Gothic Modernisms

A two-day international conference discussing the legacies, histories and contested identities of European Gothic/early-modern visual cultures in (global) modernity, in particular in modernism and the avant-gardes. Rijksmuseum, 29 & 30 June, 2017.

Provisional Programme

DAY 1 – 29 JUNE 2017

9.00-9.30 Registration
9.30-9.40 Welcome – Taco Dibbits, Director of the Rijksmuseum
9.40-9.50 Opening words – Juliet Simpson
9.50-11.10 Panel 1: Gothic ‘Revivals’ – Politics and Poetry of Buildings, Play and Panic
Chair: Juliet Simpson (Coventry University)

  • Matthew Reeve (Queen’s University, Kingston/Royal Society of Antiquaries, London): ‘Politics of bodies, politics of buildings: from “play” to “panic” in the Gothic architecture of the long eighteenth century’
  • Jozefien Feynaerts (Ghent University): ‘Le choix du style: neo-Tudor prison gatehouses in 19th-century Belgium’
  • Ole Fischer (Utah University): ‘The birth of modernity from the spirit of Gothic? Henry van de Velde and the figure of the iron cathedral’
11.10-11.30 Coffee & tea
11.30-12.45 Panel 2: Belgian Gothic Modern Interiors/Uncanny Spaces
Chair: Jan-Dirk Baetens (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

  • Dominique Bauer (KU Leuven): ‘Enclosures, windows and mirrors. The Gothic interior in the work of Georges Rodenbach and Xavier Mellery’
  • Aude Campmas (University of Southampton): ‘Gothic passion and interiority in
    J.K. Huysmans’s St. Lydwine of Schiedam’
  • Claire Moran (Queen’s University, Belfast): ‘Moody Princesses at home in Maeterlinck, Rodenbach and Khnopff’
12.45-14.00 Lunch & visit to the Rijksmuseum collections
14.00-15.45 Panel 3: Gothic Alterities at the Fin-de-Siècle
Chair: Rachel Esner (University of Amsterdam)

  • Laura Morowitz (Wagner College, NY): ‘Alt-Deutsch and avant-garde: The prints of Joseph Sattler’
  • Stefan Huygebaert (Ghent University): ‘The image of Gothic law in (anti-)Modernist art’
  • Graça Correa (Lisbon University): ‘Landscapes of the Gothic uncanny in Symbolist theatre’
  • Marja Lahelma (University of Edinburgh/University of Helsinki): ‘Gothic elements in Nordic fin-de-siècle art’
15.45-16.05 Coffee & tea
16.05-17.00 Plenary and Q&A – Professor Elizabeth Emery (Montclair State University, NY)
Chair: Tessel M. Bauduin (University of Amsterdam)
17.00-18.00 Visit to the exhibition Small Wonders
Guided tours for conference guests by curators Ingmar Reesing (UvA) & Frits Scholten (Rijksmuseum)

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 30 JUNE 2017

9.00-9.20 Registration
9.20-9.30 Opening words – Tessel M. Bauduin
9.30-11.15 Panel 4: Gothic Modern Cathedrals ― Politics and Potencies of Buildings beyond the ‘Gothic’
Chair: Petra Brouwer (University of Amsterdam)

  • Maria Männig (Karlsruhe University of Design): ‘From Schlegel to Le Corbusier: Modern concepts in Hans Sedlmayr’s “Cathedral”’
  • J. Kirk Irwin (Birkbeck College, University of London): ‘Medieval and Modernist space’
  • Robert S. Nelson (Yale University): ‘Modernism and colonialism in the neo-Gothic of Southeast Asia’
  • Matthew Mullane (Princeton University): ‘The cathedral and the pagoda: Itō Chūta’s Gothic world’
11.15-11.45 Coffee & tea
11.45-13.15 Panel 5: Reimagining Gothic Nationalisms and Avant-Gardes
Chair: Jenny Reynaerts (Rijksmuseum)

  • Leena Elina Valkeapää (University of Jyväskylä): ‘Gothic Modern discovered: the process of the art historical expeditions in Finland, 1871–1902’
  • Stephanie Glaser (Ruhr-Universität Bochum): ‘The Gothic spirit: Cultural nationalisms on the eve of World War I’
  • Marjan Groot (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam): ‘Gothic Modernism and Expressionism in the 1920s in the Netherlands’
13.15-14.30 Lunch & visit to the Rijksmuseum collections
14.30-16.15 Panel 6: Contested German Gothic Identities: Legacies, Ideologies, Museums
Chair: Anna Maria von Bonsdorff (Ateneum Finnish National Gallery)

  • William Diebold (Reed College, Portland): ‘The Magdeburg and Bamberg Riders on display in modern Germany’
  • Gitta Ho (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris): ‘George Grosz and the art of Late Gothic’
  • Leonie Beiersdorf (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg): ‘Art history’s anthropological turn and its support of Gothic Modernisms’
16.15-16.45 Coffee & tea
16.45-17.30 Round table & closing remarks – Tessel M. Bauduin and Juliet Simpson
17.30 Close of conference
17.45 Drinks reception

For more information, see
Registration on
Fee (125€; 40€ for students) includes access to the Rijksmuseum Collections on both days, a guided visit to the exhibition Small Wonders, coffee, tea, lunch, snacks and drinks. Questions and comments can be directed to dr. Tessel M. Bauduin, University of Amsterdam: t[dot]m[dot]bauduin[at]uva[dot]nl
This conference is part of a trilogy. For earlier events see ‘Visions of the North’.