Revisiting the Region

A Debate on Art History in Eastern Europe

  • Katja Bernhardt (Autor/in)
  • Robert Born (Autor/in)
  • Antje Kempe (Autor/in)
  • Mathilde Arnoux (Autor/in)
  • Anna Baumgartner (Autor/in)
  • Tomasz Grusiecki (Autor/in)


It was twelve years ago that the section Ostblick of was founded. With our contribution to the issue on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of, we pick up the thread we laid with our first issue of Ostblick. That is, we return to the question of to what extent and from what standpoint can a history of the art of Eastern Europe be understood and related to the broader context of art history. For this we invited Anna Baumgartner (Munich), Mathilde Arnoux (Paris) and Tomasz Grusiecki (Boise) for a roundtable discussion in October 2021 - three colleagues who approach research on the art history of Eastern Europe from different perspectives, in terms of their research interests but also their origins and connections to different research communities. Five months after our roundtable, Russia opened its war against Ukraine. When trying to establish contacts with colleagues in Ukraine in the days and weeks that followed, we were realizing how little the history of art in Ukraine, and likewise Ukrainian art historiography, had been integrated into our research in general and into the publications of Ostblick in particular. An observation we reflect on in a foreword, and that once again underlines the need to become aware of and revisit the conceptual presuppositions, epistemological conditionality, and theoretical frameworks of the study of the art of Eastern Europe.