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29-30/11/2019, Brussels - Belgium

Call for papers - The interiors of Art nouveau period : analyse, restore, make accessible

The Réseau Art Nouveau Network, a European network for the study, protection and enhancement of the Art Nouveau heritage, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Urban.brussels, founding member of RANN, is hosting an International symposium in Brussels, co-organised by RANN and Urban.brussels in partnership with the Horta Museum and CIVA.

The research and progress of our knowledge of Art Nouveau has always been one of RANN's primary objectives. If Art Nouveau is accessible to everyone in the street itself and while the Art Nouveau facades are the ornament of many European cities, the interiors arouse both from the academic world as from the general public many questions related to their accessibility, to their knowledge, to the refined restorations that they require.

This Symposium aims to bring about a confrontation on research practices, understanding, conservation and enhancement of Art Nouveau interiors, in order to identify new research perspectives.

Four themes will be addressed :

1. KNOW. Current status: sources and new approaches

How to apprehend the interiors of the Art Nouveau period? Many sources are available to the art historian: plans, photographs, descriptions, articles, drawings... How to approach, decrypt and analyse such sources? Can the use of other sources and documents improve our knowledge of Art Nouveau interiors? This approach enable to better understand the issues and new techniques developed by historians and art historians.

2. UNDERSTAND. Architectural fittings and decorative sets

The Art Nouveau interiors correspond to uses and are rooted in a very special symbolism. Without a refined analysis of these two values (use and symbolism), the whole understanding of the building risks being jeopardised. The researchers will offer unseen and innovative analyses of these two fundamental aspects of Art Nouveau interiors.

3. RESTORE. Approaches, techniques and new resources

The restoration of an Art Nouveau building involves many stakeholders: architects, restorers, craftsmen, art historians. The word will be given to them. New study techniques enable to prepare at best a restoration. Other more traditional approaches remain essential and require rigorous interpretations. In situ researches in which restorers and craftsmen play a key role will be addressed

Four themes will be addressed :

1. KNOW. Current status: sources and new approaches

How to apprehend the interiors of the Art Nouveau period? Many sources are available to the art historian: plans, photographs, descriptions, articles, drawings... How to approach, decrypt and analyse such sources? Can the use of other sources and documents improve our knowledge of Art Nouveau interiors? This approach enable to better understand the issues and new techniques developed by historians and art historians.

2. UNDERSTAND. Architectural fittings and decorative sets

The Art Nouveau interiors correspond to uses and are rooted in a very special symbolism. Without a refined analysis of these two values (use and symbolism), the whole understanding of the building risks being jeopardised. The researchers will offer unseen and innovative analyses of these two fundamental aspects of Art Nouveau interiors.

3. RESTORE. Approaches, techniques and new resources

The restoration of an Art Nouveau building involves many stakeholders: architects, restorers, craftsmen, art historians. The word will be given to them. New study techniques enable to prepare at best a restoration. Other more traditional approaches remain essential and require rigorous interpretations. In situ researches in which restorers and craftsmen play a key role will be addressed in this theme. Case studies as well as communications dedicated to questions and issues related to all restorations are welcome.

4. LIVE AND OPEN. Accessibility and contemporary issues

How to make a listed Art Nouveau building live? What are the problems faced by the owners (private, foundation, museum, state body...)? How to accommodate the different users as well as possible? Contemporary life, such as the use of an Art Nouveau building and therefore its interior spaces, raises many questions as the right balance between conservation and use is difficult to achieve. 

 

The RANN also wishes to give the floor to craftsmen. Section 3, dedicated to RESTORATION, will be reserved for restaurateurs as well as to 2 artisans who, with their expertise and know-how, participate in the (re) commissioning / restoration / rehabilitation of Art nouveau interiors. 

 

Conditions of submission and schedule

- Candidates are invited to send by email to alalleaume@urban.brussels by 16 September 2019 in French or in English an abstract / summary of the communication (maximum 300 words)

- The RANN will inform the candidates of the selection of the Scientific Committee by 1st October at the latest.

 

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