Muriel HeischPhD candidate
At the end of 2018, Muriel Heisch completed her studies in art history and media studies at the University of Basel. From 2014 until 2017 she worked as an assistant at the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Basel. Since September 2019 she is a PhD student at the eikones Graduate School. Her research interests lie in the interface between media and art studies, in particular in theory, aesthetics and the (technical) history of photography.
Shortly after its invention, photography became an important medium for reproducing artworks. However, there was still no practical way to print photographic images in books or magazines and to reproduce them in wide circulation. This technological challenge led to the use of a wide variety of reproduction techniques - both traditional and photomechanical - which had a decisive influence on the print media of the 19th century.
Taking this problem as its starting point, the dissertation project focuses on the first illustrated art journals. Which concrete functions, meanings, and aesthetic characteristics were attributed to the respective reproduction techniques used in the journals?
The project also aims to locate the art journal as a 'medium of reproduction' of the 19th century within a complex ‘system of images,’ which was characterized by various forms, formats, and media of reproduction, and was connected with scientific requirements and commercial interests as well as with the popularization of art.