossible to take in several events at the same time. There is of course the potential risk of having to turn down entrance to some of the lectures or round tables since there will be less to choose from.

The guest country this year will be the United Kingdom and the highlighted theme "l’éphémère" [1]. As usual, the Salon du livre d’art will be returning and several events will also focus on current happenings or more general questions concerning art history. We are pleased to announce that we will be leading two round tables, one on the issue of the coexistence between permanent collections and temporary exhibitions and how to make them more harmonious ; the second one will look at the subject of art dealers who are art historians. Our readers at The Art Tribune are highly encouraged to attend the festival which plays an important role in making our discipline, art history, more visible in order to help change the many misperceptions surrounding it.

Indeed, a brief glance at the upsetting report issued a few days ago by the "comité de consultation pour l’éducation artistique and culturelle" presided by Marie Desplechin confirms the above. She was at least extremely lucid in stating to Le Monde : "It was very "sympa"[thique] but frankly, I don’t see what the use was. [sic]". True, anyone reading this report will ask himself the same questions. Art history is obviously presented in only the very ill-defined term of "history of the arts", all the more incredible as the commission did not include any art history professor. The APAHAU, Association des Professeurs en Archéologie et Histoire de l’Art des Universités, at the forefront in the battle for art history education and certainly the most competent body to make proposals in the matter, was not even consulted. The commission’s obvious scorn for the discipline could not have been made clearer. As for the recommendations, this is a list of vague and obscure suggestions [2].
Well, whatever, it was very "sympa".

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 6 février 2013


[1] The program for 2014 has already been selected : the guest country will be Switzerland and the theme "Collecting".

[2] We could quote them all, but we will limit ourselves to just a few : "ensure the sharing of thoughts and experiences on very young children", "develop and emphasize the value of thoughts on the major stakes of a renovated "Haut conseil de l’éducation artistique et culturelle", "increase the spaces for freedom in proposals and undertaking of projects for lycée students", "reconsider modes of validation by government offices of artistic and cultural education projects", "launch a project for dual diplomas, particularly the contents of the training and ways to finance them", "privilege primary education and educational accompaniment". The entire report continues in the same vein. You have to read it to believe it.

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