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Birte Bruchmüller

Doctoral Student

Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Birte Bruchmüller

Dissertation project

"Nordic international symbolists and the concept of androgyny"

I explore five internationally-based Nordic symbolists and their visual art from the turn of the 20th century. By studying the Swedish graphic artist Tyra Kleen (1874-1951), the Swedish painter Olof Sager-Nelson (1868-1896) as well as the Finnish painters Magnus Enckell (1870-1925), Beda Stjernschantz (1867-1910) and Ellen Thesleff (1869-1954), I deal with a quite unexplored international stance of Nordic symbolism as an important parallel to a Nordic national art culture.

Within the heterogeneous production of these artists, timeless and quite ‘placeless’ tropes appeared that even go beyond gender. I focus on the visual exploration of the concept of androgyny and alternatives to gender binary models in their art. I examine how cultural dimensions of androgyny and an androgynous beauty ideal might be expressed in the selected artworks and how this relates to contemporary intellectual, cultural, artistic, scientific and religious discourses.


Fields of interest

- Critical historiography

- Nordic art at the turn of the 20th century

- international artists' networks

- Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, the Decadent movement & Symbolism

- Relations between text & image in 19th century-illustrated books, magazines etc.