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  • Four students receive prestigious predoctoral fellowships

    The department would like to recognize and congratulate four of our students -- Alexandra Courtois de Vicose, Aaron Hyman, Grace Harpster, Michelle "Micki" McCoy --  for winning competitive predoctoral fellowships. Micki and Aaron received fellowships from the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts  (CASVA), Alexandra won an award from the George Lurcy Fellowship Program, and Grace received The Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Award. Please read more below about these fellowship winners and their research.

    Alexandra Courtois de Vicose, 2015-16 Georges Lurcy Fellow, works on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the perceived marginality of his art and persona, and the critical rhetoric assessing his oeuvre as stemming from a ‘deviant body.’ Rather than focus on a medical diagnosis as cause for his artistic choices, Alexandra turns to the society in which Lautrec lived and created. Using a Disability Studies framework to formulate a nuanced sociological and cultural construction of disability in late nineteenth-century Paris, Alexandra proposes to frame Lautrec’s oeuvre and life in a new light. Using a selection of photographs, drawings, paintings and prints, she investigates how his construction of self, shaped by Belle Époque culture, literary and scientific currents, informed his representations of chosen subjects. She will travel to France as well as London, Berlin and Brussels during the 2015-16 academic year.

    Grace Harpster will spend the 2015-16 academic year doing dissertation research in Rome and Milan, thanks to a Fulbright research fellowship. Her project traces the itineraries of Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584), famed Counter-Reformation cardinal-archbishop and later saint, to five different sites on the Italian peninsula. Borromeo's pilgrimages and patronages lead from church furnishings in S. Prassede in Rome to the Marian shrine at Loreto and the Holy Shroud relic of Turin, and on to the Sacro Monte polychrome sculpture at Varallo before ending with his death and subsequent cult in Milan. His pathways function to connect famed Renaissance 'Art', liturgical instruments, and cult images, substituting later art historical categorizations with a more endemic definition of sacre immagini. Grace aims to demonstrate that only through an exploration of image-based practice rather than theory--Borromeo was neither art theorist nor theologian--can we gain an accurate picture of how art and sacrality interacted in the early modern Catholic world.

    Aaron Hyman received the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon fellowship, an award meant to support scholarship outside Europe and the United States with a particular cross-cultural emphasis. His dissertation, entitled Rubens in a New World: Prints, Authorship, and Transatlantic Intertextuality, treats the reception of prints by the seventeenth-century Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens in colonial Latin America. In the colonial period, European prints flooded the New World, and today Latin American churches and museums are filled with paintings that were copied or derived from these European sources. Aaron uses this transatlantic frame to reassess how works of art relate to one another across geographic distances and cultural divides and to rethink the terms through which early modern authorship has been understood: originality, invention, replication, and the slavish copy. Before taking up residence at the Center in 2016-17, he will spend the year based in Mexico City and Cuzco, Peru completing research for this project.

    Michelle "Micki" McCoy, the 2015-17 Ittleson fellow, is writing a dissertation on the visual culture of Chinese and Inner Asian astrology and astronomy during their “golden age” from the tenth to fourteenth century. In this material, forms and concepts often appear in unexpected places, such as the western zodiac signs encircling a rock-cut Daoist shrine in present-day Sichuan and the Chinese asterisms adorning the ceiling of a Turkic Buddhist grotto on the eastern Silk Road. The body of paintings and Tangut-language texts from the Xixia kingdom, an Inner Asian state in which astral deities formed an official cult, sheds particularly important light on the processes of cultural translation at the heart of the astral arts in this period. Micki's dissertation will not only establish new connections among heterogeneous cultural realms, but also show how these processes of knowledge transfer and adaptation were fundamentally visual. She is spending 2015-16 doing fieldwork in Asia and Europe and will take up her residency in 2016-17 at the Center in Washington, DC.

     

  • "Mural Painting and the Ancient Americas" goes to the city

    Professor Lisa Trever and some students in the seminar "Mural Painting and the Ancient Americas" arrive at the de Young Museum in San Francisco to study and photograph the fragments of ancient murals from Teotihuacan, Mexico on view there in the Harald Wagner collection. With the support of the Digital Humanities at Berkeley initiative and the staff of the Visual Resources Center of the Department of History of Art, the class used specialized equipment to take photographs for panoramic stitching and photogrammetry. Special thanks to Sue Grinols, Director of Photo Services and Imaging, and Dr. Matthew Robb, curator of the Art of the Americas at the de Young, for making this visit possible. Students enrolled in the seminar will use these photographs in the production of their final research projects. The surprisingly traffic-free trip from Berkeley to Golden Gate Park even allowed the group to stop for tea at the Japanese Tea Garden before beginning their photographic work!

    Left to right: Yessica Porras, Kat Huggins, Michaela Guerrera, Gabriella Nunez, Verónica Múnoz-Nájar, Nathan Kelleher, Lisa Trever, and Arianna Campiani.

    Photograph by Lynn Cunningham 

  • Sojourner Truth: New Book by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, and an Upcoming Exhibit at BAM

    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. 

  • "(processing) -- Bay Area Artists and the Archive"

    Sugata Ray is one of the artists contributing to "(processing) Bay Area Artists and the Archive," an exhibition hosted by the Art Practice Department during the month of October. The opening reception is Wednesday, October 7 at 4:00 p.m. in the Worth Ryder Gallery.

  • Fall Semester Begins!

    Students in History of Art 101, "Theories and Methods for a Global History of Art" meet their THREE new professors! This course is team-taught by Beate Fricke, Sugata Ray, and Lisa Trever.

  • Department Welcomes Acting Chair Bonnie Wade

    The Department is very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Bonnie Wade as Acting Chair for 2015-17. Read her welcome to the new academic year here.

  • Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby Named Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities

    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. 

  • Outstanding GSI Awards Announced

    Congratulations to Alexandra Courtois, Sarah Cowan, Andrew Sears, and Caty Telfair, all of whom received the Outstanding GSI Award from the GSI Teaching and Resource Center, in recognition of their excellent teaching in the Department.  Recipients receive a $250 prize and will be honored at a ceremony and reception on May 5, 2015.  Please join us to celebrate this well-deserved recognition of their outstanding efforts on behalf of our undergraduate students.  Lists of past recipients may be found here.

  • Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Sugata Ray in Conversation in Berlin

    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?

     

    Sugata Ray
    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

     

     

  • Andy Stewart to Speak About Nike of Samothrace in Paris

    Andy Stewart, Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies and Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, has been invited as one of three guest speakers at the afternoon session of a public Study Day on the Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace at the Louvre, on March 28, 2015. Recently conserved and remounted, the Nike is among the most spectacular and most famous sculptures of ancient Greece. Joining him on the podium and for the subsequent debate - which promises to be lively - will be Professor François Queyrel of the École des Hautes Études in Paris and Professor Olga Palagia of the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Athens.