Archive | March, 2011

Landmark West! Upper West Side iPhone Walking Tour

31 Mar

Landmark West!, an architectural preservation and education advocacy group on the Upper West Side, recently released an iPhone App walking tour of their neighborhood.  The tour focuses on about 10 blocks from 72nd Street to the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park West to Broadway. It includes such monuments as the Dakota Apartments, the Fourth Universalist Society and the Ansonia Apartments.  It’s a great way to learn about the history of a unique neighborhood and to spend a nice Spring day.

The app can be downloaded through the Apple iTunes App Store by following this link:


Malcolm St. Clair, ’09


Spring Open House and Update from London

23 Mar


Spring Open House and Update from London

Historical and Sustainable Architecture, M.A. Program

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 6:10 p.m.

Silver Center 307

100 Washington Square East

Join us for an information session and updates from London about the M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture. NYU’s new M.A. program, based in London, offers an intense immersion in adaptive reuse and sustainable building practice.  Come meet the program directors and hear about our growth as the first class prepares to graduate.  We will be available to answer questions and discuss our faculty and curriculum, as well as exciting new developments planned for the coming year, including expanded course offerings and a new BA/MA option for NYU undergraduates.



For more information, see our web pages at:


M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture

21 Mar

Repton Park, UK, Courtesy of English Heritage

In September 2010, the Department of Art History enrolled students in its first graduate program, the Master of Arts in Historical and Sustainable Architecture.  This degree consists of a 9-month curriculum focusing on the creative reuse of older buildings and the regeneration of urban districts around historic cores.  Professors Mosette Broderick and Jon Ritter have conceived and developed this program over the last four years, in conjunction with The Sir John Soane’s Museum, the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science, and former department chair Pepe Karmel.

Based at NYU’s London campus, this is the first American academic program to unite the topics of sustainable architecture, adaptive reuse and historic preservation within a single curriculum.  Combining the multiple perspectives of finance, environmentalism, education, tourism, and government policy, this program promotes older buildings as assets, not hindrances, to development.  The curriculum expands upon the interdisciplinary analysis and broad, humanistic perspectives taught in the Department’s Urban Design and Architecture studies undergraduate program.

British architects, designers, builders and developers are leaders in the field of adaptive reuse and sustainable architecture.  For this reason, the program is based in London, where our faculty consists of the city’s innovative architects and designers. Working under restrictive historic protection orders, these designers have successfully reused both important and modest older buildings, adapting them to new uses and integrating them into new projects built around, over, and even under historic structures.   Further, the curriculum extends sustainable practices beyond architecture and building into the realm of urban design.  Students examine successful strategies for reviving entire districts, cities, and regions around repurposed historic buildings in the London Docklands, Liverpool, and the mills at Stroud, Gloucestershire.

The M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture welcomes a diverse student body, including recent American college graduates and young professionals, as well as international applicants.  As demand grows for reuse rather than new construction, our students will help contribute new solutions to the challenges of contemporary urban planning and real estate development.  Graduates will shape the urban environment as city planners, public administrators, non-profit advocates, public and private consultants, and real estate developers.

This semester the fourteen students in the inaugural class continue their coursework in adaptive reuse and practical solutions to preserving historic structures and districts.   Most of the students are working two days a week at internships with the firms of our faculty or with advocacy groups like the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, the Landscape Trust, the Victorian Society, and the 20th century Society.  We are currently working with the Prince’s Foundation to establish an ongoing collaboration with our program.

This spring the students are also focusing on their Capstone Theses, in consultation with individual advisers.  They are developing promising work on topics such as the preservation and adaptation of children’s’ playgrounds; the social history of pubs; the history and designs of the cemetery movement; and the regeneration of industrial areas such as Shoreditch.

To read more about the program, including faculty profiles, course descriptions, and application information, please see our web page:

To contact us about the program, please send an email to:

Jon Ritter

Art History Writing Tutors

7 Mar

Although the Arts and Science College Learning Center has offered subject-specific assistance in the past and continues to do so in biology, chemistry, math, languages and the like, in recent years our own Department has taken the lead in providing art history-specific tutoring to its undergraduates. The program kicked off in October 2008 and, according to our students’ feedback, has already proven to be a great success.

Without exception, our tutors are all graduate candidates at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU’s graduate art history program. A tutor is available in the Department of Art History, Room 306C, every weekday, from 12.30 to 2pm. Students may see them on a walk-in basis.

This semester brings us three outstanding tutors:

Bobby Brennan is in his third year at the IFA studying toward a PhD in twentieth century art. His research interests range from artistic responses to the industrial revolution to German and American art during the Cold War. He received a BA in studio art and religious studies from Seattle University in 2007. Since then he has lived and worked in China and Germany. Bobby can be seen on Mondays.

Emily Melchin graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA in 2008. She worked as a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until the summer of 2010, when she moved to New York to start the MA program at the IFA. She is a first-year MA student interested in early 20th century art, American and European. After completing the MA in 2012, she hopes to return to work in museum education. Emily can be seen on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Kara Fiedorek graduated cum laude from Yale with a degree in History of Art in 2008. She is in her first year of the PhD program at the Institute of Fine Arts. Her main interests encompass the history of photography, focusing on pre-war photography but extending to contemporary practice, with a particular emphasis on the documentary mode. She has lived abroad in Paris, Brussels and Krakow, and will spend this summer at IFA’s excavation site in Selinunte, Sicily. Kara can be seen on Thursdays and Fridays.

Finally, just a few words about the kinds of issues our tutors  address in their one-on-one sessions — and the things they won’t. Since each meeting runs no longer than approximately 20 minutes, tutors will not be able to read entire drafts. Instead, they will work on developing each student’s writing and organizational skills (and, to some extent, research strategies) in specific ways. He or she will be responsible for clarifying the general rules of grammar, sentence structure and structure of argument, proper forms of citation, bibliographic format and art history-specific terminology.

Suffice it to say, our faculty is extremely excited about this support system for our majors and non-majors alike, and we hope that it continues to develop and grow in the years to come.

We are extremely grateful to the IFA for their support of this very important program.

Dennis Geronimus

Peggy Coon

The Department of Art History at CAA 2011

7 Mar

The 99th Annual College Art Association Conference held in New York from February 9th-12th, 2011 was a special event, as it included the Centennial Kickoff – a celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary.  The celebration will continue over the course of this year and will conclude at the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles in February 2012.  The Department of Art History was well represented at this year’s conference.

Pepe Karmel, a past winner (in 2000, with the late Kirk Varnedoe) of the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for Museum Scholarship, presented this year’s Barr award to Darielle Mason, curator and editor for Kantha:  The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection and the Stella Kramrisch Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2009). The Alfred Barr award is presented annually to “an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published in the English language under the auspices of a museum, library, or collection.”

Carol Krinsky presented a paper titled “The New York City Grid:  Some Urban Effects” in the session, “On the Grid:  Art and Architecture in Manhattan, 1811-2011” chaired by Sarah Rosenbaum-Kranson.

Elizabeth Mansfield presented a paper titled “Rococo Republicanism” in the session, “Rococo, Late-Rococo, Post-Rococo:  Art, Theory, and Historiography” chaired by Melissa Hyde and Katie Scott.   As president of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth- Century Art (AHNCA), Professor Mansfield hosted a private members’ viewing in the Prints and Photograph Study at the New York Public Library and ran AHNCA’s annual board and business meetings.

Shelley Rice co-chaired a session with Professor Reva Wolf titled “Lawrence Alloway, Visual Culture and Contemporary Practice:  A Discussion.”

Edward Sullivan served as organizer and moderator of a panel in honor of Professor Jonathan Brown of the Institute of Fine Arts, “Between Iberia and the New World:  the Scholarship of Jonathan Brown.”  Professor Sullivan also was a presenter in the panel, “Global Modernities,” organized by Leslie King-Hammond and Sarah Lewis.

Kathryn A. Smith

The Fine Arts Society: People, Places, and Events 2010-11

7 Mar


The Fine Arts Society, the Department of Art History’s CAS student club, has been exceptionally active this academic year, thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of its officers and the energetic guidance of its Faculty Adviser, Professor Julia Robinson. The goal of the Society is the creation of a community of NYU students interested in art history.  Through visits to New York City museums and galleries as well as walking tours, lectures, symposia, and film screenings, the Fine Arts Society brings art history majors and non-majors together, with lively discussions.  This year’s officers are Co-Presidents Alex Ahn (’11) and Ari Lipkis (’11), Treasurer Camille Okhio (’12), Secretary Jenna Donnachie (’11), Communications Manager Katrina Du (’11), and Board Members Joey Steigelman (’12) and Catherine Mastrangelo (’11).

Twenty-five students attended the Society’s fall information session, held on September 15th, 2010.  On September 26th, fifteen students visited the Museum of Modern Art to view the exhibition “Matisse:  Radical Invention.”  For the Society’s Halloween party on October 27th, members dressed up as their favorite works of art and enjoyed pizza, candy, and a viewing of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s silent Surrealist film, “Un Chien Andalou.”  A visit to Professor Kenneth Silver’s show “Chaos and Classicism” was the next event on the Society’s roster; twenty-five students visited the Guggenheim on October 29th, and Professor Julia Robinson provided a short introduction to the exhibition.  Professor Robinson took thirty students on a walking tour of contemporary art galleries in Chelsea on November 12th.  Then, on December 5th, she and fifteen students viewed the exhibition “Roy Lichtenstein:  The Black-and-White Drawings” at the Morgan Library & Museum.

The spring semester promises to be as rich in events as was fall.  An impressive forty students attended the spring information session, held on February 9th, 2011.  On February 18th, 2011, a student group visited the “Abstract Expressionist New York” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  In March, society members will tour the New York Armory Show and the Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Lab.  Professor Robinson will lead a walking tour of Lower East Society art galleries later in the semester.

Mid-April will bring one of the Society’s most popular events, the annual Careers Symposium, which brings together professionals working in all facets of the art world, including the auction houses, galleries, museums, publishing, consulting, academia, and philanthropy.  The goal of the Symposium is to provide students with information about and insight into the varied career options related to the arts.

The Society is planning a number of other events, including a guest lecture with salon-style discussion and a professor-led dialogue on a topic in the history of art yet to be determined. The club also publishes a monthly newsletter with information on mostly free arts-related events in New York City.  For further information about the Society and its activities, contact Co-President Alex Ahn at

Kathryn A. Smith

Department of Art History Professor Emerita Lucy Freeman Sandler awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship

7 Mar

Professor Lucy Freeman Sandler, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of Art History emerita, is one of only twenty-nine scholars to have been awarded an Emeritus Professor Fellowship by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2010.  This prestigious fellowship is “intended to support the scholarly activities of outstanding faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who, at the time of taking up the fellowships, will be officially retired but continue to be active and productive in their fields.”  Professor Sandler will use the Emeritus Professor Fellowship to complete her current book project, tentatively titled The Bohuns and their Books: Illuminated Manuscripts for Aristocrats in Fourteenth Century England, to be published by the British Library.

Professor Sandler is the author of numerous books, articles, and essays on medieval art and Gothic manuscript illumination, including The Peterborough Psalter in Brussels and other Fenland Manuscripts (1974), The Psalter of Robert de Lisle in the British Library (1983; revised paperback edition 1999), Omne bonum: A Fourteenth-Century Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge (1996), The Ramsey Psalter (1999), The Peterborough Bestiary (2003), and The Lichtenthal Psalter and the Manuscript Patronage of the Bohun Family (2004).  A collection of her essays spanning five decades of scholarly activity, Studies in Manuscript Illumination, 1200–1400, was published in 2008 in The Pindar Press’s Selected Studies in the History of Art series.  She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and other organizations.  A past president of the College Art Association, former editor of the Monograph Series of the College Art Association, Gesta, and current editor of Studies in Iconography, Professor Sandler is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London) and the Medieval Academy of America.  She served as Chair of the Department of Art History (then the Department of Fine Arts) between 1975-1989.  Professor Sandler retired in 2003, but the Department has been fortunate to have her as a guest professor on several occasions:  her advanced undergraduate seminar, “Pictures in Pictures,” remains popular, and she has served as a reader on honors thesis committees.

For further information about Professor Sandler and her work, see Kathryn A. Smith, “Lucy Freeman Sandler:  An Appreciation,” and Carol Herselle Krinsky, “Lucy Freeman Sandler:  From a Colleague and Friend,” in Tributes to Lucy Freeman Sandler:  Studies in Illuminated Manuscripts, ed. Kathryn A. Smith and Carol H. Krinsky (London:  Harvey Miller Publications, 2007), and the biography in The Dictionary of Art Historians at

Kathryn A. Smith