Digital Art History Workshop: Jan Zacharias | The Imagination of Touch: Perception, Tactile Experience, and the Development of Art History

4:30 pm | 4/19/2022 | 308A Doe Memorial Library, UC Berkeley | Until 6:00 pm | 4/19/2022

Jan Zacharias Alfred Bader Scholar, Institute of Art History, Charles University, Prague

During its period of development between the 1880s and 1920s, art history often used
terms derived from sensory experience. Many art-historical theories, including those
of Wölfflin, Berenson, Riegl, and Warburg were based on the mutual relation between
touch and sight. Zacharias’ project aims to rediscover the role of touch in the development of
art history. In psychology and philosophy of the period, touch was considered to be
responsible for our experience of the third dimension. Art history adopted this
assumption. The discourse connected with touch therefore became crucial in the
further evolution of the critical terms and theories of the discipline.

Jan Zacharias,  has studied art history in Prague, Madrid, Konstanz, Saint Petersburg,
Fribourg, and Vienna. He received MA in History of Art from the Charles University
in Prague in 2016. From 2016 till 2018 he was a member of International
Graduiertenkolleg “Religious Cultures in Europe of 19th and 20th Centuries” at the
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, working on a project concerning the image
of Christ in Russian art of the 19th century. He is currently working on his Ph.D.
project on the role of the sense of touch in art history. His research interests include
the history of art history, art and the sense of touch, iconoclasm, Russian art of the
19th and 20th centuries, and Vincent van Gogh.

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