Minutes of the CIHA General Assembly

Due to pandemic crisis of 2020/21, the CIHA General Assembly could not have been held as planned. Therefore, an online meeting was held on September 3, 2021 at 11:00 pm and ended on September 4th at 1:00 am (European Central Time).

Minutes of the CIHA General Assembly


Brussels, September 28th

Due to pandemic crisis of 2020/21, the CIHA General Assembly could not have been held as planned. Therefore, an online meeting was held on September 3, 2021 at 11:00 pm and ended on September 4th at 1:00 am (European Central Time).

- 10:45-11:00 pm : Meeting on-boarding

- 11:00-11:15 : General greeting and report on the CIHA activities and prospects by LaoZhu (President)

Last five years, Jean-Marie, Tristan and I have worked closely for CIHA together. Jean-Marie and Tristan will have a report on membership and financial issues respectively. Now I will give a report on our work. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been confronted with great difficulties that people have never encountered globally and historically. Unusual effort was made by our colleagues. Particularly, we look forward to our Italian and Brazilian colleagues’ work for the CIHA World Congresses. We have promoted some projects since the beginning of taking office in 2016.

1. The website

The official website of CIHA has been established for the CIHA 2016 (http://www.ciha2016.org/). We hope that news on Art and Art History, new materials, new methods, and new research of every country can reach art historians everywhere. With the website, we can strengthen two aspects of our work. Firstly, our activities and publications will be updated daily or weekly. Secondly, we could establish links with various countries. Not only should we have a connection with related websites of these countries, but also link art historical activities in these countries. In this way, news and situations in our member countries will be reflected on the website and will be known by colleagues in other countries in a timely manner.

Since January 2021, the World Arthistory Institute at Shanghai International Studies University has managed the CIHA official website (ciha.org) as the operating team. Its main task is to keep the information of member countries up to date as well as publish important news related to CIHA. It aims to present the latest development of art history researches all around the world and promote the exchange and collaboration between member countries. To update their own page, member countries can directly send an E-mail with their requirements to the operating team (wai@shisu.edu.cn). Once the team receives the information, they will normally update the website within 24 hours. In the past few months, the operating team has updated the information of 10 member committees, including Brazil, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. Meanwhile, the operating team has also published latest news related to CIHA on the home page, such as: Call For Contribution for the CIHA Journal, CIHA São Paulo “Motion: Migrations”, New Year’s Greeting from the president LaoZhu. Currently, the operating team is also working with the team of the 36th World Congress of Art History to publish relative information on the CIHA website.

E-Journal CIHA website may be transformed into a platform in a way that it not only releases information one-way but also publishes research papers which may receive feedbacks online. The website will thus become a part of the CIHA journal and its extension. It will be updated regularly and frequently. The capacity of the publication online will be larger than that of on paper. In the future the papers could even be first published online and further published on paper.

CIHA E-Journal plans to adopt Preprint for art history scholars from various countries to release research papers that have not been published yet in official publications, with all copyright reserved by the author. This proposal was made in 2016 and the Design — the preliminary plan was submitted for discussion in Florence Board-Meeting in 2019. Since the members were inconsistent, the working method is still in the trial stage.(see appendix )

2. publication

The project of resuming CIHA journal was firstly proposed in 2010. The decision was made in 2017 for that the journal would represent a special viewpoint of CIHA. Different perspectives and methods from different cultures will be considered into the research, criticism, and propulsion. In the past years, my colleagues and I have considered how to run the journal with a new method. Focusing on the growth of knowledge, we have done many experiments. The latest CIHA journal develops from the old one the Bulletin of CIHA, which was first published in 18731 and phased out in 1970s. During the Board Meeting in 2017, 2018 and 2019, republishing the CIHA journal has been discussed and finally approved. The new CIHA journal is mainly organized by CIHA and the World Arthistory Institute (WAI) at Shanghai International Studies University assists the organizing and editing work. The journal will be published one volume every year, with each volume naming and targeting a perspective that triggers certain terms as concepts and as paradigms. The editorial team consists of Academic and Administrative (Treasure) Secretaries, the ex-Secretaries of CIHA, as well as a rotating chief editor, who is professional regarding relative volume themes. The first volume this year is named Terms of Engagement and edited by Prof. Thierry Dufrêne and Prof. Peter J. Schneemann. The editorial team has already received some nice pieces and around 10 essays will be selected. Professional proofreaders are checking all the papers now. Once the editorial team agrees the quality is good enough, the paper will be handed over to the WAI to start the editing process. Then they will be officially published by the Commercial Press, which is the most powerful and influential publishing house with the longest history in China. The whole editing process will last about three to four months and by the end of this year, the first volume will be estimated to be published.

3. Civil Aesthetic Education

We hope CIHA would establish a common program. For example, we can set art history online courses. Hence we are planning on a project, titled “Best for Everyone”. It will invite eminent scholars to give a ten-minute-long lecture in their mother tongue, on topics or works that fit with their expertise. Subtitles will then be added to the lecture in different languages. The next step is to upload the lecture on the internet, so that scholars around the world can have access to it.

The project is currently blocked because of the pandemic, we hope to continue it in the future!

4. Common database

Since CIHA is an academic association, I hope we can set a common database. Actually, we continue following the direction opened up by the old generations of scholars and advancing database in CIHA. However, recently, this aspect has become more and more obvious. The network links between some regions, some languages and some topics have been basically completed, and this pandemic has in turn promoted the active motivation and technology in sharing remotely at this point.

CIHA is dedicating and creating a more complete, comprehensive, connected entire database system within the scope of CIHA, which would enable art historians and others from various countries to know new findings and discoveries in the world, including new achievements on traditional research. Many museums have already contributed to the development of similar databases or shared knowledge systems. How to further the cooperation between various countries, cultures, and systems could be considered by CIHA. We may try to use blockchain to share image databases between museums, libraries and archives around the world. Compared with the traditional approach of making all institutions using the same data model for databases interconnecting and unified searching, the blockchain-based approach may be more lightweight. For example, only the catalogs and metadata of the collections would be recorded in the blockchain, while the database of each institution or person could be used as a node in a distributed data storage for images. Each file transmission record would be kept in a distributed ledger that cannot be modified by a single participant, and thus copyrighted data could be circulated or even traded under certain agreements peer-to-peer without any third party. Therefore, using blockchain-based approach, copyrighted data sharing between different institutions or persons might become possible. Any individual who wants to share image data could also use this platform for sharing. Data could be circulated between museums, libraries, archives and individuals.

I believe our hope will be realized in the future !

Vote on the next presidency: Marzia Faietti (Sept. 2021-Feb. 2023) and then Claudia Mattos (March 2023-July 2024)

--> unanimously approved

Vote on the inclusion of LaoZhu as an Associate Member of the Board for the 2021- 2024 term (and exit of Gerhard Wolf)

--> unanimously approved


- 11:15-11:25 : Short report on the CIHA scientific activities since the Tokyo General Assembly by Jean-Marie Guillouët (Scientific Secretary)

This report should be short as everyone surely understand that the CIHA's activity has been drastically reduced due to the exceptional situation we all have been through.

Reduced but not suppressed though, because JMG want to begin by recalling here that, before the surge of the pandemic, several important scientific events took place which clearly are indications of the vitality of our international dialogue.

The first of these events was held in India, in New Delhi, in November 2018. It was organized at the National Museum Institute by Anupa Pande and Savita Kumari on the general theme "Art, design and society. Global perspective".

It’s important to highlight this event as it marked the arrival of the Indian committee among us and, therefore, it shows how the CIHA has chosen to broaden its political, geographical and cultural horizons during the past years. And that why this symposium must be seen as a milestone in the history of the discipline in this region of the world. We are grateful to Anupa, Savita and to our Indian colleagues for this event. The proceedings of this conference have just been published and contains fifteen different chapters dealing with related themes such as feminist perspectives or the question of the utility or frivolity of design.

A second event has been held in March 2019 in Tokyo. It was organized by the Japanese Committee of the CIHA. It was hosted by the National Museum and focused on the most recent and current issues in museography in Asia, in a global perspective. It was entitled : « Toward the Future: Museums and Art History in East Asia ». For this wonderfull event which let us with so much to think about, we have to deeply thank our Japanese colleagues and members of the CIHA. Especially, our estimed colleagues Shigetoshi Osano and his successor Atsushi Miura. The proceedings of these very rich meetings are available on-line and we have to thank our estimed colleagues for going through the difficulties of a quick publication. JMG thanks again them deeply for this and for contributing so usefully to the international discussion of our discipline of Art History.

Thirdly, JMG mentions the two parts of the 35th Congress, scheduled in Florence and São Paulo. As you all know, the Florentine part has been held in September 2019, but the pandemic has prevented the Brazilian part from being held, for the moment. Marzia Faietti and Claudia Mattos will present the situation but JMG just wanted to take this opportunity to deeply thank them for the considerable amount of work they have done to face all these difficulties. We all admire their investment in this endeavour and the General Assembly unanimously aknowledges the importance of their work.

Finally, JMG highlights the fact that this General Assembly is going to formallly welcome new National Committees. That is to say, new committees recently formed or ancient committees who had left the CIHA years ago. The CIHA is very pleased with these incoming National Committees joining in : Portugal, Sweden, Georgia, Finland. There is no better way to say how we hope that CIHA continues to welcome curators and art historians from various cultures and academic traditions from all around the world.

And we hope to live up to this ambition despite the difficulties and obstacles we have to overcome, like we do today, to get together, to talk together.

Vote on the Scientific Secretary for the 2021-2024 term

--> unanimously approved


- 11:25-11:30 : Financial report by Tristan Weddigen (Treas.) and welcome of his successor Marie Theres Stauffer

Our treasurer, Tristan Weddigen, delivers the financial report for 2020 (attached to this message) and asks for the discharge of the General Assembly.

Vote and quitus on the financial report

--> unanimously approved on both issues, Marie Theres Stauffer is now the CIHA treasurer


- 11:30-11:35 : Report on the first part of the 35th Congress in Florence by Marzia Faietti (2019, September, 1-6)

Two years have passed almost exactly since Florentine section of the 35th CIHA Congress took place (Florence, 1-6 September 2019) and MF first wanted to thank the International Board for its attentive and friendly presence before and during the Congress. She subsequently updated on the progress of the publication of the two volumes which make up the Proceedings. According to the publishing house, Bononia University Press, both the two printed books and their electronic version will be ready by the end of October. The books come out thanks to the financial support of the Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia). With the help of a power point M F finally showed a few pages of both volumes.


- 11:35-11:40 : Update on the coming second part of the 35th Congress in São Paulo by Claudia Mattos (2022, January, 17-25)

The 35th CIHA World Congress Motion: Migrations will be held between the 17th and 21st of January, 2022 in hybrid format due to the continuing threat of the covid-19 pandemic. In this new format, we will bring 150 in-person participants, focusing mainly on young scholars (including those financed by The Getty Foundation), chairs and other participants who already have secured funding. The remaining participants will participate remotely through a platform that is being developed specifically for our event. Due to the pandemic, we will not be able to organize the after-congress travel programs we have planned. However, we will still try to organize small group visits to museums.

- 11:40-11:45: Presentation of the next Congress in Lyon by Laurent Baridon (2024, June, 23-27)

36th CIHA Congress in Lyon, 2024, June 23-28
The topic chosen for the CIHA 2024 in Lyon is "Matter - Materiality". You may find a presentation of this theme and the different possible axes on the CFHA website that we invite you to explore: https://cfha-web.fr/ciha-congres-lyon-2024/<https://cfha-web.fr/ciha- congres-lyon-2024/>

The organizing team will be assisted by a steering committee, an organizing committee, and a scientific committee with well-defined specific roles. The three committees are currently being set up. Invitations have been issued for the scientific committee and the organizers will soon be able to announce its composition. Some important dates for the scientific organization calendar:

The scientific committee will work from the beginning of 2022.
Calls for sessions will be launched in October 2022.
Session chairs will be appointed in February 2023.
Calls for papers will be issued in April 2023.
The selection of papers will take place in September 2023
The final program will be published in November 2023.


- 11:45-11:55 : Discussion

- 11:55-00:10 Short presentation of the National Committees:
The information regarding these committees can be checked on the CIHA Website
A representative of each country presents briefly the National Committee that joins the CIHA :

1. Portugal
APHA was founded in 1989, with the purpose of promoting the scientific preparation of its associates and the awareness of the population to the cultural and artistic values of our heritage. The will to affirm Art History as a branch of knowledge mobilized, then, a group of professors from the most important Universities in Portugal, who was fully representative of the discipline at the time.
Currently, APHA has about 700 (seven hundred) associates registered, among students from the three cycles of education, BA, MA, PhD and Post-Doc researchers, renowned academics and professionals from different areas of culture and heritage.
In order to promote the practice and visibility of the discipline, APHA will be committed to develop the historical and methodological study of artistic activities and productions; to ensure permanent links between art historians of all countries and to stimulate international meetings of art historians. In short, APHA will comply and enforce the statutes of CIHA, an international organisation so relevant and vital to the Art History today. Thank you very much for your attention.

2. Sweden
The Swedish committee has been nominated by the Society for Art Historians, which represents all universities in Sweden that offer higher education in Art History as well as several of the most important Swedish art museums. All in all, the Society for Art Historians, which was founded in 1914, represents 13 institutions in the country. The Society of Art Historians elected associate professor Jessica Sjöholm Skrubbe, senior lecturer at Stockholm University, as titular representative for Sweden and associate professor Martin Olin, director of research at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, and Dr Alexandra Herlitz, senior lecturer at Gothenburg University, as supplementaries. The Swedish committe is delighted to re-join CIHA and looks forward to future.

3. Georgia
Georgian Committee for Art History was founded in May 2020, under the Georgian Civil Code, and in accordance with the Statutes of the International Committee for Art History. The Committee comprises of the representatives of diverse art historical institutions: Dr. Mzia Janjalia, George Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation (the leading Georgian institution in the field), Dr. Nino Gaganidze, Tbilisi State Academy of Art (having the largest art history faculty in the country), and Dr. Ekaterine Kiknadze, Georgian National Museum (holding the largest collections of fine and decorative arts) and Giorgi Papashvili, MA as its executive director. The principal goal of the Committee, operating on a parity basis and without any chairperson, is a "Comprehensive support and promotion of art history and visual studies as essential fields of study of and research into cultural identity, and historical and cultural connections; proper maintenance and adaptation of artistic heritage" (from the Statutes).

4. Finland
Finland is happy to return to CIHA, having dropped out with no intention of doing so, due to a disconnection of communication. The Finnish National Committee consists of Professor of Art History, Tutta Palin, from the University of Turku, as the Titular Member; and Associate Professor of Art History, Marie-Sofie Lundström, from the Åbo Akademi University, as the Supplementary Member. Their nomination has been proposed by the Board of the Society for Art History in Finland, to whom they will report (Associate Professor Lundström is also a member of the Board). The Society for Art History in Finland is the central scientific association in the field in the country, and the Board includes representatives from all four universities where art history is taught as a major subject, as well as from other institutions of art history, including the museum sector.

Vote on the acceptance of the new National Committees

--> unanimously approved

-  00:10-00:20 : National Committees mention the names of new appointed Titular and Supplementary Representatives

General vote on the new Representatives

--> unanimously approved

-  00:20-00:30 : Presentation of the two candidates for the membership at the Board

o  00:30-00:32: Candidate A) Anupa Pande (India)

Prof. (Dr.) Anupa Pande is currently the Head, Department of History of Art and Director and Pro Vice Chancellor of the National Museum Institute (NMI), New Delhi, India. Previously, she has served as Dean and also as the Acting Vice Chancellor of NMI. She has been engaged in research and teaching for nearly four decades. She is a recipient of the Baden- Wurtemburg Fellowship from South Asia Institute, Heidelberg, Germany and was awarded the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Fellowship for Faculty Enrichment Program in Canada. She has published over fifty-five research papers in reputed national and international journals and eighteen books have been authored and edited by her on various aspects of Indian and world Art History and Culture. She is well versed in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali. She holds a diploma in Chinese Language. She has delivered several lectures and attended seminars and conferences in India and abroad.

She has contributed to Indian and World Art History by organizing National and International exhibitions, seminars, conferences, workshops, lectures, projects and publications. An expert of Asian Art, she has coordinated major international seminars on South, South East Asia and Central Asia which resulted in scholarly publications with contributions from across the world. She worked on International projects with Seoul National University, Korea, with Al Farabi Kazhak National University, Kazakhstan and with Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculptures Vietnam. All the projects resulted in publications. She coordinated a major international exhibition and seminar with the National Gallery of Canada and National Museum of India on the Inuit Art of Canada and the Catalogue has been published. She collaborated for international exhibitions and seminars with Netherlands, Spain, Iran and Germany. In 2018, she organized an International colloquium in collaboration with Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA), the Proceedings of which have recently been published in 2021.

She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the renowned International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS), a representative member of the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU) and member of prestigious national bodies such as Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA), Archaeological Survey of India, to mention a few. She is a member of Council of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI). She represents India as a Titular member of CIHA. She is a member of Academic Committee of Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

o 00:32-00:34:CandidateB)PedroLuengo(Spain)

Dr. Prof. Pedro Luengo is presently associate professor of the History of Art Department in the Universidad de Sevilla. The received his PhD in History of Art from this institution, with his work “Intramuros: arquitectura en Manila, 1739-1788”. He has been visiting academic at different international institutions, such as San Agustin Museum (Manila), Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (Mexico), European University Institute (Florence), the King ́s College London, the Oxford University or Sapienza Univeristà di Roma. He has taken part in several international research projects, being the principal investigator of one on Xiyanglou buildings in the Yuanming Yuan Garden in Beijing and one on the architecture of power during the eighteenth century. He has published several papers in journals both national and international. More remarkable is the edition of his books titled “Intramuros: Arquitectura en Manila, 1739-1762” (Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 2012); “Manila, plaza fuerte. Ingenieros militares entre Europa, América y Asia” (Madrid, CSIC-Ministerio de Defensa, 2013) or “The Convents of Manila: Globalized architecture during the Iberian Union” (Quezon City, Ateneo University Press, 2018).

Vote on the new member at the CIHA Board (one vote for A or B or abstention)

--> 17 votes for Anupa Pande and 5 votes for Pedro Luengo Anupa Pande is elected member of the CIHA Board.

- 00:40-00:50 : GA closing address by Marzia Faietti/Claudia Mattos

MF first of all thanks all those, starting from the Board, who believed in the formula of the double presidency of the international CIHA. Precisely the formula of collaboration that goes beyond geographical and political borders will be one of the cardinal principles which both she and Claudia want to inspire the cultural and ethical foundations of their presidency mandate. The challenge is great because it is a question of enhancing the structure divided into states of the CIHA, evidently born from a historical situation derived from organizing principles of the nineteenth century, and at the same time to overcome it according to new working approaches that reflect the historical situation of today. It should be noted that MF have spoken of states and not of nations, wanting to exclude a terminus (nation / nations) that is loaded with meanings and implications that are sometimes dangerous for a true international democratic order. And this above all in light of the danger of the emergence of nationalisms and sovereignties.

The pandemic has profoundly changed our methods of communication, creating models that certainly, in some respects, have intensified and facilitated relationships between people at a distance, but they have devastatedly struck (and hopefully not for a long time yet) the richness and variety of relationships in the presence. As far as possible, with all the necessary precautions, both Marzia and Claudia wish to resume as soon as possible the modality of the encounter in the presence, naturally with a transitory phase, of hybrid encounters. Regardless, the remote connection will continue to be used to intensify CIHA meetings even in a future where travel will be safer and more free. This modality undoubtedly has the advantage of increasing the number of participants in interviews, conferences and seminars, enabling those coming from less rich countries to participate each time and thus reducing the distances between the countries represented in the CIHA. Therefore, among the first initiatives that MF propose to promote will be a series of bilateral meetings with the new and returning Committees (Portugal, Sweden, Georgia, Finland, Israel) to get to know their organizational realities and their projects. Of course it will be MF’s care to meet the French colleagues who are working on the demanding task of organizing the XXXVI CIHA Congress.

On a more general level, it is planned to propose research themes that could unite different countries to create, if possible, multiple cooperations events.

Finally Marzia, together with Claudia, declares that though their presidencies are spread over two distinct periods, it is the intention of both to work from the beginning and until the end of the double presidential term in close collaboration.


Minutes of the meeting written by Jean-Marie Guillouët, Scientific secretary