ACAF-ART: 2016-2018
The research project ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern proposes to constitute and to critically develop a critical and analytical cartography that is valuable for art historians, historians, sociologists, cultural geographers, anthropologists, and other research groups that are interested in art and visual, architectural, urbanistic, and monumental production in the Mediterranean region in the modern age. The project strives to be socially useful for ordering, conserving, and disseminating visual and material memory of a historical period in its proper place locally and globally.

The principal objective of the investigative project ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern is the creation of a analytic, critical, and selective cartography of the visual and monumental context of the political, social, and cultural landscape of the western Mediterranean from the beginning of the 15th through the end of the 18th century, that will:

  • Establish a historic map of direct and/or originating relationships of what has led to the development of Mediterranean artistic production in the modern era and which will allow for the study of to what degree that context affected the creation of a distinct visual landscape both locally and globally. In this sense, local means the geographically peninsular area in which occurred mostly, but not exclusively, the artistic production completed in Catalonia, and by globally, what is meant is the group of territories and cultures impacted by the production centers of the era, fundamentally, but not exclusively, those in Italy.
  • Determine, beginning with the above propositions, questions of social utility that are affected by such a concretization of such a cartography, from questions regarding the study and conservation of artistic and cultural patrimony to the diffusion and reception of artistic works or artistic, visual, and monumental groups.
  • Establish hypotheses, points of departure, attributions and revisions of typological, thematic, stylstic, or authorative groups.

The ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern project seeks to create a framework of international reference that not only has implications in the field of research but also in the particular cycles convergence in European university teaching, as well as on its functionality and social value. This objective contemplates three basic contributions:

  • To establish of an enduring research group that foments cross-curricular and theoretical frameworks of knowledge in the realm of modern art history, and the collaboration in this type of research of universities, museums, and all institutions that have objectives similar to these propositions.
  • To bring continuity to the field of collective and comparative investigation in the area of national and international research, development, and innovation programs to a group of teacher-researchers at the Department of Art History of the University of Barcelona and other universities or other prestigious national and international centers.
  • To train young researchers by promoting participation of bachelor, masters, and doctorate students in the research group’s activities, with the consideration that such collaboration is necessary for the students to get to know the primary sources and initial processes of research and diffusion in the field of art history, the different research methodologies and the resulting intellectual gratification of work in teams.

The production and diffusion of knowledge is the nuclear objective of the ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern project. This goal requires the establishment of instrumental and methodological bases for the creation of a precise cartography of the artistic and visual production in the modern era and of the indicated geographic framework.

The necessary renewal of the methodological bases and the establishment of solid and effective theoretical frameworks require the definition of a research guide that allows for the rational development of critical analysis and the resulting social implications of the study of the sources of modern art.

This critical analysis reveals capacities as much of a historic nature as of artistic and visual character that derive from the analysis of the existing relationships between the arts, visual products and architecture, on one hand, and the political, social, religious, and generally cultural processes in the area of the western Mediterranean in the modern era, on the other. This analysis supposes, besides the multiple monographic implications, the study, among other areas, of the following questions:

  • The length of duration in the western Mediterranean of established models and canons, and the length and manner of penetration, adaptation, and erosion of the new concepts and the new artistic and visual formalizations in the modern era.
  • The geographic and historical identification of the nuclei active in the process of creative renovation and their respective socioeconomic implications.
  • The establishment of the local and international routes of exchange of sources and models, as well as the analysis of their sociopolitical significance.
  • The artistic patronage and level of involvement in the same of the principal political, administrative, and religious institutions.
  • The study of the theoretical and historical sources and visual models from the process of their creation through their diffusion and ultimate reception.

The ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern research project proposes that its researchers be productive and have an impact not only in the academic environment but also in greater society.

In the academic environment, the principal instruments of diffusion of knowledge are the meetings, seminars, and congresses at which the results of the research undertaken will be presented and contrasted with the work of other national or international researchers. The content of such gatherings is published via a process of critical review of the works and presentations and after subsequent edition in pairs.

In this context, fundamental are individual or collective publications in magazines and books with contrasting indicia of quality, as well as the contributions in meetings of significant relevance in the thematic area undertaken by the project. Accordingly, ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern edits the scientific journal Acta/Artis. Estudis d’art modern, whose object is to promote, communicate, and disseminate the research, criticism, and the debate in the area of art, architecture, and visual processes in the modern age, the 15th through the 18th century.

As a medium-term objective, ACAF/ART seeks to create a scientific network of international scope made up of university centers and any other type of organization in existence and in operation that is interested in the study of art in the Mediterranean region in the modern era.

In accordance with the provisions promulgated by the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission, ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern intends that its research activities become known by society in general in such a way that they can be understood by non-specialists such that the public’s appreciation for its artistic and visual heritage is enhanced.

The production of knowledge has no purpose if it is not interwoven with the current social process. The historic, artistic, and visual patrimony, as an specific expression of conceiving and expressing reality at any given moment in history, is not only the memory of the past but also a fundamental element in the process of configuring the present. The ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern project is genuinely dedicated to this aspect of its research and advances this objective by taking the following measures:

  • The creation of a freely accessible database of information of documental, literary, iconic, bibliographic, material types as well as information of any other type and character that is related to the artistic, visual, and monumental heritage of the Mediterranean region in the modern era.
  • Take establish the presence of the project’s objectives, results, and social benefits in social forums and in mediums of communication no matter their format, and to develop an online presence in the medium-term.
  • The free access via its internet webpage to the research project’s developed activities, their progress and concrete advances, above all in relation to publications, congresses, and research seminars.
  • Free access to the meetings, seminars, and congresses at which the results of the project’s research are presented and contrasted with the presentations of domestic or international researchers unaffiliated with the project.
  • The publication of scientific articles for diffusion that are related to the objectives of the ACAF/ART project in magazines and books of wide-release.
  • The open presentation at temporary expositions, conceived and sponsored ad hoc, of the proposals or results of the concrete research derived from the research project and stemming from thematic or historic focal points.

The members of the research project ACAF/ART 4- GEAM Grup d’Estudis d’Art Modern are associated with the following universities and institutions:

Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelona), Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Florence), Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (Roma), Galleria Palatina de Florència (Florència), and finally, the Universität Duisburg-Essen (Essen). The project also includes the collaboration of independent corresponding researchers. Throughout its years of study, teaching, investigation, and diffusion of knowledge, all of these participants have developed, in distinct contexts and with distinct objectives, work related to the fundamental objectives of the project, works of sectorial character compiled in the abbreviated resumes that appear in the section RESEARCHERS.