Gregor Paulsson och den konsthistoriska tolkningens problem
Sammanfattning: The core of this thesis is a critical reading of the Swedish art historian Gregor Paulsson's (1889-1977) method of historical interpretation. Initially; Paulsson developed his scholary perspectivefrom the tradition of formalist aesthetics dominating Swedish art history writing in thebeginning of the 20th century. His approach to art history radicaIly changed by the end of the1910's, when he came in touch with experimental psychology. From his own experiments inartistic creativity, he concluded that the governing factor in this process was the ability toapprehend meaning. Paulsson defined the work of art as a homogeneous and ambiguous symbol,which, within its form, combines many different levels of meaning. The task of art historicalinterpretation was to map the meanings carried by the symbol.In his mature works, from the 1930's onward, Paulsson developed these thoughts into a methodof interpretation, dealing both with the psychological and social dimensions of the work of art.Through the concepts of "field" and "function", he tried to reconstruct the original value andmeaning of the work of art and buildings. Thus, he was able to expand the field of research for arthistorians to include all manner of forms and objects of the human environment. In his method,Gregor Paulsson tried to unite the old scholary ideal of a comprehensive system, where all aspectscould be interpreted with reference to each other and to the whole, with the results and theories ofmodern, specialized sciences. His vision was to create a theoretical foundation for a new field ofresearch, which he described as an "aesthetic enviromental morphology".
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