Arts & Societies

Research theme: Humanities | Lives, materialities, representations

Louise Moillon (Paris, 1610-1696), "La Marchande de fruits et légumes", 1630, huile sur toile, 120X165 cm, détail, Musée du Louvre.


Artists were amongst the first to take things seriously: their ability to feed our minds, inspire, make us dreams and act. Social sciences have also drawn the same conclusions, and have long considered these things like agents, worthy of biographies. They should not only be understood as social and political facts, but also artistic, philosophical, literary, poetic…

This seminar acts as a research companion to the exhibition we are currently preparing at the Musée du Louvre, entitled Les choses. Une histoire de la nature morte depuis la préhistoire (12 october 2022-23 january 2023). The talks are published as part of the Lettre du séminaire, accessible in French and English on the website.

Calendar 2021-2022

1. 20/10/2020 | Stéphane Audouin-Rouzeau (École des Hautes études en sciences sociales
"Insignificant things? A mustard pot from the Great War "

2. 17/11/2021 | Anne Labourdette (Musée du Louvre)
"Fitting in: textiles from the Order of the Holy Spirit"

3. 01/12/2021 | Astrid Castres (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
"Beyond the 'run' of fashion: second-hand clothes, mending and recycling in Early-Modern Paris"

4.15/12/2021 | Sophie Cras (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
"Economy in th museum: exhibiting economical knowledge, 19th-21st centuries"

5. 16/02/2022 | Jérémie Koering (Université de Fribourg)
"The cuisine of images"

6. 23/03/2022 | Elvan Zabunyan (Université de Rennes 2)
"Reclaiming his body: gold and socially engaged art"

7. 06/04/2021 | Philippe Sénéchal (Université de Picardie Jules-Verne)
"Stripping remains. Opening princely graves in the Renaissance in search of ancient clothes and jewellery"

8. 20/04/2022 | Katia Sowels (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
"Trajectories of the surrealist object"

Publication of books and seminar proceedings

The seminar proceedings are published in French and English in the Seminar Letter (FR), an online journal with a wide circulation in France and abroad.

Arts & Societies also contributes to the publication of books and particularly original PhD theses, anthologies, and translations of key works in art history by the Presses du Réel.


The Fondation de France actively supports the activities of Arts & Societies, including the seminars, the Letter published in two languages, book publications, and study grants for young researchers.

Olivier Berggruen actively supports the workshop held every year at the Hartung-Bergman Foundation, and the publication of the workshop proceedings in two languages.

Latest issues published

Back to top