Recent publications:

An Italian Renaissance artist? French Surrealism in the 20th century? Do they even meet? Yes, they do, as I researched and wrote about. Just published: ‘The Incomparable Artist. Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello in surrealist discourse around 1930’ in 21: Inquiries into Art.

Joanna Pawlik wrote a wonderful book about Surrealism in the US - in particular, about the lesser known, because non-institutional, reception of interwar Bretonian Surrealism in the thought and work of American artists and writers well into the 1970s. My review of it (November 2022) was published on CAA reviews

Expert appearances:


On Wednesdag 13 April (2022) I gave an invited talk at contemporary art centre De Appel on 'Milking the surrealist dream: the biennale, Leonora Carrington and fellow artists’. It was a wonderful evening. Under the spell of Leonora Carrington was hosted by Nina Folkersma and also featured an interview with artist Eva Bartels. See a registration of the programme here (my talk starts at ca. 12 mins).


The Art Newspaper interviewed me about the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum's surrealist collection and a donation they received (The Art Newspaper 20-1-2021): read it here


On 17 December 2020 I hosted the digital opening of Godesses of Art Nouveau, an exhibition at the Allard Pierson, Amsterdam. See my interview with guest curator Yvonne Brentjens here.




To my great honour and pleasure I was involved in the pathbreaking exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders Metropolitan Museum, New York 2021; Tate Modern, London 2022). My contribution focused on an underground Dutch dada-surrealist periodical, and parts of my text were also used for the wall text accompanying the display of several issues of De Schone Zakdoek.De Schone Zakdoek: Artists under Pressure and a Dutch Surrealist Periodical in Time of War’. In: Surrealism Beyond Borders, Stephanie d’Alessandro & Mathew Gale (eds.), 194-197, 352-353. The Metropolitan Museum/ Yale UP.   Moesman cover

For the catalogue of the wonderful show De Tranen van Eros at the Centraal Museum (Utrecht), showing the work of Dutch surrealist Moesman in context with many other surrealists, I wrote the following essay: ‘Eros: Poëzie, Vrijheid en Liefde.’ In: Moesman. Surrealisme en de Seksen, M. Bosma & N. Folkersma (eds). Utrecht: Centraal Museum/Zwolle: W Books, 40-57, 129.





More about me? I am a historian of art and culture with a preference for the transhistorical and deeply fascinated by processes of decolonisation. Currently I work as the Programme Director of the Humanities Lab, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam.

I was trained as a medievalist but have specialised in the art and cultural expressions of global modernism, the avant-gardes around the world in the 20th century, and contemporary art. Art, heritage and culture, as well as an abiding passion for knowledge and the sciences are always at the heart of my work, be it advising curators on exhibitions, chairing committees, researching, writing for art lovers or for academic audiences, teaching, coordinating projects, or hosting, chairing and/or organising events.



Since 2020 I have been developing a large-scale reserach project into the canonisation and sacralisation of modern and contemporary art, including modes of (neo)surrealism, and the question how museums and institutions can decolonise their collections, displays and archives, entitled Cabinet of colonies: Decolonising collections.

My previous research project, Surrealism and Old Masters, was funded with a VENI from NWO.

Detailed information about my publications, lectures and other activitities can be found on Linkedin, Narcis and academia.


Selected publications


         Occult modernism






Currently (spring 2022) my teaching is limited to individual tutoring, for instance of an Arts & Performance Research tutorial, and thesis and PhD supervision.


In partnership with the OSK - Dutch national research school voor art history - I hosted an informal bookclub on the topic of 'Global Art History'. We were active fromDecember 2020 to March 2022 and read and discussed a breakthough publication in the field every six to eight weeks.

In 2020-21 I taught a series of electives on Modern Art, Globally Oriented, including Salon to Jugendstil, Global Avant-Garde and Global Late Modernism a the University of Amsterdam. Among other things, the students and I created a digital exhibition.

I have been teaching at Dutch universities since 2006 (freelance, temporary and otherwise): at the University of Amsterdam, with the departments Art History, Arts of the Netherlands, and Religious Studies/History of Western Esotericism; the Radboud University, Nijmegen, with the departments Cultural Studies and Literary Studies; the VU (Free University), Amsterdam, department of Media, Art, Design and Architecture; at the department of History and Art History as well as the International School of Utrecht University for several semesters; and at the Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, with the Faculty of Cultural Studies.

My course portfolio includes BA, MA, and Research MA courses, in Dutch and in English. I have supervised (BA, BA Hons, MA, and RMA) theses; as well as tutorials in the honours programme and student traineeships.

I have developed, coordinated and taught (selection):

  • Art Studies within and across the Humanities;
  • Current developments in Art History;
  • Intertextuality in Cultural Studies;
  • Modernist Periodical Culture;
  • Politics and Images

Other courses I have taught (selection):

  • Introduction to Art History;
  • Methods and Theory in Art History;
  • Modernism in the Arts.

Complete course portfolio available on request.

© Copyright 2022 Tessel M. Bauduin. All right reserved.