Renaissance and Baroque Art and Visual Culture
Early modern studies have always been an integral part of the research carried out at the Art History Department (est. 1927) at Masaryk University in Brno. This long research continuity is quite remarkable, and perhaps it also bears certain unique characteristics. A number of the Institute graduates have worked at the Institute as well as in other organizations located in Brno and elsewhere (the Moravian Gallery, the Moravian Museum, the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Czech National Heritage Institute, etc.). These scholars have a lot in common and they also share a passion for Renaissance and Baroque art and culture. Most of them have studied with Professor Jiří Kroupa and Professor Lubomír Slavíček, two prominent art historians from this university department (both of them lecturers and heads of the department for many years), who have trained and inspired a large number of students. In other words, this group of scholars does not only share a sincere interest in the same areas of art history, use similar methods and often see the development of art history research in the same way – they also represent a distinguished generation.
Their research interest is now getting an institutional platform. In fact, the idea to create a centre for Renaissance and Baroque studies at the Art History Institute was the brainchild of Professor Kroupa himself, who is beyond any doubt the connecting element of all our efforts. We aim to create an environment that would support art historians focusing on these issues as well as scholars from other related areas of research and provide them with opportunities to meet at various events organized by the Centre. The idea to centralize the research of early modern art and culture in this way is also supported by the fact that there is no such research platform in the Czech Republic yet.
The website of the Centre for Early Modern Studies regularly informs about important and interesting events and activities related to Renaissance and Baroque art and culture. Reports on current, as well as upcoming exhibitions and conferences, new books, interviews with acclaimed scholars and various other news related to art history, present the most interesting events related to research of art and culture in the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
The second aspect is also more open to the general public. We regularly organize lecture series in the Moravian Gallery in Brno, focusing in detail on a variety of topics and presenting the work of the members of the Centre and their invited guests, who both provide fresh perspectives and interpretations of various objects which we now value as works of art. In a similar way, commented tours (visiting Renaissance and Baroque cultural monuments) and other specialized excursions with expert guides are organized – not only for students of the Art History Institute, but for the public as well.
Relevant specialists are also welcome to conferences which are held once every two years at the Art History Institute (Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University), and they can benefit from a number of other research, publishing and editorial activities of the Centre members and associates.