dr. M. van Tilburg
Merel van Tilburg studied art history, philosophy, literature and theatre studies at the University of Amsterdam and holds a PhD in art history from the University of Geneva, Switzerland [Staging the Symbol. The Nabis, Theatre Decoration, and the Total Work of Art, 2013]. She has lectured on art history at both of these universities and has been a guest lecturer at various art schools in Europe. For her post-doctoral research on modernism and textile art, she was awarded fellowships from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max Planck Institut (2013); the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris (2014-15); and the Swiss National Science Foundation, as an associate researcher at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art and the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris (2013-14 and 2015) and at The Courtauld Insitute of Art in London (2016-17). Since 2017, she is the co-editor-in-chief of an international research and publication project on Odilon Redon and his Dutch collector Andries Bonger. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Geneva, this project will culminate in a large publication in French and an online publication in English hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD, 2021).
Merel is currently Assistant Professor Art History 1800-now at the Department of History of Art, Architecture and Landscapes at the University of Groningen. Her fields of interest include textile art, nineteenth-century art, decorative art, art theory, intermediality and Symbolism. She has published on such subjects as the transhistorical presence of the Gothic in art since 1800; textile art and abstraction; the “Carpet Paradigm” in modern and contemporary art; “Stimmung” in Symbolist painting; the politics of design and the place of the human being in the designed interior; artist's wallpapers; intimism and post-impressionism in painting; the semantic potential of the oriental rug in late nineteenth-century painting; modernist architecture and its relationship to the visual arts; modern kitchen design and cold war ideologies; cinematic aspects of contemporary painting. She is currently working on several articles on Odilon Redon, Symbolism and music. Her next book will be a handbook on Symbolism.
Merel is also an art critic and regularly participates in artist’s publications, both as a writer and as an editor. She sits on the advisory board of the Flemish art critical journal De Witte Raaf. She was a scientific counsellor for the exhibition Nightfall / Le retour des ténèbres at the Musée Rath in Geneva (2016-2017) and has co-directed its scientific catalogue Nightfall. Gothic Imagination Since Frankenstein (Los Angeles/Geneva 2016).
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