Two projects in the Department of History of Art have received grants from the new Digital Humanities at Berkeley initiative.
Professor Lisa Trever submitted a successful proposal to integrate digital components into her fall 2015 course "Mural Painting and the Ancient Americas." This seminar will explore the traditions of palace, temple, and tomb painting in ancient and pre-Hispanic Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and the American Southwest, as well as modern and contemporary legacies of mural painting in Latin America and the United States. The Course Development Grant will allow the class to experiment with digital technologies for rendering digital models of ancient murals and for capturing site visits to murals in the Bay Area. This project is supported through the collaboration of digital curators and research specialists in the department's Visual Resources Center and the Archaeological Research Facility.
In addition, Professor Elizabeth Honig and the VRC have received funds from the Digital Humanities initiative to create a repurposable platform that can be used to catalog the works of any visual artist. Built using Drupal, this platform will be made freely available to other scholars. This grant w... [show more]
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.
The Department is pleased to announce the redesign of the Undergraduate Major in History of Art.
As History of Art's Chair, Professor Christopher Hallett, notes, the new major reflects the full range of the Department’s internationally recognized teaching and research, offers students more opportunities to engage with non-western artistic traditions, and seeks to enhance student preparation for careers in arts-related areas.
Students will be able to sign up for the new major from the beginning of Fall Semester 2014. Those who declared the major in Spring 2014 may speak with an Undergraduate Advisor about switching to the new major.
For Professor Hallett's message and the requirements of the new major, please visit the Undergraduate Program page.
The Department is pleased to welcome Anneka Lenssen as our latest new Assistant Professor, in this case of Global Modern Art. Anneka earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art program (working with Professor Caroline Jones) and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (working with Professor Nasser Rabat). Even before finishing her PhD, she was hired by the American University in Cairo, where she has been directing their new Visual Cultures Program this academic year. Not surprisingly, Anneka’s time in Cairo (and before that in Lebanon and Syria) has given her unprecedented access to her research materials and an up-front seat at major social transformations: Anneka specializes in modern painting, contemporary visual practices, and cultural politics in the Middle East since the Second World War. Her research examines problems of artistic representation in relation to the globalizing imaginaries of empire, nationalism, communism, decolonization, non-alignment, and Third World humanism. Arising from her MIT doctoral dissertation, her current book project is a study of avant-garde painting and the making of Syria as a c... [show more]
Larger than Life—A Tribute to Professor James Cahill
James Cahill Memorial, Berkeley Art Museum, May 10, 2014
We’ve all spent the last months trying to find words to celebrate the life of James Cahill, our sensei, colleague, friend and paterfamilias, a man who was—still is—larger than life. There have been many wonderful formal tributes to him in the press and we have Howard Rogers’ warmhearted biography in your program today, with many more to come in scholarly journals, all testifying to his unrivalled career as a writer and art historian. He received all the highest accolades the field has to offer: the College Art Association’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art in 2007 and the Charles Lang Freer Medal in 2010. Jim was one of only two art historians to be invited to deliver Berkeley’s annual Faculty Research lecture, which he did in 1982. His more-than two-dozen books and catalogs, countless articles and other, more ephemeral writing testify to his unceasing engagement with scholarship. He was a brilliant, original and tireless art historian and, hand-in-hand with this, he was also a great teacher, blessed with exceptional charisma, eloquence and ease and, no small thi... [show more]
From the Yale University Press website:
The renowned Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) established his career in Catholic Rome, making paintings that placed particular importance on sacred relics and the glorification of martyred saints. Beginning with his early works, Caravaggio was intensely engaged with the physical world. He not only interrogated appearances but also experimented with the paint’s material nature. Caravaggio’s Pitiful Relics explores how the artist’s commitment to materiality served and ultimately challenged the Counter Reformation church’s interests. In his first ecclesiastical commission, Caravaggio offered an unconventional representation of martyrdom that collapsed the borders between art, contemporary religious persecution, iconoclasm, and relics in early Christian catacombs. Yet his art controversially and eventually led to a criminal trial. After he had fled from Rome in disgrace, his major altarpiece depicting the death of the Virgin Mary, portraying her mortality rather than her sanctity, was removed. Caravaggio’s materiality came into conflict with chang... [show more]
Julia Bryan-Wilson co-convenes the "Visual Activism" Symposium presented by the International Association for Visual Culture and SFMOMA series of events.
Friday, March 14, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110
History of Art Department faculty member Beate Fricke participated in a Google Art Talk on the true stories of the Monuments Men hosted by the Legion of Honor and the Google Art Project. The Google Art Talk is in celebration of the Sony Pictures release The Monuments Men. The film, directed by George Clooney, is about an elite group of men and women—museum directors, art historians, conservators, educators, and others— who volunteered during World War II to help save Europe’s cultural heritage from Nazi looting and destruction.
The talk was broadcast on February 7th, and can now be viewed online on the Google hangout site.