News tagged Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby
Scholar and writer Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby has been selected to receive the Clark Art Institute’s 2017 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing. Grigsby is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. The award presentation will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2018 during an event at the Milton Resnick and Pat Passloff Foundation in New York City.
“The Clark Prize raises awareness of the importance of writing that bridges scholarly and popular interest in the arts and seeks to encourage support for such writing among publishers, editors, and the public,” said Olivier Meslay, the Felda and Dena Hardymon Director of the Clark. “Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby’s writing is deeply rooted in serious academic tradition, but easily connects to the public through compelling prose and thoughtful analysis. We are delighted to recognize her work with the Clark Prize.”
Grigsby, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone, focuses her scholarship onthe history of art and material culture in France and the United States from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, especially in relation to colonialism, slavery, and constructions of race. She writes on painting, sculpture, photography, and engineering, as well as the relationships among reproductive media and new technologies.
“I am deeply honored to be awarded the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing,” Grigsby said, “especially because my own priorities as a scholar and teacher so closely match its mission to honor ‘accessible prose that advances public understanding’ and ‘appeal[s] to a diverse range of audiences.’ What an admirable, generous, and profoundly political goal.
“As the daughter of a Panamanian immigrant, a single mother who was hard-working, financially strapped, courageous, accented, and brown,” she explained, “I long hesitated even to aspire to speak about art―an act that I perceived to be the prerogative of a white and typically male elite. How exclusionary can the heady mix of art and money feel to those who are not privileged! In response, my scholarship has been motivated by a commitment to equity, social justice, and the histories of overlooked and disenfranchised persons; thus my focus on slavery, empire, and revolution; thus my need not only to reexamine the canonical, but to analyze other kinds of neglected objects. As an educator at a public university under siege for lack of funding, the very university that introduced me to the field of art history, I attempt to enfranchise students, to empower them to question, resist, and find solace in art, to be curious about history, and to respect difference. Finally, I ask my students to analyze how the visual achieves what words do not, and―here is the kicker―to do so in writing. Art history’s paradox: finding words for what we see, the simplest, most elusive, and challenging of goals.”
Michael Ann Holly, Starr Director Emeritus of the Clark’s Research and Academic Program, led the 2017 jury for the Clark Prize. Other members of the panel included 2006 Clark Prize recipient Kobena Mercer, a scholar and critic, and David Breslin, the DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
“Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby has given us new, yet historically grounded, readings of canonical works of art and artists,” said Holly. “As such she is the first Clark Prize awardee in a few years who is an art historian rather than a scholar of modern and contemporary art. A versatile and graceful writer, she has published stunning essays on nineteenth-century figures ranging from the former slave Sojourner Truth to the influential French painter Théodore Géricault, among many others. Versed in interpretative modes of visual culture, such as postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, and feminism, her writing is rich in historical detail with contemporary implications.”
About the Clark Prize
The Clark Prize is funded by the Beinecke Family through the Prospect Hill Foundation. It is accompanied by a $25,000 honorarium and an award designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, the designer of two buildings on the Clark’s Williamstown campus.
The inaugural Clark Prize was awarded in 2006 to three individuals: Kobena Mercer, a writer and critic; Linda Nochlin, an art historian and leader in feminist art history studies; and Calvin Tomkins, author and art critic for The New Yorker magazine. In 2008 Peter Schjeldahl, the esteemed art critic for The New Yorker magazine received the prize, followed by art critic and Princeton University professor Hal Foster in 2010; artist, writer, and critic Brian O’Doherty in 2012; and poet and writer Eileen Myles in 2015.
Members of the Clark Prize jury were chosen for their long-standing commitment to the arts and their expertise in the field. Jurors serve as both nominators and judges. Individuals engaged in all forms of arts writing, including criticism, commentary, monographs, catalogue essays, and biography, are eligible for nomination.
For more information about the award event in New York, please call 413-458-0524.
The Berkeley Art Museum will be mounting an exhibition, Sojourner Truth, Photography, and the Fight Against Slavery, based on the materials used by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby for her book, Enduring Truths: Sojourner's Shadows and Substance (University of Chicago Press, 2015). The exhibition is scheduled to run from July 27 to October 23, 2016; see the UC Berkeley press release for more information about it and a good brief review of the exhibition, "How Sojourner Truth Used Photography to Help End Slavery" is at Smithsonian.com; it's included in the August 12th KQED The Do List (starting at 3:04).
Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby's new book, Enduring Truths: Sojourner's Shadow and Substance (U. Chicago Press, 2015) has hit the bookstores! Professor Grigsby was interviewed recently for an article that appears in today's New York Times. The Department is pleased and honored to note that Professor Grigsby's collection of Sojourner Truth and Civil War photographs and ephemera will be featured in an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum next summer.
In 1996, the late Richard and Rhoda Goldman provided generous funding for five Distinguished Professorships in the College of Letters and Science, establishing an endowed chair in each of the College’s divisions. The Professorship is awarded for excellence in scholarship and commitment to the University’s teaching mission. The Department of History of Art is very pleased to announce that Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby has been named as the Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Division of Arts and Humanities, 2015-2020.
Body and Empire: A Conversation
Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby
Still Thinking about Olympia’s Maid
Opening with Manet’s voyage to Brazil after the second French abolition of slavery, this talk focuses on the too often overlooked black woman in Manet’s Olympia (1863) and the model Laure who posed for this painting and others. Manet’s painting stages a creole scene that makes visible France’s long reliance on slavery, but also its Revolutionary redefinition of all blacks as paid workers after the second abolition of slavery in 1848. How does thinking about the entry of blacks, specifically black women, into France’s economy of wage labor differently illuminate Manet’s painting?
Of the "Effeminate" Buddha and the Making of an Indian Art History
Internalizing colonial accusations of the “effeminacy” of the native male body, nineteenth-century Indian ideologues and reformers attempted to redeem the national body through a range of phallocentric body cultures. Anti-colonial art history, however, deliberately appropriated colonizing discourses of the effeminate native body to epistemologically challenge the hegemonic hyper-masculinity advocated by both the regulatory mechanisms of the British Empire and a larger nationalist body culture in colonial India. The ingenious invention of a discursive intimacy between yoga and an aesthetics of demasculinization led to the strategic resignification of the male body in early Indian sculpture as both a sign and the site of an imagined national life. Through a close analysis of art writing and photography, art pedagogy and colonial archaeology, visual practices and sartorial cultures, my talk will delineate the fin-de-siècle politics and aesthetics of demasculinization that had led to the establishment of anti-colonial Indian art history’s disciplinary and methodological concerns.
Kunstgeschichte und ästhetische Praktiken
An Initiative of the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut at the Forum Transregionale Studien, BerlinWallotstraße 14, 14193 Berlin
The 2014-15 academic year is off to a strong start with the offering of many new courses. Among them is Professor Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Professor Lisa Trever's joint seminar in The Bancroft Library: Photography, Archaeology, and Maya Ruins: The Frenchman Desiré Charnay in Mexico. Here, Grigsby and students examine and describe Charnay's 1859 double plate photograph from the site of Mitla (Oaxaca). Photograph by Lisa Trever.
Congratulations to Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, a 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. The Distinguished Teaching Award is the campus's most prestigious honor for teaching.
Congratulations to Professor Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby on the publication of her new book, Colossal: Engineering Modernity - Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, and Panama Canal, by Periscope Press.