Appel à communication : « Rudolf von Eitelberger (1817–1885) » (Vienne, 27-29 avril 2017)

EitelbergerRudolf von Eitelberger (1817–1885) A Conference on the Occasion of his Two-Hundredth Birthday (Vienna, 27–29 April 2017) Rudolf von Eitelberger stands at the inception of many institutions and initiatives: he held the first professorship of art history at the University of Vienna (1852); he was the driving force and founding director of the first museum of applied arts outside England (1863), and of the affiliated school of applied art (1867); he inaugurated the Quellenschriften für Kunstgeschichte und Kunsttechnik des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (1871) and, lastly, he was closely associated with early conservation efforts in the Danube Monarchy (Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale). It would be safe to say that Eitelberger occupied a pivotal position at the confluence of art history, the applied arts and cultural policy in Ringstrasse Vienna, and that the impact of his ideas was felt well beyond the Austrian capital. Yet the research on the man and his work is fragmentary. He remains overshadowed by the many publications on the so-called Vienna School of Art History, despite the presence of a substantial literary estate at the Wienbibliothek (

On the occasion of Eitelberger’s two-hundredth birthday, the Department of Art History of the University of Vienna, the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art and the University of Applied Arts Vienna are hosting a conference with the aim of expanding our knowledge of the person, his writings, his institutional and political activities and of the interactions between the areas in which he worked: he established university art history on the basis of objects and sources, he was an important patron of the arts and crafts in the Habsburg Empire, an art critic and cultural commentator and, as an influential figure in the cultural politics of the Danube Monarchy, he was actively involved with major city planning projects. This conference will critically examine Eitelberger’s role as the founder of the three host institutions, his academic contribution to the fledgling discipline of art history and his engagement with the artistic production of his own era. We welcome papers of twenty to thirty minutes, in German or English, dealing with aspects of his work in the following areas (among others):

– Art history between art writing, aesthetics and ancillary historical discipline

– International comparisons of the institutionalisation of art history as a university subject

– Contemporary art (Eitelberger as critic and collector)

– Cultural politics and the art market

– National and international networks on, e.g., art historical research and schools and collections of applied art

The conference is being organised by Eva Kernbauer and Patrick Werkner at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, by Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel at the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art and by Tanja Jenni, Raphael Rosenberg and Julia Rüdiger at the Department of Art History, University of Vienna. Abstracts (max. one page) should be sent to by 19 June 2016. The organisers will endeavour to reimburse travel costs.


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