This publication documents the symposium Learning from Objects - the Art Academy’s Collections which took place on 21 June 2018 at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts.
The symposium was part of the research project The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ collections - Institution history, art history and learning utility, addressing the question of value and relevance of study collections and academy heritage.
The research project looked at studying how collections of works and study objects of an art academy or an artistic school evolve, through ongoing mutual exchanges between concepts, such as identity production, cultural heritage, and practical learning utility.
The project included comparative studies on how other European art academies with similar backgrounds relate to their collections and cultural heritage. These included the Royal Academy of Arts in London, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, Konstakademien, and Konstfack in Stockholm.
The purpose of the research project was to investigate how collected objects and learning processes at the art schools have played together in the course of the academy’s history. The initial question was how the heritage of the art institution, in general, and the collections, in particular, resonate with modern artistic training. The aim was to test if study collections might still be valid sources of knowledge, and if so, how learning with objects could be explored.
At the symposium the invited speakers shared valuable insights and efforts made at Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, at the academies in Brera and Carrera in Italy, Central Saint Martins and Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Thanks to Marta Frade, Chiara Nenci, Judy Willcocks, and Brendan Cormier for their contributions to the symposium and this publication. Also thanks to the New Carlsberg Foundation for supporting the research, to the Schools of Visual Arts, symposium moderator and Head of Collections at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Rune Frederiksen, and to my colleagues in Denmark and abroad.
The publication is also available in print as issue #14 in the series Visuel Arkivering published by the Schools of Visual Arts.