Faculty News, Spring 2013

3 Apr

This year Miriam Basilio traveled to China and Hong Kong for the first time, when she was in was invited by Yeewan Koon, Assistant Professor at the Humanities Department of the University of Hong Kong for the symposium, A Connective History of Qing Art: Visuality, Images and Imaginaries (June 7–11, 2012), to act as a respondent for one of the sessions to bring a comparative perspective for papers dealing with issues of modernity, contact between Chinese artists and the West, realism, and art historical canons in the 1930s. She also presented a lunch seminar on the subject of my current book project, The Evolving Latin American Canon, on June 7 at the Department of Fine Arts. Professor Koon organized a visit to the storage at the Hong Kong Art Museum, where we were treated to close-hand study of ink paintings and other works in their collection. “I took the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, where I visited museums and galleries, admired the beautiful Art Deco and contemporary architecture and the majestic Bund, attended a Shanghai opera, and ate many delicious soup dumplings. In Hangzhou I was lucky to be hosted by Zhang Peili, Dean of at the New Media Department at the China Art Academy in Hangzhou,” Professor Basilio writes. In December she traveled to Madrid where she was invited to present a paper at the conference El arte y sus redes de proyección, circulación y estudio en los siglos XX y XXI (Dec. 10-12, Art and its Networks of Dissemination, Circulation and Study in the XXth and XXIst Centuries), organized by the Visual Culture section of CSIC (Spain’s national center for research in humanities and sciences).She presented new research on an undocumented exhibition of Spanish Republican and Farm Services Administration posters held at The Museum of Modern Art, the Exhibition of Government Posters (1937) at The Museum of Modern Art: Spanish Republican Posters as Models of Avant-Garde Design and Pedagogical Efficacy.


China Art Academy


Hong Kong Art Museum


Shanghai Skyline

Mosette Broderick and Jon Ritter graduated a second class in the Historical and Sustainable Architecture Program. In June 2012, the British Authorities gave validation for the London-based M. A. program to be entirely conducted in the UK, which shall indeed now happen. That same month, Professor Broderick took a class of undergraduates to London, where they explored the site of the Olympic Games just prior to the commencement of that event. This summer they shall see if the site really was as sustainable as promised. In September 2012 Professor Broderick lectured at the Florentine New York town house built by the dealer, Carlo Fabbri, now the House of the Redeemer, and in November she began work on her new book on Fifth Avenue, provisionally titled New York’s Lost Fifth Avenue, a project that has happily returned to its original publisher. In January 2013, she addressed The Century Club on their building, and just recently gave the Friends of The Upper East Side a walk on Fifth Avenue.  In March of this year, a film packager approached Professor Broderick with the concept of attempting a screenplay based on her 2010 book, Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America’s Gilded Age (Alfred A. Knopf; see our May 26th, 2011 blogpost), which Professor Broderick will attempt to produce.

Barry Flood is on sabbatical leave in spring 2013, conducting fieldwork in Ethiopia and India for a new project on pre-modern globalization, and finishing a book on Islam and the image.  In September 2012 he co-organized a conference, “Beyond Representation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Nature of Things,” with Jaś Elsner (Oxford University) and Ittai Weinryb (Bard Graduate Center) as a collaboration between the IFA as part of its Mellon program exploring the futures of art history, and Bard Graduate Center.  In March 2013, he participated in a workshop on Religious Accommodation in Early Modern and Mughal India, held at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.  In May 2013, he will participate in a seminar on Antiquarianism in the Islamic World at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.  During the 2012-13 academic year he gave the following lectures:  Plenary speech, Inter-Asian Connections III: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (June 2012); “The Gwalior Qur’an and the Ghurid Legacy to Indo-Islamic Art,” « Autour du Coran de Gwalior : polysémie d’un manuscrit à peintures » Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris (June 2012). “Calvino-Turks and Turko-Papists: Aniconism, Idolatry and Identity in the Global Polemics of the Reformation,” Program in Ottoman Studies, New York University (November 2012); “European Moments in the Making of Islam’s ‘Image Problem’,” a lecture in the Golden Jubilee Lecture Series of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi (March 2013); “Figures as Flowers: Altered Images in a Mughal Manuscript,” Jnanapravaha, Mumbai (March 2013); “Figures as Flowers: Aniconism, Islam and a Unique Chester Beatty Library Manuscript,” Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (May 2013).  His publications this academic year include the Intervention: “Presentation, (Re)animation and the Enchantments of Technology,” Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics 61/62 (2012):  228-236.

Dennis Geronimus continues to work away on two major projects in parallel: his monograph-in-progress on the Florentine master Jacopo da Pontormo, accepted for publication by Yale University Press, and an exhibition devoted to the career of Piero di Cosimo, scheduled to open at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, in February 2015, before traveling to the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, for the second (European) leg of the exhibition (June 2015). This past year saw the publication of a number of Professor Geronimus’ essays and reviews, namely: “Pontormos Werkprozess” (Pontormo’s Process”), in the exhibition catalogue published on occasion of a focused Pontormo show, Pontormo. Meisterwerke des Manierismus in Florenz, held at the Landesmuseum, Hannover (January 27-May 5, 2013); an essay titled “Silenus’s Song: High and Low Poetics in Piero di Cosimo’s Bacchanals,” featured in the anthology Penser l’étrangeté. L’art de la Renaissance entre bizarrerie, extravagance et singularité (Paris, 2012); and a review of the exhibition “Bronzino: pittore e poeta alla corte dei Medici” (“Bronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici”), shown at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (Sept. 23, 2010–Jan. 23, 2011), published in Renaissance Studies (Nov. 2012). Another exhibition review is also soon to appear in the same journal: that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s far-ranging The Renaissance Portrait, from Donatello to Giovanni Bellini show of winter-spring 2012. Professor Geronimus delivered several public lectures this past year, starting with one at his college alma mater (Williams College) as a Clark Fellow at the Clark Art Institute, titled “Northern Exposure: Pontormo Responds to Dürer.” Other talks took him to Boston University (“‘Like a long-legged fly upon the stream; His mind moves upon silence’: Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel”) and Penn State University (“No Man’s Lands: Lucretius and the Lure of the Primitive in Renaissance Art”). As a faculty fellow at NYU’s Humanities Initiative this past spring, he delivered a talk titled “Body and Soul: Renaissance Portraits and the Motions of the Mind,” inspired in large part by the aforementioned portraiture exhibition at the Met that coincided with his fellowship. This spring, Prof. Geronimus is co-teaching for the first time an M.A. pro-seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, with Prof. Martha Rust (English), called “Other Worlds in the Middle Ages and Renaissance” – an experience that he hopes their students (ranging from Art History majors to English and Theology graduate candidates) find even half as exciting as he and Prof. Rust have. Also this spring, he is participating once again in the DURF research conference, as a session chair for one of the Humanities sessions. Looking to the future, Professor Geronimus will continue to develop his book project on Pontormo in the painter’s hometown of Florence, as a Visiting Scholar at the Dutch Institute for Art History in spring 2014.




In fall 2012, Pepe Karmel co-curated and wrote the catalogue for Conceptual Abstraction, an exhibition following the development of twenty abstract painters from 1990 to 2010.  Seen at the Hunter College / 41st Street Art Gallery, the show was enthusiastically reviewed in the New York Times and Art in America (see our November 5th, 2012 blogpost).  Professor Karmel also contributed essays to catalogues of the work of Wayne Thiebaud at Acquavella and Jean-Michel Othoniel at L&M Arts, and wrote the text for Elemental, a book of Elyn Zimmerman’s drawings and photographs. In December 2012, he contributed a text to Irving Sandler’s “Art Criticism Today” issue of the Brooklyn Rail, arguing that art critics feel marginalized because they are underpaid; that they spend too much time reading “zombie theory” and not enough time reading about actual history, economics, or science; and that they need to pay more attention to non-Western art, especially the kind that does not appeal immediately to conventionally sophisticated New York eyes. Professor Karmel is working on Abstract Art: A Global Survey, 1910-2010; meanwhile, his article on “Abstract Art Today” is the cover story in the April 2013 issue of ArtNews, and his essay on the “Singular Forms” of Ellsworth Kelly will appear in the catalogue for an exhibition at the Mnuchin Gallery, also opening in April.

Between June 2012 and May 2013, Carol Krinsky sent two articles to scholarly journals, and assembled material for her next book, to be called Building New York, 1961— (closing date not yet determined).  During the summer, she traveled to Paris, London and Lincolnshire, and Florence.  Of course, she took photographs for use in her classes. She completed and published another article and book review, and was a commentator in a scholarly session held by the Urban History Association in October. For the College Art Association meeting in February, she chaired a session called “Border Crossings” that dealt with the artistic results of migration, of nationalities that suddenly change when political borders change, and the activities of foreigners that affect local culture.  Another pleasant activity at the conference was mentoring young art historians who are starting their careers. In April, she traveled to Buffalo for the annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians. During the summer and fall, she enjoyed lecturing to visiting foreign scholars from the University of Augsburg (Germany), from various countries who attend a summer program run by Steinhardt, and from Chinese universities who visited under the auspices of the Asian Cultural Council. All of them get the midtown tour that her students have taken in her Architecture since 1914 course. In late May, she is scheduled to teach at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico City, and she hopes that will happen.

Louise Rice dedicated the fall 2012 semester to the study of Bernini. Her Special Topics course on “Bernini and the Roman Baroque” was planned to coincide with a major exhibition of Bernini’s drawings and clay models that opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October. She organized a “Scholars’ Day for Students,” which brought together undergraduate and graduate students from Rutgers University, University of Toronto, and NYU for a day of lectures and discussion, and which was generously supported by the Dean of the College of Arts & Science, the Dean for Humanities, and the Humanities Initiative. Speakers at the “Scholars Day for Students” included Bernini scholars Tod Marder, Evonne Levy, Tony Sigel, Paola d’Agostino, and Professor Rice herself. At the Metropolitan Museum in December, Professor Rice presented new findings on Bernini’s presentation drawings for the tomb of Pope Alexander VII. And in early February, she traveled to Fort Worth TX, where the Bernini exhibition had its second venue, and there participated in a day-long symposium with a lecture entitled “Bernini’s Dress Rehearsals: Full-Scale Models in situ.” Later this spring, in connection with the major international exhibition “Barocci: Brilliance & Grace” now on view at the National Gallery in London, Professor Rice will join the museum’s director Nicholas Penny and the historian Simon Ditchfield in a public conversation about art in the age of Catholic reform (Sainsbury Wing Theatre, 12 April 2013). This year saw the publication of Professor Rice’s “Matthaeus Greuter and the Conclusion Industry in Seventeenth-Century Rome,” a study of one of the leading professional engravers of the early Baroque period (in Ein privilegiertes Medium und die Bildkulturen Europas. Deutsche, Französische und Niederländische Kupferstecher und Graphikverleger in Rom von 1590 bis 1630, ed. E. Leuschner (Munich, 2012). Her article on Francis Haskell’s ground-breaking study of art patronage (Patrons and Painters, 1963), which first appeared in the series “Art History Reviewed” in Burlington Magazine in 2010, has been reprinted in The Books that Shaped Art History, ed. R. Shone & J.-P. Stonard (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2013).

Shelley Rice spent this year on several different projects. She was the Jeu de Paume (Paris) Museum’s Invited Blogger for most of 2012, and spent much of that time reviewing contemporary exhibitions, books and performances seen at home or during her travels – an experience that will be the subject of a talk in the Criticism Lecture series at the School of Visual Arts on April 11. She also co-curated, with the late Director of the Tamiment Library Mike Nash and Tisch Photo Senior Jonno Rattman, the exhibition The View from Left Field, a selection of images from the photo morgue of the Daily Worker, the newspaper published for much of the 20th century by the American Communist Party, whose archives were given to NYU in 2006. On view in the fall of 2012 in the Tisch School of the Arts Photography and Imaging Galleries, the exhibition has traveled around NYU throughout the academic year, displayed first at the Kimmel Center and then the Tamiment Library in Bobst. This exhibition was funded by a grant from the Visual Arts Initiative of New York University. Professor Rice was also the recipient of the NYU Humanities Initiative Fellowship during academic year 2012-2013, which gave her extra research time to work on her project Local Space/Global Visions: Visual Geography Around 1900. Besides doing research in New York, Washington, D.C., Zurich, Paris, Denver and Detroit, Rice has recently published an essay on this topic in American Photography: Local and Global Contexts, a volume edited by Bettina Gockel and published by Akademie Verlag in Berlin. (Other essays have been published this year in Bookforum, Tate Papers, and books coming out in Germany, Brazil and France.) She has lectured several times in New York City, and traveled to Switzerland, Canada, Spain, France and other venues in the United States to lecture on and discuss her Local Space/Global Visions research – which she is planning to transform into a book during her sabbatical next spring, for which she was awarded the University’s Remarque Fellowship, that will allow her to be a scholar in residence at the Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris. During the spring 2013 semester, Professor Rice is team-teaching a graduate and undergraduate seminar on Global Issues in Contemporary Photography with Okwui Enwezor, who is serving as Global Distinguished Professor in the Art History Department this year. Other significant international projects include her panel, about young women photographers working in Africa, included in the Black Portrait in the West Conference at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in January 2013, a fabulous extravaganza organized by NYU and Harvard University that attracted hundreds of people from Europe, the USA, Africa and the African Diaspora. Rice has been asked to partner with Professor Shamoon Zamir on an Archive Project based in NYU/Abu Dhabi, and will travel to Jerusalem to speak at a major conference called Displaced Visions at the Israel Museum in late June. As the recipient of a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, she will spend several weeks in Beijing in late May of 2013, to teach a workshop at the Three Shadows Photography Center and do preliminary research for a proposed exhibition by the Chinese artist Xing Danwen.

Jon Ritter continues to work closely with Prof. Mosette Broderick to administer the Urban Design and Architectural Studies undergraduate program and the M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture.  During the 2012-13 year, Professor Ritter is again teaching in the Freshman Presidential Scholars program, in addition to his normal teaching in the department.  Highlights of his academic work in 2012 include “’Where Buildings Stop Swearing’”: The Cleveland Mall and the Invention of the American Civic Center,” a lecture for the Rowfant Club in Cleveland; “The City Scene: Cityscapes in the History of Art,” a talk at the 404 Gallery in Brooklyn; and “Sites of Reform: Civic Centers and Progressivism in American Cities, 1900-1930,” a paper presented at the bi-annual conference of the Urban History Association.  Professor Ritter participated in research and teaching about the history of the James Duke house, home of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts, to mark its centennial year in 2012. Professor Ritter also continues to serve as President of the New York chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Julia Robinson spent last summer writing and researching in Europe. In early June she traveled to Stockholm to see an exhibition called Explosion! Painting as Action, regarding the legacy of Jackson Pollock in the realm of performance, at the Moderna Museet, for which she had contributed a catalogue essay. She also wrote an essay on artists’ multiples for an exhibition called Ars Multiplicata: The Small Utopia curated by Germano Celant at the Prada Foundation in Venice, which opened in June. In July she visited the Claes Oldenburg retrospective at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, after having written extensively on the artist, and most recently, the preview for this much-anticipated exhibition in Artforum. She also visited many exhibitions pivotal to her work in Contemporary Art, from the Paris Triennial curated by Okwui Enwesor, to Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany – among others. Finally, she worked in Madrid at the Reina Sofia on plans for a new exhibition she is being commissioned to curate on the landmark document leading to the expanded arts of the 1960s, An Anthology of Chance Operations etc. (1963). That exhibition, which will be a multimedia constellation of involving sound, dance, poetry, and visual art, will open in June (2013). Last fall Professor Robinson taught a seminar on this subject, titled “Historicizing the Contemporary – Case Study: An Anthology of Chance Operations,” which proved exciting for all involved, with students making very original choices for their research papers. 2012 was the centenary of the birth of John Cage, which had Professor Robinson giving lectures on Cage at conferences organized by the Sorbonne in Paris (in September) and Northwestern University in Chicago (in October). She also organized a John Cage event at NYU with the esteemed 1960s gallerist Virginia Dwan, who gave a talk and showed a rare film interview she had made with Cage (this was co-sponsored by our Fine Arts Society and the Grey Gallery). In late November Professor Robinson participated in a three-day think-tank of international scholars at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, as part of their preparation for a major traveling exhibition International Pop in 2015. This past February she was invited by the Society of Contemporary Art Historians to contribute to a panel titled “The Social, The Relational, and the Participatory: A Re-evaluation,” at the College Art Association’s Annual Conference in New York. During the spring Professor Robinson has been on leave working on her book on the American artist (and erstwhile Fluxus member) George Brecht.

Professor emerita Lucy Freeman Sandler has recently completed a book titled Illumination, Illuminators, and Patrons in Fourteenth Century England: The Psalter and Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the Manuscripts of the Bohun Family, to be published by the British Library. Support for this publication was provided by a Mellon Emeritus Professor Fellowship. Other recent and forthcoming publications include “Scribe, Corrector, Reader: The Marginal Drawings of the Morgan Library Lumere as lais,English Manuscript Studies 17 (2012), “In Living Memory: Portraits of the Fourteenth Century Canons of Dorchester,” in Inventing a Path, Studies in Medieval Rhetoric in Honour of Mary Carruthers (2013), and two further studies of Bohun manuscripts. In 2011 Professor Sandler was asked by the International Center of Medieval Art to lecture on “The Bohuns and Their Books: Illuminated Manuscripts for Aristocrats in Fourteenth-Century England” at the Courtauld Institute in London, Trinity College, Dublin, and the University of Glasgow, a lecture given more recently, in fall 2012, at the Center for Medieval Studies of Fordham University, in New York. In April and May 2012 she lectured on “The Outer Limits” Marginal Illustrations in Gothic Manuscripts” at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Santa Monica, CA and the University of Chicago. Professor Sandler continues as a co-editor of Studies in Iconography, and is active in the Medieval Academy of America, where most recently she has been appointed President of the Fellows.

Kenneth E. Silver has had a busy year, which saw two publications concerning the French painter Fernand Léger: his new book, Fernand Léger: A Survey of Iconic Work, was published by Editions Assouline (Paris and New York, 2012), and an essay, “Il linguaggio cubista di Fernand Léger,” in the exhibition catalogue edited by Charlotte Eyerman for the Complesso Vittoriano, Cubisti cubismo (Rome, 2013). In September 2012 Professor Silver’s exhibition, for which he wrote the lead essay and edited the catalogue, Face and Figure: The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, opened at the Bruce Museum (Greenwich, Connecticut), where Silver is Adjunct Curator of Art. Professor Silver presented, in November 2012, “Between Revolution and Reaction: Soutine’s Critical Role in Interwar Parisian Aesthetics” for the symposium Modernism and Anti-Modernism at the new Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia. At the Maison Française, Columbia University, as one of its “Special Centennial Events,” in March 2013, he delivered “Transat: The Big Little World of Franco-American Artistic Interchange Before, During, and After the Armory Show, 1913,” a lecture that has grown from his two new courses in the Department of Art History, “Paris/New York,” an advanced lecture course for Art History majors, and “New York Avant-Garde,” for the Morse Academic Program. In January 2013, Professor Silver was a Jury Member and Respondent for the Graduate Symposium at the Guggenheim Museum, New York: “Monographic Motifs: One Artist, One Theme, 1900-1970.” Professor Silver has also just stepped down from a three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Drawing Center, New York, and continues as a Contributing Editor at Art in America magazine.

Kathryn A. Smith’s second book, The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late Medieval England, was published in late spring 2012 by The British Library Publications and the University of Toronto Press. It received as excellent review in the Times Literary Supplement (see our October 23, 2012 blogpost). 2012 also saw the publication of an essay titled “Margin,” which appeared in Medieval Art History Today: Critical Terms, a special issue of the journal Studies in Iconography, and Professor Smith’s review of The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Images, and Contexts, published in the journal Speculum. In September 2012, Professor Smith presented a paper titled “’A Lanterne of Lyght to the People’: English Narrative Alabaster Images of John the Baptist in their Visual, Religious, and Social Contexts” at the University of Michigan’s annual Medieval and Early Modern Symposium. In March 2013, she gave a plenary wrap-up lecture on “Putting English Art in its Place” at the 33rd Annual Conference of Fordham University’s Center for Medieval Studies, Putting England in Its Place: Cultural Production and Cultural Relations in the High Middle Ages. And in May 2013, she will lecture at the CUNY Graduate Center on “The Book within the Book: Allegorical and Metaphorical Books in Illuminated Religious Manuscripts Made for the Laity” in a panel on Late Medieval Spirituality and… organized by the Medieval Club of New York. As a principal cataloguer of the English illuminated manuscripts in the Walters Art Museum, work she has pursued in the context of the Museum’s NEH-funded project, The Digital Walters: Parchment to Pixel, Professor Smith helped to catalogue a remarkable series of leaves of Bible pictures by the thirteenth-century artist William de Brailes and an illustrated fourteenth-century political treatise. She served the first year of a three-year term on the Haskins Medal Committee of the Medieval Academy of America. Last month, Professor Smith had the pleasure of serving as a judge of student entries to the Morgan Book Project, a wonderful program through which the Morgan Library and Museum “collaborates with public school teachers…to engage students in writing, illustrating, and building a book”.  Professor Smith looks forward to stepping down as department chair in August, when she will return to a number of ongoing projects, including the commentary for the facsimile of the Queen Mary Psalter, an article on late medieval English alabasters, and a new course on the medieval illuminated manuscript that she is developing for the 2014-15 academic year.

From June 2012 to May 2013, Edward Sullivan curated and wrote the principal essay for the exhibition Observed: Milagos de la Torre, on the work of the contemporary conceptualist photographer originally from Peru and now residing in New York. This show was at the Americas Society in New York and the Museo de Arte de Lima. He wrote eight essays for publications including Art in America and exhibition catalogues for shows in the U.S. Among them was a lengthy discussion of the history of collecting and exhibiting Caribbean art in the United States for the book Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World, published by Yale University Press. Professor Sullivan organized a conference on curating contemporary Latin American art at the Institute of Fine Arts in November, 2012. He lectured at the Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington DC, Kutztown University and gave the Diskant Memorial Lecture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He advised or co-advised five honors theses in the Department of Art History and taught a new seminar on Caribbean art in fall, 2012.


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