Category: Assistant Director’s Report

Greetings from the Associate Director (Acting Director 2018-2019)

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, Assistant Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

After a restorative winter break spent reconnecting with family and returning to my own writing, I am ready to leap into the new semester. I’m particularly looking forward to participating in our spring line-up of scholarly programs at the Institute, continuing to mentor our wonderful group of Master’s students and preparing to welcome our second class this fall, developing our programming at The Wilcox Space, and tending to our fledgling Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities in Naples.

Our first semester at the Center in Naples was busy and intense, full of successes both large and small—our study day on the ancient port of Naples with Rabun Taylor of UT Austin was a highlight, as well as our series of visiting scholars (Sabina de Cavi, Nora Lambert, Silvia Armando, Kristen Streahle, and Julie Beckers) who gave informal seminars on their work for our Research Residents and Capodimonte colleagues. 

No less exciting have been the many discoveries that our Residents have made on the ground in Naples and in the archives. Throughout the semester, our extraordinary Research Coordinator Francesca Santamaria has led our residents on visits to collections, libraries, archives, conservation studios, and other sites in Naples.

I’ll make my next trip to Naples in February, when we’ll welcome scholars Brigitte Marin and Ivan Foletti to lead seminars with our Residents. And at the end of May we will host a scholars’ seminar on research approaches to the movement of artworks, artists, and artists’ materials between the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the premodern world. 

Organized in collaboration with my colleague and friend Sabina de Cavi, the program will include seminar-style presentations, roundtable conversations, and site visits to archives throughout the city. At the same time, we are already looking ahead to the next academic year; you will find a call for applications for 2019-2020 Research Residencies in Naples here.

There have been growing pains over these first months too—we are still working to secure a strong and reliable wireless signal, for example! But passo dopo passo we are hitting our stride, and I am constantly reenergized by the intellectual life that is springing up right in the heart of the Bosco di Capodimonte. Colleagues at institutions throughout the city, and most importantly at the Museo di Capodimonte, have opened their doors to us with warmth and enthusiasm. In ways large and small they have supported our Residents’ research and helped us establish the Center’s scholarly presence in Naples.

I am convinced that our work at the Center will make an important contribution to new research on Naples, south Italy, and the Mediterranean. And I am thrilled that the O’Donnell Institute’s scholarly presence on the Bay of Naples will become even more important beginning this summer, when we will welcome the archeologist Michael Thomas as the Institute’s new Director—one of Michael’s current research focuses is at the Roman site of Oplontis, just south of Naples. The future is bright for the O’Donnell Institute, both in Dallas and in Naples! 

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Associate Director (Acting Director 2018-2019)

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Research Residents, Capodimonte colleagues, and Research Coordinator Francesca Santamaria visit the studio of the conservator Bruno Arciprete

Colleagues from the Center, the Capodimonte, and the Bibliotheca Hertziana visit the Museo Archeologico with UT Austin Professor Rabun Taylor during a study day on the Ancient Port of Naples

Research Residents Elizabeth Duntemann, Fabrizio Ballabio, Anatole Upart, and Peter Levins

Research Residents Justinne Lake-Jedzinak and Sara
Berkowitz in the conservation studio of the Capodimonte

Dr. Maximilian Schich, EODIAH Acting Assistant Director, Associate Professor in Arts and Technology

Activities

In Spring 2019, Maximilian Schich is teaching a course in Data-driven Art History “From Warburg to Deep Learning”. The purpose of the course is to connect cutting edge computational methods with relevant methods established in art history throughout the last century to enable actionable understanding for both qualitative and quantitative practitioners. Course participants include students in the Art History MA program, and students from natural sciences.

Research work continues in several multidisciplinary projects, including a collaborative computational analysis of Chromatic Structure and Family Resemblance in Large Art Collections, and a collaboration with physicists regarding the Evolution of the Paris Salon. A monographic book publication Outlining a Systematic Science of Art and Culture is upcoming.

During the 2018/2019 academic year, Maximilian Schich is further involved as the Acting Assistant Director of EODIAH, supervising the ongoing ISAAC program, and further nurturing the understanding of art history with the means of science. The Institute for the Study of American Art in China (ISAAC) is an initiative supported by the Terra foundation, hosting a number of fellows from Nanjing University at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.

Lectures

On Tuesday, December 12, 2018, Maximilian Schich spoke at the Institute for Scientific Interchange in Torino, Italy on Art History as a Systematic Science.

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Maximilian Schich is invited, together with Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel (Paris) and Claus Pias (Lüneburg), to speak in a panel discussion at Kunsthistorikertag in Göttingen. The panel deals with the history of science of art history, and is organized by Hubertus Kohle (Munich) and Hubert Locher (Marburg).

Greetings from the Associate Director

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, Assistant Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

As we launch into the new academic year (the fifth year in the life of the O’Donnell Institute), three initiatives long in development are coming to fruition.

We have just welcomed our first class of Master’s students in Art History, a stellar group of young scholars who will spend the coming year immersed in seminars on topics including the Bauhaus, the History of Collecting, the Global Baroque, and Data-Driven Art History. Beginning in the spring semester, each student will design and carry out an independent research project that will culminate in a scholarly essay, a small exhibition, or a documentation project (for just a few examples), working directly with area collections and research resources. We look forward to updating you on their progress! Dr. Paul Galvez, Chair of the Master’s Program, and Lauren LaRocca, Master’s Program Coordinator, will guide the program in its inaugural year.

On September 22, the O’Donnell Institute will re-open the doors of The Wilcox Space, at the heart of Exposition Park, as a site for exhibiting the work of painters in Dallas whose practices bring together dedication to the craft of painting and exploration of the nature of the medium itself. The fall installation will feature the work of painter Liz Trosper, curated by John Pomara. Rick Brettell, Greg Metz, and John Pomara will curate the spring installation of work by Karl Umlauf. For the summer show, we will bring together a selection of works on paper by John Wilcox, whose work continues to animate the space that bears his name. Each installation will be documented in a print and digital publication and enriched by a public program. I am particularly grateful to David Wilcox, David Gibson, Corky Cunningham, Pierrette Lacour, Travis LaMothe, Katrina Saunders, and Marjaneh Goudarzi for their support and collaboration as we prepare The Wilcox Space for its next phase. My hope is that it will become a collaborative space for artists, art historians, and students to look at and think about the practice of painting in Dallas and beyond.

If our work at The Wilcox Space focuses on the hyper-local, our new Research Center in Naples takes a global perspective. Because of the extraordinary work of Elizabeth Ranieri, Francesca Santamaria, Sylvain Bellenger and his team at the Museo di Capodimonte, and our distinguished Advisory Group, The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities has just opened its doors in Naples, in the heart of the Bosco di Capodimonte. Over the course of the coming year we will welcome six advanced graduate students from institutions throughout Europe and the United States to pursue research projects related to Naples and the cultural histories of port cities and other sites of encounter and exchange. Our Research Residents will work closely with artworks, sites, and research materials in Naples, connect with colleagues at institutions throughout the city, and form the heart of the Center’s fledgling intellectual community. Throughout the year the Center will also host programs including small site-based research seminars and public symposia. I am honored to head this new initiative, which promises to make important contributions to the field of art history and to the scholarly communities of both Dallas and Naples.

In launching these three initiatives, I am profoundly grateful for the support of the endowment that Edith O’Donnell established for the Institute just four years ago this fall. Part of our work now is to see that these initiatives continue to grow and thrive over the longer term. Establishing named Fellowships in our Master’s program and at our Research Center in Naples, sponsoring site-based research seminars for graduate students and scholars, and helping us build our small research library at the Center in Naples are just a few ways that Friends of the Institute can help us do just that.

Amid all this exciting activity at the Institute, I am pressing forward with my own research, focusing this year on my book project on the materialities and mobilities of panel painting in fourteenth-century Naples. I’ll present work related to the book this fall at the Andrew Ladis Trecento Conference in Houston, and next spring at the Renaissance Society of America in Toronto.

The whole O’Donnell Institute family joins me in wishing you a productive and creative academic year.

Sarah K. Kozlowski

Associate Director (Acting Director 2018-2019)

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Dr. Maximilian Schich, EODIAH Acting Assistant Director

Activities

Maximilian Schich is currently finalizing a book manuscript Outlining a Systematic Science of Art and Culture [working title]. Dealing with substance, relations, and dynamics in art and cultural production, the book builds on two decades of work, including the study of art history and classical archaeology, a first decade of consulting practice dealing with large graph databases, and a second decade of multidisciplinary collaborative research in complex network science and cultural analytics. 

The book narrative is rooted in a corpus of 1200 unique scientific figures produced by the author. These figures will be made available as a separate product. The book text targets a broad audience, including lay persons, students, humanists, and multidisciplinary scientists alike. 

Ongoing collaborative research under the leadership of Maximilian Schich includes the computational analysis of Chromatic Structure and Family Resemblance in Large Art Collections, in collaboration with research assistant Loan Tran (UT Dallas MA 2018), and computer scientists Prof. Jevin West and PhD student Poshen Lee (both at the University of Washington, Seattle). 

The project uses Deep Learning, i.e. a machine learning method that is capable to identify polymorphic similarities in large amounts of visual material. The art collections under investigation range from sets of several hundred, to hundreds of thousands of images. The research aims to deepen our understanding regarding the morphological structure of collections, to facilitate curatorial decisions, and to provide alternative experiences of collections as whole. 

Preliminary results have been presented at the Digital Humanities conference, a KDD workshop, and a workshop of the National Academy of the Sciences. The project is supported by the KRESS Foundation.

In October 2018, Maximilian will bring together a group of collaborators for several days to further investigate the Evolution of the Paris Salon, including art historian Debbie DeWitte PhD (UT Dallas), art historian Diana Greenwald PhD (Oxford University, currently National Gallery, Washington), physics PhD student Artem Bolshakov (UT Dallas grad, now Cornell University), and physicist Prof. Gourab Ghoshal (Rochester University). The project aim is to amalgamate classic qualitative art history approaches with quantitative methods of complexity science to study the evolutionary dynamics of topics in the Paris Salon. 

The study covers 158,000 artworks exhibited over the span of two centuries. Preliminary results have been presented at NetSci and the inaugural conference of the Cultural Evolution Society.

During the 2018/2019 academic year, Maximilian Schich is further involved as the Acting Assistant Director of EODIAH, supervising the ongoing ISAAC program, and further nurturing the understanding of art history with the means of science. The Institute for the Study of American Art in China (ISAAC) is an initiative supported by the Terra foundation, hosting a number of fellows from Nanjing University at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. 

Feeding into a multidisciplinary science of art and culture, Maximilian will gather small groups of collaborators in project-focused sessions, as exemplified above, and teach a course to introduce cutting-edge approaches in “Data-driven Art History” within the EODIAH master program in the 2019 Spring semester.

Lectures

On Friday, November 2, 2018, Maximilian Schich is invited, together with Suzanne Preston Blier (Harvard) and Matthew Lincoln (Carnegie Mellon), to present at the annual Arpeggio symposium at the Collision Space at Duke University. Feeding into the common topic of “Quantity+Quality”, Schich will give a presentation titled “Embracing Confusion: Quantity as Quality”.

On Monday, November 19, 2018, Maximilian Schich is invited to present a lecture in the MTS speaker series in the Northwestern University program in Media, Technology & Society, which “hosts distinguished and exceptional scholars from a wide range of disciplines”.

Greetings from the Associate Director

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, Assistant Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

As the 2017-2018 academic year draws to a close and I look ahead to a summer of research, writing, and ongoing work on our projects in Naples at the Capodimonte and here in Dallas at the Wilcox Space, I’m already anticipating the launch of the Fall semester, when our community of scholars and students at the O’Donnell Institute will change and grow.

In addition to the three new Visiting Research Fellows from Nanjing University, we will welcome new Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellows. 

Madhavi Biswas will join us to complete her dissertation on Globalization and New Bollywood Cinema, which explores the interplay between the global and the local in the work of the most recent generation of South Asian filmmakers. Jacquelyn Delin will pursue research on the nineteenth-century German-born, Texas-based sculptor Elisabet Nay. Rebecca Quinn Teresi, a specialist in painting of the Spanish Baroque who is completing a dissertation at Johns Hopkins called Images of the Immaculate Conception and the Rhetorics of Purity in Golden Age Spain. Rebecca will also teach a Master’s seminar this Fall on the History of Collecting. 

We are happy that current Fellows Virginia Curry and Fatemeh Tashakori, working on the history of Athenaea in the United States and eroticized images of western women in Persian art of the 17th-19th centuries, respectively, will remain with us in the Fall as well.

In Spring 2019 we will be delighted to welcome into the fold Ali Asgar Alibhai, who is completing a PhD at Harvard and will offer a Master’s seminar on the material and social histories of the medieval Islamic world, with special focus on “contact zones” like Sicily and North Africa, and working closely with objects held in the Keir Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Benjamin Lima, Editor of Athenaeum Review, will chart next steps toward a publications program for the UT Dallas Athenaeum that is now in the works. 

Finally, we look forward to welcoming the inaugural class of our new Master’s program in Art History, a small group of outstanding students whom we look forward to teaching and mentoring, and who will make important contributions to the intellectual life of the O’Donnell Institute family.

Happy Summer!

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Associate Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Greetings from the Associate Director

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, Associate Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Our Spring semester of academic programs began with two outstanding Workshop Talks from Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellows Aditi Samarth and Fatemeh Tashakori, the first nearing completion of the dissertation and the second in the earliest stages of discovery. Samarth traces the transmission and adaptation of burial practices in Hindu diaspora communities (including Dallas); Tashakori is assembling and studying for the first time a group of Persian murals that reframe western images of the female body. Both deal with images, artworks, and ritual in circulation across space and time, overturning existing assumptions and imagining new ways of doing art history. Later this semester, Workshop Talks from our other O’Donnell Fellows will prove similarly generative. We are also looking ahead to putting together our next group of Fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year—a call for applications appears at the end of this newsletter.  Meanwhile, we are working hard on two research initiatives that will launch this Fall. In September, the O’Donnell Institute will assume stewardship of The Wilcox Space,with whom we have collaborated over the past five years to show and study the paintings and works on paper of the artist John Wilcox. In this next phase, we will dedicate The Wilcox Space to exhibiting and documenting the work of Dallas-based painters who, like Wilcox, engage with the craft and theory of the medium of painting. Exhibitions at The Wilcox Space will combine with open-access digital publications, public and academic programs, and a small artist’s library built around Wilcox’s own to create a forum or incubator for looking at and thinking about painting.

La Capraia at the Museo di Capodimonte

Also opening its doors this Fall is our new research center in Naples at the Museo di Capodimonte, the Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities / Centro per la Storia dell’Arte e dell’Architettura delle Città Portuali. On my most recent trip to Naples, we finalized a memorandum of understanding between the O’Donnell Institute and the Capodimonte and began work to prepare La Capraia (“the goat farm”), an eighteenth-century agricultural building at the heart of the Museum’s surrounding bosco, to welcome research residents and scholarly programs beginning in September. I also spent time visiting with colleagues at universities, research institutes, and libraries throughout Naples, in an effort to weave the Center into the scholarly life of the city from the very beginning. My hope is that the Center will become a place where scholars from Italy, the United States, and around the world will come together to think in new ways about the art histories of port cities and other centers of encounter, exchange, and transformation.

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Associate Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Greetings from the Assistant Director

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, Assistant Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, all of us at the O’Donnell Institute have been following news from our colleagues and sister institutions in Houston. The Art Newspaper and Glasstire are posting updates on the museums, universities, and other cultural centers weathering the storm. We continue to keep all those affected by the hurricane in our thoughts even as we begin the new academic year in (thankfully) dry Dallas.

Among the many programs and projects that will take shape over the coming year, I am particularly excited about the symposium that we are mounting in October at the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples. The symposium will draw together over 40 distinguished Neapolitanists from the United States, Europe, Italy, and the most important universities in Naples for three days of gallery talks and site visits that will set the Capodimonte’s collections and surrounding bosco in a global context.

Presentations on topics including the exchange of artworks and botanical specimens between Naples and China, the circulation of luxury goods and materials in Naples and throughout the Mediterranean, and the self-definition of painters in Naples in a broader European baroque context will crack open the questions that motivate the new research center that the symposium will launch.

In 2018 the Museo di Capodimonte and the O’Donnell Institute will form the Center for the Art History of Port Cities (Il Centro per la Storia dell’Arte delle Città Portuali). The center will be housed at La Capraia or Goatfarm, an eighteenth-century agricultural building on the grounds of the Capodimonte. Through scholarly programming and research residencies it will foster on-site study of artworks and sites in Naples, with special emphasis on the cultural histories of port cities, the mobilities of people and objects, and processes of encounter and exchange. Our aim is to inform new histories of art on a global scale, always rooted in close engagement with the materials and sites at hand.

At the end of this newsletter you’ll find the program of the symposium. In the next issue of the newsletter we’ll publish a full report. To be completely immersed for three days in the collections of one the world’s great museums alongside fellow scholars in endlessly complex Naples is my idea of heaven! I am particularly grateful to Elizabeth Ranieri, our colleagues at the Capodimonte, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. John Ridings Lee for making the symposium and our fledgling partnership possible.

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Assistant Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

 

Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte, Salottino di Porcellana, 1757-1759, painted and gilded porcelain, stucco. Naples, Museo di Capodimonte

Greetings from the Assistant Director

Lectures, symposia, and study days are the intellectual oxygen of the O’Donnell Institute, and a chance to bring together the scholarly community from Dallas and Fort Worth and farther afield. At the end of February we enjoyed the success of our Spring symposium, Artists’ Writings on Materials and Techniques, held over the course of two days at UT Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

In presentations and conversations ranging from the fifteenth century to the present, participants investigated intersections (and disconnects) between artists’ visual and textual practices. Along with scholars from the O’Donnell Institute, Southern Methodist University, and the Nasher, presenters included honored guests James Meyer from the National Gallery of Art and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro from The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Naples V

 

We were particularly pleased to have the participation of many conservators from private and institutional studios in Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as from the Harry Ransom Center in Austin and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles. The theme of the conference proved to be one around which academic art historians, museum curators, conservators, and conservation scientists could come together in productive conversation. On the strength of the Institute’s conservation science initiative, we will continue to present programs like this that bring together colleagues from the academy, the museum, the studio, and the laboratory.

 

I continue my work to spearhead a new partnership with the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples. In October the O’Donnell Institute and the Capodimonte will present a first annual symposium in Naples, with two days of gallery talks and site visits that will set Naples and the Capodimonte in a global context. The symposium will launch the new Center for the Art History of Port Cities (Centro per la Storia dell’Arte delle Città Portuali).

 

Naples III

 

Based in the Capraia, an 18th-century structure on the grounds of the royal bosco, the Center will open its doors in Fall 2018 and will be dedicated to on-site study of art and architecture in Naples and to the incubation and dissemination of new research, with special emphasis on the cultural histories of port cities, the mobilities of artworks, and processes of circulation, encounter, and exchange. Programs at the Capraia will include research residencies, an annual symposium, and an open-access digital publication.

 

Naples II

 

Together these three program streams will support scholarly access to Naples, foster new research on Naples and on other port cities, create a collaborative network of students and scholars working on related projects, and communicate new research to the academic and museum communities and the general public. I am thrilled to be working in my beloved Naples with wonderfully open and creative colleagues at the Capodimonte, and I look forward to keeping our O’Donnell Institute friends and colleagues apprised of our progress.

 
Dr. Sarah Kozlowski

Assistant Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Greetings from the Assistant Director

To launch the new year, on Saturday, January 13 the O’Donnell Institute partnered for the first time with the Crow Collection of Asian Art to present a symposium on the global histories of ceramics. Called Talavera and Ceramic Connections: East Asia, West Asia, and the Americas, the symposium brought together an all-star team of distinguished scholars to study and respond to the Crow’s stunning new exhibition Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles. The exhibition’s curator Farzaneh Pirouz was joined by Denise Leidy (Curator of Asian Art at Yale University Art Gallery), Guy Thomson (Professor Emeritus of Latin American History at University of Warwick), Jessica Hallet (Researcher in Art History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Ronda Kasl (Curator of Latin American Art at the Metropolitan Museum), and William Sargent (Curator Emeritus of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum) for three morning lectures held at the Dallas Museum of Art and an afternoon of gallery-based break-out sections at the Crow. Like the exhibition itself, presentations and conversations were truly global in scope, ranging from sixth-century China to ninth-century Basra to sixteenth-century Mexico to circa-1900 New York. Our own Sabiha Al Khemir presided over the morning session, and Rick Brettell and Crow curator Jacqueline Chao moderated a closing panel in the afternoon.

 

Participants in the Crow's international symposium “Talavera and Ceramic Connections:  East Asia, West Asia, and the Americas”

Participants in the Crow’s international symposium “Talavera and Ceramic Connections: East Asia, West Asia, and the Americas”

 

By all accounts the symposium was a great success, and it’s precisely the kind of program that we are passionate about presenting: collaborative, object-led conversations with broad art historical implications. At the same time that speakers treated specific art historical questions like the origins of the use of cobalt blue in ceramics, the day raised larger questions with broad art historical significance: How is a complex technology transferred across space, time, and culture? How do objects made in one medium like clay dialogue with other mediums like glass and silver? How do local industries like that of Talavera in Puebla intersect with histories of class, race, and national politics? And how do our art histories of porcelain, for example, shape our practices of collecting—and vice versa? These and other questions that emerged from conversations and close looking will chart the course for future research.

Jar with Chinese double curved handles, Puebla de los Angeles, New Spain, 17th century, tin glaze earthenware with cobalt blue on white glaze, Museo Franz Mayer

Jar with Chinese double curved handles, Puebla de los Angeles, New Spain, 17th century, tin glaze earthenware with cobalt blue on white glaze, Museo Franz Mayer

 

If you were among the many friends and colleagues who joined us on Saturday, thank you for coming! If you were not able to attend, there is still time to see the exhibition before it closes in Dallas on February 12 and travels to Puebla, Mexico. It’s not to be missed!

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Assistant Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Greetings from the Assistant Director

As we welcome the arrival of autumn in Texas, the O’Donnell Institute is already hard at work bringing together two major symposia for the spring semester. 

The first is presented in collaboration with the Crow Collection of Asian Art on the occasion of the exhibition Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de Los Angeles. The exhibition traces the journey of ceramic technology from China to the Islamic world to the Americas, and the development of Talavera pottery in baroque Puebla. The symposium will bring together important scholars of Asian, Islamic, and New World ceramics for a day of lectures and gallery conversations. Save the date: Saturday, January 14, 2017. 

 

Jar with Chinese double curved handles, Puebla de los Angeles, New Spain, 17th century, tin glaze earthenware with cobalt blue on white glaze, Museo Franz Mayer

Jar with Chinese double curved handles, Puebla de los Angeles, New Spain, 17th century, tin glaze earthenware with cobalt blue on white glaze, Museo Franz Mayer

 

In February, with the participation of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, we will present Artists’ Writings on Materials and Techniques. The symposium brings together art historians, curators, and conservators to explore a broad range of artists’ writings on working practices and to address the complicated relationship between artists’ visual and textual work. In lectures and roundtable conversations, participants will also discuss how these writings inform our own work as scholars, curators, and conservators. Two keynotes will be given by our distinguished guests Dr. James Meyer (DIA) and Dr. Michael Cole (Columbia), and we are also honored to welcome Carol Mancusi-Ungaro (The Whitney) as a contributor to a roundtable conversation. Save the date: Friday-Saturday, February 24-25, 2017, and RSVP via our Programs page here.

On the horizon: we are in the very early stages of planning our next major symposium for fall 2017 or spring 2018 on the topic of The Artists Workshop as a Site of Collaboration 1300-1700. More details to follow soon! In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming workshop talks and gatherings.

Michelangelo Buonarotti, Manuscript of Sonnet 5 with self-portrait, c. 1509–1510, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

Michelangelo Buonarotti, Manuscript of Sonnet 5 with self-portrait, c. 1509–1510, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

 

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Assistant Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Greetings from the Assistant Director

Thanks to all of you who joined us on September 2 at The Wilcox Space to celebrate the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year, and the close of the two-part installation John Wilcox: Diptychs and Polyptychs. Stay tuned for news of the next installation, which will open in mid-Fall.

This Fall we are pleased to welcome four new O’Donnell Fellows to the Institute, where they will pursue research on topics from Cuba to Ethiopia. Leslie Reid is a UT Dallas doctoral candidate completing a dissertation entitled Abu Dhabi, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, and Shigaraki: A Comparative Analysis of the Modernist Architecture of Five Universal Art Museums. Evan (Poe) Johnson, also a doctoral student at UT Dallas, will join us as he completes his dissertation, The Fandom of Lynching and the Remediated Black Body. Joseph Hartman comes to us from Southern Methodist University and is in the final stages of his dissertation, Modern Dreams: Image, Space, and Politics in Machado’s Cuba, 1925-1933. And Jacopo Gnisci, who just completed his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, will be in residence to work on the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection of Ethiopian crosses and to continue his research on fifteenth-century icon painting in Ethiopia.

We have a full slate of programs for the coming semester, which Lauren LaRocca highlights in her noteWith Lauren’s leadership we continue to develop our partnership with the DMA and with other area institutions including the Crow Collection of Asian Art, with whom we will present a symposium in January in conjunction with the exhibition Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles. We are also happy to collaborate with the DMA Conservation Studio and the Nasher Sculpture Center to present a symposium in February called Artists’ Writings on Materials and Techniques. We will welcome James Meyer from DIA and Michael Cole from Columbia as keynote speakers. As these programs demonstrate, one of our goals at the O’Donnell Institute is to foster collaborations between the academy and the museum, and to create a space for generative dialogue among academics, curators, conservators, and conservation scientists.

It’s just those kinds of dialogues that will unfold every Friday afternoon this Fall in my graduate seminar, The Material Lives of Artworks. Based at the DMA and at collections throughout Dallas and Fort Worth, the seminar will explore the history of artistic materials and techniques and the broader question of how materials and the act of making create meaning. Each seminar meeting will focus on a single medium (silver, ceramic, or paint, for example), and will combine close visual and physical analysis of artworks, conversations with scholars, curators, and conservators, and readings in both artists’ writings and recent art historical literature.

In July I traveled to Naples, where Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Museo di Capodimonte and I continued our work on plans to launch a collaboration dedicated to incubating and communicating innovative research on the history of art in Naples, with particular focus on the cultural histories of port cities and the mobilities of artworks. While centered on Naples, our work will inform understanding of port cities and cultural centers throughout the world, from antiquity to the present. The Capodimonte/O’Donnell Institute collaboration will take the form of two programs: Workshops and Research Residencies. In an annual spring Workshop or Laboratorio, the O’Donnell Institute and the Capodimonte will convene an international group of scholars in Naples for two days of site- and collection-based presentations and roundtable discussions on a chosen theme. In our Research Residency program, advanced graduate students and early-career scholars will pursue research in residence at the Capodimonte on projects related to Naples and the cultural history of port cities. Our long-term vision is to expand the collaboration by inviting other institutions to sponsor Workshops and Residencies that will support the work of scholars from around the world in Naples. The Université Paris-Sorbonne, the Soprintendenza di Genova, and the Soprintendenza di Pompeii have already expressed interest in participating in the project. Our goal is to open the Capodimonte and the city of Naples to an international scholarly community, making the city a laboratory for creativity and collaboration. Sylvain, Rick and I all look forward to sharing news of the project with colleagues and friends of the Institute in the coming months.

As the slower pace of the Summer months set in, I had the chance to immerse myself in a new project on diptychs in fourteenth-century Naples. The project brings together for the first time a small but significant corpus of diptychs commissioned and collected at the Angevin court, with particular focus on how these mobile artworks fit into a whole network of artists, patrons, and objects in motion throughout the Mediterranean.

It’s with great anticipation that I look ahead to the coming year and to welcoming you to our many Fall programs and gatherings, which you will find on our website: utdallas.edu/arthistory/programs. Join us!

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski
Assistant Director
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History