Max Dvorak: art history and the crisis of modernity

Matthew Rampley

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The work of Max Dvořák has seldom enjoyed the acclaim accorded to that of his Viennese colleague Alois Riegl, or contemporaries such as Aby Warburg and Heinrich Wölfflin. This paper argues for a reconsideration of his work, in which his 'art history as the history of ideas' is seen both as a lens through which Dvořák conducted a sustained commentary on the present, and also as a critique of modernity comparable to the social and economic theories of Ernst Troeltsch, Ferdinand Tönnies, Georg Simmel or Ernst Mach. The article argues that Dvořák's work offers an important example of the numerous intellectual and political tensions at work in the final years of the Habsburg monarchy. As such, the article aims to question the institutional frame within which much art-historical writing is often analysed.Type:
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-237
JournalArt History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003


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