Article | Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011 | Historical Narratives of the Nation and the Internationalization of Museums: Exhibiting National Art Histories in the Jeu de Paume Museum between the Wars

Title:
Historical Narratives of the Nation and the Internationalization of Museums: Exhibiting National Art Histories in the Jeu de Paume Museum between the Wars
Author:
Michela Passini: Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, France
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Full text (pdf)
Year:
2012
Conference:
Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011
Issue:
078
Article no.:
028
Pages:
457-466
No. of pages:
10
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2012-10-30
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


In 1983 Benedict Anderson insisted on the foundational role that museums have played in the construction of imagined communities. To better grasp the mechanisms at work in the shaping of historical narratives of the nation as it takes place in the museum it is vital to cross-reference the history of nationalism with recent studies on cultural and artistic circulation. The latter have proved that national identities are inherently constructed at a transnational level. The question is; therefore: what happens to the historical narratives manufactured by national museums at a time when museums as such undergo a process of internationalization mediated by traveling exhibitions?

My contribution will focus on a batch of exhibitions conceived by the national museums of several European countries and hosted by the Paris Jeu de Paume between 1921 and 1939 (exhibitions of Belgian; Swiss; Romanian; Dutch; Canadian; Austrian; Danish; Swedish; Polish; Portuguese; Italian; Spanish; Catalan and Latvian art). I will analyze this group of exhibitions in terms of the construction of national stereotypes; both at the level of the material production at the hand of foreign museums planning exhibitions abroad and from the point of view of their reception by more or less specialized publics; beginning with the Parisian curators. The texts of catalogues and documents clarifying the makeup of individual events will be compared with the specifically visual devices: catalogue illustrations and the choice of works to be reproduced in journals; newspapers; on postcards; posters and advertisements. Our aim will be to clarify the political stakes at play in these choices.

Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011

Author:
Michela Passini
Title:
Historical Narratives of the Nation and the Internationalization of Museums: Exhibiting National Art Histories in the Jeu de Paume Museum between the Wars
References:

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Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011

Author:
Michela Passini
Title:
Historical Narratives of the Nation and the Internationalization of Museums: Exhibiting National Art Histories in the Jeu de Paume Museum between the Wars
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