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'Een machtige veropenbaring der jeugdige Gentsche kunst :' publieke kunst in het kader van de Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling

Jana Wijnsouw (UGent) and Marjan Sterckx (UGent)
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Abstract
The Ghent World Fair, organized in 1913, was a great opportunity for the city to encourage the realization of public art, both on the exhibition grounds as in the city center. Already in 1911, the local press expressed its concern about the assignment of a public commission to two Brussels artists and insisted that the young and talented Ghent sculptors should not be overlooked. Though no traces of a structural, strategic commissioning program were found, the organizing committee lavishly granted this request by almost exclusively selecting Ghent sculptors for the main sculptural assignments, such as Geo Verbanck for the Monument for the Brothers Van Eyck, Aloïs De Beule for The Steed Beyaert, and Jules Van Biesbroeck (jr.) for Beauty, Strength and Wisdom. Moreover, almost all these sculptors were closely associated with members of the organizing committee, for instance belonging to the same guild or committees, or with each other, having shared mutual commissions, teachers, etc. This chapter offers an overview of the public commissions at the Ghent World Fair, and elucidates their organization, representation, reception and fate during and after the Fair. Furthermore, the exterior and interior decorations of most of the exhibition pavilions, including wall paintings, decorative reliefs, etc., are discussed. These commissions for pavilion decorations were often also assigned to local artists, with only a few exceptions. Only the decoration of the pavilions of foreign nations, some smaller commissions, and the casting of the bronzes were executed by city-outsiders. Moreover, local, ‘modern’ artists, such as George Minne, were surpassed for the public art commissions in favour of sculptors with a more academic style, belonging to the same network. Consequently, the international ambitions of the World Fair were mainly substantiated by local, traditional-style sculptors. As was the case for past and future World Fairs, the public art at the Ghent World Fair generated questions about traditionalism and modernity, as well as the balance between local, national and international ambitions and concerns.
Keywords
monumental art, 1913, Ghent, World Fair, public art, networks

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MLA
Wijnsouw, Jana, and Marjan Sterckx. “‘Een Machtige Veropenbaring Der Jeugdige Gentsche Kunst :’ Publieke Kunst in Het Kader Van De Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling.” HANDELINGEN VAN DE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR GESCHIEDENIS EN OUDHEIDKUNDE TE GENT 66 (2012): 205–229. Print.
APA
Wijnsouw, J., & Sterckx, M. (2012). “Een machtige veropenbaring der jeugdige Gentsche kunst :” publieke kunst in het kader van de Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling. HANDELINGEN VAN DE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR GESCHIEDENIS EN OUDHEIDKUNDE TE GENT, 66, 205–229.
Chicago author-date
Wijnsouw, Jana, and Marjan Sterckx. 2012. “‘Een Machtige Veropenbaring Der Jeugdige Gentsche Kunst :’ Publieke Kunst in Het Kader Van De Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling.” Handelingen Van De Maatschappij Voor Geschiedenis En Oudheidkunde Te Gent 66: 205–229.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Wijnsouw, Jana, and Marjan Sterckx. 2012. “‘Een Machtige Veropenbaring Der Jeugdige Gentsche Kunst :’ Publieke Kunst in Het Kader Van De Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling.” Handelingen Van De Maatschappij Voor Geschiedenis En Oudheidkunde Te Gent 66: 205–229.
Vancouver
1.
Wijnsouw J, Sterckx M. “Een machtige veropenbaring der jeugdige Gentsche kunst :” publieke kunst in het kader van de Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling. HANDELINGEN VAN DE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR GESCHIEDENIS EN OUDHEIDKUNDE TE GENT. Academia Press Wetenschappelijke Uitgeverij; 2012;66:205–29.
IEEE
[1]
J. Wijnsouw and M. Sterckx, “‘Een machtige veropenbaring der jeugdige Gentsche kunst :’ publieke kunst in het kader van de Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling,” HANDELINGEN VAN DE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR GESCHIEDENIS EN OUDHEIDKUNDE TE GENT, vol. 66, pp. 205–229, 2012.
@article{3084140,
  abstract     = {The Ghent World Fair, organized in 1913, was a great opportunity for the city to encourage the realization of public art, both on the exhibition grounds as in the city center. Already in 1911, the local press expressed its concern about the assignment of a public commission to two Brussels artists and insisted that the young and talented Ghent sculptors should not be overlooked. Though no traces of a structural, strategic commissioning program were found, the organizing committee lavishly granted this request by almost exclusively selecting Ghent sculptors for the main sculptural assignments, such as Geo Verbanck for the Monument for the Brothers Van Eyck, Aloïs De Beule for The Steed Beyaert, and Jules Van Biesbroeck (jr.) for Beauty, Strength and Wisdom. Moreover, almost all these sculptors were closely associated with members of the organizing committee, for instance belonging to the same guild or committees, or with each other, having shared mutual commissions, teachers, etc.
 This chapter offers an overview of the public commissions at the Ghent World Fair, and elucidates their organization, representation, reception and fate during and after the Fair. Furthermore, the exterior and interior decorations of most of the exhibition pavilions, including wall paintings, decorative reliefs, etc., are discussed. These commissions for pavilion decorations were often also assigned to local artists, with only a few exceptions. Only the decoration of the pavilions of foreign nations, some smaller commissions, and the casting of the bronzes were executed by city-outsiders. Moreover, local, ‘modern’ artists, such as George Minne, were surpassed for the public art commissions in favour of sculptors with a more academic style, belonging to the same network. Consequently, the international ambitions of the World Fair were mainly substantiated by local, traditional-style sculptors. As was the case for past and future World Fairs, the public art at the Ghent World Fair generated questions about traditionalism and modernity, as well as the balance between local, national and international ambitions and concerns.},
  author       = {Wijnsouw, Jana and Sterckx, Marjan},
  issn         = {0774-286X},
  journal      = {HANDELINGEN VAN DE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR GESCHIEDENIS EN OUDHEIDKUNDE TE GENT},
  keywords     = {monumental art,1913,Ghent,World Fair,public art,networks},
  language     = {dut},
  pages        = {205--229},
  publisher    = {Academia Press Wetenschappelijke Uitgeverij},
  title        = {'Een machtige veropenbaring der jeugdige Gentsche kunst :' publieke kunst in het kader van de Gentse Wereldtentoonstelling},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21825/hmgog.v0i0.1097},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2012},
}

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