Modernism in migration

Call for papers

Modernism in Migration: Relocating Artists, Objects and Institutions, 1900–1960

Theme outline

In the production and reception of art, processes of migration play a crucial role. This is particularly true for modernism and the historical avant-gardes of the twentieth century, when artists’ transnational networks and migrations across countries and continents greatly impacted artistic developments. Besides artists and agents such as art dealers and art historians, works of art and art institutions also migrated. For an upcoming issue of Stedelijk Studies, we invite scholars to explore forms of migration and their influence on the development and dissemination of modern art around the world from 1900–1960.

Artists migrated to metropolises such as Paris in the twentieth century for inspiration and education, leading to collaborations with colleagues, gallerists, and other art promoters. Artists’ experiences under new and alien circumstances were often reflected in their work. Migrations were not always by choice: artists and art agents were forced into involuntary emigration or exile by colonialist and political developments, such as those prompted by National Socialism. Whatever the impetus, between 1900 and 1960 artists and collectors migrated globally on an unprecedented scale and, along with these migrants, their works of art moved as well.

This issue of Stedelijk Studies complements an upcoming exhibition about Migrants in Paris at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (September 2019–January 2020), but will offer an in-depth exploration of migration from a greater variety of angles. We understand migration, just as modernism in the arts, as a global phenomenon. We are looking for theoretical explorations as well as art historiographical approaches and case studies, and especially welcome articles that explore gender, queer, and postcolonial perspectives, among others.

Potential topics include:

  • The migrant artist in the metropolis (e.g., centers such as Paris, Berlin, New York, Buenos Aires, São Paolo, Shanghai, Jakarta, etc.)
  • Migration away from such centers in search of the peripheral
  • International and transnational artists’ networks, associations, and collaborations
  • International and transnational art trade and collection building
  • (Inner) emigration vs. exile of artists and art agents
  • (Trade) routes and dislocation of art objects and collections (voluntary or forced)
  • Dislocation/relocation of institutions (e.g., Bauhaus, Warburg)
  • The impact of emigration on the artist’s work and on art history as a discipline
  • Cultural transfer and translation

The thematic issue Modernism in Migration: Relocating Artists, Objects, and Institutions, 1900–1960 will be edited by Dr. Tessel M. Bauduin and Dr. Gregor Langfeld (both of the University of Amsterdam).

Stedelijk Studies

Stedelijk Studies is a high-quality, peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The journal comprises research related to the Stedelijk collection, exploring institutional history, museum studies (e.g., education and conservation practice), and current topics in the field of visual arts and design.


Deadline for the abstract is February 20, 2019. Deadline for the article (4,000–5,000 words) is May 20, 2019. Publication of the issue will be in November, 2019. Manuscripts and other editorial correspondence should be sent to: Esmee Schoutens, Managing Editor Stedelijk Studies,