Miriam Basilio, a joint appointment with Museum Studies, earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor effective September 1, 2013. Her first book, Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions, and the Spanish Civil War, was recently published by Ashgate. She also published an essay titled “Equipo Crónica: Art History, Narrative Figuration, and Critical Realism,” in Contemporary Transatlantic Dialogues: Art History, Criticism, and Exhibition Practices in Spain and the United States, edited by Robert S. Lubar and Maria Dolores Jiménez Blanco (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, 2014). Professor Basilio is on sabbatical leave for academic year 2013-14, working on her second book and spending much of her time in her favorite city, Barcelona.
Mosette Broderick is (finally) back at work on her book on Fifth Avenue, to be published by Yale University Press. It will be a walk from Washington Square to the Warburg house (now The Jewish Museum) on an avenue that has almost fully disappeared. The book will reconstitute the once legendary avenue and discuss the myth and reality of high-end real estate. In October 2013, Professor Broderick was invited to present a talk for the Victorian Society in the UK on British architects who came to America. In January 2014, she gave another newly researched talk on New York City clubs and Harvard for the Annual lecture at The Harvard Club. Professor Broderick gave a ‘dinner’ lecture for the Victorian Society in London in March 2014 on a subject on which she has worked previously: it seems the British do not know McKim, Mead & White, so she spoke to the nineteenth-century revering community about a non-English subject. Professor Broderick and Sam White, Adjunct Professor in the Urban Design and Architecture Studies program, spoke on a public television program on Stanford White for Treasures of New York. The program aired on WLIW Channel 21 and WNET Channel 13 in January 2014.
In November 2013, Professor Barry Flood was the Adrian Gerbrands Laureate, delivering the annual Adrian Gerbrands Laureate commemorative lecture in the Department of Anthropology, Leiden University, on the theme of “Sanctified Sandals – Imaging the Prophet in an Era of Technological Reproducibility.” In February 2014, he delivered one of the Bettman lectures at Columbia University. In March, during spring break, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo, where he delivered two lectures, one on the architectural connections between medieval Ethiopia, Yemen, and Egypt, and the other on ornament in early mosque architecture.
In April 2014, he was an Iris Foundation Awardee for Outstanding Scholarship in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, delivering an Iris awardee lecture on “Twelfth-Century Architecture as Incipient Globalism: Egypt, India, and Medieval Ethiopia,” at Bard Graduate Center in New York. In the same month, he deliver a paper, “Mobilizing Mimesis: Commemorative Statuary Contested in the Modern Middle East,” at Iconoclasms: A Day in Honor of Francesco Pellizzi, held at Columbia University, an event that he co-organized.
Current projects include an essay on the artist Walid Raad for the catalog of an exhibition to be held at MoMA in 2015, and forewords for monographs or edited volumes on contemporary mosque architecture, the historical relations between India and Ireland, and the transmission and translation of architectural forms in pre-modern South Asia and the Islamic world. Professor Flood is also in the final stages of co-preparing the two-volume Blackwell Companion to Islamic Art, which he co-edited with Professor Gülru Necipoğlu, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art at Harvard University, for submission to the press. This is a fifty-essay collection of newly commissioned essays on a wide variety of subjects relating to Islamic art.
Recent publications include “Bodies and Becoming: Mimesis, Mediation and the Ingestion of the Sacred in Christianity and Islam,” in Sally M. Promey, ed., Sensational Religion: Sensory Cultures in Material Practice (Yale University Press, 2014), and “Lost Histories of a Licit Figural Art,” International Journal of Middle East Studies (45/3, 2013).
Dennis Geronimus is spending the spring semester in Florence, where he is a scholar-in-residence at the invitation of the Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte (The Dutch University Institute for Art History). There, he continues his work on two of Florence’s most beloved and singularly original artistic sons: Jacopo da Pontormo, the subject of Prof. Geronimus’s monograph-in-progress (Jacopo da Pontormo: Altered Grace, Human and Divine) for Yale University Press, and Pontormo’s one-time teacher, Piero di Cosimo, who is to be the subject of a first-ever exhibition on the artist, scheduled to open at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, on February 1, 2015, before traveling to the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, for the second leg of the exhibition that June. Professor Geronimus is contributing to the show, titled Piero di Cosimo and the Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence, and its accompanying catalogue in the role of guest curator: a first-time experience for him and a very exciting one at that. This past year also saw the publication of a pair of his 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 in Hannover, Germany (January 27-May 5, 2013); and an exhibition review in Renaissance Studies of “The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini” (“Gesichter der Renaissance: Meisterwerke italienische Portrait-Kunst”), held at the Bode-Museum, Berlin, and then the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While in Florence this spring, Professor Geronimus will participate as a group discussant for a public event oriented around the spectacular “Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino: Diverging Paths of Mannerism” exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in celebration of the worldwide “Slow Art Day” (April 12). As the Dutch Institute’s visiting scholar, meanwhile, he will deliver a public lecture – to which all NYU-Florence students are very much invited – titled “Making as Meaning: Jacopo Pontormo and ‘la lingua della bottega,’” in which he will investigate Pontormo’s painted works as products of practice, exhibiting their own particular set of material properties and revealing a great deal about the master’s intensely experimental artistic process. Upon his return to the Square this summer, Professor Geronimus is eager to return to the classroom and to begin his tenure as incoming Department Chair.
Dipti Khera has had a busy first year at NYU, during which she was the University’s Vivian G. Prins Global Scholar. Over the fall and spring semesters, she taught new undergraduate and graduate courses on the themes of cross-cultural encounters in Mughal and British India and on the imagining of place and landscape from 50 BCE to the present in the arts of South Asia. In both seminars, students in the Department of Art History and Institute of Fine Arts, examined paintings and objects in study rooms of institutions in New York City and beyond, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art. Professor Khera gave a lecture on Mughal art, European exchanges and global travels in the seventeenth century in Professor Meredith Martin’s “History of Western Art II” course. Professor Martin, in turn, lectured on art and diplomacy in eighteenth-century India and France in “South Asian Art II.” Both Professors Martin and Khera are very excited by the prospect of using this pedagogical experience to develop new co-taught courses in the Department of Art History that will address the global dimensions of art and art history in the early modern and modern periods. Professor Khera also gave or will give talks at various conferences in spring and summer 2014. She lectured on “Copying Contexts: Picturing Places and Histories in Udaipur Court Painting and Picart’s Atlas Historique,” at the College Art Association Conference, Chicago, in February 2014, and on “Painting, Writing and Singing Praises of Cities: Vernacular Mediations in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Rajasthan” at a conference on vernacular traditions at Barnard College in April 2014. Future lectures include the following: “Picturing Feeling of a Place: Asserting Affect, Agency and Architecture in Eighteenth Century Udaipur Painting,” which she’ll present at a conference on emotions and subjectivity in early modern Muslim empires at Yale University in May 2014, and “Looking at Lakes, Looking from Lake-Palaces: Worlds of Pleasure and Power in Eighteenth Century Udaipur” at a conference on spaces of water and ecocritical enquiry in South Asia, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. Professor Khera also served as discussant for a panel on “object practices” in a conference, “Materiality in Japan: Making, Breaking and Conserving Works of Art and Architecture,” held at the Institute of Fine Arts in April 2014. For an interdisciplinary conference on the long twentieth century in India, held at the South Asian Studies Council, Yale University, also in April 2014, Professor Khera contributed to the organization of the conversation on modernism and aesthetics and served as discussant for the associated panel.During the winter break, she traveled to India for research on her book, which examines how painters and poets conceptualize place, represent reality, and imagine territoriality during a time period of intense political and artistic transitions in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century India. In summer 2014, Professor Khera is looking forward devoting herself to writing the book.
Last May, Carol Krinsky spent a week at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)’s Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas. She lectured about the building of New York City in the past hundred years. She had a splendid time when not working, visiting museums and architecture. One highlight was a visit to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo studios in San Angel, after a delicious lunch at the enchanting San Angel Inn. Another highlight was a visit to the Palacio de Bellas Artes. It has a spectacular art moderne interior with murals by leading Mexican artists. Professor Krinsky then spent part of the summer traveling abroad, first to northern England where she looked at neoclassical city planning in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, saw the Holy Island of Lindisfarne with the ruins of its medieval abbey, saw the early medieval church at Jarrow (one of the earliest Christian sites in the British Isles), saw splendid baroque structures by Nicholas Hawksmoor, and other attractions. Following brief visits to Cambridge and Bedford, she spent a few days in London and then took a long train ride to Innsbruck, Austria. One of the attractions there, apart from the glorious Alps, is Schloss Ambras, a Renaissance-and-late castle with one of the earliest and greatest Kunst-und-Wunderkammer, i.e. an early museum or curiosity collection of natural history specimens, examples of artisanal carving, jeweled objects, and other things to make up an Art and Wonder Chamber. A week in Munich, Germany, followed, with visits to the spectacular Renaissance through eighteenth-century churches (St. Michael’s. the Theatine church, the Asam church, St. Michael’s in Berg-am-Laim) and to the outstanding museums. A new one with a beautiful, colored exterior and a very well-planned and well-lit interior is the Brandhorst Museum of contemporary art, designed by the firm in Berlin of Sauerbruch-Hutton.
During a sabbatical in the fall, Professor Krinsky completed several articles and book reviews, and had a short trip to Chicago, lecturing at De Paul University at the invitation of Professor Simone Zurawski, an alumna of the Department of Art History. Taking some more time away from research was her participation in a citizens’ movement to save the stacks at the New York Public Library at 42nd Street. She urges everyone to find out about the destructive plans, conceived in secret, by looking here and to sign the petition to New York’s new mayor, Mr. Di Blasio, opposing the plans. In short, the stacks — that used to hold 3.2 million books retrievable in under a half hour — have been emptied, with the books sent upstate. You now need days to get a book by ordering it in advance, hoping that you don’t need another book that day. In place of the stacks, the Library trustees hope to cram (part of) the contents of the large Mid-Manhattan branch and the newish Science-Industry-Business library into the stack space. This is part of a big real estate deal, not a benefit to readers. Don’t let this happen!
Meredith Martin, who joined the faculty this past September as Associate Professor of Art History, with an Associated Appointment in the Institute of Fine Arts, earned promotion to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, effective September 2014.
Louise Rice is spending the 2013-14 academic year at the National Humanities Center, where she holds the Allen W. Clowes Fellowship in Art History.
Shelley Rice is spending the spring semester 2014 in Paris, where she is the NYU Remarque Fellow and the Invited Professor at the Ecole Normale Supèrieure. She is writing up her research project about the visual geography (photo-wise) of 1900, and is being greatly helped by lectures and seminars with students and colleagues at universities in Paris and Dijon, as well as seminars at the French National Institute for the History of Art (INHA). Professor Rice has traveled to other countries, like Israel and China, this year, and has given lectures at institutions like the Israel Museum, the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and the Three Shadows Photography Center in Beijing. Her trip to China was funded by a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, which paid for research for a monograph on the artist Xing Danwen. The manuscript — which includes a long essay and an extended interview — is finished and is awaiting publication in 2014 by Prestel. Professor Rice also lectured at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. in December 2013, at a conference accompanying the exhibition of photographs by Charles Marville. S he spoke about the relationship between his pictures of Paris’ reconstruction during the 1860s and contemporary artists’ interpretations of the urban upheavals now modernizing Beijing. Rice also published academic essays in books on Jacques-Henri Lartigue (Brazil and Paris), The Geography of Photography and Embodied Fantasies (Germany), articles in publications like Connossieur des Arts (Paris), and catalog introductions for New York exhibitions of photographer Aaron Siskind and the Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal this year.
Jon Ritter continues to work closely with students in the Urban Design and Architecture Studies Program, the M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture, and the Freshmen Honors program. Last fall, he participated in the bi-annual conference of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, giving a paper entitled “Progressive Purification: Slum Clearance, Economic Development, and Modernization in American Civic Centers, 1900-1930.” Professor Ritter also presented numerous lectures in our department this year as President of the New York chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. In this capacity, he has welcomed colleagues from around the world to speak about topics such as the adaptive reuse of buildings in Berlin; Functionalism in Czech architecture; the history of forgotten architects and buildings; the traditional model for Chinese city planning; the popular appropriation of the Brooklyn waterfront, and the work of the New York architecture firm Cross and Cross. These lectures are a great opportunity for our students and alumni to learn about current research in our field — please watch this blog for announcements of upcoming lectures, or contact Professor Ritter directly to be placed on the email list for event announcements.
In 2013 Julia Robinson co-curated (with Christian Xatrec) a major exhibition exploring the experimental music, concrete poetry, and task-based dance that formed the foundation of some of the most radical art of the 1960s. Titled ±I96I: Founding the Expanded Arts it appeared at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, from June 19 through October 28, with changing programming: live performance and sound pieces – interspersed with key works of Minimalism, Fluxus, and less “categorized” experimental art c. 1961– activity that was constantly happening in the galleries through the run of the show. Professor Robinson recently completed a chapter for a new book on the renowned 1960s art dealer and sponsor Virginia Dwan (forthcoming: MIT Press 2015). She is currently completing her book on the Fluxus artist George Brecht. In April 2014 Robinson will moderate a panel at Hauser & Wirth’s Chelsea gallery (with Jay Sanders, Curator of performance at the Whitney Museum, among others) on the subject of the landmark art collection of German dealer and collector Reinhard Onnasch (their current exhibition). She will also contribute a paper at the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s symposium “Whose Terms? Perspectives on Social Practice”. Her third and final event, the most historically consequential, will be a conversation with Robert Morris – one of the pre-eminent figures of Minimalism – and Guggenheim Curator Jeffrey Weiss at the New York Public Library.
Lucy Freeman Sandler, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor Emerita of Art History, completed her book, Illuminators & Patrons in Fourteenth-Century England. The Psalter & Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the Manuscripts of the Bohun Family, with the support of an Emeritus Professor Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It will be published in September 2014. In 2013 she published three articles: “In Living Memory: Portraits of the Fourteenth-Century Canons of Dorchester,” in Inventing a Path: Studies in Medieval Rhetoric in Honour of Mary Carruthers, a former NYU English Professor and Dean of Humanities; “The Bohun Women and Manuscript Patronage in Fourteenth Century England,” in Patronage, Power and Agency in Medieval Art, edited by Colum P. Hourihane of the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University; and “Worded and Wordless Images: Biblical Narratives in the Psalters of Humphrey de Bohun,” in The Social Life of Illumination, edited by Joyce Coleman, Mark Cruse (an NYU Ph.D.) and the department’s own Kathryn Smith. During 2013 Sandler also spoke at conferences at Harlaxton Manor in England and Princeton University, and gave the keynote address at the conference of the Early Book Society at St. Andrews University, Scotland, on “The Hours and Psalter of Eleanor de Bohun in Edinburgh.”
Kenneth E. Silver has been Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies and Global Coordinator for the Department of Art History for the academic year 2013-2014. In fall 2013 he curated and co-authored the exhibition catalogue, Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close, at the Bruce Museum (Greenwich, CT), where he is Adjunct Curator of Art. Silver was also author of the essay, “Fluid Chaos Felt by the Soul: Chagall, Jews, and Jesus,” for the exhibition catalogue edited by Susan Goodman, Marc Chagall: Love, War, and Exile (New York: The Jewish Museum and Yale University Press, 2013) that opened in September 2013. Silver’s interview with Vivien Greene, “The Futurist Universe”—a discussion of the current blockbuster exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, where Greene is Senior Curator–appeared in the January 2014 issue of Art in America, where Silver is a Contributing Editor. In November 2013, Silver lectured on Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods The Barnes Foundation, (Philadelphia, PA), and at the Jewish Museum (New York) on Chagall’s art between the two World Wars (see our November 20th, 2013 blogpost). He is currently at work on an exhibition and catalogue to open at the Bruce Museum in spring 2015, “Walls of Color: Hans Hofmann’s Murals.”
Kathryn A. Smith stepped down as Chair of the Department of Art History at the end of August 2013 and is enjoying her sabbatical and research leaves, and especially the opportunities for travel that the current academic year has brought. In October-November 2013 she spent ten days in London, Oxford, and Cambridge examining illuminated manuscripts pertinent to one of her current projects, a study of the early fourteenth-century English Queen Mary Psalter. She took a day off from the libraries to visit parish churches near Oxford that contain medieval wall paintings and stained glass. Professor Smith will return to London in May 2014 to continue her research for this project. In November 2013 she traveled to Oslo, Norway, serving as an examiner of an art history doctoral dissertation at the University of Oslo, and in March 2014 she spent three days in Reykjavik, Iceland, where she participated in a workshop on “The Self in Social Spaces in Medieval Scandinavian Literature and Art.” The two trips afforded opportunities to see these cities’ superb, yet relatively unknown or understudied collections of medieval art. Professor Smith looks forward to incorporating some of this Scandinavian and Nordic material into her “Art of the Early Middle Ages” course the next time she teaches it. A volume that Professor Smith co-edited with Joyce Coleman (English and Comparative Literature, University of Oklahoma) and Mark Cruse (French, Arizona State University), The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages, was published in late 2013 by Brepols in their Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe series. In addition to the co-authored “Introduction,” Professor Smith contributed an article titled “A Viewing Community in Fourteenth-Century England.” She also published “Medieval Women Are ‘Good to Think’ With,” a review article on Therese Martin’s edited collection, Reassessing the Roles of Women as “Makers” of Medieval Art and Architecture, that appeared in The Journal of Art Historiography, no. 9. Among Professor Smith’s other projects in-progress are the entry on the Taymouth Hours, the subject of her 2012 book, for The Encyclopedia of Medieval British Literature (Wiley-Blackwell); an analysis of the marginal scribal drawings in an early fourteenth-century manuscript of Denis Piramus’s Vie Seint Edmund le Rey, to appear in a critical edition of this Anglo-Norman text edited by Delbert Russell (University of Waterloo, Canada); an essay on late medieval English narrative alabaster altarpieces of John the Baptist, to be published in Alabaster Sculpture in Medieval England: A Reassessment (Western Michigan University); and a collaborative essay that looks at inventories and household interiors in late medieval England from historical, literary, and art historical perspectives, co-authored with Kit French (History, University of Michigan) and Sarah Stanbury (English, College of the Holy Cross). Professor Smith served the second of three years on the Haskins Medal Committee of the Medieval Academy of America.
Edward Sullivan writes, “During the academic year 2013-14 I have had the privilege of being Acting Chair of the Department of Art History. Much of my time during summer 2013 to spring 2014 was spent doing the final revisions of my book From San Juan to Paris and Back: Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism. This book will be published in September 2014 by Yale University Press. Caribbean art of the nineteenth century, by artists from the region as well as Europeans and Americans, will also be the subject of an exhibition that I will co-curate at the Brooklyn Museum (and tour) in spring 2015. I wrote an essay about collecting Latin American art in the U.S. for the exhibition catalogue Order, Chaos and the Space Between. Contemporary Latin American Art from the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection (Phoenix Art Museum, summer 2013).
In August of 2013 I was invited to Buenos Aires to participate in a conference on the work of Uruguayan modernist José Gurvich. This conference accompanied a major exhibition of his work at the Museo de Arte Moderno. For that catalogue I contributed an essay on the Gurvich’s work in New York where he lived at the end of his life. I also organized a show of Gurvich for the November 2013 PINTA art fair in New York. In October 2013 I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual week-long conference on art history organized by the Art History Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico held in the city of Querétaro. The theme was landscape, and I spoke on landscapes in the Caribbean around 1898 and images of trauma and loss at the time of the Spanish-American War. In November of 2013 I was in Martinique, having been named the President of the Scientific Committee for the first Biennial of Martinique. There I lectured on Surrealism in the Caribbean, which was also the subject of my lecture at Bard College in December 2013. Earlier that year I had lectured on Surrealism in Mexico at the Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington DC.
In July 2013 I participated in a workshop at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles on the theme of modern art in Latin America. The participants were museum curators and directors who were preparing to submit proposals to the Getty for the 2017 edition of the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions. In August 2013 I lectured on Mexican Modernism at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO, at the time of a major exhibition of that subject for which I was curatorial advisor.”