Art intermediation in the United States since 1945. Concepts, scope, spaces

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3
contact email: 

International conference

April 16 and 17, 2020, University Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

Art intermediation in the United States since 1945.

Concepts, scope, spaces



This symposium will look into art intermediation in the United States in the post WWII period. By art intermediation we mean the intermediation provided by the business world, be it the business of the artist him/herself but also, more generally, the fabric of companies which interact with the art world (artists, galleries, museums).


Intermediation thus means the way in which entities which do not initially have a germane interest or “business” with the arts do come in contact with artistic forms, use them, sometimes divert them from their course, encase them or, at times are, in turn, used or questioned by artistic expressions/forms.


On the one hand, art can be instrumentalized on the job and/or become a vehicle to communicate values and goals that the company wants to convey to its employees. On the other hand, companies have been building corporate art collections in the United States (but not only) and that has turned art also into an object of financial investment and value creation which is, in itself, another occurrence of intermediation.


Then again, artists and their works (painting, photography, sculpture) have been put at the center of power plays and also have become witnesses and actors of critical movements against the nature of the contributions and add-ons of creative industries to the economy, in particular since the beginning of the 21st century in the United States. As both a witness and actor of the porosity between finance and art or the economy and art, creative industries have been an engine and a transformative force of economic growth and American democracy.


Likewise, the growing hybridity of art since the 1950s and the longing of artists to find different spaces of expression and exhibition than traditional museums and galleries led to the search for alternative spaces for the arts, be it in major cities or in deserts and “marginal” spaces in the United States. This led the artists to interact with a greater number of public or private entities (public administration, real estate companies, individual benefactors).


In parallel, disintermediation is also at work thanks to the development of new technologies. They also make it possible to think anew the effects of re-intermediation which was generated by the growing reliance on and presence of digital platforms and search engines which are gradually becoming new distributive channels and are re-inventing the dissemination of knowledge and artistic productions.


We welcome abstracts of 250-300 words with a short biography (5 to 10 lines) and affiliation by November 15, 2019 to,


Keynote speaker


Steve Hoelscher (University of Texas at Austin)


Scientific committee

Laurence Cossu-Beaumont (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, Cervepas/CREW)

Delphine Levy, Musée Picasso, Paris

Monica Manolescu (Université de Strasbourg, EA SEARCH/IUF)

Aaron Shkuda (Princeton University)

Veerle Thielemans (Festival d’histoire de l’art, INHA)

Christine Zumello (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, Cervepas/CREW)


Organizers: Christine Zumello (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, EA CREW), Monica Manolescu (Université de Strasbourg – EA SEARCH/IUF), Laurence Cossu-Beaumont (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, EA CREW)