CONF: Networks, Museums and Collections. Surrealism in the United States, Nov 27-29, 2017

International Conference
Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris
With the Support of the Terra Foundation for American Art
November, 27 – 29, 2017

The conference “Networks, Museums and Collections. Surrealism in the United States” will bring the complex networks that fostered and sustained Surrealism in North America into academic focus. Who – collectors, critics, dealers, galleries, and other types of mediating agents – supported the artists in the Surrealist orbit, in what ways and why? What more can be learned about high profile collectors such as the de Menils in Houston or Peggy Guggenheim in New York? Compared to their peers in Europe, did artists in the United States use similarly spectacular strategies of publicity and mediation? In what networks did the commercial galleries operate, domestically and internationally, and how did they dialogue with museums? Were American artists included in the musealization of Surrealism in American museums as had occurred with the Parisian circle, or were they, on the contrary, excluded from this development? Divided into five sections (I. Private / Public; II. The Making of Surrealism in the US; III. Agents / Artists; IV. Galleries / Dealers; V. American Surrealism), the conference will offer an innovative and lasting contribution to research and scholarship on the history of art in America while focusing specifically on the expansion and reception of Surrealism in the United States. The conference is a key component of the research project “Le surréalisme et l’argent. Galeries, collectionneurs et médiateurs” in cooperation with the labex arts H2H, which explores to what extent the global success of Surrealism in the 20th century was due to the roles and factors played by private collectors, museums, exhibitions, art collectors as well as the commercial strategies of artists.

See also:éalisme-et-l’argent-galeries-collectionneurs-et-médiateurs-971.html

Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte
Hôtel Lully
45, rue des Petits Champs
F-75001 Paris

Academic advisory board:
Julia Drost (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris)
Fabrice Flahutez (Université Paris Nanterre)
Anne Helmreich (College of Fine Arts, Texas Christian University)
Susan Power (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)
Martin Schieder (Universität Leipzig)


Monday, November 27, 2017

14h30    Welcome
Thomas Kirchner (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris)

14h45    Introduction
Julia Drost (DFK Paris)
Anne Helmreich (College of Fine Arts, Texas Christian University)

I. Private / Public
Moderator: Martin Schieder (Universität Leipzig)

15h00    Peggy Guggenheim: Surrealist Collector Extraordinaire
Susan Davidson (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York)

15h45    Collecting Modern Art in Hartford. James Thrall Soby and the Wadsworth Atheneum
Oliver Tostmann (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford)

16.30    On the Same Team: Alexander Iolas and the de Menils
Clare Elliott (The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas)

18.30    Evening lecture
Surrealism and The Museum of Modern Art: “A Serious Affair”
Anne Umland (The Museum of Modern Art, New York)


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

II. The Making of Surrealism in the US
Moderator: Anne Helmreich (College of Fine Arts, Texas Christian University)

10h00    The Museum of Modern Art and the Marketing of Surrealism
Sandra Zalman (University of Houston)

10h45    Towards a New “Human Consciousness”. The Exhibition Adventures in Surrealist Painting during the last four Years at the New School for Social Research of New York, March 1941
Caterina Caputo (University of Florence)

12h00    Bringing the War Front to Stateside Patrons: First Papers of Surrealism and its First Audience
James Housefield (University of California, Davis)

12h45    Surrealistic Socialite. Dalí’s Portrait Exhibition at the Knoedler Galleries in 1943
Martin Schieder (Universität Leipzig)


III. Agents / Artists
Moderator: Julia Drost (DFK Paris)

15h00    La retenue et le calcul. Marcel Duchamp promoteur de son art aux États-Unis
Scarlett Reliquet (Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

15h45    René Magritte in the United States. Between Art and Business
Julie Waseige (Independent Scholar, Brussels)

17h00    Woman House. Louise Bourgeois, the Norlyst Gallery, and Feminist Surrealism in America, 1943–1947
Daniel Belasco (Al Held Foundation, New York)

17h45    Bloodflames 1947: Nicolas Calas’s Eccentric Position
Effie Rentzou (Princeton University)


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

IV. Galleries / Dealers
Moderator: Fabrice Flahutez (Université Paris Nanterre)

10h00    Julien Levy: Progressive Dealer or Dealer of Progressives?
Anne Helmreich (College of Fine Arts, Texas Christian University)

10h45    Surrealism on the Rise: The Copley Galleries and Joseph Cornell in Hollywood
Timea Andrea Lelik (Universiteit Leiden)

12h00    The Galería de Arte Mexicano and Networks of Mexican Surrealism in the United States
Rachel Kaplan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

12h45    Surrealist Intrusion and Disenchantment on Madison Avenue, 1960
Susan Power (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)

V. American Surrealism
Moderator: Susan Power (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)

15h00    Surrealism and the Marketing of Man Ray’s Photographs in America: The Medium, the Message, and the Tastemakers
Wendy Grossman (The Phillips Collection, Washington)

15h45    The Poetics of Surrealist Presentation: Joseph Cornell, Robert Motherwell, and Leo Castelli
Mary Ann Caws (Graduate School, City University of New York)

16h30    D’Arcy Galleries and New York Late Surrealism: Duchamp, Johns, Rauschenberg
Lewis C. Kachur (Kean University of New Jersey)


CONF: Surrealism in the United States (Paris, 27-29 Nov 17). In:, Nov 8, 2017. <>.