Listen to Professor Carol Krinsky on NPR!

20 Aug
krinsky2-1In August, National Public Radio contacted Professor Krinsky in connection with a proposed story about the re-naming of the RCA Building, the tall central one at Rockefeller Center. It has been officially called the GE building for some years, because GE rented enough space there to apply pressure on the owners.Now Comcast wants it re-named, and wants a neon Comcast logo on the building.  NPR asked for Professor Krinsky’s reaction because she published a history of Rockefeller Center with Oxford University Press in 1978.  Listen to the interview here!

Important message to students from the Frick Collection!

15 Aug

Dear Students,

The Frick Collection is now accepting applications for the 2014-16 Teaching Fellows Program. This exciting new initiative is open to highly motivated undergraduate art history majors and graduate students in the humanities who are interested in complementing their studies by teaching from original works of art. Beyond receiving the equivalent of a course in museum education and the opportunity to lead Guided School Visits for schoolchildren in grades 5-12, Teaching Fellows will find community at the Frick and receive compensation for their dedication to gallery teaching. This is an excellent opportunity to become involved in the growing field of museum education and a rare chance to teach with masterpieces at one of the most prestigious museums in the country.

To learn more about how to become a Teaching Fellow, please visit


Olivia Powell, PhD

Associate Museum Educator for Academic Programs

“Ink and Image” publishes its sixth issue

12 Jun

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Ink and Image, New York University’s journal of undergraduate research in the history of art, architecture, and urban design, published its sixth issue earlier this month.

The articles published in each issue of Ink and Image develop out of term papers and other research conducted by students in advanced Art History and Urban Design courses, independent studies, and senior honors theses.

The journal’s student editors for the 2013-14 academic year were Anna van Niekerk (Art History/Politics ’14) and Zachary Fine (Gallatin ’15), both of whom published articles in last year’s issue (see our May 23rd, 2013 blogpost). Van Niekerk and Fine also created the sleek new cover design; thanks go to Department of Art History Administrative Assistant Josh Kwassman for his assistance as well. Once again, Professor Carol Krinsky provided invaluable guidance and assistance as faculty advisor and editor.

Five articles, all by current NYU undergraduates or departmental alumni, appear in the sixth issue. The authors and their essays are as follows:

Katherine French (Art History/Anthropology ’13), “Semantic Instability: Zwelethu Mthethewa’s Local and Global Reception.”

Devon Hersch (Art History ’14), “Collapsing the Postmodern into the Medieval: Dark Souls.

Liz Lorenz (Art History ‘15), “The Expressive Body in the Art of Shiomi, Ono and Kubota.”

Wilson Tarbox (Art History ’14), “Tactile Abstractions: Marta Chilindron and Lygia Clark.”

Manuela Toro (Art History ’14), “Conservation Case Studies from The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.”

Ink and Image was founded in 2008-09 by department alumni Malcolm St. Clair (Urban Design and Architecture Studies ’09) and Alexis Wang (Art History ’09) with the goal of expanding the community of scholars at NYU by publishing original undergraduate research in the history and theory of art and architecture. Former College of Arts & Science Dean Matthew Santirocco and Dean Sally Sanderlin provided crucial support toward the launch of Ink and Image, which continues to benefit from the support of the current CAS Dean, Gabrielle Starr, the CAS administration, and the CAS Student Council. Read about previous issues of the journal, including the roster of past authors and editors, here.

Ink and Image is distributed to the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Getty Research Institute, as well as Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and Technical University in Dresden, Germany.

Hearty congratulations to the authors and editors on their splendid achievements. Please stop by the Department of Art History and pick up a copy of Ink and Image 6.


Congratulations to Professor Kathryn A. Smith!

29 May

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Please join us in congratulating Kathryn A. Smith, who was just promoted to the rank of Professor, effective September 2014.

Professor Smith is the author of Art, Identity and Devotion in Fourteenth-Century England (2003) and The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late Medieval England (2012), both published by The British Library (London) and the University of Toronto Press (Toronto), as well as numerous articles, essays, and reviews on medieval art, especially illuminated manuscripts. She co-edited Tributes to Lucy Freeman Sandler: Studies in Illuminated Manuscripts (Harvey Miller, 2007) and The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages (Brepols, 2013) and is Series Editor of Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages (Brepols). Professor Smith’s current projects include studies of late medieval English alabaster sculpture, the early fourteenth-century English Queen Mary Psalter, and the illustrations in an early fourteenth-century manuscript of the Anglo-Norman Life of St. Edmund.

Before coming to NYU as Assistant Professor in fall 1998, Professor Smith was Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at Temple University (1995-98). She earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2005. She served as Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2002-5 and Department Chair from 2010-13. Professor Smith looks forward to continuing to teach medieval art to NYU students when she returns from leave in fall 2014.


Professor Kathryn A. Smith and Professor Emerita Lucy Freeman Sandler examining a manuscript in London, May 2014

Professor Kathryn A. Smith and DAH Professor emerita Lucy Freeman Sandler examining an illuminated manuscript in London, May 2014

URDS senior, Veronica Watson, wins Phi Beta Kappa/Albert S. Borgman Memorial Prize!

28 May

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We are thrilled to announce that  Veronica Watson, Urban Design & Architecture Studies Program, was awarded the Albert S. Borgman prize for  Best Honors Thesis in Humanities.  The abstract of  Watson’s thesis, The Resor House: Perspective Representation and Mies van der Rohe’s “Inner Structure”, can be read and images viewed at the end of this post but, first, a bit about our awardee:

Veronica majored in Urban Design and Architecture Studies and minored in Studio Art as well as Web Programming and Applications. Within the major, Veronica focused in the study of architectural history, and was particularly interested in modern architecture. At a MoMA exhibit, Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City, she came across Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Resor House collages. Captivated by the collages, she decided they would make an excellent subject for her senior thesis. Under the guidance of Professor Jon Ritter, she turned a study of the collages toward a broader investigation of perspective and architectural representation. Now that she has graduated, Veronica plans to work and pursue a graduate degree in architecture.


Mies van der Rohe, “Resor House Project, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Perspective and view of the site from interior,” 1937-1938, Museum of Modern Art




Mies van der Rohe, “Resor House Project, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Interior perspective of living room (view through north glass wall),” 1937-41, Museum of Modern Art




Mies van der Rohe, “Resor House Project, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Interior perspective of living room and south glass wall,” 1939, Museum of Modern Art



Architectural representation is the conceptualization and translation of designed space onto a two-dimensional picture plane. Linear perspective, invented in the early Renaissance by Fillipo Brunelleschi and described by Leon Batista Alberti in his book, On Painting, as a tool for painters, has become an integral method for architectural representation. These representations deserve deeper consideration as direct artifacts of the architect’s design conceptualization, freed from physical construction and its practical constraints. Furthermore, it is important to consider the way in which the two-dimensional perspective form may be reflected in the built three-dimensional space it represents.

These concerns will be turned toward a close examination of German modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, specifically by considering a number of sketches and, more particularly, three perspective collages he produced for his first American commission, the Resor House, in 1937. The collages combine photographic images of the landscape with drawn perspectives of the living space looking out into it. Using the ideas of art historian Erwin Panofsky in Perspective as Symbolic Form as a basis, I will argue that Mies employs the perspective form to a manipulative stylistic effect. While much has been written about Mies’s architecture, especially in regards to his interest in the structure of buildings, I will make a new argument. My research suggests that we may interpret the “inner structure”, that Mies proclaims to expose in his buildings as more than a skeletal structure highlighting what holds the building up. Instead we might perceive an underlying visual structure that reflects the form of the two-dimensional perspective in which it was conceived.



School’s Out for Summer!

21 May

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Costume Institute Event at the Met on May 22

13 May


The College Group at the Met invites you to an evening celebrating the opening of 
The Costume Institute exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion and the new 
Anna Wintour Costume Center. 

8:00–10:00 p.m.
Viewing, reception and workshop with P.S. – I made this…

Submissions by the finalists of our fashion design contest will be on display. The contest winner and a fan favorite will be announced during the event.

Event is free with a valid student ID; however, space is limited. Event is first come, first served. RSVP.

Guests are encouraged to dress to impress. For inspiration, visit the exhibition page.


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