Art Buzz February 29, 2012: Alexander Nemerov: Yale University History of Art Professor confirms move to Stanford University



Nemerov confirms move to Stanford

Source: Yale Daily News, 2-29-12

Alexander Nemerov GRD ’92, chair of the History of Art Department and Vincent J. Scully Professor of the History of Art, will leave Yale after this semester to begin teaching at Stanford in the fall.

Nemerov said he decided to accept a position on Stanford’s faculty within the past few days, after initially receiving the job offer in January. His spring survey course, “Introduction to the History of Art: Renaissance to the Present,” was Yale’s most popular class this term, with the highest number of students registered during shopping period.

“I’m very sad that I won’t be teaching here anymore,” Nemerov said in a Tuesday interview. “I have great feelings about Yale and this was a very difficult decision, but I’m happy to begin the next phase of my career at Stanford.”

Nemerov graduated from Yale with a master’s degree and doctorate in the history of art, and taught at Stanford before returning to Yale as an instructor in 2001.

Yale College Dean Mary Miller, who was part of the team that recruited Nemerov to Yale’s faculty from Stanford, said he has made a significant impact on the History of Art Department in his 11 years at Yale.

“His contribution to the department, to Yale College students and to the University is so great that it cannot easily be measured,” Miller said in an email. “We have all — colleagues, students, friends — benefited from his ability to make the paint on the canvas, the hand of the sculptor, the grain of wood come to life with his careful words and laser-like intellect.”

More than 500 students shopped “Introduction to the History of Art” this semester, but Nemerov capped enrollment in the course to about 300 for the first time to match the capacity of the auditorium of the Yale University Art Gallery, where the class is held. Ten students interviewed said they were disappointed to hear of Nemerov’s departure, and five said they had planned to take Nemerov’s course in the future….READ MORE

Art Buzz February 28, 2012: Alexander Nemerov: History of Art Professor will leave Yale University at the end of academic year for Stanford University



Nemerov will leave Yale at the end of academic year

Source: Yale Daily News, 2-28-12

Alexander Nemerov GRD ’92 will leave his post as chair of the History of Art Department to take on a new role at Stanford.

Alexander Nemerov GRD ’92 will leave his post as chair of the History of Art Department to take on a new role at Stanford. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Alexander Nemerov GRD ’92, chair of the History of Art Department and the professor behind Yale’s most popular course, will leave Yale at this academic year’s end to start teaching at Stanford in the fall.


Yale University

Alexander Nemerov GRD ’92.

“I’m very sad that I won’t be teaching here anymore,” Nemerov said in a Tuesday interview. “I have great feelings about Yale and this was a very difficult decision, but I’m happy to begin the next phase of my career at Stanford.”

In January, Nemerov told the News that he received a job offer from Stanford sometime after the start of the spring semester. At that time, he had not yet decided whether to stay. On Tuesday, he said he made his decision in the past few days….READ MORE

Art Buzz February 14, 2012: David L. Craven: University of New Mexico mourns professor, historian



UNM mourns professor, historian

Source: New Mexico Daily Lobo, 2-14-12

Distinguished professor of art history Dr. David L. Craven, 60, died Saturday from an apparent heart attack while playing tennis, his family said.

Craven became a professor at UNM in 1993 and was the fine arts department chair for two years. He published 10 books and more than 150 articles in scholarly journals.

A memo­r­ial ser­vice is planned for Craven on Fri­day at 2 p.m. at UNM’s Alumni Chapel.

Nancy Treviso, an administrator in the art and art history department, said the department has lost a unique professor.

“He was a wonderful chair and a wonderful mentor and teacher and he will be missed in this department,” she said. “Someone with that caliber of knowledge, we can’t replace him.”

Craven received his distinguished professor title in 2007 while at UNM. He was fluent in four languages and traveled the world giving speeches at more than 100 universities.

Kirsten Buick, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor and chair at the art and art history department, said Craven was known around the world for his work in the art history field.

“David was a man of let­ters and a cham­pion for social causes, beloved by all who knew him for his keen intel­lect, gen­uine sense of compas­sion and desire to help oth­ers,” Buick told UNM Today. “He was rec­og­nized by his peers as one of the most informed and inci­sive art his­to­ri­ans in the world.”

Theresa Avila, a graduate student at UNM, said she studied under Craven for the past 10 years and is shocked by the loss.

“I’m devastated; as a professor I considered him to be generous and supportive and he is irreplaceable,” she said. “The fact that this happened, I don’t think anybody anticipated or prepared for it.”

Avila will be graduating in May with a doctorate in art history specializing in Mexican art, and said she plans to finish her degree as a tribute to Craven.

“I am going to try and work towards (graduating) in his honor,” she said. “I am just really sad he won’t be able to see me reach our goal.”


Art Buzz February 13, 2012: David M. Stone: Art history professor elected to board of the American Academy in Rome



American Academy trustee

Art history professor elected to board of scholarly center in Rome

Source: University of Delaware, UDaily, 2-13-12

Prof. David M. Stone has joined the board of a leading center for the study of the arts and humanities in Rome.

David M. Stone, professor of art historyat the University of Delaware, has been elected to the board of trustees of the American Academy in Rome, a leading American overseas center for independent studies and advanced research in the fine arts and humanities.

In 1997-98, Stone was the winner of the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Rome Prize Fellowship, one of up to 30 highly competitive Rome Prize Fellowships that the Academy offers to artists and scholars. Fellows are chosen by juries of experts in the fields of ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early modern studies; modern Italian studies; architecture, landscape architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation; literature; musical composition; and visual arts.

Prof. David M. Stone has joined the board of a leading center for the study of the arts and humanities in Rome.

“The academy is a place where gifted artists, writers and scholars live together, experience Rome and share ideas while also working on individual projects,” Stone said.

The American Academy in Rome began as a collaborative effort in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exhibition when a small group—including architects Charles Follen McKim and Daniel Burnham, painters John LaFarge and Francis Millet and sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French—resolved to create a center to study art amid the classical tradition of ancient Rome. They chose Rome as the site of the academy because, in their words, “with the architectural and sculptural monuments and mural paintings, its galleries filled with the chef d’oeuvres of every epoch, no other city offers such a field for study or an atmosphere so replete with precedents.”

In 1894, McKim founded the American School of Architecture in Rome. He involved not only artists and architects but also the financial geniuses of his time; J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Henry Clay Frick all contributed to the enterprise. A year later, the Archaeological Institute of America established the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, and in 1911, the board of trustees voted to merge and the two schools, which became today’s American Academy in Rome.

Stone has taught at UD since 1987. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University. A specialist in Italian 17th century art, he is best known for his studies of Caravaggio (especially his works for the Knights of Malta) and the paintings and drawings of the Bolognese artist Guercino. In addition to the Rome Prize, Stone has received senior fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton….READ MORE


Art Buzz February 8, 2012: Art Historian Linda Nochlin to lecture on the art of industrial England at Vassar



Nochlin to return to alma mater

Nochlin to lecture on the art of industrial England

Source: Miscellany News, 2-8-12

asdfCourtesy of collegeart.comArt historian Linda Weinberg Nochlin ’51, pictured above, is this year’s recipient of the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

Linda Weinberg Nochlin ’51 may very well be the single most renowned female art historian in academia today. It should come as no surprise, then, that Nochlin is this year’s recipient of the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College’s (AAVC) Distinguished Achievement Award. Nochlin will return to Vassar on Feb. 9 to deliver a talk entitled “Gericault’s London: Representing Misery after the Industrial Revolution?” She will receive AAVC’s award the following day.

After graduating from Vassar in 1951 with a degree in philosophy, Nochlin attended Columbia University, where she received her Master of Arts in English, followed by New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she wrote a dissertation on Gustave Courbet, a 19th Century French painter who is synonymous with the Realist art movement.

Nochlin received her Ph.D in 1963 and returned to her alma mater that same year, as an assistant professor of art history. Nochlin taught at Vassar between 1952 and 1980, eventually serving as the Mary Conover Mellon Professor of Art History.

Nochlin is currently the Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She has taught at Yale University and at the City University of New York, and has written numerous articles and books, including Representing Women; The Body in Pieces; Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays; and The Politics of Vision.

Despite her expansive list of publications, Nochlin has always remained a dedicated, passionate teacher. Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Art Susan Kuretsky ’63 pointed out Nochlin’s abilities as a professor. “Her lectures were characterized by great clarity of thinking, organization, even diction; and extremely subtle, lovely and elegant language. Rarely have I heard anyone translate works of art into words the way she can do,” Kurestky wrote in an emailed statement. “Everyone who heard her learned a lot about how to present material as well as the material itself.”

She is perhaps most well known for her groundbreaking essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” First published in a 1971 issue of ARTnews Magazine, the essay questions why there were no women equivalents for the great men artists like, say, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse or de Kooning.

In discussing her own specialty in art history, Kurestky noted that there are also few women artists in the canon of Dutch 17th-century Baroque art. “Although few women artists were active in the period I teach,” Kurestky wrote, “I include Judith Leyster and Rachel Ruysch—not only because they were women but because they were good and including them adds an important point of view to the material—Linda drew attention here.”

Nochlin argued that the “elitist” structures on which art history is based had systematically excluded women artists, and that social and academic constraints had discouraged women’s pursuit of art-making. The essay dared to challenge both the chauvinistic notions of the male-dominated art world as well as emerging feminist viewpoints. Nochlin was a part of a growing movement of feminist scholarship in academia that newly reassessed the role of women in fields within the visual and performing arts.

For these reasons, Nochlin is often considered to be a founding mother of feminist art history, but her interests cover an impressively wide range. Kuretsky pointed out, “[Her essay] opened up a whole new area and way of thinking about art, but I’ve thought since that although this piece always get mentioned, Linda herself should not be pigeon-holed as a feminist art historian, as her writings range over such a great variety of topics and artists. But no one who reads this article, which came out of a seminar she taught at Vassar, can be unchanged.”

Kurtesky first encountered Nochlin as an undergraduate at Vassar during her experience taking Introduction to Art History. “[Nochlin gave] 105 lectures that were of such power and brilliance that people used to sneak back in to hear her,” Kuretsky wrote, “even after they had already taken the course.”

Like Nochlin, Kuretsky also graduated from Vassar. Kuretsky went to Harvard, and obtained a Master’s and P.h.D in art history. She then returned to her alma mater to teach art history in 1975. Kuretsky at this point became one of the colleagues of Nochlin—the very woman who once taught Kuretsky while she was still an undergraduate student. “Linda was an extremely impressive and inspiring colleague when I came back to teach at Vassar,” Kurestky wrote.

“I remember vividly her dazzling lectures in Art 105, Northern Painting and in 19th- and 20th-Century art.” It was one of the first undergraduate art history courses devoted to the study of women in art.

During Vassar’s sesquicentennial celebration last year, Nochlin sat down with Professor and Chair of Art Molly Nesbit ’74 and spoke about her introduction to the field of art history. “I took 105 partly because everyone said you had to do it, but also because I heard Adolph Katzenellenbogen give a public lecture on Chartres,” Nochlin reflected. “You know: ideas, sensual beauty, architecture, history. It was like a gesamtkunstwerk [a work of art that makes use of several forms]. That was how I looked on art history.”

Nochlin also mentioned in the interview just how lucky she felt to be a student at Vassar, in light of the school’s commitment to women’s education. “I saw that women could be brilliant thinkers and hard-working thinkers and devoted, serious thinkers. And I liked that. I felt at ease, and comfortable,” she said.

Throughout her career, Nochlin has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. Her presence at Vassar will surely resonate with students and faculty alike. “She really is a dazzler!” Kurtesky concluded.

Art Buzz February 6, 2012: Peter Wood: Duke University professor to discuss his book “Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War” & role of art



Duke professor to discuss his book, role of art Tuesday

Source: The Gainsville Sun, 2-6-12

When Peter Wood taught his graduate seminar at Duke University he’d ask his students how many people enjoyed history in high school. No response. Then he’d ask how many liked it in college as undergraduates. A hand or two might have been raised.


If you go

What: Historian Peter Wood discusses his book “Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War.”

Where: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“That’s the problem,” he said. “It’s our job as historians is to make it exciting.”

Wood, a professor emeritus at Duke University, will speak at the University of Florida on Tuesday at The Harn Museum about his book, “Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War,” and about what people can learn from art to get a better understanding of American history. His talk is part of the Black History Month celebration.

Wood will be paid $1,000 by a grant through the Oral History Program.

Paul Ortiz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at UF, was a graduate student at Duke University and had Wood as a professor and considers him a role model.

“He brings a passion about history that’s infectious,” he said.

Originally, Wood was supposed to speak just to Ortiz’s class, but word got out he would be on campus and students wanted to hear from him.

Ortiz said Wood is the kind of person who can engage his students and an audience. He knows you can’t tell history without visuals.

The book’s title comes from Winslow Homer’s 1865-66 painting “Near Andersonville.” In the painting, Homer, a 19th-century American landscape painter, depicts an enslaved woman stepping out of her home as Union soldiers are marched to the Andersonville prison camp by Confederate soldiers in the background.

What Wood says is so important about the painting is Homer’s depiction of African-Americans. Unlike his predecessors, he painted the enslaved woman as she would be in real life and not as a caricature.

Ortiz said it’s amazing what people can learn about American history during the Civil War.

“Long before Facebook and YouTube, they had to communicate the epic events happening right in front of them,” he said.

He said they did this through art.

Wood also will speak with students at Pugh Hall at 1:55 p.m.

Tuesday night, he’ll show a number of paintings during the Civil War period and explain the historical context of each piece, from landscapes to battle scenes. Ortiz said Wood believes the real history of slavery hasn’t been told yet because of its brutality.

He said people should come prepared to change the way they think about what they’ve been taught about the Civil War…..READ MORE — Next Page

Art Buzz February 6, 2012: Joseph Siry: Professor’s Bookshelf — Interview with Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University



Professor’s Bookshelf: Professor of Art History Joseph Siry

Source: Wesleyan Argus, 2-6-12
Professor Joseph Siry is the chair of the Art and Art History Department, as well as a professor of modern architectural history. This semester, he is teaching Architecture of the 20th century. Outside of his role as a professor, he has published several books on modern architecture, including his most recent “Beth Sholom: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture.” Professor Siry sat down with The Argus to discuss his colossal collection and the research presented in his new book.

The Argus:
So, what’s on your bookshelf?

Professor Joseph Siry: Virtually everything on this bookshelf has to do with the history of architecture, almost entirely European and American topics from Greek antiquity to the present. This is a set of books that I’ve put together over 30 or 35 years. I even still have some of my high school textbooks—history, physics.

A: Your department just moved from the Davison Art Center to 41 Wyllys Avenue—were you able to bring all of your books with you?

JS: Everything that is of even the remotest utility is now over here. I brought over a lot of student theses. I have my notebooks from my undergraduate and graduate courses, journals that I subscribe to, art bulletins, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

A: Which books do you always find yourself returning to?

JS: There are so many excellent authors and studies represented on these shelves. It depends on which course I’m teaching and what topic I’m working on. If I’m teaching the general introductory course on European architecture, I’m thinking of a book like “Architecture and Meaning on the Athenian Acropolis” by Robin Francis Rhodes, or William McDonald’s book on the Pantheon. For someone in a very early stage or first course in the field, these are stimulating, and very beautifully written.

In my mind, there are so many authors here who are models, who wrote books that represent just the very best work in the field. Their lucidity, their depth of learning, their level of insight—it’s that set of qualities that you want to emulate in your own work.

A: Do you ever use your own writing in your classes?

JS: Oh, yes, sure. I particularly use my writing on Frank Lloyd Wright in my courses on American architecture.

A: You just published a new book on Frank Lloyd Wright. Could you talk about what you address in the text?

JS: Basically, it’s a book about the history of his involvement with religious architecture. I published an earlier book on his first major church building, Unity Temple. He was a Unitarian. He had a very broad engagement with comparative study of religion, because that is an emphasis in Unitarian denominational culture.

This [new work] is a book that deals with the history of his development as an architect for worshipping communities, but mainly focuses on his one synagogue, which was designed from 1953 to 1959: the Beth Sholom congregation in Elkins Park, Pa. He had a very close working relationship with the rabbi. They had a rich exchange of ideas about the history of Judaism, its symbolism, and the appropriate architectural space for a modern Jewish community.

The building itself is a wonderful space for worship. It’s a tall, glass-enclosed tetrahedron, with about 1,200 seats with a focus on the arc. The communal self-awareness in the room is very strong, and metaphorically it’s supposed to allude to Mount Sinai—to represent Mount Sinai as the source of the Ten Commandments. This is a very self-consciously modern and American synagogue for the period. It’s not at all traditional.

A: What sort of research did you conduct for this book?

JS: Oh, there were a number of sources. The rabbi’s papers and correspondence are partially at the synagogue and partially at the Jewish theological seminary in New York. Frank Lloyd Wright’s drawings and correspondence are at his archives, outside of Scottsdale, Ariz. The other chapters deal with churches in Florida, Kansas City, and Wisconsin. I went to all of those places—and a number of others—where there were records of these institutions, their clerical leaders, and the urban and historical context.

A: You visited all of these sites? How long did that take?

JS: This project started in 2003. I started working on the Pfeiffer Chapel at Florida Southern College. I went down there in 2003, and the book came out in December 2011. The work on Beth Sholom started in 2005.

A: What draws you to Frank Lloyd Wright’s work?

JS: Well, he is very well known, but the more you study his work, the more exceptional it is. He had an extraordinary mind, particularly in terms of the geometric and structural forms of architecture. These are very unusual spaces in terms of their geometry and construction. There is no other building, so far as I know in the world, that is really like Beth Sholom, and that’s true of a number of his other well-known buildings, such as the Guggenheim Museum. He had this capacity to imagine highly original possibilities for different types of buildings.

A: Do you have a favorite building of Wright’s?

JS: I’ve been very involved with Beth Sholom. Unity Temple is another that seems very meaningful. These are worshipping communities, and the strength and continuity of the religious traditions really comes through. It’s partially a question of social history and religious history, and how he’s able to create forms with modern materials that speak to the people who are commissioning and using them.

A: What about Wesleyan’s architecture? Are there any buildings here that you especially admire?

JS: I really like Olin library, particularly the original part of the library. I love its material details and its monumental presence in that part of the campus. Over the years, I’ve really also come to admire the Center for the Arts. In fact, I recently wrote a letter to Kevin Roche (the architect of the CFA) telling him how much I like it. He wrote back right away.

Art Buzz January 22, 2012: Adele Nelson: Visiting professor speaks on Brazilian art at Southern Methodist University



Visiting professor speaks on Brazilian art at Southern Methodist University

Source: SMU Daily, 1-22-12

On Jan. 19, visiting assistant professor Adele Nelson set an admirable bar for SMU’s first Comini Lecture of the semester.

Nelson’s lecture, “Creating History: The Definition of Modernism at the Second São Paulo Bienal,” featured Brazil’s renowned exhibit, the Bienal from 1953-54, and the recognition it summoned.

“[The Bienal de São Paulo was] a conduit to the international art scene,” Nelson said. “[It] gained international visibility with being the second international exhibit in the Americas.”

The Meadows School of the Arts art history department considered Nelson a fit candidate for their faculty as well as the Comini Lecture Series.

“We are very lucky to have her,” said art history professor and colleague Roberto Tejada. “She brings an intense and deep knowledge of 20th-century Latin American art.”

Nelson’s interesting and stimulating lecture on Thursday showcased her expertise on Brazil’s political position and how it coincided with its modern art exploration.

She emphasized that Brazil found this artistic exploration because Europe was decimated after WWII while Brazil was economically flourishing.

“Brazilian artists have a different history of European modern art,” Nelson said.

Distinguished endowed chair of SMU’s art history department, Roberto Tejada, agrees with Nelson’s argument. “We’re able to talk about European art but from the historical perspective of Latin America,” Tejada said.

As 20th-century Latin American art being one of Tejada’s specialties, he and the department are constantly questioning the term “Latin America.”

However, the SMU faculty definitively has a growing interest in this field.

Professor Nelson is starting her second semester of teaching at SMU.

She has replaced art history professor Amy Buono while professor Buono is on research leave.

Nelson’s specialization in Brazilian studies and Portuguese is not far off from Professor Buono’s studies in Colonial Latin America and the Portuguese Atlantic.

Conversely, Nelson is a modernist and is able to offer SMU students expertise of a different time period.

Interim chair and associate professor Dr. Pamela Patton said, “She augments Dr. Buono’s regular courses.”

Patton believes that Nelson’s three-year curatorial experience at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and her modernist perspective is beneficial for students.

“[Nelson’s knowledge allows Buono’s] students to learn a little more about the same subject,” Patton said.

Also being the subject of her dissertation, Nelson’s lecture on the Bienal de São Paulo sparked passionate interest among the art history faculty on Thursday. Nelson’s thorough analysis on the Bienal de São Paulo’s exhibition in correlation with the architecture designed by Oscar Niemeyer, raised a number of questions from faculty and students.

Professor Patton specifically noted that Nelson’s curatorial experience aids her understanding of how material and texture gave the Bienal de São Paulo’s artwork a presence in the room.

Professor Randall Griffin discussed Brazils’ “utopian project with the Bienal,” adding to Nelson’s lecture.

With the art history department’s newly created Ph.D program, Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture, Nelson’s historical and political resume has proved to be perfectly synced with their curriculum.