Camille Graeser Lectures 2019: Exhibition and Archive Histories

What can archives reveal about an institution’s exhibitions? Its publics? Even art history more broadly? This afternoon-long symposium devoted to exhibition and archive histories takes as its starting point the vast holdings of the Kunsthalle Basel Photo Archive, containing photographic documentation of more than one hundred years of its exhibitions. The gathering of international speakers and specialists on Saturday, November 9, 2019, 2–7 pm, explores several periods in the institution’s history, loosely connected to the exhibition-makers whose visions defined their respective eras at Kunsthalle Basel. But the implications of these lectures stretch far beyond one localized institutional context and serve as illustrative case studies about exhibition histories and archives at large, as well as close art historical readings of several modern art movements.

Program, abstracts, and short biographies (PDF)

Program (entrance is free)

2—2:20 pm Introductions
Elena Filipovic, director of Kunsthalle Basel, in English
Roman Kurzmeyer, board member of the Camille Graeser Stiftung, in German
Sören Schmeling, head of the Photo Archive of Kunsthalle Basel, in German

2:20—3:20 pm
Bruce Altshuler
Keynote lecture, in English: Exhibition History, Institutional Archives, and the Museum

3:20—4:20 pm
Felix Thürlemann
Lecture, in German: Zwei Titel, zwei Kataloge, zwei Ausstellungen: konkrete kunst (1944) in der Kunsthalle Basel als Reprise von konstruktivisten (1937) (Engl. Two Titles, Two Catalogues,
Two Exhibitions: konkrete kunst [1944] as a Reprise of the Kunsthalle Basel Exhibition konstruktivisten [1937])

4:20—4:45 pm
Coffee Break

4:45—5:45 pm
Nora Fiechter
Lecture, in German: Kunst am Puls der Zeit ausstellen. Arnold Rüdlinger und der Abstrakte Expressionismus (Engl. Exhibiting Art at the Pulse of Time. Arnold Rüdlinger and Abstract Expressionism)

5:45—6:45 pm
Adam Szymczyk
Lecture, in English: Für Veränderungen aller Art … Kunsthalle Basel as Open Space

6:45—7 pm Closing remarks
Elena Filipovic, director of Kunsthalle Basel, in English

There will be time for questions after each lecture.


The symposium is given in the context of the Camille Graeser Lectures, named for the Swiss artist Camille Graeser (1892—1980), whose foundation has been among those that have kindly provided support for the digitalization of the Photo Archive of Kunsthalle Basel; in this case it also supports the scholarly research made public through this event.