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Michelle P. Brown

(b Brighton, July 16, 1867; d Kew, May 1, 1962).

English museum curator and collector. He was the son of a coal merchant and in 1884 joined the family firm, where he remained until the end of 1891. He had early on been attracted by the aesthetics and politics of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and had met and assisted such figures as John Ruskin, William Morris and Octavia Hill (1838–1912). His role as secretary to the Kelmscott Press (1892–8) fostered a particular love of books. From 1900 to 1904 he was in partnership with the process-engraver Sir Emery Walker (1851–1933). As a private collector of printed books and manuscripts and as director (1908–37) of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Cockerell was responsible for developing this area of study, as well as other aspects of medieval and Renaissance art. In 1908 he organized the first major exhibition of illuminated manuscripts at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, also editing the catalogue. He subsequently published a number of scholarly works. As both a curator and a collector of manuscripts he did much to influence British bibliophily, ranking alongside the bibliophiles Eric Millar and Henry Yates Thompson (...

Article

Richard Wollheim

(b Freiberg, Moravia [now Příbor, Czech Republic], May 6, 1856; d London, Sept 23, 1939).

Austrian psychoanalyst and collector. After studying at the University of Vienna and working first in histology, then in neurology, he spent the winter of 1885–6 in the clinic of the great French pathologist, Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–93). From Charcot Freud learnt that every hysterical symptom is ideogenic, in other words an idea plays a crucial part in its genesis. The bodily extent of the symptom corresponds not to any neuro-physiological unit but to what the idea denotes, and the symptom may be alleviated through talking out the idea, for example under hypnosis. The pathogenic idea is invariably unconscious, or inaccessible to consciousness. Over the years Freud, while maintaining a clinical practice in Vienna, elaborated and transformed this hypothesis, and out of it psychoanalytic theory emerged.

First, Freud extended the scope of the hypothesis from symptoms to bungled actions, slips of the tongue, dreams, jokes, and eventually the neurosis. Secondly, he recognized that the idea, originally held to be the core of a memory, represented a desire. Thirdly, Freud concluded that the idea was unconscious because the mind had defended itself against something unacceptable. For many years he equated defence with repression but he then admitted other mechanisms of defence, such as projection, introjection, denial and splitting. Fourthly, Freud identified the desires that provoked repression as being, ultimately, infantile and sexual. Having conceded infantile sexuality he gradually worked out an account of psychosexual development, consisting of the oral, anal, phallic and genital stages, complicated by regression. Freud’s theory of the ‘Oedipus complex’, a crucial occurrence in this development, postulated that the child, seeking the undivided sexual attentions of one parent, comes to desire the annihilation of the other, and its ‘dissolution’ through the introjection of the hated, hence feared, parent, led to a greater attention to the structure and internal functioning of the mind. In ...

Article

Anand Krishna

(b Banaras [now Varanasi], Nov 7, 1892; d 1980).

Indian collector and writer. He is best known for his monumental collection of Indian art at the Bharat Kala Bhavan in Varanasi. Every piece reflects his highly developed sense of aesthetics, discriminating taste and in-born connoisseurship. The collection spans a very wide range of Indian art and (mainly Hindi literary) documents, local culture etc. Rai Krishnadasa’s early career was as a Hindi author, but he motivated Moti Chandra, Anand Krishna, N. C. Mehta and others in the study of Indian painting and introduced many of them to Indian art in general. Such art historians as William George Archer and Mildred Archer (see Archer family §(1)) took up laconic statements made in Bharat Ki Chitrakala. Later scholars, such as Stuart Cary Welch, Robert Skelton, Milo C. Beach and Wladimir Zwalf, drew inspiration from him. Rai Krishnadasa was the first to establish that Hamza cloth painting originated under Akbar (...

Article

Nadja Rottner

French critic and philosopher Nicolas Bourriaud adopted the term ‘relational aesthetics’ in the mid-1990s to refer to the work of a selected group of artists, and what he considers their novel approach to a socially conscious art of participation: an art that takes as its content the human relations elicited by the artwork. Its key practitioners, most of them emerging in the 1990s, include Rirkrit Tiravanija , Philippe Parreno (b 1964), Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Maurizio Cattelan, Carsten Höller , and Vanessa Beecroft . For example, Carsten Höller installed Test Site (2006) at the Tate Modern in London so that visitors could enjoy the amusement park thrill of large playground slides in the museum’s Turbine Hall, and bond with fellow viewers over their experience. Bourriaud’s collected writings in Relational Aesthetics (1998, Eng. edn 2002) helped to spark a new wave of interest in participatory art.

While Bourriaud omits acknowledging the historical roots of relational art, Marxist-influenced critiques of the changing conditions of modern life, and arguments for art’s ability to improve man’s relationship with reality have a long history in 20th-century art. Critics Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer were among the first to developed new models for an art of politicized participation in the 1920s. The relational art of the 1990s and early 2000s is a continuation and an extension of traditions of participatory art throughout the 20th century (such as ...