Departmental Events

5:00 pm | 9/7/2023 | 308A Doe Library

Dr. Huaiyu Chen

We are pleased to announce a lecture the Department is co-sponsoring this coming Fall. Dr. Huaiyu Chen, professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University, will be visiting Berkeley to give a talk, titled The “Animal Question” in Medieval Chinese Religions, based on his two recent publications In The Land of Tigers and Snakes: Living with Animals in Medieval Chinese Religions and Animals and Plants in Chinese Religions and Science.

Co-sponsored by the Department of History of Art, the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Support provided by grants from the Mary C. Stoddard Fund and the Glorisun Global Buddhist Network

9:00 am | 5/16/2023 | The auditorium at The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

10:00 am | 5/4/2023 | 308A Doe Library | Until 12:00 pm | 5/4/2023

HA 185 A  

Prof. M. M. Lovell

Is it a Utensil? a Bird? an Artwork? and why does it matter? Constantine Brancusi v. United States was a landmark case concerning the definition of art–a unique object made by an artist–as distinct from a machined object made in multiples by a mechanic for utilitarian purposes. At stake was a bill for $240 (40% of the sale price) from the U.S. Customs office to the owner, photographer and friend of Brancusi, Edward Steichen. Urged to sue by Marcel Duchamp, who had accompanied this and more than a dozen other sculptures from Paris to New York where they were impounded by the Custom Service, Brancusi went to court. What happened next was important public rumination on the meaning of art in the press and in the courtroom.

Please wear a mask.

2:00 pm | 5/2/2023 | 308A Doe Library | Until 5:00 pm | 5/2/2023

Professor M. M. Lovell

May 2   2:00-5:00    308 A Doe Library


Please Bring and Wear a Mask


Frederik Brauner, Architecture

Elizabeth Fair, Art History

Leah Grams, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology

Emily Kang, Art History

Shelby Kendrick, Architecture

Atineh Movsesian, Art History

Krishna Khekhawat, Art History

Yuki Suzuki, Art History

Henry Ziegler, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology


Host: Alberto Sanchez Sanchez, Architecture

Special Guests: Betsy Boone, UCB HA MA, Professor History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture,

                                                      University of Alberta

                             Mary Okin, UCSB, PhD, Art History

1:30 pm | 4/29/2023 | Osher Theater, BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley | Until 3:00 pm | 4/29/2023

Roundtable Discussion in conjunction with the exhibition on view at BAMPFA, April 12-July 30, 2023. A conversation about Blackness, caricature, and celebrity in history with guest co-curator Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Nana Adusei-Poku, Karl Britto, and David Huffman, moderated by guest co-curator Vanessa Jackson. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 1:30-3:00 p.m. 

Osher Theater, BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley 

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at U.C. Berkeley and Professor of History of Art Department, is Co-Curator of Alexandre Dumas’s Afro. Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again at BAMPFA April 12-July 30, 2023; and Curator of . Sojourner Truth, Photography, and the Fight Against Slavery at BAMPFA, July 27- October 23, 2016. She is the author of Extremities. Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal. Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, and Panama Canal (2012); Enduring Truths. Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance (2015); and Creole. Portraits of France’s Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century (2022). 

Nana Adusei-Poku, Black Art Historian, Curator, ... [show more]

10:00 am | 4/28/2023 | Phyllis Wattis Theater, Floor 1, SFMOMA | Until 5:00 pm | 4/28/2023

“I say we’re caught between two worlds — at least two. That’s pura bicultura [pure biculture] for me. We didn’t theorize postcoloniality after the fact, learn about it from a workshop, or wait for multiculturalism to become foundation lingo for ‘appreciating diversity’— we lived it and still struggle to make art about it.”

—Coco Fusco, English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas

The 2023 Berkeley/Stanford Symposium, “In-Between: Art and Cultural Practices From Here,” confronts the potentials of those people, spaces, things, ideas, and experiences of the past, present, and future, as they manifest between categories of analysis we might have inherited from previous canons. Situating the symposium within the conceptual space of the “in-between,” we ask our participants to join in proposing new frameworks of hybridity and transdisciplinarity. These approaches are grounded in transregional and intersectional practices that, nonetheless, engage with specificities of place.

Artist Sadie Barnette and professor Jennifer González will give keynote presentations. 

10–11 a.m.

Introductions & Keynote: Sadie Barnette

SPACE/TIME: Making Art on a Rock Flying Thr... [show more]

12:00 pm | 4/19/2023 | Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall | Until 1:00 pm | 4/19/2023

Henrike Lange

In Giotto’s Arena Chapel and the Triumph of Humility (Cambridge, 2023) Henrike Lange (History of Art and Italian) takes the reader on a tour through one of the most beloved and celebrated monuments in the world — Giotto’s Arena Chapel. Paying close attention to previously overlooked details, Lange offers an entirely new reading of the stunning frescoes in their spatial configuration. She also asks fundamental questions that define the chapel’s place in Western art history. Why did Giotto choose an ancient Roman architectural frame for his vision of Salvation? What is the role of painted reliefs in the representation of personal integrity, passion, and the human struggle between pride and humility familiar from Dante’s Divine Comedy? How can a new interpretation regarding the influence of ancient reliefs and architecture cast new light on the debate around Giotto’s authorship of the Saint Francis cycle? Lange invites the reader to rediscover a key monument of art and architecture history and to see it with new eyes.

Lange is joined by Whitney Davis (History of Art). After a brief discussion, they respond to questions from the audience.


Masks are strongly recommended ... [show more]

5:30 pm | 4/18/2023 | 308A Doe Library

Lisa Pieraccini

Dr. Lisa Pieraccini: History of Art Lecturer, Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology Affiliate Faculty; Program Coordinator for the M. Del Chiaro Center for Ancient Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; President of the AIA San Francisco Society


This talk seeks to shed light on issues of indigeneity and decolonization between the Etruscans and Native Americans. Looking at the artwork of Italian artist Giovanni Gorgone Pelaya, common paradigms emerge between these chronologically and regionally different peoples. In this transhistorical and global assessment of Pelaya’s work, Pelaya’s prints appear to express how colonizing infrastructures of the old world developed into supercolonial powers in the new world. His prints offer provocative entries into larger discussions of colonialism and decolonization in both America and ancient Italy.

This event will also be live-streamed. To register: Click Here 

5:00 pm | 4/12/2023 | BAMPFA

Opening of “Alexandre Dumas’s Afro,” an exhibition guest co-curated by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Vanessa Jackson.

And a book event at 5 p.m. celebrating the publication of Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby’s Creole. Portraits of France’s Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century (2022)  


12:00 pm | 4/12/2023 | BAMPFA | Until 5:00 pm | 7/30/2023

Opening of a new exhibit at BAMPFA.

Alexandre Dumas père, the celebrated and prolific 19th-century author of The Three Musketeers, Man in the Iron Mask, and The Count of Monte Cristo, among many others, was a man of mixed-race whose father was nicknamed the Black Hercules while serving as a General in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. Dumas père’s grandmother was a Haitian slave, Cezette Du Mas; his grandfather was the white French aristocratic planter who owned her and her children. The Revolutionary General, Dumas père, and the latter’s son Dumas fils, also a celebrated author, all chose to bear the patronym of a slave woman rather than a white aristocrat, yet their blackness has come in and out of view, sometimes attacked, sometimes erased, and sometimes celebrated.

Dumas père well understood the price of fame yet like so many during this century of explosive innovation, including a rapidly expanding press and the birth of photography, he was thrilled by it.  He himself lamented that the celebrated man “no longer belonged to himself; for applause and honors, he had sold himself to the public … Publicity with its thousands of voices, would break him into pieces, scatter hi... [show more]

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