Attempts to explore and define in more detail, both diachronically and synchronically, relationships and mutual influences between state bodies and art production, communication, education and reception have for decades formed an important part of numerous explorations in various academic disciplines such as art history, history, anthropology, sociology, education etc.

The conference aims to provide insights into the current knowledge and interpretations of these relations from the 18th century to the present day, i.e. from the period in which Europe states went through intense centralization, leading to the growth of their influence on artistic production, public cultural and artistic institutions and education. In all these contexts the term “state” is taken to stand for a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory and the political organization of such a body of people (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Regardless of whether they were monarchies, republics, federations or centralized states, state bodies played an extremely important role in the production of art and in the institutionalization of knowledge, culture and art in all parts of Europe and throughout the aforementioned period. By fabricating its visual identity, commissioning works from artists whom it considered close, and censoring those segments of art production that it judged potentially dangerous to its survival, the state has largely been shaping the art scene in all parts of Europe. Additionally, states’ cultural and educational policies have influenced (and still does) the shaping of knowledge about the arts and teaching content in the field of art (history) on all educational levels.

 The conference therefore welcomes contributions that deal with approaches to interpretation of these phenomena and various topics in the broad field of art history (painting, sculpture, applied arts, graphic design, photography, architecture, urban planning, curricula and study programmes in art history, etc.) but also other humanities disciplines.

The Art and State in Modern Central Europe international conference will take place at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, from 30 June to 3 July 2021. It will be organized within the project “Art and the State in Croatia from the Enlightenment to the Present”, IP-2018-01-9364, funded by the Croatian Sciences Foundation.