Travelling Art Histories

Travelling Art Histories

Transregional Networks in Exchange Between Latin America and Europe

Every encounter expands our horizon of experience. For art history, this simple fact has complex consequences. As a field, it has dealt with a transnationally defined subject from the start and yet, on a methodological level, is firmly positioned both linguistically and culturally. As a result of phenomena of mobility and circulation, art history sees itself confronted with major challenges to its own methods and canon. With the “Travelling Art Histories” research project, these will be considered within a framework that is consciously transregional, linking Latin America and Europe. As a space of a permanent exchange of (academic) cultures, in which the diversity of the history of ideas and artistic phenomena can be experienced, the German Center for Art History in Paris offers a fitting point of departure, relevant experiences, as well as strategic networks within and outside of Europe. The initiative is part of a fundamental paradigm shift within the humanities toward focusing on and researching cultures outside of Europe. With its new research focus, the DFK Paris would like to actively participate in this movement and help open the field in an innovative way.

“Travelling Art Histories” was conceived as a mobile research project centered around a series of transregional academies that will be held at different locations throughout Latin America. In critical opposition to a dichotomy of center and periphery, the project was expressly assembled as a network that reflects but does not reproduce hegemonic asymmetries in order to counter a differentiation between (European) actors and (“exotic”) objects of examination from the beginning. The changing locations of the project meetings is intended to insure the incorporation of as many perspectives as possible and to facilitate the shift in viewpoint. The dynamic diagonal format is aimed at contributing to the discussion of the various culturally creative processes, appropriation strategies, translation and comparative modalities from transregional and transcultural perspectives rather than simply describing and comparing artistic tendencies.

See the blog of the project on

Dr. Lena Bader

Dr. Lena Bader

Research Director / Head of German Publications
Phone +33 (0)1 42 60 41 22
Prof. Dr. Thomas Kirchner

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kirchner

Phone +33 (0)1 42 60 67 82


Spaces of Art: Concepts and Impacts In and Outside Latin America

Transregional Academy

The third transregional academy of the DFK Paris entitled “Spaces of Art: Concepts and Impacts In and Outside Latin America” was held from 26th October to 3rd November 2019 in Mexico City. The academy was cooperatively organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin and the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The event belongs to the research focus “Travelling Art Histories. Transregional Networks in Exchange Between Latin America and Europe” and follows its preceding transregional academies with the topics “Modernisms” held in São Paulo 2016 and “Mobility” held in Buenos Aires 2017.

For further information please visit the website of the Transregional Academy “Spaces of Art”.

Round Table “Travelling Art Histories”


Following the transregional academies in São Paulo and Buenos Aires, the DFK Paris hosted a meeting of experts in Paris to discuss further perspectives and opportunities for collaboration within the framework of the “Travelling Art Histories” research focus with an emphasis on Latin America. Organized by Lena Bader and Thomas Kirchner, this two-day workshop brought together international experts in order to provide impulses for future perspectives.

For further information please visit the website of the Round Table “Travelling Art Histories”.

Mobility: Objects, Materials, Concepts, Actors

Transregional Academy

Entitled “Mobility: Objects, Materials, Concepts, Actors” the DFK Paris held its second Transregional Academy in Buenos Aires from 30th september until 8th october. It was cooperatively organised by the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin and the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) and kindly supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art. This event follows the DFK Paris’s first transregional academy with the topic “Modernisms” held in São Paulo in 2016 and belongs to its new research focus on “Travelling Art Histories. Transregional Networks in Exchange Between Latin America and Europe.”

For further information please visit the website of the Transregional Academy “Mobility”.

Modernisms: Concepts, Contexts, Circulations

Transregional Academy

From July 16 through 24, a transregional academy for 20 young researchers and 11 senior scholars took place in São Paulo. The goal of the academy was to facilitate exchange across national and regional borders on concepts and variations of modernisms. To this end, the debates in the Latin American countries were placed alongside those held in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America and situated within a global context. The academy was organized in collaboration with the Forum Transregionale Studien and took place at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp) and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MACUSP); it concluded with an official conference on July 23. Concept: Lena Bader, Jens Baumgarten, and Thomas Kirchner.

For further information and the academic report please visit the website of the Transregional Academy “Modernisms”.


Exotic Images: Art History’s Wanderlust


On June 9 and 10, 2016, a workshop on the topic “Exotic Images: Art History’s Wanderlust,” took place. In keeping with the DFK Paris’s new transregional research focus, the goal was to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue between art history and post colonial studies with regard to discussions of the exotic. Like a common thread, the popularity of the exotic, which persisted in spite of pointed criticism of exoticism, ran through the contributions of the invited international participants as a topical reference point. Beginning with selected case studies, the various discourses were discussed from the perspectives of critical methodology and the history of ideas. Particular emphasis was laid on discussing the extent to which “exotic images,” as a symptom of a gap, point to a desideratum of art history—a question that can indeed be analyzed from a historiographic perspective. At the end of the first day of the workshop, an evening lecture, open to the public, was held by Anne Lafont (INHA): “L’exotisme en régime racial. La norme et l’écart dans l’art des Lumières.” The event was organized and conceived by Lena Bader (DFK Paris) and Merel van Tilburg (Courtauld Institute of Art London).

For further information please visit the website of the workshop “Exotic Images”.


Research Projects

Displaced Images. The Modern Faces of Art

In context of the research focus on “Travelling Art Histories” the research project “Displaced Images. The Modern Faces of Art” was launched and lead by Dr. Lena Bader.

Arts and Migrations in Argentina (1900-1950)

Laura Karp Lugo is researching her project Arts and Migrations in Argentina (1900-1950) as part of the research focus “Traveling Art Histories”.

From Orientalism to Americanism, Parallel Grammars. Pre-Hispanic Motifs in European Ornamental Grammars of the Second Half of the 19th Century

As part of the research focus “Traveling Art Histories”, Elodie Vaudry is researching her project From Orientalism to Americanism, Parallel Grammars. Pre-Hispanic Motifs in European Ornamental Grammars of the Second Half of the 19th Century.

Other related Projects

This notebook is intended to reflect research on the arts and cultures of Latin America, past and present, conducted by researchers at the German Center for Art History (DFK Paris) and by members affiliated with its network. As a continuation of the Transregional Academies organized by the DFK Paris since 2016, this notebook aims to maintain and enrich this international network of researchers interested in the subject, keep them informed, and serve as a space for them to post relevant events, calls for papers, participations, publications, etc.