Art/Object: The Artist, the Object, the Patron, and the Audience

Welcome Letter

The 6th International Symposium on Psychoanalysis and Art will be held May 15-17, 2014, in Florence. The theme of the symposium will be Art/Object:  The Artist, the Object, the Patron, and the Audience.

This symposium, the sixth triennial event, will feature an international roster of prominent art historians, artists, critics, and psychoanalysts, who will explore visual and musical works of art. The theme Art/Object encompasses not only the artist’s relationship to his or her art, but also the relationship of the audience or patron to the art object and to the artist.

The opening session of Art/Object will be held in the historic Salone Magliabechiano of the Biblioteca degli Uffizi, the library of the Uffizi Gallery. The symposium will begin with welcoming remarks by Stefano Bolognini, President of the International Psychoanalytical Association (Secret Passages: The Theory and Technique of Interpsychic Relations), Graziella Magherini (The Stendhal Syndrome), and Laurie Wilson (Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic, and the Man). Following the opening session, all participants will be offered a private guided tour of the Galleria degli Uffizi.

The renowned art historian, David Freedberg, (The Power of Images), will deliver a plenary address on “Art, Empathy and Neuroscience” which will be discussed by Vittorio Gallese, the eminent neuroscientist. The distinguished psychoanalyst, David Rosenmeyer (Mahler: Death and Rebirth in Song) will present the plenary lecture on music at the fourteenth century Chiostro del Maglio.

Several presenters at Art/Object will consider the individual’s response to an art work: Karin Dannecker (Psyche und Ästhetik), will explore the elusive issue of “Enchanting Beauty” and Valerie  Fletcher, Senior Curator of Modern Art at the Hirshhorn Museum, will discuss “The Surreal Object.” Other presentations will investigate the work of Louise Bourgeois and the character of Pinocchio. Jane McAdam Freud, who is a sculptor, the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, will present a paper: “In the Mould of the Fathers – Objects of Sculpture, Subjects of Legacy.”

Interdisciplinary talks that will explore art in relation to broad societal issues include “Fashion as Fetish”, by art historian and fashion writer Amy Fine Collins, and “Belgian modernism and imperial violence in the 1890s,” by art historian Deborah Silverman (Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art). Focusing on the patrons of art, a distinguished New York art dealer will discuss the relationship of the gallery and the collector, and Mary Kay O’Neil will take up “The Analyst as Collector.” Gennaro Saragnano, Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association’s Publication Committee, will moderate a roundtable discussion on art and psychoanalytic publications.

The symposium will conclude with an elegant gala dinner in the magnificent Salone Magliabechiano.   

The Scientific/Organizing Committee invites you to join us in Florence:

See you soon in Florence!!

Laurie Wilson and Graziella Magherini


Under the Patronage of