The “art of the insane” in 19th century Paris with Laura Gutman, Curator of the Museums of the Second Empire

22 August 2024

kl. 18-19

How did the the view of "creative madness" come to be? Laura Gutman, Curator of the Museums of the Second Empire and the Empress Eugénie at the Chateau de Compiègne, will introduce us to "the art of the insane" and how outsider art evolved with the 19th century medical research.

The links between art and science were particularly nurtured by the popularisation of medical research in the 19th century. A slow distinction between superstition, esotericism and madness was made in Paris thanks to the work of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpêtrière hospital and Dr Auguste Marie at the Villejuif hospital. The "art of the insane" aroused particular curiosity, governed by rules that eluded academic teaching. The artworks produced by psychiatric patients were collected, laying the foundations of the "outsider art". Artistic circles became aware of this research, and measured the porosity between the waking state and the state of creation. In Paris, Nordic artists such as August Strindberg, Edvard Munch and Christian Krogh experimented with this new view of creative madness. In this talk, I propose to trace their links with the Parisian psychiatric circles of their time. 

The evening is included in the entrance fee.

The event is made possible with support from Kulturfonden Sweden and Finland.

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