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Personal profile

Personal information

Office hours: mostly Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, not on Fridays.  

Office is closed flex-working space, so use email to make an appointment. November-December is my research term. 


Research interests
film history, film theory, intermediality, comparative arts & media studies, film & art, film & architecture, film & graphic design, museum studies, exhibition studies, film distribution & exhibition, early cinema, cinema & Antiquity, Italian cinema. 

My current research focuses on the intervisual relationships between cinema and other arts. Released in March 2018 is my monograph Reframing Luchino Visconti: Film and Art (Sidestone Press 2018), a major study on Luchino Visconti’s appropriation of visual arts and cinema. This book indicates how Visconti and his crew not only appropriated visual arts but also cinema previous to Visconti for his own films. It strongly focuses on scenography, costume, and cinematography. Reframing Luchino Visconti has been launched with a round table at the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome on 20 March 2018, while further presentations followed April to June 2018 in Amsterdam (EYE), Milan (Università Cattolica), Sorrento (AAIS conference), Bologna (Cinema Ritrovato) and again Amsterdam (NECS conference). For previous, related publications, see e.g. Blom 2006, Acta 2010, and the - much-lauded - Bono et. al. 2013, see also Reviews and Interviews. Reviews on the book have appeared in The Burlington Magazine, Screen, Positif, Historical Journal for Film, Radio, and Television, Journal for Italian Cinema & Media Studies, Imago, Medienwissenschaft Rezensionen/Reviews, and Senses of Cinema. A pdf of the book can be downloaded in Open Access from my personal website or from Zenodo.

My present research deals with early Italian cinema and its ties with visual arts and popular culture (see e.g. my articles in Sinisi et. al. 2010, Bertellini 2013, and Acta 2013), and with Antiquity and cinema, which has also affected in my co-curatorship of the - extremely successful and awarded - exhibition Alma-Tadema: Classical Charm (Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, 2016-2017), my co-organisation of workshops at the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, and my film programme Italian Muscle in Weimar Film at the 2015 Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone. My contribution to the Tadema exhibition and my article in the accompanying book received much praise (see Reviews and Interviews). My next monograph will be one on Italian silent cinema and the arts, involving such genres as the epic film, the diva film, comedy, the forzuti or strong men film, and travel film. Related to this is also my involvement in the 2017-2019 research project Le cinéma italien muet à la croisée des arts européens (1896-1930), run by prof. Céline Gailleurd (Paris 8). I am a member of the steering committee, gave a paper at a conference at Villa Medici in Rome (2017) and wrote an article on basis of my conference paper (published 2022), co-organised and gave papers at a workshop at EYE Filmmuseum (2018), and joined the 2019 workshop at CNC (Bois d'Arcy/ Paris), where I also gave a paper. December 2020 I was granted a Research Fellowship by NIAS (Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study for the Humanities and Social Sciences). Between September 2021 and January 2022 I have thus worked on the manuscript of my monograph, finshing four abundant chapters on early Italian Antiquity films, painting, and archaeology. This will probably become the focus of my new monograph, of which I will finish the manuscript in Fall 2022. 

In 2018-2021 I was involved as one of the three co-advisors to the curatorial team of the exhibition Enfin le cinéma! Arts, images et spectacles en France (1833-1907) (Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 28 Sept. 2021 - 16 Jan. 2022). I was particularly involved in the penultimate room on the theme of History (history painting & early historical films) and also wrote a text on this in the accompanying catalogue. The exhibition was extremely well received by the press and by the audience.

For the 2020 Hamburg Cinefest Kino, Krieg und Tulpen. Deutsch-niederländische Filmbeziehungen (13-22 November 2020) I was not only co-curator of the film program, but also co-author of the accompanying catalog (including a general introductory text, and texts on representation of the Netherlands in German film, star visits to the Netherlands, Dutch stars working in Germany, and animation cinema). I was co-organizer of the accompanying academic conference, for which I gave the keynote, ‘Panorama, Academy, Archive. German-Dutch Film Relationships’. I also contributed to several filmed introductions to the films on show. The whole festival and conference was last minute changed into an online version, while a second online programme took place in May 2021. Lastly, I was co-author of the published conference papers (Fall 2021).

From 1991, I regularly published in Dutch and foreign journals, volumes and encyclopedias on early cinema (various nationalities, genres, distribution, exhibition). From 1994 to 2000, I wrote my dissertation at the University of Amsterdam (2000), which was debated in 2000 and published in 2003 as Jean Desmet and the Early Dutch Film Trade. The research dealt with early film distribution and exhibition in the so-called transitional era of film history and was primarily based on the Desmet Collection of EYE (formerly Netherlands Filmmuseum), now recognized by Unesco as World Heritage. The 2003 book was extensively and positively reviewed (see Reviews and Interviews).  

Many of my publications can be found online at www.academia.edu as well.


At VU, Amsterdam, I have taught for years undergraduates 2nd and 3rd year's courses in Film & Media History, Film Analysis & Theory, and Contesting Images (on Iconoclasm vs. Idolatry, with Sven Lütticken), while on graduate-level the course Crossmedial Exhibitions. I yearly contributed to the 1st year's BA courses Analysis of Image & Object and Visual & Material Culture, to the MA course Reading Concepts, and to the MA/Ph.D. international course Challenging Eternity. As of Fall 2022 I will only teach Contesting Images and Crossmedial Exhibitions, while still supervising BA and MA theses. 
In the past I have also taught on the cinematic city, film & art, research practice of film & graphic design, history and analysis of film posters, scriptwriting in film & new media, and cinema exhibition & archival research. For a list of tutored theses and internships, look here. From 1991 to 2001, I lectured at the University of Utrecht and the University of Amsterdam on film history and film theory. Since 1999 I teach at VU, Amsterdam. I have been a guest lecturer at the University of Siena (2006-2008) and guest researcher at the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome (KNIR) (2007), the latter after being awarded the Dr. Blok Stipendium. At KNIR, I organised the Bachelor seminar Film in Rome/ Rome in Film at the Royal Dutch Institute, in 2007, 2010, and 2012. In 2010, I also co-organised the Master course Romanità on the Italian ‘ventennio’, architecture and film, a collaboration between KNIR and my university.

Over the last years I have been experimenting with innovation in education, in particular, 1) the use of enriched knowledge clips for my 2012 Rome in Film course (better preparation for short-term excursions, thanks to the project REC:all), 2) use of iPads in both the 2012 Rome on film course and my master course The Cinematic City (2012-2014) enabling to view film clips ‘in situ’ and compare with real locations, 3) the use of GIS-related information by means of Geoplaza sites of film locations in Rome and Amsterdam cinemas in Amsterdam, 4) a pilot project with KPN and Surfnet in the use of 4G for the 2014 edition of The Cinematic City (enabling to consult and compare on-location film clips and image databases online), and 5) use of concept maps to train students in acquiring historical knowledge for my course Film & Media History (2014). All projects were done in collaboration with Sylvia Moes, education innovation manager at VU, Amsterdam. For an interview with me on the use of the enriched knowledge clips, the iPads, Geoplaza and additional experiments in 2012-2013, look here.

Ancillary activities

Professional activities
Lectures: I have given over 75 lectures at numerous universities and contributed to workshops and conferences in Western-Europe and the United States.
Editorial work: Between 2003 and 2013 I have been a member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed and since 2012 online magazine Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis (Journal on Media History). Here I published on early Dutch cinema and co-edited the special issues Games & History (2004), Cinema in Context (2007), Madness & Media (2013) and one miscellanea issue (2010). Until 2007, I also was on the editorial board of Jong Holland, a journal on Art & Visual Culture, publishing on film and art (2001; 2006).
Organisation: For the 2020 Hamburg Cinefest, see Research. Because of COVID-19 an alternative online program was presented, with the intention of showing the original program in Spring 2021. Within the framework of the project Le cinéma italien muet à la croisée des arts européens (1896-1930) I co-organised the international workshop A Dive into the Collections of the EYE Filmmuseum (20-21 December 2018)In 2009, I co-organised the exploratory workshop Intermedialities: Theory and Practice of the European Science Foundation. I also co-organised the conferences The Artist’s Biography on Film (2004), Diva Dolorosa: la gestualità sofferta (2004) and Visconti & Visual Arts (2006).
Ph.D. committees: I have been a member of Ph.D. juries at the Sorbonne, Paris3 (2009) and the universities of Ghent (2006; 2009), Antwerp (2014-2015) and Utrecht (2014-15)
Advisor: I have been an advisor for NWO (the Dutch National Research Council) and FWO (Flemish Research Council).

Further activities
For the 2021 exhibition Enfin le cinéma! at Musée d'Orsay, curated by Dominique Païni with the museum curators Paul Perrin and Marie Robert, I was member of the scientific committee, with Benoit Turquety and Camille Blot-Wellens. This exhibition has afterward travelled to LACMA, Los Angeles. 
Juries: I have been a jury member of the Willy Haas-Preis 2014 for the best book and DVD on German cinema. I have also been an advisor for the Mediafonds

External research: I was moving image consultant for the exhibition Mata Hari: The Myth and the Maiden (Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, October 2017-April 2018).
DVD: I contributed to the Dutch DVD-box Luchino Visconti (Cinemien 2005) and the DVDs Ma l’amor mio non muore/Love Everlasting (Cineteca di Bologna 2013), starring Lyda Borelli, and Sangue bleu (Cineteca di Bologna 2014), starring Francesca Bertini.
For publications in popular scientific journals (Geschiedenis Magazine, Ons Amsterdam), see http://ivoblom.wordpress.com/publication.

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

User created Keywords

  • film history
  • film analysis
  • iconoclasm
  • crossmedial exhibitions
  • film and art
  • silent cinema
  • Italian cinema
  • Dutch cinema
  • film and architecture
  • film and photography
  • film and design
  • intermediality
  • media theory
  • film theory
  • transmediality
  • cinema history
  • cinema studies
  • cinema and Antiquity
  • museum studies
  • Desmet Collection
  • Jean Desmet
  • Luchino Visconti
  • early cinema
  • early film distribution
  • early Italian cinema
  • cinema and painting
  • early popular visual culture
  • divismo
  • early non-fiction
  • early comedy
  • stardom


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