Archive | April, 2013

Pears, Pastimes, and People: Caricatures by Daumier and His Contemporaries

25 Apr

Students in Professor Patricia Mainardi’s seminar on Romanticism had the unusual experience this semester of curating an exhibition, doing everything from choosing the works and researching them, to writing catalogue entries, designing the exhibition catalogue and installing the show. The exhibition focused on caricatures produced during the first half of the nineteenth century in France, and includes twenty-six works on a variety of topics, many hand-colored. Some appeared in the new illustrated journals that began to be published during this period, others were intended to be sold either in series or individually. While Daumier is undoubtedly the best known of these artists, others, such as Charlet and Pigal were equally famous during their lifetime and produced numerous memorable works. Political caricatures—including one that landed its publisher in jail—form the largest group in the exhibition, which also included works featuring young love, the annoyances of travel, the pleasures of summer vacations, and the theater. Prominent in the exhibition are works depicting King Louis-Philippe as a pear in an—often unsuccessful—effort to evade the strict censorship laws of the period.

The twelve students in the seminar each chose one or more works from a great number provided by a private collector, researched biographical information on “their” artist and on the print itself, and then wrote their essays. The catalogue, originally envisioned as a modest printout, took on major proportions when two members of the seminar, Riad Kherdeen ‘13 and Florence Lung ‘13, took over its production. The result was a 66-page full color, beautifully designed book that was printed in a limited edition for members of the seminar and the exhibition sponsors, and that is available either for purchase or as a free download here. The exhibition was an entirely art history department production since Christina Lau ‘05, recently appointed Administrative Aide at La Maison Française, worked as its co-curator with Professor Mainardi and brought to the project her extensive experience in the NYC artworld of exhibitions and publications.

Pears, Pastimes, and People owes its existence to numerous individuals at New York University. Originally proposed by Francine Goldenhar, Director of La Maison Française, it was made possible because Kathryn A. Smith, Chair of the Department of Art History, with the able assistance of Margaret Coon, Department Administrator, obtained the necessary  funding. That funding came from Joy C. Connolly, Dean for the Humanities, Faculty of Arts & Science; G. Gabrielle Starr, Dean of the College of Arts & Science; and Benoît Bolduc, Chair of the Department of French, as well as La Maison Française and the art history department.

The exhibition will continue until May 31; further information is available at here.

Caricature Show-2

Patricia Mainardi, Florence Lung, Christina Lau, Riad Kherdeen





Be a part of the history of the Department of Art History – serve as an editor of our student-edited journal, Ink & Image, in 2013-14

22 Apr

 The Department of Art History and Program for Urban Design and Architecture Studies seek editors for its student-edited journal of undergraduate research in art history and urban design, Ink & Image, for the 2013-14 academic year.

Founded in 2009 by Urban Design and Art History majors Malcolm St. Clair and Alexis Wang, Ink & Image will publish its fifth issue this spring. All articles in Ink & Image are expanded versions of original research produced by undergraduates as papers for advanced Art History and Urban Design courses or departmental honors theses. The articles are chosen and edited by the student editors, with the advice and assistance of a faculty advisor.

Over the years, we have found that three editors is the ideal number for sharing the duties associated with this vital and valued aspect of our department’s program.

The shared responsibilities of the student editors include the following:

1) Encouraging submissions of original articles by advertising Ink & Image in the department/spreading the word;

2) Reading every submission and selecting a few suitable articles;

3) Editing the articles several times in collaboration with the authors and the faculty advisor;

4) Finding images and obtaining permission to use them from copyright holders;

5) Layout (can be a lengthy process);

6) Printing;

7) Distribution.

The workload tends to be heaviest towards the end of the spring semester, although this is dependent on how early the editing process starts. Generally, editors have asked for submissions during the fall and edited/published them in the spring. If the submissions are obtained earlier from previous semesters, however, the workload can be distributed more evenly.

This year’s current editors, Rachel High, Thor Shannon, and Nora Boyd, will be happy to meet with next year’s editors to ensure a smooth transition and provide valuable information about their experience and the editing process.

Please send an email indicating your interest in serving as an editor to Professor Kathryn Smith ( with copies to Professors Krinsky and Geronimus (,, and thank you.  Please include a copy of your c.v., transcript, and a writing sample (a c. 6-12-page paper).


Kathryn A. Smith

Associate Professor, Chair

Department of Art History


Career Symposium

19 Apr

image (1)

URDS Graduate and Adjunct, Catherine McNeur, Wins Prize for Best Dissertation

18 Apr



Urban Design and Architecture Studies graduate (2002) and Yale Ph.D (2012), Catherine McNeur, wrote her dissertation on New York City in the 1850’s.  The topic is the role of pigs in the food supply and it addresses  immigration, politics, food , and  local consumption.  The dissertation , “The ‘Swinish Multitude’ and Fashionable Promenades: Battles over Public Space in New York City, 1815-1865,” will soon be a book published by Harvard University Press.

Please join us in congratulating her; we just received word that she was awarded the Rachel Carson Prize for best dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History.

The Fine Arts Society: People, Places, and Events 2012-13

17 Apr

If you’ve been reading our blog, you know that the Department of Art History’s CAS student club, the Fine Arts Society, is having a banner year. The goal of the Society is the creation of a community of NYU students interested in art, art history, and visual culture. 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. Hearty congratulations and many thanks go to co-presidents Olivia Zhang and Riad Kherdeen, treasurer Valerie Itteilag, secretary Nora Gorman, PR officer Vivian Chen, and board member Emily Yang for their energetic leadership. This year’s officers have spearheaded many positive changes to the Society, from increasing the frequency of board meetings, to introducing a monthly newsletter announcing all planned events, to sending out eye-catching emails to club members, to using Google Forms to facilitate RSVP’s to the club’s exclusive events.  Great thanks also go to Professor Miriam Basilio for her sage guidance as faculty adviser, and to Professor Julia Robinson, the club’s adviser for two years running, for additional advice and support.

The Society kicked off the 2012-13 academic year with a “meet and greet” event on September 13th, followed by screenings of two films, the 2010 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, and Cage on Cage. The following month, the club sponsored a College Night visit to The Frick Collection (October 5th) and held its annual Halloween Party (October 25th) – certainly one of the social events of the year in our department.  On October 26th, club members went to the Guggenheim Museum to attend Artist to Artist, a conversation between artist Jeff Koons and Pepe Karmel, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History.

On November 15th, the Society screened the 2006 documentary, Who the *$&% Is Jackson Pollock. On November 17thclub members enjoyed a tour of Chelsea galleries led by David from the Two Percent Blog. December 13th brought the Society’s annual holiday party – a welcome break from studying for finals.

The spring 2013 semester has been just as busy as was fall. The second “meet and greet” event of the academic year, held on February 7th, was followed swiftly by a screening (on February 21st) of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010), which chronicles the life and career of Brooklyn-born graffiti artist-turned-Neo-Expressionist painter Jean-Michel BasquiatThe club wrapped up the month on February 26th with an evening with Dennis Geronimus, Associate Professor of Renaissance Art in the Department of Art History. On March 1st, club members participated in a College Group at the Metropolitan Museum of Art event. On March 7th, for the first time in its history, the Society co-hosted with the Ciné-club a screening of Séraphine (2008), which tells the story of housekeeper and self-taught painter Séraphine Louis (aka Séraphine de Senlis), and sponsored a visit of members to the Armory Show on March 9th. An evening with Carol Krinsky, Professor of Art History in the Department of Art History, held on March 26th, rounded out the Society’s events for the month of March.

April may be the “cruelest month” in terms of weather, but that has not slowed down the Fine Arts Society! The club began the month with a workshop on internships in the art world, held on April 3rd, and hosted an E-board interest meeting (April 10th). April also brings two of the Society’s most popular events: the Young Professionals Symposium (April 16th) and the Career Symposium (April 23rd). Both symposia bring together professionals working in all facets of the art world, including auction houses, galleries, museums, publishing, consulting, academia, and philanthropy, with the goal of providing students with information about and insight into the varied career options related to the arts. Panelists at the Young Professionals Symposium will include Kirsten Lee, a Ph.D. candidate in ancient art at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts; Ari Lipkis, Department of Art History alumnus, former co-president of the Fine Arts Society, and co-founder (with Alex Ahn) of TEMP Gallery; and Ellen Moody and Phoebe Springstubb, both of the Museum of Modern Art. The Career Symposium will feature panelists Amy Cappellazzo, a Department of Art History alumna who is Chair of Postwar and Contemporary development at Christies; Robin Cembalest of ARTnews; Carolyn Alexander of Alexander and Bonin Gallery; and Leslie Bussis Tait, Associate Museum Educator at The Cloisters Museum.

The Society will round out the academic year with two events: a lecture by Glenn Wharton, Chief Media Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art (May 2nd) and a year-end party, tentatively scheduled for May 9th.

Students interested in membership in the Fine Arts Society or desiring further information about the club’s activities should contact co-presidents Olivia Zhang ( and Riad Kherdeen (


Kathryn A. Smith




Young Career Symposium

16 Apr

young career symposium2

Art History and Urban Design and Architecture Students at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference

16 Apr

The Department of Art History and Program for Urban Design and Architecture Studies were well represented at this year’s Undergraduate Research Conference of the College of Arts and Science, held Friday, April 12th, 2013.  Congratulations to all of our student presenters, and many thanks to Professors Pepe Karmel, Dennis Geronimus, and Jon Ritter for serving as panel judges.

Kaylee Alexander (Art History
),Landscape and Experience: A Changing Aesthetic in Post-Revolutionary France.”

Zakariya Al-Haffar (Urban Design and Architecture
 Studies),The Unexpected Role of the Caravanserai of the Ottoman Empire in Greater Syria: A Story of Hybridization and Political Legitimacy.”

Thomas Baldwin (Art History),Hannah Höch’s Die Journalisten.”

Nora Boyd (Art History
),The Shanghai Lilong: A Miscast Type in the Discussion of Colonialism and Westernization in Shanghai.”

Victoria Damutz (Art History
),Gothic Dreamers: The Dichotomy Between Neoclassicism and Romanticism in Fuseli’s The Nightmare and Goya’s The Sleep of Reason.”

Rachel High (Art History
),The Writing of Allan Kaprow as a Curation of Identity and Historical Presence.”

In-Sung Kim (Urban Design and Architecture
 Studies),Seoul Greenbelt Development and the Necessity of Preservation.”

Amber Lynn (Urban Design and Architecture Studies), “Urban Renewal Without Gentrification: The City of New York and Charlotte Street.”

Alessandro Olsen (Urban Design and Architecture
 Studies), “The Private as Partner: A Study of New York’s Privately Funded Public Waterfront Spaces.”

Ariane Prache (Urban Design and Architecture
 Studies), “Adaptive Reuse in France: Public vs. Private Through the Lens of the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay.”

Thor Shannon (Art History
),Contemporary Art in the Post-Internet Age.”

Michael Storm (Urban Design and ArchitectureStudies), “How to Define Social Architecture: Reinterpreting the Modernist and Postmodernist Divide Through the Work of Candilis-Josic-Woods.”

James Walsh (Urban Design and Architecture Studies
),Selling a Community: Shopping Centers and the Suburbs.”

Karen Zabarsky (Urban Design and Architecture
 Studies), “The Role of Design Intent in the Preservation of Modern Architecture.”