Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Journal of Art Historiography

The University of Glasgow will be publishing a new open-access journal on art history. The Journal of Art Historiography will have its inaugural issue made available on December 31st.

The journal is being headed by Professor Richard Woodfield, and will be published twice a year. It will include articles examines art historiography in the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

The university is also going to be publishing a book series entitled Glasgow monographs in art historiography.

In an interview with Medievalists.net, Professor Woodfield explains how he got the idea to start this journal: "My interest in art historiography started when I read [Ernst Hans Josef] Gombrich. He asked some fundamental questions about the disciplinary practice of art history. I got to know him and collaborated with him to produce two books, his 'Reflections on the History of Art' and our 'The Essential Gombrich'. Quite early on I became interested in the Vienna School of Art History and Gombrich's own mentors. That resulted in my collaborative books on Riegl, Warburg and 'Gombrich on Art and Psychology'. I have always been interested in working with other scholars but felt that the study of art historiography, which is the study of the nature of art historical writing, was rather marginal to publishers' interests.

"When I retired I became involved with a project on Viennese Art historiography, which failed to get research funding but did result in my being made an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Art History in the University of Glasgow. With the original project failed it occurred to me to set up in publishing myself: if no-one else would promote art historiography then I would. The university's Library, IT and Corporate Communications staff helped me to set up an Open Access (free) ejournal. The Head of the Institute of Art History, Professor Nicholas Pearce, gave me his support to set up a book series, which will be called the 'Glasgow Monographs in Art History'. I was able to persuade a number of distinguished scholars to join my Editorial Advisory Board and their role, in addition to giving me advice, is to look out for promising contributors.

"The scope of the ejournal and book series is very broad but its concept is based on the work of the Viennese art historians, whose activities were rooted in the Imperial Museums and whose subjects included a broad spectrum of objects, well beyond just paintings. They also made very imaginative use of the intellectual materials at their disposal and weren't afraid to dip into psychology, ethnography, linguistics, sociology or whatever. Pretty much like Gombrich himself. Indeed he owed that debt to them."

Professor Woodfield has also made a call for contributors interested in writing articles for the journal. For more information, please see the Journal of Art Historiography website.