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Seminar BA2 Visual Arts: Dutch Sculpture in an International Perspective


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History. Also: succesfull completion of first year seminar Academic Skills II (Art History) or comparable course.


The seminar aims to promote academic research about modern and contemporary international sculpture and its historiography, viewed as a cultural product anchored in society and closely related to other forms of visual art. Teaching and research will focus on placing the historiography of modern and contemporary sculpture in the Netherlands in an international perspective.

This seminar is the second in an interdisciplinary research project of 5 years that will result in an exhibition in the Beelden aan Zee Museum and a publication. The main goal is to write the history of a century of modern Dutch sculpture in an international perspective. The second window focusses on our colonial past.

The colonial empire. The Dutch merchant fleet brought exotic spoils back to the mother country, where they ended up in museum collections studied by students of academies and schools of arts and crafts. Established artists also pored over this booty and were re-energized at the sight of so much authentic, expressive power and marvellous handiwork. This heralded the downfall of academic instruction and emancipated the applied arts into fully fledged media of visual art. The assumption that this apparently ‘non-Western’ art formed the basis of almost all ‘-isms’ - from the modernism that flourished in the years preceding the First World War and revived again after 1945 in movements like CoBrA, has been argued frequently. But there is no coherent study into the truth of this statement in connection with modern sculpture in the Netherlands. Nowadays, colonial monuments have become the focus of political correct movements who want to get rid of the glorification of our colonial past. At the same time, artists from our former colonies in East (Dutch Indies) and West (Dutch Antilles and Suriname) (i.e. Tirzo Martha, Remy Jungerman) are a part of the international world of modern art and the former mother country seems to be of little concern to them. In these new breeding grounds of world art, artists disagree with each other on how to deal with the colonial past: deal with it once and for all, or disregard it.

In this course, all students develop case studies, addressing these kinds of questions.
Literature study is combined with lectures by invited sculptors; students should expect to present their case in class (e.q. in a Pecha Kucha presentation); to prepare a lecture discussion in connection with visiting artists; to write some text and to discuss each other’s work. A prepared visit to an exhibition or an artist’s studio is included in the course. A lot of discussion is encouraged. The focus is on modern sculpture, with occasional older examples.

Course objectives


  • Students learn to know developments, in contemporary examples as well as historical examples, in the use of materials connected with the meaning of a sculpture;

  • Students learn to know the political history of (Dutch) colonialism;

  • Students learn to know the sculptor’s role as an autonomous artist;

  • Students learn to know the sculptor’s role as an artist working on a commissioned monumental / public work;

  • Students learn to know the tension between authenticity, concept, material, technique, which translates in a sculpture and its form;

  • Students learn to know the recent, international discussion concerning debatable public monuments.


  • Students acquire skills to present a case, or part of a case in a pecha kucha presentation;

  • Students acquire skills to present a case in a traditional presentation, or discussion, in class;

  • Students acquire skills to prepare questions and a discussion in class, and to do the actual discussion itself with a visiting sculptor;

  • Students acquire skills to write decent critical or historical texts;


Please note: for the final schedule refer to Collegeroosters / Timetable BA Art History on the Art History website.

The seminar meetings will take place at the Bibliotheek Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen. More information will be made available through blackboard.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Research

  • Excursion

Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of one seminar, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the BA Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course. See also the Course and Examination Regulations

Course load

Course load summary: 10 ects (280 hrs)

  • 26 hours: Lectures/ classes

  • 70 hours: Study of compulsory literature

  • 124 hours: Assignment(s), two papers

  • 60 hours: Other components, one Pecha Kucha introductory presentation (6,40 min.); one during the excursion (15 min.)

280 hrs

Assessment method


  • Two papers, 1500 and 2500 (bibliographical essay) words max. (notes excluded)

  • Two small presentations

  • Literature exam


  • Two papers (40%)

  • Two small presentations (20%)

  • Literature exam (40%)

Compensation: The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for the final examination (or the main assignment) must be at least 6.0 at (= a pass). The mark for all other constituent examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). However, it is possible to compensate for one constituent examination a 5.0 (but not a mark lower than 5.0) with the grade of another constituent examination which has the same weight in the average as the constituent examination it compensates.

Resit: A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Exam review:


  • Please note that if you do not hand in your essay before the first deadline, your essay will be considered as the resit.

  • For the time tables exams 2018-2019 see;

Exam review: How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.


Blackboard is used for this course

  • communication

  • assignments

  • more information

Reading list

  • P. Curtis, Sculpture 1900-1940, Oxford 1999.

  • A. Causey, Sculpture since 1945, Oxford 1998.

  • J. Teeuwisse, Dutch Sculpture. An Apologia, Zwolle 2014

  • Specific literature on the subject (The Colonial Empire) will follow


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



Prof. dr. J.B.J. (Jan) Teeuwisse Drs. B.J.M. (Dick) van Broekhuizen (PhD Candidate 19th century sculpture, Curator of museum Beelden aan Zee & Sculptuur Instituut)


Official course information is communicated in Blackboard.