Sympathy or strategy? A close look at the Belgian exhibitions of modern and contemporary art organized in Argentina in 1946 and 1948.
The paper explores two Belgian art exhibitions that took place in Buenos Aires in 1946 and 1948: the Exposición de arte belga moderno and the Exposición de arte belga contemporáneo. Although these exhibitions appear to be part of the same cultural initiative showcasing Belgian art in Argentina after World War II, a closer examination reveals that they were distinct endeavors with differing institutional frameworks and objectives. The study offers a detailed analysis of the institutional context and discourse surrounding both exhibitions from a Belgian viewpoint. Specifically, it delves into the roles of Louis Piérard, the Argentine Commission for Intellectual Cooperation, the Belgian community in Buenos Aires, and the Belgian ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Education. As such, it unravels the meaning and impact of the exhibitions in a post-war context. Ultimately, the paper demonstrates how these exhibitions reflect Belgium’s evolving approach to international cultural diplomacy.
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