‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Museologists?’ The Herstory of Museology in Poland - academic conference

The herstory of museology in Poland is the topic of an interdisciplinary academic conference that will take place on 8-9 October 2024 at the Royal Łazienki Museum. We invite representatives of various scientific disciplines to participate in a discussion about the role of women in the development of museums. The event is being held under the patronage of ICOM Polska.

With reference to Linda Nochlin’s essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? published in 1971, and once again published in Polish with a commentary in 2023, it is permissible and even fitting to ask other questions of this type in the field of culture. While it is evident that there have been many distinguished female museologists, the role and achievements of women in the development of museology in Poland deserve more attention.

In times of the growing importance and influence of museums, numerous insights pointing to earlier perspectives on women’s activities still resonate. When analysing the goals and evolution of collecting and museology in Poland, one can find the unique contribution of women in the biographies, actions and concepts of many of them. If we follow L. Nochlin’s narrative, it is essential to recall such personalities as Izabella Czartoryska née Fleming, Izabella Działyńska née Czartoryska, Róża Raczyńska, and Magdalena Morska née Dzieduszycka. Equally important are the biographies and achievements of many other women who over the years have built art collections, cared for them, created and managed museums in all fields of their operation, including: archaeology, conservation, safeguarding, storing, making available, exhibiting, curating, popularizing and educating. To date, however, their activities have been insufficiently recognized by history, art and culture. It is therefore appropriate to reflect on the herstory of museology in Poland.

The aim of the interdisciplinary academic conference is to create a platform for the exchange of research, thoughts and concepts on the herstory of Polish museology, taking into account a variety of perspectives and all areas of competence, regardless of the nature of the collections amassed. For discussion we propose, among other things: the following areas of research:
► biographies and experiences of women museum workers;
► achievements of women in various fields of museology;
► female scholars and their insights into the creation and maintenance of museums,
► museology, and the museums themselves;
► feminist perspectives on the creation and maintenance of museums;
► women’s narratives and interpretations.

We look forward to receiving presentations covering various academic disciplines, drawing on a wide range of paradigms and methodological concepts. The presentations of the scholars will be supplemented by a session with talks by female and male students and postgraduate students, who are also encouraged to participate in the conference.

You are invited to send your applications by 15 May 2024 to: muzealniczki@lazienki-krolewskie.pl

Please include your: name and surname, affiliation, title of the paper, abstract (maximum 1,500 characters and spaces), telephone number and e-mail address. We will draw up a list of speakers by 30 June 2024. An agenda and organizational information will be sent out by e-mail.

There is no conference fee. The conference languages are Polish and English. Submissions will not be accepted without confirmation of your acceptance of the GDPR clause – see link below.



Honorary committee of the conference: Dr Grażyna Bastek, Dr Izabela Bukalska, Prof. Dr. Hab. Anna Sylwia Czyż, Dr Maria Gołąb, Barbara Gołębiowska, Jolanta Gumula, Dr Katarzyna Jagodzińska, Joanna Kilian, Dr Marika Kuźmicz, Dr Ewa Leszczyńska, Dr Beata Nessel Łukasik, Dr Agnieszka Morawińska, Dr Magdalena Muskała, Prof. Dr Hab. Luiza Nader, Prof. Dr Hab. Elżbieta Pakszys, Elżbieta Penderecka, Prof. Dr Hab. Maria Poprzęcka, Prof. Dr Hab. Agnieszka Rosales Rodriguez, Prof. Dr Hab. Marta Rakoczy, Prof. Dr Hab. Barbara Wagner, Dr Joanna Wasilewska, Prof. Dr. Hab. Elżbieta Wichrowska.