Klyushina, Elena Vitalievna. Constructing art history: Contemporary curatorial strategies in studying symbolism of the Baltic states

Published Date:

For citation: Klyushina, Elena Vitalievna. Constructing art history: Contemporary curatorial strategies in studying symbolism of the Baltic states, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2022. № 2. Pp. 236-247. DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2022.216

Title of the article Constructing art history: Contemporary curatorial strategies in studying symbolism of the Baltic states

Klyushina, Elena Vitalievna – PhD in Art History, associate professor, Russian State University for the Humanities, Orc ID 0000-0002-0006-5010, Researcher ID N-1715-2015, Scopus ID 57195929242; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the section  Recensiones / Reviews
Year 2022 Issue 2 Pages 228-235
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 94; BBK 63.3(0) Index DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2022.216 

The article is devoted to the analysis of curatorial strategies used in the international exhibition «Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Baltic States», successfully implemented under the supervision of Rodolphe Rapetti in 2018–2021 in Paris, Tallinn, Vilnus and Riga. Revealing the originality of the curatorial narrative contributes to the identification of current research directions in the study of the Baltic countries visual culture of the 19th–20th centuries. The implemented project has the potential for further revision of generally accepted ideas about the genesis and development of the symbolist art in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This also contributes to the formation and widespread dissemination of methodological approaches that have not been previously used in the art studies of these countries. To understand the novelty of the chosen strategies, historiographical analysis of art in the Baltic countries from the 1940s to the 1980s is carried out. The third conference of art historians of the Baltic republics in 1990 was called a turning point in the history of cultural studies. It is at this scientific event that Boris Bershtein calls for a metaposition and the usage of metalanguage in the construction of an «internal» description of national culture. According to the author of this article, an exhibition «Wild Souls» is intended to become such a metaposition, capable of summarizing the already accumulated knowledge and offering a new look at the development of visual culture. Using universal approaches to the study of symbolism, Rodolphe Rapetti, together with colleagues from Baltic museums, demonstrates the trans-regional community of artistic phenomena that took place in these countries, and also convincingly proves the involvement of the Baltic artists in the general European artistic process at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Keywords symbolism, art nouveau, curatorship, Latvian art, Estonian art, Lithuanian art, Baltic countries, Boris Bernstein, Rodolphe Rapetti, «Wild Souls»
Full text version of the article Article language  Russian

Baltic art: Articles and Research. Tallinn: Kunst Publ., 1981. 352 p. (in Russian).

Cielava, Skaidrīte. Art of Latvia. Leningrad: Art Publ., 1979. 308 p. (in Russian).

Grosmane, Elita. The development of art history in Latvia. Problems and solutions, in Art history in the Middle and East Europe: Process, personalities, methodologies. 2011. № 7. Рр. 137–143. (in Russian).

Helme, Sirje. Conflicts and adaptions: How to display the art of the Soviet period, in Actual problems of theory and history of art. 2020. Vol. 10. Pp. 676–681.

Kļaviņš, Eduards. Art history in Latvia from the standpoint of methodology, in Art history in the Middle and East Europe. Process, personalities, methodologies. 2011.  № 7. Pp. 188–195. (in Russian).

Kostina, Elena Mihaylovna. Art of Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, in Vseobshchaya istoriya iskusstv. Vol. 6. Part 2. Moscow: Art Publ., 1966. Pp. 76–86. (in Russian).

Krastiņš, Janis Albertovich. Art Nouveau style in the architecture of Riga. Moscow: Stroyizdat Publ., 1988. 272 р. (in Russian).

Rapetti, Rodolphe, Cachin, Françoise. Lart du XIXe siècle 18501905. Paris: Citadelles, 1990. 630 p.

Rapetti, Rodolphe. Le Symbolisme. Paris: Flammarion, 2005. 320 p. 

Estonian and Estonian Soviet Art: Collection of articles. Translation from Estonian; Ed. by Inge Teder. Tallinn: Periodika Publ., 1989. 119 p. (in Russian).

Tags: historiography, 19th century, Communications, RECENSIONES / REVIEWS, cultural studies, Art, Communication, 20th century, regional studies, KLYUSHINA YE. V.

  • Hits: 184