Call for Papers 2023
Call for Papers – two-day workshop:
Dora Hitz. Fighting with the old for the new
The painter Dora Hitz (1853-1924) was a key figure in the Berlin art scene at the turn of the century. As an “envoy of a new mode of representation and sensibility” (according to W. Dietrich, in: Die Zukunft, 14, 1896), she played a decisive role in Berlin’s development as an international centre of artistic production. Hitz was not only a member of avant-garde groups such as the Vereinigung der XI, but was also one of the founding members of the Berliner Secession, along with Max Liebermann. Additionally, Dora Hitz was part of the international art scene spanning Europe, with stays at the Romanian royal court, in Paris and in Florence shaping her oeuvre and expression. In the aftermath of the First World War and the subsequent economic decline, the artist and her work fell into oblivion. The workshop will explore how this renowned artist could disappear from the discourses of her time. A partial answer may lie in in the stylistic ambivalence which characterizes her work. Her inclination toward subjects with ‘feminine’ connotations, such as mother and child or women in nature, offer further potential insight. Dora Hitz, who may be considered a pioneer of the avant-garde, was only able to break free from the social constraints of her time to a limited extent. In 1925, the journalist Fritz Schotthöfer described the artist as follows:
“Dora Hitz [stood] in the first row of wrestlers who fought with the old for the new […]” (Fritz Schotthöfer: „Dora Hitz“, in: Der Bildereinrahmer und Vergolder, 11.1925, No. 5, 3 February 1925)
The workshop will explore the clash between “old” and “new” in Hitz’s work and consider how this tension influenced the reception of her art.
Workshop contribution may include the following topics:
- Dora Hitz and the Berliner Secession
- Dora Hitz in the extended European context
- Dora Hitz in the mirror of art writing
- the alterity of the female artist
- “Femininity” and “masculinity” as themes in art around 1900
- Gender and space in the work of Hitz
- Florality and landscape around 1900
- the garden as a place of longing or utopia
- representations of mother and child
- stylistic heterogeneity and stylistic pluralism
- new restoration insights
The two-day workshop will take place as part of the public program of the upcoming exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of Hitz’s death in the fall of 2024 at the Liebermann Villa am Wannsee.
The workshop is organized by Prof. Dr. Claudia Blümle, Dorothea Douglas and Rahel Schrohe at the Department of Art and Visual History at HU Berlin in collaboration with Dr Lucy Wasensteiner and Viktoria Krieger, Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee, and Dr. Sabine Meister, Bröhan-Museum.
Rahel Schrohe, PhD student at the Department of Art and Visual History at HU Berlin and curator of the exhibition, is available for all further questions regarding the workshop’s content: firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizational questions may be directed toward Dorothea Douglas: email@example.com.
Participation may take the form of either a thematic lecture or a discussion of works. Each 30-minute presentation will be followed by 45-minutes of discussion.
Please send the working title of your paper as well as an abstract (300 words max.) with your complete contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org as a single PDF document by May 31st 2023.