UC Berkeley History of Art Department



  • Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents

    Translation as Research with Ahmad Diab, Anneka Lenssen, and Kathy Zarur

    Until 8:00 pm | 02/13/2018

    Ahmad Diab, Anneka Lenssen and Kathy Zarur

    To celebrate the upcoming publication of the anthology Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2018), co-editor Anneka Lenssen (Assistant Professor, Global Modern Art, UC Berkeley) joins Ahmad Diab (Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature, UC Berkeley), and Kathy Zarur (curator and Lecturer in Visual Studies, CCA) in a conversation exploring the possibilities of translation as artistic research. The event will feature brief readings in English and Arabic of texts in the anthology and a discussion of related works of art. In turn, specific of acts of translation (whether between languages, or between text and image) will be examined in relation to problems of global canon, world literature, and the internationalism of socialist pathways of cultural exchange in the 1960s and 1970s–the latter engaged in its own, important translational projects. In light of recent efforts in the United States to revisit and revive Arab modernist and avant-garde histories by means of translation, how do we understand the hopes and challenges of this period? To what extent did artists themselves, located in complicated colonial and post-colonial conditions, already work by translation—between languages, materials, and worldview? And in what ways might such translations-as-research intervene upon contemporary cultural practice?


    Translation as Research: February 13

  • Open House + Arts/Visual Collections Showcase

    Until 6:00 pm | 02/13/2018

     The Art History/Classics Library and the History of Art Visual Resources Center are hosting an event to bring together the many arts-related and visual scholarly resources and scholarly output from around the UC Berkeley campus and beyond. Please join us and learn more about these arts/visual collections at our Open House + Collections Showcase. It will be a book-fair style event with outreach materials and collection highlights from the many collections around campus, the California Digital Library, and the University of California Press.

  • Fourth Annual CAA Preview

    Until 2:00 pm | 02/02/2018

    Ivy Mills, Emma R. Silverman, Imogen Hart, Rebecca Levitan and Grace Harpster

    Morning Papers
    10:00 – 10:40 Ivy Mills, "Maimouna Guerresi's Woman-Minaret."
    10:40 – 11:20 Emma R. Silverman, “Making a Modern Monument: Photography and the Watts Towers.”
    11:20 – 12:00 Imogen Hart, "Inside Out: Exhibiting Decorative Art Between the Wars."
    12:00 – 12:30 Break. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
    Afternoon Papers
    12:30 – 1:10 Rebecca Levitan, "Pasquino the ‘Speaking Statue’: How a Hellenistic Sculpture Became the Voice of Early Modern Rome."
    1:10 – 1:50 Grace Harpster, “Figino’s True Effigy: Portraits of Carlo Borromeo as Saintly Testimony.”

  • Insurgent Imaginaries: Art and Iconoclasm in the Eighteenth-Century Andes

    Ananda Cohen-Aponte, Cornell University

    This presentation focuses on the production, modification, and destruction of images within the context of the Tupac Amaru (1780–1783) and Tupac Katari (1780–1781) Rebellions of the southern Andes. Historians and anthropologists have produced numerous studies on the sociocultural, economic, and political dimensions of anticolonial movements in the Andes. The visual and aesthetic aspects of these rebellions, however, remain largely overlooked in the scholarly literature. Drawing on new field and archival research, this presentation considers interventions into the material world as a form of political praxis. In particular, it analyzes several case studies involving the breaking, burning, and modification of artworks by rebels and royalists alike, calling into question the terms under which we define defacement and censorship. This presentation looks at a variety of objects, including portraits, textiles, sculptures, and khipus in order to highlight the diverse visual worlds that intervened in the practice of political subversion.

  • From SFMOMA to the Ghost Ship: Exploring Bay Area Arts Ecosystems

    UC Berkeley Undergraduate Seminar Final Projects Launch Event
    Please join us at La Peña in the Lounge for brief presentations and discussion of collaborative research projects developed during the Fall semester.

    Light Snacks

    Free • The Public is cordially invited!
    Presented by

    “From SFMOMA to the Ghost Ship: Exploring Bay Area Arts Ecosystems”
    UC Berkeley History of Art Department and American Studies Program

    Special thanks to La Peña
    “Promoting social justice, arts participation and intercultural understanding since 1975” 

  • Between “dirty ghosts” and “a tailor’s dummy”: The Contested Form of the Victorian Public Statue

    Claire Jones, University of Birmingham

    Britain’s streets, squares, parks, and public buildings are peopled with statues which were mainly commissioned, produced, and erected during the Victorian period. These generally follow a similar format—a white, middle-aged man a frockcoat, standing on a four-foot-high plinth. Today these statues are rarely remarked upon, except when their subject is challenged and debated. Yet the apparent homogeneity and conservatism of these figures belie the fact that, in its day, the portrait statue was one of the most contested forms of sculpture. This paper will examine how, in sculptural terms, these statues reveal a profound experiment in modelling modern man.
    Dr. Claire Jones is a Lecturer in the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies, University of Birmingham, UK. Her research centres on the history of sculpture, and she is completing a monograph on sculpture in 19th-century Britain, which examines the ways in which sculptors attempted to make sculpture more relevant to contemporary life. Her publications include Sculptors and Design Reform in France, 1848–1895: Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (Ashgate, 2014), and she is co-editing Sculpture and the Decorative in Britain and Europe, 17th Century to Contemporary, with Imogen Hart (UC Berkeley).

    This event is sponsored by the Center for British Studies and the History of Art Department.



  • [Los Angeles Time photo credit: “KGO-TV via Associated Press”]

    The Ghost Ship Fire: One Year Later

    Until 4:00 pm | 11/17/2017

    Talk and Q&A with writers-reporters Matthias Gaffni and Julia Prodis Sulek of the East Bay Times staff, winners of a 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for their coverage of the December 2016 Ghost Ship Fire.

    Talk and Q&A with writers-reporters Matthias Gaffni and Julia Prodis Sulek of the East Bay Times

    staff, winners of a 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for their coverage of the December 2016 Ghost Ship



    The reporters will reflect on the fire and its cultural and socio-economic contexts, as well as discuss their

    work in journalism and multimedia production - and the role narrative plays in their work.

    Matthias Gafni is an award-winning investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. He has reported

    and edited for Bay Area newspapers since he graduated from UC Davis, covering courts, crime,

    environment, science, child abuse, education, county and city government, and corruption.

    Julia Prodis Sulek has been a general assignment reporter for the Bay Area News Group, based in San Jose,

    her hometown, since the late 1990s. She has covered everything from plane crashes to presidential

    campaigns, murder trials to NBA Finals. Her specialty is narrative storytelling.

    Presented in conjunction with the

    UC Berkeley History of Art Department and American Studies Program undergraduate seminar

    “From SFMOMA to the Ghost Ship: Exploring Bay Area Arts Ecosystems”



    Until 2:00 pm | 03/14/2018

    Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop Series, 2017-2018 

    Image Copyright for the Dissertation and Beyond

    Wednesday, September 27, 12:00-2:00 308A Doe


    Publishing:  From the Dissertation to the Book

    Wednesday, Novemeber 15, 2017, 12:00-2:00, 308A Doe


    Approaching the Tenure Track Job Market

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 12:00-2:00, 308A Doe


    Careers Beyond the Tenure Track

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 12:00-2:00, 308A Doe

    **Brown Bag event.  Light refreshments will be provided**




  • Slavs and Tatars, Love Letters No. 3. woolen yarn, 2013, 250x250 cm

    The Idea of “Global Modernism": A Symposium

    and 10/21/2017 from 10:00am-4:30pm


    Natalia Brizuela, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, UCB
    Atreyee Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, UCB
    Sonal Khullar, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, University of Washington
    Namiko Kunimoto, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, Ohio State University
    Marci Kwon, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
    Anneka Lenssen, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art History, UCB
    Sylvester Ogbechie, Professor, Department of History of Art and Architecture, UCSB
    Sugata Ray, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, UCB
    Sam Rose, Lecturer, School of Art History, University of St Andrews, UK

    The symposium addresses the emergence of “global modernism” as an intellectual, professional, and pedagogical rubric for the academic and critical study of modern visual and spatial arts around the world (nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century), with special attention to its formations at Berkeley. To some extent, “global modernism” (singular) might designate the transnational dissemination and intercultural reception of certain modernist arts, whether European-originated or not, and/or the identification of worldwide characteristics of modern(ist) arts relative to “pre-modern,” “early modern,” or “indigenous” traditions in their particular global contexts. To some extent, it might designate the conceptual field within which many modernisms (plural) around the world—sometimes described as “multiple modernisms” and “alternate modernisms”—might be studied in comparative, cross-cultural, postcolonial, transnational, and/or “global” frames that organize new directions of teaching and research. What are the backgrounds, stakes, and warrants of these or other ideas of artistic modernism(s) treated as global phenomenon/a? Is it now possible to articulate historiographies of the idea of “global modernism”? How does “global modern(ism)” relate to the parallel emergence of “global early modern,” “global medieval,” “global ancient,” and “globalprehistoric”? How does it relate to initiatives in “world art studies”? How does it relate to processes of socioeconomic and cultural “globalization”? What kinds of intellectual practices and professional training/experience does it seem to require—potentially changing the shape of disciplines, jobs, curricula, and research programs? How are major global research universities like Berkeley situated to contribute (or not)? (One goal of the symposium is to advance thinking about, and on behalf of, Berkeley’s increasing visibility as a center of “global modern studies.”)

    Organizers: Whitney Davis and Anneka Lenssen, History of Art, University of California at Berkeley

    Sponsors: Department of History of Art; Townsend Center for the Humanities; The George C. and Helen N. Pardee Chair II at the University of California, Berkeley.

    PhD students in art history and other fields are invited to apply for a seat by completing an online form no later than Monday, Oct. 2:


    Audience members must commit to attending the entire symposium. Late requests cannot be accommodated.




  • Laal Paree

    Cinephiles, Fandoms, and Global Media Cultures: Indian Cinema from a Transcultural Perspective

    This roundtable addresses the transcultural nature of Indian cinema, both past and present. Following the liberalization of India’s economy in the early 1990s, histories of Indian cinema have either focused on the reception of Indian films vis-a-vis cosmopolitan constructions of South Asian diasporic subjectivities or have examined the ways in which an image of the nation has been constructed in and through Indian cinema. What is less understood and explored is the integration, consumption, and vernacularization of Indian cinema in various contexts outside India, for instance in Latin America and Africa. Cinephiles, Fandoms, and Global Media Cultures aims to highlight recent engagements with transcultural Indian cinema.

    This event will be held in conjunction with the opening reception of the exhibition Love Across the Global South: Popular Cinema Cultures of India and Senegal, Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Doe Library (curated by Ivy Mills, Sugata Ray, Liladhar Pendse, and Adnan Malik). The exhibition highlights the interconnected nature of Senegalese Indian cinema fan culture and the Indian films that inspire it.


    12:00: Welcome remarks

    12:10-1:25: Roundtable presentations
    Ajay Gehlawat (Sonoma State University), "Black Voice, Brown Skin: Auto-tuning Akon for Bollywood"
    Jayson Beaster-Jones (UC Merced): "Have Mandolin Will Travel: Musical and Affective Themes of DDLJ"
    Ivy Mills (UC Berkeley): "On Ravana's Blackness: Akon's 'Chammak Challo' and Bollywood's Racial Imaginary"

    1:25-1:35: Break

    1:35-3:15: Roundtable presentations continued
    Usha Iyer (Stanford University): "Teaching Indian Film in Trinidad: Cinema, Gender, and the Construction of Racial Identities"
    Rachael Hyland (UC Berkeley): "Boundaries in Flux: Race and Class in Indian Summers and A Passage to India"
    Atreyee Gupta (UC Berkeley), Discussant

    3:15-3:25: Break

    3:25-4:40: Keynote
    Lalitha Gopalan (University of Texas, Austin), "Dust to Digital: Tamil New Wave"

    4:40: Concluding remarks

    5:00-7:00: Opening reception of the exhibition Love Across the Global South: Popular Cinema Cultures of India and Senegal in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Doe Library

    Both the roundtable and exhibition reception are free and open to the public.

    Organizers: Rachael Hyland and Shivani Sud.

    Event made possible with the support of the Townsend Center of Humanities, the Institute of South Asia Studies, the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies, the History of Art Department, the South and Southeast Asian Studies Department, and the Asian Art and Visual Cultures Working Group.

    Campus Events Calendar page

  • Alexander Gardner Photo

    Reading Photographically Illustrated Texts

    Makeda Best and Christine Hult-Lewis

    "Alexander Gardner, Sketch Book, and the Transatlantic Sphere of Reform"
    Dr. Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums
    (5pm, 308A Doe Library).

    A Workshop Drawing on Photography Books in The Bancroft Library's Collections
    Dr. Christine Hult-Lewis, Reva and David Logan Curatorial Assistant, The Bancroft Library
    (10am-12pm and 1:30pm-2:30pm, The Bancroft Library).

    Please contact Kappy Mintie at kmintie@berkeley.edu to reserve a spot in the workshop.

    This event is generously sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School, The Bancroft Library, the Jay D. McEvoy, Jr. Chair in American Art, and the History of Art Department.

    Questions? Please contact Kappy Mintie at kmintie@berkeley.edu.

  • Curation as Research: September 19, 2017

    Miguel A. López and Emiliano Valdés

    Curation as Research: Contemporary Art in Central America

    Miguel A. López and Emiliano Valdés

    in conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson (History of Art)

    Tuesday, September 19 at 5:30 pm

    Geballe Room, Townsend Center for the Humanities

    López and Valdés will reflect on their experiences organizing exhibitions that focus on the visual art and performance of Costa Rica, 

    Guatemala, and Nicaragua, and will discuss how their curatorial research puts pressure on monolithic narratives about Central American art.


    Additional information can be found here

  • Charles Howard, Prescience (1942)

    Between Surrealism and Abstraction: New Perspectives on the Enigmatic Art of Charles Howard

    Apsara DiQuinzio, Douglas Dreishpoon, Lauren Kroiz, Jeff Gunderson, and Alexander Nemerov

    Explore the arresting art of Charles Howard in this fresh, wide-ranging look at the themes and changing contexts of his work as he navigated among figurative, Surrealist, and abstract currents. Topics include his stylistic synthesis of chaos and order; his relation to both American and British modernism; and his connections with the San Francisco Bay Area art world of the 1940s.

    Presenters are Apsara DiQuinzio, BAMPFA curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, who organized the exhibition; Douglas Dreishpoon, chief curator emeritus, Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Lauren Kroiz, UC Berkeley assistant professor of art history and contributor to the exhibition catalog; and Jeff Gunderson, special collections librarian and archivist at the San Francisco Art Institute. Noted author, speaker, and curator Alexander Nemerov, chair of Stanford University's Art and Art History department, moderates the program.

    BAMPFA page for the event

  • Book Launch for Fray: Art and Textile Politics by Julia Bryan-Wilson

    Julia Bryan-Wilson with Angela Hennessy and Richard Meyer

     Join Julia Bryan-Wilson as she launches her new book Fray: Art and Textile Politics (University of Chicago, 2017), in conversation with artist Angela Hennessy and art historian Richard Meyer. Thurs. Sept. 7 at 5:30pm at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.  

    Berkeley Art Museum page for the book launch

  • Seated Guanyin Bodhisattva

    Return of Ten Thousand Dharmas: A Celebration in Honor of Patricia Berger

    Until 4:45 pm | 05/06/2017

    Please join us for "Return of Ten Thousand Dharmas: A Celebration in Honor of Patricia Berger" on May 5–6, 2017.

    Patricia Berger served as the curator of Chinese art at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco from 1982 to 1994. She then returned to her alma mater to mentor another generation of graduate students as Professor of Chinese Art at the University of California at Berkeley. In celebration of her well-deserved retirement, we invite you to join her current and former students and colleagues to honor her contributions to the field. Professor Berger will deliver a keynote lecture on Friday, May 5 at the David Brower Center, followed by a one-day symposium on Saturday, May 6, 2017 in the Heyns Room at the Faculty Club. This event is free and open to the public.

    The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Buddhist Studies, Department of History of Art, Institute of East Asian Studies, and Mongolia Initiative.

    For more information, please visit Return of Ten Thousand Dharmas: A Celebration in Honor of Patricia Berger, or if you have further questions, contact tenthousanddharmas@berkeley.edu.