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From Ringbom to Ringbom: The art of art history of Lars-Ivar Ringbom and Sixten Ringbom: A mythmaker and a myth-breaker in Åbo, Finland

Author(s): Marja Väätäinen

Journal: Journal of Art Historiography
ISSN 2042-4752

Volume: 7;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Lars-Ivar Ringbom | Sixten Ringbom | Ludwig Klages | Lebensphilosophie | biocentrism

When Ludwig Klages visited Åbo (a coastal city in Finland), in 1935, his host was Lars-Ivar Ringbom (1901-1971), an art historian and docent at Åbo Akademi University. In 1969, Ernst Gombrich visited the same city, and this time his host was Lars-Ivar Ringbom’s son, Sixten Ringbom (1935-1992), who soon was to follow his father as a professor in art history. I use the image of these visits as a starting point for my discussion about the change in the art historical interests of Lars-Ivar Ringbom and Sixten Ringbom. I will concentrate particularly on the impact that Ludwig Klages had on Lars-Ivar Ringbom writings. The polarity and the tension of rational and irrational that structured Lars-Ivar Ringbom’s work was later echoed in the work of Sixten Ringbom. Sixten Ringbom’s thinking is in dialogical relation and partly contradictory to his father’s studies.

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