CONF: Collections (The NORDIK Association for Art Historians; online, 25-27 Oct 2022)

Collections are the basis for art history as we know it. Whether in museums or on the pages of treatises, we bring objects and artworks together and ascribe meaning to them. Throughout history, artmaking has been deeply entwined with collecting. Collections give power – over history, over art, over taste, and ultimately over the future. Arguing about and intervening in collections can also be a fight for alternatives and other futures, or a way to right past wrongs. Collections are born from creativity, and they can stifle new creations. Many artworks are collections in themselves and the collection itself can be seen as an artwork. No matter the perspective, collections are deeply bound to art history.

The conference is virtual and signup is free. Organized in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, the University of Copenhagen.

Schedule for NORDIK 2022: COLLECTIONS  (Time in CET)

Tuesday, October 25th
13.00: Opening and Intro
13.15: Keynote: 
Susanna Pettersson, Director of Nationalmuseum, Stockholm: Museums and Society: Being Relevant and Making Change

14.15: Short break

14.30-16.00: Panel Sessions:
The Catalogue Raisonné: Above and Beyond Collections 
(Ane Hejlskov Larsen, Aarhus University, Tove Haugsbø, KODE Art Museum & Composer Homes)
– Catherine Phillips, European University at St Petersburg: “Cataloguing the Collection. Beyond the Hegemony of ‘Big Names'”
– Irene Riihimäki, researcher, Helsinki: “Nordic Art Intelligence Foundation and the Making of the Digital Akseli Gallen-Kallela Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings”
– Sarah Ferrari, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Johan Eriksson, Uppsala University, and Martin Olin, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm: “Italian paintings at the Nationalmuseum: market, musealization, materiality”

Providing Propositions: Collections as Agents in Institutionalising processes of the 20th Century
(Magdalena Holdar, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, and Jessica Sjöholm Skrubbe, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University)
– Agnieszka Pindera, Museum Szutki, Lodz: “The Avant-garde Museum: Museums of Artistic Culture, Kabinett der Abstrakten, Société Anonyme, the a.r. group”
– Pella Myrstener, Södertörn University: “The collectors’ agency in temporary exhibitions in Stockholm and Gothenburg after World War II”
– Laurie Kalb Cosmo, Leiden University: “Collecting Van Gogh and Mondrian and the Making of Modernist Museums in the Netherlands”
– Wylie Schwartz, SUNY Cortland: “Artspotting: Collecting the Ephemeral in 1960s Postwar Art”

Blind Spots: Hidden Narratives and How to Deal With Them 
(Susanna Pettersson, Nationalmusem, Martin Olin, Nationalmuseum)
– Trude Schjelderup Iversen: “The Collective and Collaborative Artwork: How Can a History of Shared Actions be Collected?”
– Jane Pavitt / Johan Deurell: “The Zaha Hadid Foundation”
– Hedvig Mårdh: “Mapping Collections of Patients’ Art”

Not Just Art: Pre-Modern Collections and Collecting 1 
(Charlotta Krispinsson, Department of Art and Visual History, Humboldt University, Berlin, and Ylva Haidenthaller, Art History and Visual Studies, Lund University)
– Lisa Skogh de Zoete: “The Kunstkammer and the Early Modern Consort”
– Mattias Ekman: “Curiosity and Curiosities in Seventeenth-Century Norway. Jens, Ove and Henrik Bjelke as Kunstkammer Agents”
– Greger Sundin: “Philipp Hainhofer as game collector”

Not Just Art: Pre-Modern Collections and Collecting 2 
(Charlotta Krispinsson, Department of Art and Visual History, Humboldt University, Berlin, and Ylva Haidenthaller, Art History and Visual Studies, Lund University)
– Maia Wellington Gahtan: “Early Modern Epitaph Collections”
– Jonas Monié Nordin: “Collecting and Colonisation: The emblematic Sámi as a symbol of the exotic in the seventeenth century”
– Ylva Haidenthaller: “Collecting coins and medals in 17th century Sweden. How and why?”

Wednesday, October 26th
13.00: Panel sessions
Artists’ Books: Networks and Collections 
(Jóhannes Dagsson, Iceland University of the Arts)
– Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir: “Dystopic visions and heterogeneous discourses in the work of Valdís Óskarsdóttir”
– Unnar Örn: “Passing In-Between: On creative printing in Iceland prior to the artists’ book” 
– Jóhannes Dagsson: “Soft surface of the page”

Bringing Collections Home 
(Hanne Hammer Stien, and Stephanie von Spreter, UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
– Camilla Brattland, Associate Professor Trude Fonneland Professor, and Rossella Ragazzi, Associate Professor, The Arctic University Museum, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø: “An Institutional Home for Luohti (Joik)”
– Katrine Rugeldal, PhD Fellow, The Arctic University Museum, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø: “Envisioning a Sámi Dáiddamusea through museological performance and intervention:  the absence, presence, and future possibilities of a Sámi art museum”
– Marina Valle Noronha, PhD Fellow, Aalto University, Helsinki: “Collections and Commons”

New Perspectives on Jewish Art Collecting and Patronage in the Nordic Countries 
(Rasmus Kjærboe, The Hirschsprung Collection)
– Sara Fredfeldt Stadager, The Danish Jewish Museum: “Mitzvah: Jewish charity and the formation of national identity through art”
– Charlotta Nordström, The Hirschsprung Collection: “Jewish Art Collectors in Sweden ca 1870-1930: New Art, New Collecting Practices”
– Alexandra Herlitz, University of Gothenburg: “Jewish Patronage in Göteborg: Cosmopolitanism, Scandinavism and Local Cultural Capital in Sweden’s Jewish Hot-Spot”
– Rebecka Millhagen Adelswärd, Uppsala University: “Collecting a National Canon: Carl Robert Lamm and the Creation of Näsby”

14.30: Short break

14.45: Panel sessions
Passing On Stories – Collective Memories and the Canon 
(Ellen Suneson, Linnaeus University, and Johanna Rosenqvist, Lund University)
– Frida Sandström: “Adrian Piper’s meta-critique of art against its concept”
– Lisa Nyberg: “Teaching for the future as a surprise”

A Future Government Art Collection 
(Nora C. Nerdrum, KORO – Public Art Norway, Ida Højgaard Thjømøe, KORO – Public Art Norway, and Drew Snyder, KORO – Public Art Norway)
A digital round-table discussion with:
– Patrick Amsellem, Director, Statens Konstråd, Sweden
– N’Goné Fall, Independent Art Historian and Curator, France
– Eliza Gluckman, Director, UK Government Art Collection, UK
– Stephanie Stebich, Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA

Curating Identity, Shaping a People 
(Panel Chair: Tonje Haugland Sørensen, University of Bergen)
– Cynthia Osiecki, National Museum, Oslo   
– MaryClaire Pappas, Independent Scholar, Oslo 
– Patricia G. Berman, Wellesley College, US

Architects as Collectors 
(Anna Bortolozzi, Stockholm University, Department of Culture and Aesthetics)
– Linnéa Rollenhagen Tilly: “Carl Johan Cronstedt, collecting tout ce qui concerne l’architecture”
– Erik Törnkvist: “Sigurd Lewerentz’s Italian Journey – an investigative study of a collection of travel photographs”
– Mark Ian Jones: “A Design Historian’s reflection on the Architect as collector or An Architect’s reflection on the Design Historian as collector”

16.15: Keynote 
Jon-Ove Steihaug, Head of department, Exhibition and Collection, Munchmuseet, Oslo: “Keeping the legacy of Edvard Munch alive. Collection display and programming at Munchmuseet in Oslo”

Thursday, October 27th
13.00: Panel sessions

A New Enlightenment? Working to Make Digitised Collections Sustain Democratic Engagement
Roundtable with:
– Matthias Smed Larsen, Wikimedia Danmark
– Jonathan Beck, founder, Scan The World
– Kira Kofoed, Thorvaldsens Museum
– Karin Glasemann, ArkDes
– Merete Sanderhoff, Statens Museum for Kunst

Trash or Treasure. (Institutional) Care for Private Collections 
(Leena Svinhufvud, Deisgn Museum Helsinki, and Beata Labuhn, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design) 
– Kathleen Salomon, The Getty Research Institute: “Treasures from Norberg-Schulz´s Private Book Collection in Los Angeles”
– Sabina Maria Rossau, University of Southern Denmark & Designmuseum Danmark: “The Frohne Collection in Designmuseum Danmark”
– Peder Valle, University of Oslo & Norwegian National Academy of Arts: “Of Iron-Lungs and Jerry-Cans: Curating Mass-Market Design in a 1960s Museum Exhibition”
– Judit Flóra Schuller, Visual artist & doctoral candidate at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture: “Archival Residue: From Private Debris to Public Collection”

Letters From the Archive: Collecting and Researching Artists’ Letters in Art History 1 
(Karen Westphal Eriksen, Independent Scholar)
– Eva-Charlotta Mebius, Ph.D. Research Fellow, University of Upsala: “What can Prince Eugen’s letters from London tell us about Anglo-Nordic cultural relations?”
– Mette Højsgaard, Ph.D., Post doc, University of Copenhagen: “Engaging with artists’ letters and archives from other perspectives”
– Gunhild Borggren, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen: “Tracing Else Alfelt’s travel to Japan through letters”
– Sara Tonni, PhD candidate, University of Trento: “Unveiling collecting practices in the early XIX century Rome through Bertel Thorvaldsen’s correspondence”

Fear of Knowledge: Artists’ Book Collections 1 
(Lejla Mrgan, University of Copenhagen)
– Louis-Antoine Mege, Sorbonne-Université, Paris: “«Bibliotherapy» or the effects of bibliography in the conceptual approach of Art & Language”
– David W. Norman, University of Michigan: “Pia Arke’s Unsettled Archives”
– Diana K. Vonna-Michell, Uppsala University: “Learning by reading and writing – the critic as artist”
– Alberto Pirro, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”: “Sculpted knowledges. The library of John Gibson (1790-1866) and Benjamin Edward Spence (1822-1866)”

14.30: Break

14.45: Panel sessions:
Letters From the Archive: Collecting and Researching Artists’ Letters in Art History 2 
(Karen Westphal Eriksen, Independent Scholar)
– Marika Bogren, Curator, Ph.D. candidate, Uppsala University: “Return to sender – A ‘pen pointing’ project in the letter archive of Tyra Lundgren”
– Hanna-Leena Paloposki, PhD, senior researcher, Finnish National Gallery: “From Close Reading to Metadata and Back: Collecting and Studying Finnish 19th-century Artists’ Letters”
– Yvette Brackman, artist, post doc, National Gallery of Denmark: “Composition in Four Dimensions with Stock”

Fear of knowledge: Artists’ Book Collections 2 
(Lejla Mrgan, University of Copenhagen)
– Paula Stoica, documenta Institut/University of Basel: “Constituting the Self. The Role of Books in Hanne Darboven’s Artistic Practice”
– Anton Pereira Rodriguez and Nikolaas Verstraeten: “Jan Vercruysse (1948 – 2018) and the reader’s wish to write”
– Anthi-Danaé Spathoni, Athens School of Fine Arts: “Reader, collector, creator: Books in Cy Twombly’s artistic practice”

Doing Art History Online 
(Anna Orrghen, Uppsala University, and Anna Dahlgren, Stockholm University)
– Nina Lager Vestberg, Institutt for kunst- og medievitenskap, NTNU: “Source, surrogate, store, and search: significant sites in post-digitized art history”
– Clara Bylund, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University: “A Model of Art: Investigating the Digitized Artwork Through the Online Collection Databases of Nationalmuseum and Thielska Galleriet”
– Eva-Charlotta Mebius, Department of Art History, Uppsala University and University of London: “Identifying a Portrait of the Artist; or, How to Do Things with Online Collections”
– Giada Pellicari, Visual and Media Studies, IULM University, Milan: “Collecting in the digital space: Viewing rooms, Hybrid Art Fairs and the Hypotheses of the birth of a User-Hybrid Fair Model”
– Jan von Bonsdorff, Department of Art History, Uppsala University: “Cultural Competence for AI-based search engines – Optimizing Image Captions, Classificators, and Annotations”

Home is Where the Art is. Critical perspectives on artistic residences in the Nordic Countries 1850–1950 
(Tonje Sørensen, University of Bergen, Tove Haugsbø, KODE Art Museum & Composer Homes)
– Elena Nahlinder, University of Warwick: “A Habitable Whole: Ellen Key’s Strand and the Principles of Artistic Living”
– Charlotte Ashby, University of London: “Nordic Design at Fallingwater: Home-Museum as a cultural manifesto”
– Kesia Eidesen, University of Oslo & KODE: “Workshop: Collectivity and Collaboration at Astruptunet”
– Wylie Schwartz, SUNY Cortland: “The Autonomous Third Element: Asger Jorn’s Theory of Experimental Creativity”

16.15: Keynote
Steven ten Thije, Head of collections, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

17.15: Closing comments
Registration deadline: Oct 23, 2022; registration at:
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