Faculty News, 2015-2016

13 Apr

Professor Miriam Basilio writes, “In March 2016, I presented new research related to contemporary Spanish royal portraiture at Theodore Art Gallery in conjunction with ‘Generations,’ an exhibition of Michelle Vaughan’s series of works inspired by Habsburg portraits. That same month I led a seminar on archives, exhibition, and collection history focusing on the case of an exhibition of Spanish Republican and Works Progress Administration posters held at The Museum of Modern Art in 1937 at the Spanish Academy in Rome.  In 2015, I presented two lectures related to my book Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions, and the Spanish Civil War. In December, I was one of the keynote speakers at the International Symposium, ‘Alba: Lives and Afterlives of a Historic Collection,’ held at the Meadows Museum in Dallas, TX, and co-organized by the Meadows Museum and The Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History at Southern Methodist University. My talk ‘Museums for the People: The Alba Collection and Debates About Cultural Property During the Spanish Civil War,’ examined the fate of the Palacio de Liria and the collection during this period.”

Bramante's Tempietto_Spanish Academy in Rome

Bramante’s Tempietto, Spanish Academy in Rome

Michelle Vaughan_King Philip-IV, Mariana-of-Austria, 2015 unique archival digital print

Michelle Vaughan, “King Philip IV, Mariana of Austria” (2015) (unique archival digital print)

This past year, Professor Dennis Geronimus saw an idea for the first-ever exhibition on the Florentine Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo (the subject of his first book in 2007) become reality. Co-curated by Gretchen Hirschauer (Associate Curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington) and Prof. Geronimus, Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence opened at the National Gallery of Art on February 1, 2015, for a busy three-month run. Team Piero was thrilled to learn that the exhibition earned distinction as one of the Wall Street Journal’s best exhibitions of 2015. The accompanying catalogue, meanwhile, was recently awarded an honorable mention by the PROSE Awards in the Art Exhibitions category, in a year of record submissions. After a brief rest, Piero’s paintings left Washington for the artist’s home soil, as the exhibition re-opened in a new, expanded iteration at the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. There, Piero di Cosimo, 1462-1522: Pittore fiorentino “eccentrico” fra Rinascimento e Maniera also included Piero’s drawings and the works of a select number of his contemporaries. Days before the Uffizi show’s closing in September, Professor Geronimus organized a conference on Piero at the Dutch Institute in Florence, bringing together a selection of international scholars, curators, and conservators to discuss new findings and approaches to Piero inspired by the two shows. A publication of the proceedings is to follow this coming year.

In October, Professor Geronimus presented a lecture titled “‘Strange Masters of Confusion’: Pontormo’s Istorie in the Certosa del Galluzzo and San Lorenzo” at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in Vancouver. Here on the Square, Professor Geronimus is concluding his second – and still more eventful – year as department chair, marked by “firsts”: from a monumental self-study of the Department of Art History (ranging from our history to our program’s aspirations for the future) to a new departmental website design and Instagram page. In addition to teaching a special topics course titled Becoming Michelangelo in the fall and the Renaissance Art survey this spring, he is already looking forward to supervising two Renaissance-focused honors theses on the subjects of connoisseurship and the virtuoso sculptor Benvenuto Cellini in the coming fall.

With the summer fast approaching, Professor Geronimus is eager to return to his next book-in-progress, Jacopo da Pontormo: Altered Grace, Human and Divine (Yale University Press), a project for which his enthusiasm has only grown after recently visiting the exhibition Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino, and Medici Florence (Feb. 24-May 6, 2016), to which he contributed as one of the catalogue authors, at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. On the same trip, Prof. Geronimus marked the quincentenary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death in his hometown of Den Bosch, Holland, site of a ghoulishly thrilling exhibition in the Noordbrabants Museum that featured 20 of the painter’s 25 known works and numerous drawings.

Geronimus photo 1

Entrance to Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino, and Medici Florence in Frankfurt, featuring a detail from the Städel Museum’s own portrait by Agnolo Bronzino

Geronimus photo 2

Getting in the Boschian spirit with a Heaven and Hell boat-ride along the medieval canals of Den Bosh

Professor Pepe Karmel has spent the last year juggling his three main research interests: Picasso, global contemporary art, and abstract art.

Since the reopening of the Musée Picasso, Paris, in fall 2015, he has participated in two Picasso symposia organized by the museum. At the March 2015 symposium “Revoir Picasso,” he spoke on “Orientalism in Reverse: Picasso and the Postcolonial Predicament.” (This talk has recently been published online as “Colonial Drift: Picasso and Contemporary Art in South Asia”.  He contributed an essay on Picasso’s painted sculptures to the catalogue for the spring 2016 exhibition Picasso Sculpture at the Musée Picasso, and lectured on “Picasso and the Materiality of the Sign” at the museum’s March 2016 conference Picasso: Sculpture.

Professor Karmel has been busy reorganizing his lecture courses on art from 1945-1975 (“Abex to Pop”) and from 1975 to the present (“Contemporary Art”) so that they cover a global range of art, and not just art in Europe and North America. He has also organized seminars (for both graduate students and undergraduates) in conjunction with his undergraduate lectures, making possible a more in-depth discussion of the material. This spring (2016), he is giving a new seminar (graduate/undergraduate) focusing exclusively on “Global Contemporary Art” — that is, art from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Australia.

Global art is also a major concern of NYU’s Grey Gallery, and Professor Karmel has participated in their educational programming, serving as a respondent for “Collapsing Disciplines and Distance: Experiments in Japanese Arts in the 1970s: A Symposium,” East Asian Studies Department and Grey Art Gallery, NYU, with the Japan Society, on October 30, 2015; and discussing pattern and decoration in the United States and Iran in “Conversation: Valerie Jaudon and Pepe Karmel,” in conjunction with “Global/Local 1960-2015: Six Artists from Iran,” at the Grey Art Gallery, February 16, 2016.

Further pursuing the topic of global contemporary art, Professor Karmel is also participating in “Global Studies and the Humanities,” a conference organized by NYU’s Global Institute for Advanced Study, April 14-15, 2016, and in the IFA’s workshop “Crossing Boundaries: Making World Art History,” for which he will co-moderate a panel on “Curating the Global” on Monday, April 18, 2016.

Focusing on the more conventional history of abstract art, he (with the IFA’s Robert Slifkin) organized “Helen Frankenthaler: A Symposium” (Institute of Fine Arts, October 2015), where he gave a talk, “Weather Report: Helen Frankenthaler and Gerhard Richter.” Other speakers included Eric de Chassey, Anna Chave, Harry Cooper, and Katy Siegel. He also spoke at a panel on “Connecting the Drips: Restoration of Three Jackson Pollock Paintings,” at The Dedalus Foundation, February 24, 2016. The other speakers were Jim Coddington and Jennifer Hickey, who had worked on the cleaning and restoration of MoMA’s major Pollocks.

In between classes and panels, he has continued writing Abstract Art: A Global History, 1910-2010, which is to be published by Thames & Hudson in 2017.

Professor Carol Krinsky spent June in Germany and the Netherlands, before going to London for July. In Germany, she participated in a conference about baroque art and architecture in eastern Europe, speaking to an audience at Humboldt University, Berlin, about why that topic is not covered in most American art history departments. A few days later, she lectured on the growth of Manhattan to students of English and American literature at the University of Augsburg, many of whom take part in an annual trip to New York City. After some travels that included the delicious rococo church of “Die Wies” the splendid late Gothic church at Ulm, the Sezession-style buildings in Darmstadt, and the museums in Frankfurt, she lectured in German to audiences in Mainz and Muenster about synagogue architecture.  She recommends a visit to the refurbished Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Prof. Krinsky also lectured in the USA to the DoCoMoMo (Documentation and Conservation of Monuments of the Modern Movement), an international organization, about the state capitol complex in Albany, a multi-billion-dollar project never voted for by the citizens of New York State. The complex was the product of former Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, later Vice-President of the United States, who told her that the design was inspired by the Palace of the Dalai Lama in Tibet (!). You may still be paying taxes to pay for it.

At last, the principal part of Professor Krinsky’s study of the Turin-Milan Hours, a Flemish 15th century manuscript, was published in Artibus et Historiae, a European scholarly journal. Over several years, she had tested her hypothesis on her students in Northern Renaissance art, and about 95% agreed with her by doing their own visual analyses of the most famous page in the book. Her conclusion — that the manuscript pages were not painted by Jan van Eyck — is likely to change future literature about the artist and his associates. Professor Krinsky also published a chapter about religious architecture in New York City that bracketed the building of St. Peter’s church that sits under the Citicorp skyscraper. It appeared in a book called Religion in the Heart of Modern Manhattan: St. Peter’s Church and the Louise Nevelson Chapel, published by Ashgate. Professor Krinsky’s current projects and pending publications range from books about New York to neo-Renaissance stained glass.

Professor Meredith Martin’s new online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Journal18: A Journal of Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture http://www.journal18.org/, which she co-edits with Noémie Etienne of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and Hannah Williams of Queen Mary University of London, was launched last month (see our March 31,, 2016 blogpost. The inaugural issue of Journal18, titled Multilayered, features an article by Department of Art History Assistant Professor Dipti Khera. Professors Barry Flood of the IFA and the Department of Art History and Thomas Crow of the IFA serve on the editorial board.

And warmest congratulations to Professor Martin, her husband Joshua Siegel, and their daughter Maisie: Professor Martin gave birth to a daughter, Alice Theodora Siegel, earlier this month!

Professor Louise Rice spoke at a conference devoted to the drawings of the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, co-hosted in April of last year by the Bibliotheca Hertziana and the Austrian Academy in Rome. Following up on this, she spent part of last summer visiting museums and collections in America and England to study the drawings first-hand and, with funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, commissioned a campaign of infrared photography, the results of which she will present to the world in her forthcoming talk, “Peeling back the Layers: New Ways of Looking at Bernini’s Presentation Drawings,” to be delivered later this month at the annual conference of the Renaissance Society of America in Boston. Meanwhile she’s been juggling a number of other research projects. In October 2015, she spoke on “Picturing Knowledge in Seicento Rome: Philosophical Themes in Roman Thesis Prints” at a conference on “Teaching Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century: Image and Text” held at Princeton University. In November, she delivered the Dorothy Ford Wiley Crossroads Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her talk, entitled “Poussin and the Elephant: Art, Diplomacy, Curiosity, and the Showbiz of Exotic Animals in Early Modern Europe,” brought to light a forgotten episode in the history of the importation and exhibition of exotic animals and demonstrated its implications for our understanding of the French painter Nicolas Poussin’s first Roman period. She gave a repeat performance of this lecture a couple of weeks later at Columbia University. In February 2016, she returned to Columbia to address the Renaissance Seminar, now in its seventieth year, this time taking as her theme the natural magic of magnets, with a paper entitled “Magnetic Variations: The Art and Science of Attraction in Seventeenth-Century Rome.” Professor Rice invites anyone interested in reading some of her recent publications to visit her website.

Professor Shelley Rice’s most notable achievement in 2015-2016 was the winning of the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence, a students’ choice honor bestowed on her by the Tisch School of the Arts. Over the course of the year she recorded a few new interviews for The Meeting Point (with Shelley Rice), an ongoing radiophonic talk show embedded in the online magazine of the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris. She wrote articles for magazines as diverse as The Art Newspaper and Africanah.org and texts for catalogs like Hank Willis Thomas’ Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915-2015. She wrote the lead essay for Steidl’s Marc Ferrez: Rio, a stunning monograph focusing on Brazil’s most important late 19th– century studio photographer. Professor Rice lectured at Wellesley College and Brown University, among other places, helped organize a conference at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and participated in scholarly events at NYU Global Sites in Florence and Abu Dhabi.

Professor Jon Ritter continues to collaborate closely with Professor Mosette Broderick in the Urban Design and Architectural Studies undergraduate program and the London-based M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture.  In 2015-16 Professor Ritter was elected Alternate Senator from the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) for the university’s inaugural Continuing Contract Faculty Senate Council (C-FSC) . In this role, he works with faculty members across the university to develop and define the role of full-time contract faculty in the university. This year he is serving on the University Senate Financial Affairs Committee, the C-FSC Educational Policies Committee, and the FAS ad hoc Committee on Hiring, Promotion, and Re-appointment. This year he also gave several invited lectures and conference papers. Invited lectures include “The History of Planning and Zoning in New York City” for Landmark West and “The Expression of Civic Life: Civic Centers and the City Beautiful in New York City” for the New York Classical Club. In October Professor Ritter presented new research in a paper titled “The Increment and the Remainder: Excess Condemnation in US Cities,” at the bi-annual conference of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History in Los Angeles. Professor Ritter is pleased to be nominated this year by the Department for the Golden Dozen teaching award. He also continues to serve as President of the New York Metropolitan chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Professor Julia Robinson completed her book on the American Fluxus artist and composer George Brecht. Titled In The Event of George Brecht, it is being published as an OCTOBER Book by MIT Press in 2016. In the fall she gave a series of three lectures at the Newark Museum: “Experiments with Color – 1. Origins of Color Theory: From Chevreul to Neo-Impressionism;” “2. Modern Color: Fauvism, Expressionism, Delaunay & the Bauhaus (Albers);” “3. Industrial Color: Flavin, Pop, Op Art & Beyond.”  In 2015-16, she also wrote several essays. The first, “Performativity, Performance and Participation: A Genealogy of Applied Art,” takes on the problematic conflation of the “performative” (derived from linguistics) and “performance” (the artistic genre), and parses participatory art, historical and contemporary. This will be published in Fall 2016 a collected volume—along with contributions by Alexander Nagel, Bruno Latour, Boris Groys among others — titled Les Nouveaux Commanditaires, edited by Xavier Douroux and Estelle Zhong (Dijon, France: Les Presses du Réel, New York Collection Series). The second essay, “Events and Conceptual Art,” for another edited volume, is also due out this year in French and English: Sébastien Pluot, ed., Living Archives, Angers, France: Editions Mix/ESBA TALM. Finally, her essay “Space / Latitude/ Attitude: Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, 1959–67” will appear in a book devoted to the renowned gallerist of Minimal and Conceptual Art and patron of Land Art, Virginia Dwan. Co-contributors to Dwan Gallery 1959-1971 (forthcoming from MIT Press, Fall 2016) include Michael Govan (Director, L.A. County Museum), Philippe Vergne (Director, L.A. MoCA), and James Meyer (Chief Curator, DIA Center for the Arts). The book’s publication is timed for the opening of a major exhibition of Dwan’s collection at the National Gallery curated by Meyer. Robinson will give a lecture and participate in a panel discussion on this occasion.

Professor Emerita Lucy Freeman Sandler is pleased to announce the publication of her most recent book, co-authored with Bernard Bousmanne, The Peterborough Psalter, MS 9961-62, Brussels Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, commentary to the Facsimile Edition (Luzern: Quaternio Verlag, 1916). The book is a reprise and extension of Professor Sandler first book, The Peterborough Psalter in Brussels and Other Fenland Manuscripts (London: Harvey Miller 1974), and includes the first detailed study of the manuscript’s unique series of 109 typological miniatures juxtaposing subjects from the life of Christ with their Old Testament analogues.

Sandler (1).jpg

Page with typological miniatures, Peterborough Psalter, England, early 14th century (Brussels, Bibl. Royale de Belgique, MS 9961-62, fol. 12v)

Professor Kathryn A. Smith is honored to have been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (see our blogpost / of November 23, 2015). In summer 2015, she became a co-editor of the journal Studies in Iconography (Index of Christian Art, Princeton University / Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University) and joined the editorial board of the journal Manuscript Studies (Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania). She continues to serve on the Standing Editorial Board of Oxford Bibliographies Online in Medieval Studies and as series editor of Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages (Brepols).

In June 2015, Professors Smith, Katherine L. French (History, University of Michigan), and Sarah Stanbury (English, College of the Holy Cross) delivered a collaborative research paper titled “An Honest Bed: The Scene of Life and Death in Late Medieval England” at A Thing of the Past: Material Evidence and the Writing of Medieval England’s Past, a two-day, interdisciplinary workshop organized by Professors French and Robin Fleming (History, Boston College) and held at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Smith traveled to Madrid in November 2015 to lecture on “Crafting the Old Testament in the Queen Mary Psalter: Image, Text, and Contexts in Early Fourteenth-Century England” at the seminar of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas-Spanish National Research Council, CCHS-Instituto de Historia. In February 2016, at a special meeting of Columbia University’s Seminar on Medieval Studies to celebrate the publication of Resounding Images: Medieval Intersections of Art, Music, and Sound, edited by Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly, she spoke on the varied functions of images of music and sound and in the early fourteenth-century English Taymouth Hours. Professor Smith gave a “flash” presentation titled “Moralizing the Mass in the Butler Hours” in Manuscript As Medium, the annual conference of Fordham University’s Center for Medieval Studies, held in March 2016. That same month, she delivered the Julius Fund Lecture, sponsored by Case Western University’s Department of Art History and Art, speaking on “’A Lanterne of Lyght to the People’: English Narrative Alabaster Images of John the Baptist in their Visual, Religious, and Social Contexts” at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In the fall 2015 semester Professor Smith taught a new undergraduate seminar, “Romance and Chivalry, Humor and Play: The Secular Spirit in Later Medieval Art.” She is gratified to have had exceptionally enthusiastic, engaged students in that course and in her two advanced lectures, “Art of the Early Middle Ages” (fall 2015) and “Romanesque Art” (spring 2016). This semester she is co-teaching with Robert Maxwell of the Institute of Fine Arts a graduate seminar on “Word and Image in Medieval Art.” Professors Smith and Martha Rust of the English Department are thrilled to have been awarded a team-teaching grant by NYU’s Center for the Humanities to develop and teach (in spring 2017) an interdisciplinary undergraduate course, “The Word of Arthur: Texts, Images, and Ideas, 6th-21st Century.” The course will be offered through the Medieval and Renaissance Center and will be open to all interested students; art history majors are welcome and will receive elective credit if enrolled.

Professor Edward J. Sullivan writes, “During the 2015 academic year I organized two exhibitions: the first, co-curated with Richard Aste of The Brooklyn Museum, was based on my book From San Juan to Paris & Back: Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism (Yale University Press, 2014), opened at the Blanton Museum, University of Texas at Austin, and traveled to The Brooklyn Museum and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan. The exhibition’s title is “Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller & his Transatlantic World.” The second exhibition is a solo-curated show of a contemporary artist and opens May 12 in Buenos Aires: Fluir/Flow: The Art of Felisa Gradowczyk. Exhibition and catalogue, Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Borges: May, 2016.”

Professor Sullivan authored numerous essays in exhibition catalogues, including “Claudio Bravo,” in the exhibition catalogue Superposiciones. Arte latinoamericano en colecciones mexicanas (ed. James Oles) (Mexico City: Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, 2015); “Dynamism and Divergence of the Line: Edouardo Terrezas, a View from Abroad,” in Eduardo Terrazas: Segunda Naturaleza (Mexico City, Museo Carrillo Gil, 2015) (English and Spanish); “Landscapes of Desire: The Land as Resource in the Caribbean,” in From Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic: Landscape Painting in the Americas (New Haven: Yale University Press and Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2015); “‘The Magical Notion of Authenticity’: Two Decades of Exhibitions and Scholarship on Haitian Art in the U.S. and the U.K.” Gradhiva. Revue d’Anthropologie et d’Histoires de l’Art, (Paris: Musée du Quai Branly, number 21, 2015); and “Artists Before the Lens: Painters and Photographers in Haiti,” in the exhibition catalogue Through the Lens: Haiti from Within and Without (Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, 2015). A review of Josefa de Óbidos e a Invenção do Barroco Português (Lisbon: Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, 2015) is forthcoming in The Burlington Magazine.

Professor Sullivan also delivered numerous public lectures and conference papers this academic year. He spoke on “El Caribe: Paisajes del Deseo: Francisco Oller y su Mundo” San Juan, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (March 30, 2016), and delivered a 2-hour seminar on “Caribbean Art” at The Museum of Modern Art (C-MAP program) (February 9, 2016). He gave a talk on “Hurricane from the North: Francisco Oller’s Portraits of American Politicians” at the College Art Association meeting (February 5, 2016) in a session on Latin American artists in the U.S. organized by Dr. Katherine Manthorne and delivered the endowed Uccello lecture at St. Joseph’s University, West Hartford, CT (December 1, 2015), speaking on “Torres-García and Abstract Art in the Americas.” He spoke on “Caribbean: Landscapes of Desire. Learning from an Exhibition,” in a two-day conference on “Picturing the Americas” held at the Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AK (November 14, 2015), on “Josefa de Óbidos. Transnational Contexts and Wider Geographies of Art” at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon (September 10, 2015) in a conference on “Josefa de Óbidos. Outras Questões, Novas Hipóteses.” Professor Sullivan spoke on “Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism” at Seton Hall University’s Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, South Orange, NJ (October 7, 2015) and participated in a curators’ panel on “Impressionism and the Caribbean” held at the Brooklyn Museum (October 3, 2015). He delivered talks titled “From San Juan to Paris and Back: Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism” at the Blanton Museum, University of Texas, Austin (August 29, 2015), “New Research Initiatives in Modern Brazilian Art History,” in a conference on “Approaches to Brazilian Art Research: Crossing Borders” at the Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil (June 10, 2015), and “Frida Kahlo as Subject and Object in Contemporary Art” at the New York Botanical Garden (June 3, 2015).



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