Edit Page
Grads and Alumni
Portrait of Dr. Hugo Munsterberg

2016-2017 Hugo Munsterberg Centenary Events

The Art History Department announced a yearlong celebration of the life of Dr. Hugo Munsterberg (1916-1995), founder of the Art History Department at SUNY New Paltz, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Many alumni will remember Dr. Munsterberg whose classes on Asian art (his specialty) and World art are legendary.  He taught Art History at New Paltz from 1958 to 1978. 

Following is the series of events honoring Dr. Munsterberg’s legacy:

In September, the art history faculty and students enjoyed a welcome back event in SAB106C to celebrate Dr. Munsterberg’s birthday (September 13).  We listened to Professor Emerita Jaimee Uhlenbrock reminiscence about Dr. Munsterberg.  Professor Uhlenbrock was a student of Dr. Munsterberg’s; she later became his colleague in the Art History Department.

Professor Elizabeth Brotherton has curated an exhibition at the Dorsky, “All Excess Stripped Away:  Donations to the Dorsky Museum by Hugo Munsterberg.”  On Saturday, Oct. 15 at 3 pm, during reunion weekend, Professor Brotherton gave a gallery talk entitled “Hugo Munsterberg as Historian and Collector of World Art” at the Dorsky Museum.  According to Professor Brotherton, “Dr. Munsterberg encompassed many traditions of world art into his broad view." Professor Brotherton's remarks reflected on his work as art historian and teacher, punctuatated by fond and lively anecdotes and discussion by alumni participants. See our News item for a link to the New Paltz Oracle report of the event. Please note that this exhibition closes December 11, 2016.

On Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 pm in Lecture Center 104, Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Asia Society in New York, presented “Zao Wou-Ki and the Avant-Garde” to a large group of students, faculty and community members. Zao Wou-Ki was a Chinese-French artist who transcended cultural boundaries to become a core member of the School of Paris. Ms. Yun examined Zao’s artistic practice and his role in the development of international postwar abstract painting. Again Professor Brotherton gave opening remarks about Dr. Munsterberg's seminal role in fostering the study of World art, especially the arts of Asia, at SUNY New Paltz.

On Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 7 pm, the Art History Spring Symposium will feature African art and architecture.  Confirmed speakers include Dr. Christine Mullen Kreamer ’75 of the National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian) and Professor Ikem Okoye of the University of Delaware.  Room TBA.

The Oct. 20 lecture and the Spring Symposium are co-sponsored by the Art History Association and the Art History Department.

As part of the celebration this year, the Art History Department is has installed a plaque honoring Dr. Munsterberg in our newly refurbished study room in Smiley Art Building, room 106C.  If you would like to view the placque, please contact Visual Resources Librarian, Susan DeMaio Smutny via email at demaios@newpaltz.edu or call (845) 257-3873.

If you have any questions or need more information, please call the Art History Department at 845-257-3875.


Kerry Dean Carso
Chair & Associate Professor of Art History
SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561


Points of Pride Logo