Internationalism and Cultural Exchange 1870-1920 (ICE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: School of Humanities

Abstract

ICE is an interdisciplinary network which examines internationalist ideologies and processes of cultural exchange at a crucial historical moment. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were characterised by rising nationalism, imperialism and war. But they were also marked by movements for international cooperation, a developing international infrastructure, and experiments in transnational ways of living. The arts were central to this dialogue between nationalism and internationalism. Artists were expected to play their part in the building of national traditions, but their lives and practices were often cosmopolitan. Yet, despite the vigour of internationalist thinking, historical enquiry in the arts has been largely preoccupied with national traditions. ICE challenges that emphasis. It builds on recent initiatives by ICE convenors and others (conferences, publications, collaborations, exhibitions) to deliver a sustained and collective discussion about the role of arts-based disciplines in the expanding field of transnational history.

The thematic structuring of our project proposes a constructive alternative to the model of national schools, making room for a radical reassessment of cultural canons, chronologies, movements, and artists' lives. There are three strands to our enquiry: 'Sites of Internationalism', 'World Citizens' and 'Language and Translation'. They examine the ways in which artists at the fin de siècle reimagined society, developing their own infrastructures and modes of communication in order to transcend national borders. The crossing of boundaries is fundamental to the project in several ways: the network is interdisciplinary, comparing a range of art forms; it involves collaboration between different universities in the UK and overseas, and between universities and research-active museums; its subject-matter is international; and it promotes the application of new research to teaching.

The network will operate through a series f day workshops, culminating in a two-day plenary conference. These events will promote the development of a research community, supported by a well-maintained website and mailing list. Selected proceedings will be published as part of a dedicated book series under contract with Peter Lang. Museums and galleries, which in recent years have pioneered cross-cultural approaches to the History of Art, are closely involved with the project. We aim to generate ideas for cross-cultural exhibitions through the involvement of our partner at Tate Britain and other senior curators. The aims of the project are long-term, extending well beyond the two-year period of the networking award. To this end, we will seek funding towards a larger collaborative project.

The network will deliver widespread benefits to academics, the public sector and the wider public. The project is international, both in concept and participants. It enables a selected group of leading scholars to collaborate, and to engage in sustained debate with colleagues from different countries, disciplines and types of institution. Our focus on internationalism at the 'long fin de siècle' (1870-1920) promises to transform understanding of an era which was crucial to the development of globalisation. It therefore contributes to a debate which goes beyond the concerns of cultural history in the period, towards a pressing contemporary problem. Policy makers and international organisations would benefit from a better understanding of the origins of cultural internationalism, as would interested members of the general public, and contemporary artists operating in an increasingly diasporic art world. ICE will initiate new readings of art in the context of internationalism and its variants (cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, globalism). In the process, it will contribute to larger projects of public dissemination (eg. exhibitions) which enhance wider cultural well-being.

Planned Impact

The network will deliver a variety of benefits beyond the immediate research community:

1) Museums, galleries and their visitors will benefit from the emphasis on exhibitions in our workshop programme, the inclusion of Tate Britain as a project partner, and our policy of inviting curators to participate. We expect this impact to become apparent within the decade, as it will feed into planning and proposals for forthcoming exhibitions.

2) Government policy makers: present conditions of multiculturalism and global tension were shaped by events at the beginning of the last century. Effective government policy demands a better understanding of the history of globalisation, both to promote Britain internationally, and to manage an increasingly diverse society. In emphasising the cultural connections between Britain and other countries, as a corrective to cultural insularity, we will help to present Britain as a constructive participant in international relations. In highlighting the activities of cosmopolitan groups based in the UK at the turn of the twentieth century, we will offer a precedent for a functional multicultural community.

3) International organisations: many international organisations have their roots in the internationalism of the early twentieth century (eg. the United Nations, The Women's International League). The period under discussion witnessed a flowering of international organisations specifically dedicated to the arts (eg. Internationalis Concordia, 1895, The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, 1898) which provide a useful parallel for present-day organisations with a similar agenda to promote better international relations through the arts eg. UNESCO, The British Council, The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Our work will be made available to them through our website, mailing list and targeted publicity.

4) Contemporary artists: the art world in the twenty-first century is diasporic (see eg. Rowe and Meskimmon, Diasporic Futures, due 2012). Our study of cosmopolitan artists and their communities at the fin de siècle suggests productive parallels. In challenging an historical narrative based on the development of national schools, the network will affect the ways in which contemporary artists are received. It will change the critical context in which they operate, uncovering a richer and more inclusive tradition in which to place their work.

5) Members of the public: the impact of our discussions will be felt by the wider public through exhibitions and history writing. We anticipate that the methodologies and material generated by our discussion will impact widely on historical publications, both academic and popular. The increasing prominence of Public History, and the appetite for history among non-academic readers, will ensure that our ideas filter through to an informed lay readership. The issues we raise about mixed national identities, cultural encounters across national borders, and the search for universal languages, are particularly important in our current age of globalisation, mass tourism and immigration, and will resonate with a large and diverse constituency.
 
Description 1) We aimed to create a new research community by convening a series of thematic workshops, developing a website and maintaining a mailing list through which colleagues could post news of other events and publications. There are several indicators of our success: (a) continuity in attendance at the difference workshops (b) high frequency of postings to the mailing list (c) the development of a members' register on the ICE website, which will continue after the life of the AHRC grant

2) The network has developed a debate that moves away from a structural reliance on nation states and national schools, towards an emphasis on international cultural exchange. The four themes of our discussion: 'cosmopolitans', 'cosmopoleis', 'global communities' and 'universal languages'; have brought together colleagues with different geographical specialisms. Findings will/ have been published in co-authored collections and in books and articles by individual network members. The network has a dedicated book series, hosted by Peter Lang. In the past year, the first volume in the series has come into print: Andrzej Szczerski, *Views of Albion: The Reception of British Art and Design in Central Europe, 1890-1918*. It has been reviewed online here: The impact of the ICE Peter Lang book series is evidenced by this online review of Andrzej Szczerski's book publication *Views of Albion*, the first in the series: http://letteraturaartistica.blogspot.it/2016/02/andrzej-szczerski9.html

3) We aimed to bring together curator and academics in a single debate. This we achieved by holding three of our five colloquia at major galleries (two at Tate Britain and one at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum), and inviting curators to co-convene these events. In recent years, museums and galleries have led the shift towards transnational approaches to art, so curators made a crucial contribution to our discussions. Several have reported that ICE workshops have fed back into exhibitions. Examples are given in the 'Narrative Impact' section.

4) We aimed to generate a debate about teaching, and the ways in which our discussions could feed into university curricula. This issue became a focus of the concluding 'round-table' at our final conference. Several colleagues have reported ways in which ICE has informed their teaching, eg:
a) Anne Leonard (Smart Museum of Art, Chicago) reports that 'The ICE network has most definitely had an impact on my teaching of a C19th prints class. Topics central to ICE enabled me to address, with greater nuance than I could have done before, the importance of cosmopolitan "connector" figures between French and British printmaking'.
b) Andrzej Szczerski (The Jagiellonian University, Krakow): 'I have used the knowledge acquired thanks to ICE in my course 'Art and Architecture in C20th Central Europe'.
c) Katja Krebs (Bristol): 'I have restructured an entire unit on performance according to cosmopolitan centres as a result of my involvement with the ICE network.'
d) Charlotte Ashby (Birkbeck): 'I have developed a new BA level 3 module which looks at Nationalisms from a comparative, transnational perspective, which my engagement with the ICE project has fed into.'
e) Sarah Turner (York): 'I developed a number of BA and MA courses that drew on ICE themes. These included 'Global Encounters: Art, Visual Culture and the British Empire, ca. 1850-1950' (BA). I also attracted several PhD students keen to work on ICE-related projects [she lists 5].' In her current role as Deputy Director of Research at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, she has developed a new MA module at the Courtauld Institute of Art, entitled 'Making the Modern: Art and Visual Culture in Britain 1890-1970', that draws on ICE themes.
f) Daniel Laqua (Northumbria): 'Involvement in the network has motivated me to further develop my teaching on internationalism, as reflected in my third-year module 'Internationalism and Political Activism.'
g) Christopher Reed (Penn State, USA): 'I have developed several classes treating the dispersion of Japanese aesthetics in the West, including a seminar at the Courtauld Institute on Japanism in the USA.'
h) Leonard Bell (Aukland, NZ): 'ICE has informed my teaching both indirectly and directly at both undergraduate and graduate levels.'
i) Lene Ostermark Johansen (Copenhagen): 'I am more frequently addressing issues of cosmopolitanism in my teaching than I was prior to my involvement with the ICE network.'
j) Marta Filipova (Birmingham): 'ICE has influenced several sessions on the history of exhibition sites and on regional modernity.'
k) We would also note that several members of the network who joined as PhD students have reported that the workshops helped them to develop their research ideas and bring their theses to completion (eg. Jasmine Allen, Louise Hardiman, Helena Capkova).
Exploitation Route The findings of our research network, disseminated through publications, the website, and conference papers and discussions, could be taken forward by:

1) Museums and galleries: curators played a prominent part in our discussions, and three of our colloquia were hosted by galleries. ICE has already had an impact on exhibitions, both realized and forthcoming. Further details are given under 'Narrative Impact'.

2) University lecturers in the design of courses and curricula, as reported in 'Key Findings' above. Such changes are likely to have a further effect on school education and extra-mural courses.

3) The diplomatic service: the network explored examples of 'cultural diplomacy' which suggest a precedent for the uses of the arts in international relations in the present day. For example, in October 2014 network partner Daniel Laqua held the launch for his book 'The Age of Internationalism and Belgium' at the Belgian Embassy in London. The event was attended by diplomats and members of the Anglo-Belgian society, as well as academics including several ICE network members. Likewise, Christopher Reed (Penn State, USA), explores and advocates the practice of cultural diplomacy in his essay for the exhibition catalogue 'JapanAmerica' (due 2016).
Sectors Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy
URL https://iceresearchnetwork.wordpress.com/
 
Description Impact on museums and galleries, reported by curators who have participated in the ICE network, includes: 1) Two exhibitions reported by Alison Smith (Tate Britain): 'Artist and Empire', Tate Britain (25 November 2015 - 10 April 2016), and 'Burne-Jones and International Symbolism' (Tate Britain, autumn 2018) 2) David Jackson (University of Leeds) reports three exhibitions: 'Baltic Reflections: The Era of the Baltic Exhibition, 1914' (Malmo Konstmuseum, 2014), 'C.W. Eckersberg (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Scottish National Gallery Edinburgh, 2015-16), and 'The European Romantic Landscape (Groninger Museum, Netherlands, 2016-17). 3) Sharon Hecker (independent scholar, Milan): 'Medardo Rosso: Bambino Ebreo' (Peter Freeman, Inc., New York, 5 June - 25 July 2014). Dr Hecker notes that: 'My research included an in-depth examination of Rosso's cosmopolitan collectors around Europe, many of whom were brought to my attention thanks to the ICE conferences.' The exhibition was accompanied by an International Study Day at Peter Freeman; a Scholars' Symposium at the Center for Italian Modern Art, NY; and a Roundtable Discussion at the Yale Center for British Art. 4) Francis Fowle (Senior Curator of French art at the Scottish National Gallery): 'Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910' (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, 2012-13). Dr Fowle notes that 'the workshop certainly helped me to think about defining 'symbolism', as well as more imaginative ways in which we could present the exhibition and in the end we used touch-screen iPads, with links to music and poetry that the audience could listen to while looking at the paintings.' Here, she picks up on a discussion about interdisciplinarity that ran through the network. 5) Anne Leonard (Smart Museum of Art, Chicago): 'Nineteenth-Century Prints at the Smart Museum' (Spring 2014). 6) Meaghan Clarke (University of Sussex): 'Spirit of Adventure: The Beales' World Tour 1906-7' (Standen House, Sussex, 2014) 7) Sarah Victoria Turner (Paul Mellon Centre): 'Pioneering Spirit: Maud MacCarthy - Mysticism, Music and Modernity' (Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, 7 February - 7 May 2014) The impact of the ICE Peter Lang book series is evidenced by this online review of Andrzej Szczerski's book publication *Views of Albion*, the first in the series: http://letteraturaartistica.blogspot.it/2016/02/andrzej-szczerski9.html
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural
 
Description Collaborative Doctoral Award
Amount £68,648 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/P004091/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description International Networking
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 07/2012 
End 12/2015
 
Description Research Support Grant
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 06/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description Ashby - revivals network 
Organisation Ateneum Art Museum
Country Finland, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The work was done by a network partner.
Collaborator Contribution Charlotte Ashby (ICE network member) has joined a research network entitled 'Revivals'. She notes that: 'my paper, 'The Home as a Work of Art', given at the Revivals Conference in Oslo, October 2014, drew on my ICE research and the connection between the two groups has been very fruitful.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2013
 
Description Brockington - Sites for Cultural Relations 
Organisation Queen's University of Belfast
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Brockington has been invited to participate in a new research network entitled 'Sites for Cultural Relations: An Examination of International Arts and Cultural Exchanges'. She has been asked to speak about the ICE network at a conference taking place in Kunzelsau, Germany, in Jan 2017.
Collaborator Contribution n/a
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description Johansen - Writing 1900 network 
Organisation Writing 1900
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The work was done by a network member.
Collaborator Contribution Lene Ostermark Johansen (ICE network member) has joined another research network entitled 'Writing 1900', jointly organized by Stefano Evangelista (Oxford University) and Gesa Steadman (Humboldt University, Berlin). The network focuses on European cosmopolitanism at the fin de siècle and meets once or twice a year.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2012
 
Description Laqua - Social Reform network 
Organisation Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Country Netherlands, Kingdom of the 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The work was done by a network partner.
Collaborator Contribution Daniel Laqua is a partner on the international research network 'The Transnational Dynamics of Social Reform.'
Impact n/a
Start Year 2014
 
Description Smith - KCL collaboration 
Organisation King's College London (KCL)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution N/A - the work was done by a network partner.
Collaborator Contribution Alison Smith (Tate Britain) is collaborating with the Cultural Institute at KCL on a project entitled 'Curating in London in a Transnational Context'.
Impact pending
Start Year 2013
 
Description Turner - South Asian Arts Group 
Organisation University of East Anglia
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The work was done by the Co-I on the project.
Collaborator Contribution Sarah Victoria Turner (ICE Co-I) and Daniel Rycroft (UEA) founded the South Asian Arts Group (SAAG). The first meeting took place at the Sainsbury Institute of Art, UEA (12 November 2012).
Impact pending
Start Year 2012
 
Description Laqua - Embassy lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Daniel Laqua gave a lecture at the Residence of the Ambassador of Belgium in London, entitled 'Cooperation in an Age of Conflict: Belgium, the Great War and the Quest for Peace'. He notes that 'the topic was directly linked to the themes of the ICE network.' The audience consisted of diplomats and members of the Anglo-Belgian Society, as well as academics.

n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://nuhistam.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/daniel-laqua-on-internationalism-in.html
 
Description Thomas, Birkbeck lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and spread information about a forthcoming exhibition at Tate Britain, and the curatorial issues involved.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Wardhaugh - schools study day, Warwick 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr Jessica Wardhaugh (University of Warwick) held a schools study day that drew on her research into royalist cosmopolitanism. This research had been presented at an ICE workshop in 2013, and will be the subject of her chapter in the ICE edited collection *Imagined Cosmopoleis* (listed under publications).

n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014