A Message from Reva Wolf, Fall 2020 Chair
to the first issue of our departmental newsletter! Our faculty, students, and alumni have lots of wonderful news, and we are pleased to provide this venue for sharing it. Connecting us in this way seems especially meaningful in the midst of a pandemic, when it is so easy to feel disconnected. We are grateful to Susan DeMaio Smutny, our Visual Resources Librarian, for coming up with the idea of creating a Department of Art History newsletter, for designing it, and for working on its realization. Thank you, Susan!
Art History faculty have tirelessly designed new, rigorous course material and learning experiences for our students, both online and in the classroom in Fall 2020 and for the future. Their response to the pivot to online learning has been truly extraordinary.
Professor Kerry Carso taught her Nature & Science in 19th-Century American Art course asynchronously online for the first time. She arranged for guest speakers using Webex and Zoom conferencing software. In October, William L. Coleman, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at Olana (the home and studio of Frederic Church), gave a virtual guest lecture entitled “Church, Olana, and the Domestic Landscape of the Hudson River School,” and on November 6, Daniel Belasco, Art Historian and Executive Director of the Al Held Foundation, gave a lecture entitled “The Pleasures of Abstraction: A Virtual Tour of Al Held’s Studio and Home," to her Fall classes. Prof. Carso also participated in two online courses related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the 92nd Street Y this Fall in order to incorporate this material into her future courses.
Associate Professor Keely Heuer mentored two students as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program this past summer, Ian Silverstein, whose project was "Documenting Desire: Archaeological Evidence of Pederasty in Ancient Italy," and Cara Whitehorne, for her work entitled, "Exploring the Role of Non-Royal Women in Ancient Egyptian Art." Professor Heuer began mentoring Camryn Alwang on her honors thesis, "Marriage and Abduction Myths of the Ancient Greeks: A Means of Reinforcing the Patriarchy." Her teaching innovations include mythology trivia bowl game night and Dress Like an Ancient Greek Day.
Professor Heuer also organized a Zoom guest presentation in November with Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, Associate Curator, Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, featuring objects housed in this museum. The video of Dr. Williams' talk, “Fragments of Fashion: Byzantine and Islamic Textiles and Jewelry Up Close,” may be viewed here: https://youtu.be/UjL43l8rSg0.
Associate Professor Jaclynne Kerner, in offering her classes fully online and synchronously during Covid, has focused on building a learning community. She introduced a new textbook in Art of the Western World I corresponding with a shift in focus highlighting continuities in artistic processes and construction methods over time.
Lecturer Beth E. Wilson reworked part of the syllabus for her History of Film course, adding Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing and strengthening discussion of the history of Black film makers and representations of race on screen in order to amplify considerations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Professor Reva Wolf, who chose to teach in-person this fall, had a webcam installed in the classroom so that students unable to attend in person under Covid could take our departmental capstone course, Art History: Theories and Approaches. The students in her seminar, Goya’s Art, Times, and Beyond, benefitted from a virtual guest lecture via Webex on November 11, by Janis Tomlinson, whose biography of Goya, recently published by Princeton University Press, has been acclaimed by reviewers in the New Yorker and other high-profile venues. Dr. Tomlinson, who is the director of the art museum at the University of Delaware, spoke to the class on how writing a biography is different from other kinds of art-historical writing, and on Goya’s “black paintings.”
Professor Wolf presented a guest lecture via Zoom on November 12 on the challenges in interpreting Goya’s drawings for a Fall 2020 course on Goya at Amherst College, taught by Prof. Natasha Staller.
Kingfisher Tower, Cooperstown, NY, photo: Kerry Dean Carso
Professor Carso's recent scholarship focuses on architectural follies in the United States. Her review of two exhibitions on this theme, “Follies: Architectural Whimsy in the Garden” at Winterthur, and “Mark Dion: Follies” at Storm King, was published in the Fall 2020 issue of Panorama: Journal of the Historians of American Art.
In other activity, on October 3, Professor Carso participated in a virtual panel discussion to coincide with the exhibition “Hudson Valley Artists 2020: New Folk,” together with Anna Conlan, curator, and local artist Ryan Cronin. Her presentation on this panel highlighted the Hudson Valley as a place that historically, as now, has attracted artists and other creators.
She also presented three lectures on “Painters of the Hudson River School” via Zoom to the Studios of Key West in Florida in July 2020.
Work in Progress
Professor Carso’s book, Follies in America: A History of Garden and Park Architecture, is now in production and will be published by Cornell University Press in August 2021.
She is also curating an exhibition in the seminar room at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, to open in September 2021, connected to the topic of her book, tentatively titled “Follies and Picturesque Tourism.”
A related essay, “The Visual Culture of Commemorative Summerhouses in the Age of Revolutions,” will appear in the book The Art of Revolutions, to be published by the American Philosophical Society in 2021 in Transactions, volume 109, part 5. According to the APS website, “the Transactions is a highly respected series of monographs that each year includes five manuscripts on any scholarly topic. The first Transactions was printed in 1771..."
Vaste: Messapian sanctuary at Piazza Dante – Reconstruction, 4th century B.C.E. (Created by F. D’Andria/InkLink-Firenze)
Professor Heuer authored an essay on the religious practices and beliefs of the indigenous peoples of ancient Apulia (the “heel” of Italy) to be included in a Getty Publications volume about depictions of the underworld on South Italian painted vases, Professor Heuer’s primary research interest. This is the first study of its kind to be published in English.
She also recently completed an essay on iconographic parallels between Etruscan and South Italian vase-painting for the volume, From Pots to Politics: Production, Trade, and Connectivity in Pre-Roman Italy 900-300 BCE, which will be published by Brepols in 2021.
Professor Heuer was invited to do a book review for The Classical Outlook and to contribute to a festschrift in honor of Ian McPhee, one of the leading scholars of South Italian vase-painting.
Postcard, “‘Holy Moses,’ the Camel of the Shrine, Roger Williams Park, Providence, R.I.,” chromolithograph on card stock, postmarked August 19, 1907, published by the Hugh C. Leighton Co., Portland, ME (stock number 10075), printed in Germany, c. 1904-07, 3 ½ x 5 ½ in., private collection, New York
Professor Kerner is actively at work on a monographic study of the material culture of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the appendant body to Freemasonry whose fez-wearing members are commonly known as Shriners. The book will examine how the material artifacts, print culture, and linguistic apparatuses of “Shrinedom” embody a uniquely American, pseudo-Islamic subculture that reflects the orientalist sensibilities of its 19th-century founders. Dr. Kerner conducted firsthand research for the project at institutions including the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library, and Shriners International Headquarters. She is currently writing a series of object biographies for her monograph of Shriner souvenirs such as badges, souvenir glasses, commemorative plates, and postcards.
Dirck Vellert's Apocalypse series, John's vision of the Enthroned Lord with a double-edged sword, drawing, 1525, Paris, Musée du Louvre, Rothschild collection
Professor Konowitz's essay, "Dürer's Antwerp Aftermath: Dürer and Dirck Vellert," is forthcoming in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition "Dürer's Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist," scheduled for the Spring of 2021 at the National Gallery in London and the Summer of 2021 at the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen. The essay is built on a paper she gave in 2019 at an international Dürer conference of the same name held in Aachen.
Margaret Bourke-White (detail), gelatin silver print by John Phillips, 11 7/8 x 9 7/8, Charleston, Gibbes Museum of Art, 1974.012.0011
Beth Wilson's research focuses on the practice of documentary photography and film as it emerged in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and the perhaps surprising intersections between the rise of the documentary and surrealism as found in the work of Lee Miller, Luis Buñuel, Humphrey Jennings, and others. An article by Professor Wilson of 2016 on Margaret Bourke-White and the role of LIFE magazine in the creation of the cultural figure of the photojournalist, published in the Journal of War & Culture Studies, led the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, to invite Professor Wilson to give a virtual presentation of her research on the topic, entitled "Depth of Field: The Corporate Creation of Photojournalism and the Photography of Margaret Bourke-White." The event, for which you may purchase tickets, is Wednesday, February 17, 6-7pm.
Cover of Freemasonry and the Visual Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward: Historical and Global Perspectives
The paperback edition of Professor Wolf’s co-edited book, Freemasonry and the Visual Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward: Historical and Global Perspectives, was released in early September 2020, published by Bloomsbury Visual Arts. This volume includes an introductory essay she co-authored that provides an historical and historiographical overview of the subject, and also her essay, “Goya and Freemasonry: Travels, Letters, Friends.” Additional essays in the book cover a wide range of time periods, places, peoples, and types of art.
The hardback edition of Freemasonry and the Visual Arts has received several favorable reviews, including in CHOICE, July 2020 (“highly recommended”), the Journal of American Culture, September 2020 (a “fascinating and illuminating book”), and Leonardo, October 2020 (“a wonderful, detailed scholarly work”).
Professor Wolf’s essay, “Cosmic Jokes and Tangerine Flake: Translating Andy Warhol’s POPism,” came out in the book Complementary Modernisms in China and the United States: Art as Life/Art as Idea, edited by Zhang Jian and Bruce Robertson and published by Punctum Books, an open access publisher.
An article on a longstanding research interest of hers, entitled “The Artist Interview: An Elusive History,” was published in the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Art Historiography.
Work in Progress
Professor Wolf’s essay, “The Interconnections of Satire and Censorship in Goya’s Prints and Drawings,” for the book, Satire and the Multiplicity of Forms, 1600-1830: Textual and Graphic Transformations, edited by Per Sivefors, Cecilia Rosengren, and Rikard Wingård, is in production and forthcoming in 2021 from Manchester University Press.
She also completed the manuscript of an essay, “The Victim as Martyr: The ‘Black Legend’ and Eighteenth-Century Representations of Inquisition Punishments,” for an interdisciplinary book, The Black Legend in the Eighteenth Century: National Identities under Construction, edited by Catherine Jaffe and Karen Stolley, to be published in 2021 or 2022 with Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment.
A project she has been working on for a few years at the University of Pennsylvania, related to an exhibition on Warhol, has been postponed one year due to Covid; a symposium she is organizing as part of the project, “Translating Warhol,” was awarded a Terra Foundation for American Art Academic Programs Grant; Professsor Wolf was the principal author of the application for the grant, which will be administered through the Rare Book Library at Penn.
(L): Taibai tuoxue tu bing zan 太白脫鞾圖并贊 (Picture with Eulogy of Taibai [Li Bai] Having His Boots Removed); (R): Shangu fanzhao tu bing zan 山谷返櫂圖并贊碑 (Picture with Eulogy of Shangu [Huang Tingjian] Rowing Back), ink rubbings from 2-sided stone stele, Southern Song dynasty, ca. 1256, Dangtu county, Anhui province (destroyed 19th-20th century); rubbings ca. 18th–19th century, 5.34 × 3.31 ft. (163 × 101 cm.), National Library of China. Reproduction taken from Beijing tushuguan cang huaxiang taben huibian (Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, 1993), 1:80-81.
I'm happy to report the recent publication of my article, “In Pursuit of a Lost Southern Song Stele and Its Maker,” Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, vol. 49 (2020): 295-343, available on the database Project Muse. My next subject for research may have to do with the recluse poet Tao Yuanming, whose poetry and lifestyle are perfectly suited to my current life in a hermitage! In mid-March, my husband and I fled the virus by moving in with a relative in Virginia, where we are still located. It may be that I was fortunate to retire at the end of the Fall 2019 semester, just before the coronavirus forced instructors in the Art History Department and throughout campus, with little warning, to start teaching their classes remotely. This must have been a difficult and labor-intensive switch, and I applaud all my former colleagues for the adaptations and extra effort they made to maintain their classes at a high level. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been to learn new aspects of teaching from this different method of course delivery.
Elverhoj, the Arts & Crafts colony at Milton-on-Hudson, postcard, c. 1915, Vivian Wadlin collection
Since 2019 Bill Rhoads has been investigating the history of Elverhoj, an important but largely forgotten Arts & Crafts colony active at Milton-on-Hudson, north of Newburgh, from 1912 to the mid-1930s. Its leader, Anders H. Andersen, was a native of Denmark; Elverhoj is Danish for "hill of the elves." Painting, etching, metal-craft, jewelry, and weaving were among the arts practiced and taught at the colony, primarily in rustic structures, although the main building was "Moorish" with Viking touches. As the American Arts & Crafts movement declined in the late 1910s, Andersen built a theatre and tried to attract vacationers to the site, which offered fine views of the Hudson River. The Depression of the 1930s caused the colony's failure, despite Eleanor Roosevelt's best efforts to keep it alive. Rhoads expects to publish the results of his investigation in 2021 in connection with an Elverhoj exhibit at the Ulster County Historical Society.
Rhoads has a number of extra copies of his book, Charles S. Keefe 1876-1946: Colonial Revival Architect in Kingston and New York (Black Dome Press, 2017). To receive a free copy, simply send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean-Pierre-Laurent Hoüel, Voyage pittoresque des isles de Sicile, de Malte et de Lipari, Pl. X, Paris, 1782
Jaimee Uhlenbrock remains active and a leader in the study of ancient Greek terracottas as President of the Association for Coroplastic Studies and editor of the Association’s journal, Les Carnets de l’ACoSt. She is serving as a Scientific Committee member for the upcoming conference, "Apotropaia and Phylakteria: Confronting Evil in Ancient Greece," Swedish Institute at Athens, June 32-25, 2021.
Her article, “The reception of Greek figurative terracottas in the Age of Enlightenment,” recently was published in the Journal of the History of Collections, 32-1, 2020, pp. 25-37. A conference paper, “The Hand of the Coroplast in the Fourth Century and the Hellenistic Period: Some Random Examples,” from "'Quand on a la terre sous l’ongle:' Le modelage dans le monde grec antique Colloque international," 3-5 avril 2019, Aix-en-Provence, edited by Hélène Aurigny and Laura Rohaut, is in press. Professor Uhlenbrock is also editing the volume, Greek Terracottas: A Toolkit for Research, in preparation with Oxford University Press.
Christopher Daly has authored “Reconsidering Lucchese Painting after Filippino,” recently published in Filippino Lippi: Beauty, Invention and Intelligence (Brill, 2020). The volume comprises the proceedings of a conference at the Dutch Institute, Florence, in 2017. Chris’ essay is on the topic of his in-progress PhD dissertation at Johns Hopkins University, "Painting in Lucca in the Late Fifteenth Century: A Problem in Artistic Geography,” which he is writing under the supervision of Stephen J. Campbell.
Chris was awarded a prestigious predoctoral Chester Dale Fellowship for 2020-21 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, to work toward the completion of his dissertation in the Museum’s Department of European Paintings.
Einav Zamir Dembin, MA Bard Graduate Center ’12, received her PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin in December 2020. Her focus of study was Art of Ancient Greece and gendered material culture. Her dissertation is entitled "Epinetra at Large: Textile Tools from the Wider Greek World."
Ameya was featured in the 2020 IFA Annual in a story (see page 55) about how she came to study art conservation in which she mentions her experiences at SUNY New Paltz as an Art History minor and a Chemistry major as well as her work in our Art Department with the Ceramics program. She also discusses the value of the undergraduate research program that she participated in at New Paltz:
“It was hard finding opportunities to advance my skills in hands-on treatment and analysis [of art objects] at first, but I was able to create a conservation science related Undergraduate Research Project while at SUNY New Paltz. Working with the Ceramics and Chemistry departments, my goal was to determine the glaze composition and luminescence properties of Carl Walters’ Egyptian blue faience sculptures.”
Last summer Ameya was an intern at Harpers Ferry Conservation Center.
Miquael Williams is in her second year in the MA program in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. She was elected among her peers as the IFA representative to NYU’s GSAS student organization.
Miquael served as the student assistant on the 2020 issue of the IFA Alumni Newsletter, working on it with her former SUNY New Paltz professor, Reva Wolf, who was appointed editor of the Newsletter last Spring. In this position, Miquael wrote an “in memoriam” piece on the archaeologist Iris Love (see page 10 of the Newsletter) and she worked on editing the alumni and faculty news listings, among other tasks.
Miquael was a panelist in a Zoom webinar called “History in the Making: Collecting and Interpreting the Artifacts of American Life” at Misericordia University on October 19, 2020.
In February, Miquael will begin a seven-month internship in the Prints and Drawings department at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.