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Barbara Tiberi MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Art History, Modern & Contemporary History, Political History, Social & Economic History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

Creativity and the production sector in Fordist and Post-Fordist times: the collaboration between artists and industries between the late 1950s and the early 1970s


University of Amsterdam
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. C.M.K.E. (Christa-Maria) Lerm-Hayes, Dr. A.A. (Arnold) Witte
Project start date: June 2019


The project examines the collaboration between artists, factory management and factory employees between 1950 and 1970. And addresses their possible motivations: discovering new artistic possibilities of existing materials for artists; proposing new uses and exploring new markets for factory management; regaining creativity or satisfaction for workers. Among these three actors, who actually conceived and promoted the relationship? Which reasons and effects of this practice legitimised the collaborations, and how were they anchored to social and political discourses? Was there a common international ideology as a substratum to the phenomenon?
A key concern of this research is to find new ways of considering this period’s conception of collaboration and creativity. Another aim is to reassess the role of the artist, as well as those of the management and the workers.
The study will be based on both field research and consequent theorising of certain concepts. After an analysis of literature and materials, it will consider the case studies. The approach, at the intersection of history of art and history of culture, draws on the methods of the social history of art. The lack of academic studies makes this analysis an innovative research in the fields of art history and socioeconomic relations.