Dr. Alexandre Vanautgaerden

Académie royale de Belgique

Curriculum Vitae

Alexandre Vanautgaerden holds a doctorate in History and Art History. He served as Director of the Erasmusmuseum in Brussels from 1994 to 2012, as Director of the Geneva Library from 2012 to 2018, and as editorial and scientific director of the exhibitions at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, from 2018 to 2019. Alexandre Vanautgaerden is a specialist in the history of books, Erasmus, and new media. He has collaborated with numerous artists and organized several exhibitions. He has just completed a project in Aix-en-Provence around the artist Fabienne Verdier, at the Granet Museum, the Pavillon de Vendôme Museum, and the Cité du livre.

Alexandre Vanautgaerden has lectured at numerous institutions around the globe, including at the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Rome, Chicago, and Toronto. Furthermore, he has been involved in different film projects and published books with renowned publishers (Brepols, Albin Michel, Droz, Le Robert). His work Erasmus and the Printers was honored by the Royal Belgium Academy in 2008. In addition, Alexandre Vanautgaerden was Fellow at the Florence Gould Foundation in New York in 2001 and at the Foundation Marie-José in Brussels in 2004. He was subsequently awarded research grants from the French government in 2005. He is an associate member of the Royal Academy of Belgium (Class of Letters and Moral and Political Science) and a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Archaeology of Belgium.

From September 2019 to August 2020 Alexandre Vanautgaerden was a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center “Law as Culture”.

Research Project

"Law as Culture: a digital project"

This research project is situated at the crossroads of digital humanities, law, museography, and places of knowledge (libraries, archives). It aims to develop a digital tool to collect and organize the data produced by The Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities so that it can be used by cultural operators and reach a wider audience. The work initiated and produced by The Käte Hamburger Center, based on the paradigm "Law as Culture," has created a new path in the field of "Humanities," through the desire to embrace a vast field, both in terms of the geographical areas considered and the types of knowledge implemented.
In this spirit, it is necessary to work on the current data collected by The Käte Hamburger Center, through the study days organized and the results obtained by the fellows. It is imperative to establish an inventory of what has been done at the Center and to "translate" the progress of each project, in order to create a digital platform that can make this data available. It is not a question of building a website to advertise the Center, but of devising a data exchange module that will enable cultural operators to design innovative projects based on the paradigm of Law as Culture. The purpose of this research project is, therefore, to analyze the Center's production while establishing a state of international research in the field. The research project will follow the breakdown proposed in Werner Gephart's 2012 note and the four research axes: Law and Religion ; Law and Globalization ; Genesis, Hybridization, and Conflicts of Legal Cultures ; Subject Area IV: Cultural Forms of Law: Literature, Film, Architecture. The work, in a second phase, will consist in formalizing the models for the use of these data by cultural operators. For data to be usable, it is necessary to consider both the exploitation that can be made of it and what is now called the user experience. The project to invite artists had been conceived in part with the former director of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Professor Dr. Dieter Ronte. In a way, it is now perhaps time to rethink the project and ask ourselves what people in the art world can do today to benefit from the work done since The Käte Hamburger Center's creation. In short, to open the Centre to the city. This research project does not aim to transmit knowledge but to imagine the conditions for a dialogue with it. Here we abandon the vision of the researcher (the "design genius"), to focus on the interaction of the product of his research with the users.

Publications (selected)

  • Fabienne Verdier, Sur les terres de Cézanne, Milano, 5 Continents Edition, 2019, 184 p.
  • Les labyrinthes de l’esprit. Renaissance libraries and collections in Renaissance, ed. Rosanna Gorris Camos et Alexandre Vanautgaerden, Genève, Droz, Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance, vol. 551, 2015, 674 p.
  • L’intime du droit à la Renaissance. Actes du cinquantenaire de la FISIER, ed. Max Engammare et Alexandre Vanautgaerden, avec la collaboration de Franz Bierlaire, Genève, Droz, Cahiers d’Humanisme et Renaissance, vol. 117, 2014, 544 p.
  • Érasme typographe. Humanisme et imprimerie au xvie siècle, Genève, Droz, 2012. coll. Travaux Humanisme et Renaissance, 2012, 650 p.
  • Les instruments de travail à la Renaissance, ed. Jean-François Gilmont et Alexandre Vanautgaerden, Turnhout, Brepols, coll. Nugæ Humanisticæ sub signo Erasmi, vol. 10, 2010, 280 p.
  • « Item ein schöne Bibliothec mit eim Register : un deuxième inventaire de la bibliothèque d’Érasme (à propos du manuscrit C VIa 71 de la bibliothèque universitaire de Bâle) », in Rudolf De Smet (ed.), Humanists and their Libraries, Leuven-Paris-Sterling, Peeters, XIII , 2002, p. 59-112.