Category: Scholar Reports

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


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.


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).

Art and Medicine at EODIAH

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas

The Art and Medicine program headed by UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman cultivates connections between art and science.

Art of Examination

Now in its fifth year, “The Art of Examination”, an 8-week preclinical elective open to first and second-year medical students at UT Southwestern Medical School that focuses on developing vital skills for clinical diagnosis through looking at works of art, has begun for the Spring 2019 semester.

Taught by UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Assistant Professor of Dermatology Heather Woodworth Goff, M.D., M.P.H., and Dallas Museum of Art Manager of Community Programs Amy Copeland, “The Art of Examination” leads UTSW medical students through a series of observations, discussions, and exercises based on works of art in the galleries of the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Warehouse, and the UTSW Clements University Hospital.

The course uses the power of art to foster early in students’ medical careers the habits of close visual inspection and cognitive reflection of those observations. Learning such visual literacy skills addresses ambiguity in the physical exam and patient interaction; and group discussion develops skills in synthesizing observations with knowledge and experiences, and considering the collaborative thinking process of the group.

This semester’s session topics include the Power of Observation, artists as patients, tolerance of ambiguity, conservation, mindfulness and burnout, the human form, and empathy and compassion, all geared towards preparation for medical practice. 

All are invited to follow the fun on Instagram @artdocs:  

For information on the UTSW curriculum and more Art of Examination resources such as a bibliography and list of program descriptions, visit

Center for Brain Health and Do Something New™

In her role as the Director of Art – Brain Innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie Pitman begins the year by teaching a series of workshops at the Center for BrainHealth that pair her Do Something New™ practice with the latest neuroscience research. Aimed at fostering better brain health, the interactive workshops explore topics such as how to discover joy, craft resilience, and maintain focus in relation to Pitman’s long-standing practice of doing something new every day. 

In the News

Dallas Innovators: Bonnie Pitman Does Something New Every Day

ISAAC Report Fall 2018

The Institute welcomed our our second group of ISAAC fellows from Nanjing University this fall. Senior Scholar Dr. Hansong Dan, Associate Professor, School of Foreign Studies; Junior Scholar Ting Zhang, PhD Student, The Art Institute; and Dr. Weiyi Wu, Assistant Researcher, The Art Institute. Dr. Dan was in residence for two months, and Ms. Zhang and Dr. Wu are currently in residence through August 2019. The scholars began their research travel in October 2018 with trips to New Mexico and Chicago.

ISAAC scholars and American art historian Penelope Hunter-Stiebel in collection storage at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

ISAAC scholars and ISAAC Coordinator Lauren LaRocca in the Alcove House at Bandelier National Park, located 140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon

The trip to New Mexico introduced the scholars to the art, culture, history, and landscape of the Southwest. The group was warmly welcomed to Santa Fe by staff at the New Mexico Museum of Art with tours of recently opened exhibitions, Shifting Light: Photographic Perspectives and Good Company: Five Artist Communities. Primary focus during the trip was given to collections of Native art with visits to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Ralph T. Coe Center, and the Indian Arts Research Center. A half-day trip to Bandelier National Monument highlighted the unique New Mexican landscape and archeological sites of early native peoples. New Mexico continues to delight and challenge our scholars in their research areas of photography and Native art. 

In Chicago the scholars visited significant collections of American art at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. The scholars also had the opportunity to visit two private collections. Works by the Chicago imagists featured prominently in one collection, while the other showcased a richly diverse selection of works on paper from the 16th to the late 20th century. They were also treated to a private showing of the documentary “Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists” with Director Leslie Buchbinder. Focus was also given to Chicago’s architecture with a tour of downtown Chicago icons and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park home and studio.

ISAAC scholars and Dr. Brettell at the Art Institute of Chicago study room with Curator Jay Clarke

ISAAC scholars, Dr. Brettell, and Dr. Max Schich tour the grounds of the University of Chicago and Hyde Park

The scholars look forward to a busy spring with research trips and a workshop talk. Ting and Weiyi will present reports on their current research on Tuesday, April 30; you can check the Institute’s Programs page for more information.  We hope you can join us!

EODIAH Holds Conservation Science Colloquium Hosted by Dallas Museum of Art

Convened by UT Dallas’s Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the Dallas Museum of Art on November 12, 2018, the Conservation Science Colloquium sought to bridge the humanities and sciences by creating dialogues between the curators, conservators, and scientists in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Texas more broadly. With a clear investment in cross-disciplinary research, the colloquium posited conservators as the synthesis of art history and science, linking those intellectual communities and arguing for the rich possibilities of their collaborative efforts. 

Dr. Robert van Langh, head of Department of Conservation and Science at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and chair of the Netherlands Institute of Conservation, Arts, and Science (NICAS) with Bonnie Pitman, UT Dallas Distiniguished Scholar in Residence

The keynote speech was presented by Dr. Robert van Langh, the head of the Department of Conservation and Science at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the chair of the Netherlands Institute of Conservation, Arts, and Science (NICAS). 

Dr. van Langh’s talk concerned a number of joint projects and research partnerships taking place in the Netherlands, emphasizing the importance of sharing resources. Foundational to his remarks was the value of a multidisciplinary approach to conservation, one which employs both an art historical concern for cultural heritage and the past lives of objects and a forward-looking investment in scientific innovation. 

This Janus-faced approach is crucial to the practice of conservation science. By observing change from the past and anticipating change in the future, conservation scientists act as caretakers of the objects that we hope to outlive us. In many ways, this entails envisioning the potential problems that conservation methods used today – many of which were developed in the 1960s – will have in the future, necessitating careful scientific research in order to mitigate any damage to the long-term stability of materials. The future of conservation science, therefore, is anticipating those changes: at its essence, conservation is at once eternally battling against the inevitable deterioration of objects and proactively staving off this material degradation. 

Notably, Dr. van Langh’s experience comes from a context in which government support drives and underwrites much of the research and provides the impetus for joint initiatives throughout the country. This level of state support is difficult to achieve here in the United States, making conservation science initiatives increasingly dependent on the kind of coordination and information-sharing between cultural institutions, labs, and universities that UT Dallas seeks to promote.

Dr. Norman Tennent speaks at the Conservation Science Colloquium that convened at the Dallas Museum of Art

Though Dr. van Langh discussed a number of specific research projects, his most resonant rallying call was for the open sharing of information and research. The Rijksmuseum and NICAS make their conservation research accessible online, and Dr. van Langh stressed that this generosity of intellectual capital was crucial to the overall success of the conservation community, benefitting the arts and sciences alike. 

Dr. van Langh’s keynote speech was followed by two presentations about ongoing projects within museum collections. The first initiative was jointly presented by Jodie Utter, Senior Conservator of Works on Paper at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and Dr. Amy V. Walker, the Interim Head and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UT Dallas. 

Dr. Amy V. Walker, the Interim Head and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UT Dallas presents on a collaborative conservation project with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Rick Brettell with Dr. Claire Barry, Director of Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum

Faced with the problem of removing adhesive residue from a series of early twentieth-century prints on colored paper by José Posada, Utter turned to Dr. Walker and her team in order to best determine the composition of the dyes and thereby prevent their dissolution or damage during treatment. 

Their approach utilized aspects of hard science and historical research, combining time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF SIMS) in the labs at UT Dallas and consultation of historical catalogues by early dye manufacturers. The resulting data allowed Utter to successfully treat the prints and enabled the team to begin assembling a database of the chemical compositions of specific dyes in order to better facilitate future treatments. 

(L-R) Dr. Robert van Langh, Dr. Guus Verhaar, Bonnie Pitman, Dr. Norman Tennent, Dr. Sarah Kozlowski organize and present the Conservation Science Colloquium at the Dallas Museum of Art November 2018.

Postdoctoral researcher Guus Verhaar then presented his research on glass degradation – also known as glass sickness – in museum collections, a project facilitated by joint support from UT Dallas, the Corning Glass Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. Verhaar’s research, which included the identification of degraded and at-risk glass objects in several museum collections, allowed him not only to work on practical treatments to remove or address damage, but also to collect data concerning the conditions that cause or accelerate these material issues. Salt build-ups and oxidization are great threats to the stability of glass, and Verhaar’s data suggests that practical adjustments to storage, such as the regulation of humidity levels known to encourage the growth of certain damaging chemical compounds, could help prevent glass degradation and allow conservators to treat affected objects in the early stages. 

Dr. Amy Walker with UT Dallas science department students

These talks were then followed by a roundtable lunch, in which colleagues from the curatorial, conservation, and science fields were able to discuss the various projects and resources they were able to present to the larger community. During this session, Dr. Ignacio Pujana gave a presentation concerning the resources of the Micro Imaging Lab in the Department of Geosciences at UT Dallas. He encouraged the attendees to take advantage of the lab’s ability to produce clear, detailed images of natural materials at the microscopic level. The colloquium then ended on this note of possibility, with the hopes that this convocation of local conservators, curators, academics, and scientists is just the first step in an ongoing series of collaborations between the humanities and the sciences as Dallas-Fort Worth, and Texas at large, becomes a leader in the field of conservation science. 

Hilde Nelson

Curatorial Assistant, Contemporary Department

Dallas Museum of Art

Dr. Charissa N. Terranova Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies

Charissa N. Terranova is publishing the essay, “François Morellet’s Social Feedback Loop: From Gestalt to the Cybernetic” in the catalogue for the extensive Op- and Kinetic Art exhibition Vertigo opening in May 2019 at the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art) in Vienna.

Terranova is also coeditor with Meredith Tromble of the Bloomsbury Publishing book series Biotechne: Interthinking Art, Science, and Design. For those interested in submitting a related manuscript, please see description below and send inquiries to

 Biotechne: Interthinking Art, Science and Design

Bloomsbury Publishing Book Series

Charissa N. Terranova and Meredith Tromble, Editors

Biotechne: Interthinking Art, Science and Design publishes books about the history, theory and practice of art and design as they comingle with the natural sciences. The word “biotechne” brings together the Greek word bios, meaning life, the living, or citizen-life, and techne, meaning art, skill, or craft. This word names explorations into hybrid combinations of the living and nonliving, organic and artificial as they manifest between art-and-design studios, scientific laboratories, natural habitats, the museum and gallery worlds, performance spaces, medical practices, and the political realm. “Interthinking,” a neologism invented by art-and-science visionary György Kepes, describes knowledge informed by ecological, systemic, and cybernetic connections, all pivotal concepts for the Anthropocene. Interthinking identifies the active engagement between fields central to the Biotechne series. 

Biotechne welcomes art and design subjects from any time period, antiquity to the present, that speak directly to these contemporary concerns. By identifying significant intersections of art and science, and tracking rigorous paths through the transdisciplinary information jungle, Biotechne appeals to audiences of both experts and lay readers from the arts, humanities and sciences. It focuses on inventive, cross-pollinating works about the arts and humanities and their engagement with sciences such as astrobiology, astronomy, biophysics, chemistry, embryology, environmental ecology, evolutionary theory, genetics, information theory, marine biology, microbiology, physics, physiology, zoology and more. Biotechne opens new creative fields of design-based function and analysis that better complement our rapidly evolving world, taking the arts and humanities into new areas of problem solving and critical commentary, while substantiating the role of aesthetic insight within the natural sciences.  


György Kepes’s Vision + Values Series and the Origins of Cybernetic Art

This past October, Charissa N. Terranova led a dialogue between six internationally renowned scholars of modern and contemporary art history about artist and impresario György Kepes. Titled György Kepes’s Vision + Values Series and the Origins of Cybernetic Art, the public gathering took place at the Nasher Sculpture Center. 

Kepes was a renaissance man and shapeshifter of modernism. A pioneer of new media art and heir of the Bauhaus, Kepes pushed modernist experimentalism into new realms. He incorporated science and technology as a means to rethink the avant-garde through cybernetics, both organic and mechanical. Prior to an almost thirty-year career as professor at MIT 1947-1974, he lived in North Texas, making lifelong connections here and leaving a trail of fascinating art and design projects. 

The event was supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

György Kepes’s Vision + Values Series and the Origins of Cybernetic Art

Dr. Mark Rosen Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, School of Arts and Humanities, Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts

In summer of 2018, Associate Professor Mark Rosen began a position as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities. In fall, he gave two invited lectures on his current research on bird’s-eye views, one at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the other at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. 

His latest essay, “As the World Turns: Revisiting Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Lost Wheel Map in Siena,” was recently published in Art and Experience in Early Renaissance Italy, edited by Holly Flora and Sarah Wilkins (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018). 

In addition, he completed two essays for edited volumes that will appear in 2019: “Worlds Apart: The Four Continents and the Civitates orbis terrarum,” which will appear in Gendered Bodies and Maps: Personifications of the Continents, edited by Maryanne Horowitz and Louise Arizzoli; and “The pierre levée of Poitiers as Allegorical Site in the Civitates orbis terrarum,” to be featured in Allegorie et topographie. Èpoque Moderne (XVIe – XVIIIe siècles), edited by Antonella Fenech Kroke and Etienne Jollet. 

In recent months he has also published two feature articles in the Dallas Morning News, one about the legacy of modern Protestant icon-maker Warner Sallman, the other about the 1985 filming of David Byrne’s True Stories in North Texas. 

In spring 2019 Rosen is offering a graduate seminar on the Global Baroque that will include a trip to Mexico to visit some of the greatest New World buildings in that style.

O’Donnell Fellows and Visiting Researchers Updates

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Margaret of Austria, 1605. Oil on canvas, 204.6 x 121.2 cm. Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 404970



Rebecca Quinn-Teresi, EODIAH Graduate Fellow

In March, Rebecca Quinn Teresi will deliver a paper at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Toronto. Her paper, “The Queen of Spain at English Court: Devotion and Diplomacy in Anglo-Spanish Relations, 1604–06,” will be part of the session “Re-assessing the Early Modern Court I: Networks and Mobility.” The paper is an abbreviated version of a chapter of her dissertation and incorporates the research she undertook in museums and archives around London last fall. 


Jacquelyn Delin McDonald, EODIAH Graduate Fellow

Jacquelyn Delin McDonald, whose thesis is “Modeling Fame, a Closer Look at the Work of Sculptor Elisabet Ney”, will be presenting two papers this semester.

At the Nineteenth Century Studies Association “Explorations” Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, she will be presenting “A Look at the German-American Sculptor Elisabet Ney: Was it a mistake to move to Texas?”

At the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies “Monuments and Memory” Conference at SMU (Southern Methodist University), she will present “Considering the Agency of ‘außergewöhnlich’‘Sculptress’ Elisabet Ney in the Albert Sidney Johnson Memorial”.


(L-R) Marjaneh Goudarzi, Fatima Esmail, Nausheen Hoosein, and our ISAAC Chinese Scholar Weiyi Wu at an EODIAH gathering


Jacopo Gnisci, Former EODIAH Graduate Fellow

EODIAH alum Jacopo Gnisci published “Illuminated Leaves from an Ethiopic Gospel Book in the Newark Museum and in the Walters Art Museum” in Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies. His article focuses on two series of loose illuminated folios kept in the collections of the Newark Museum and of the Walters Art Museum. 

Art and Medicine at EODIAH

UT Southwestern students participate in The Art of Examination course at the DMA

Art and Medicine at EODIAH


The Art and Medicine program headed by UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman advances in research and outreach.


Art of Examination

2018 marks the third year that EODIAH has been the host hub for important resources relating to Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships: collaborative programs developed by art museums that partner with medical schools in order to cultivate medical students’ skills in rigorous observation, critical thinking, communication, team-building, empathy and relate these to diagnostic practices. The Art and Medicine website recently released updated versions of the field’s bibliography, program descriptions, and sample syllabi of courses.

The extensive and fast-growing Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships bibliography offers a variety of media in an expansive collection containing program details, related medical humanities developments, and documentation on the value of observation art-based learning experiences. A centralized node of research, it continues to advance the field by creating opportunities to exchange teaching methodologies and establish networks for research and evaluation.

The Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships Program Descriptions collection is international in its scope, currently listing over 120 programs that outline each program’s key personnel, goals, students served, and outcomes. New additions in the updated version include partnerships that expand into the fields of nursing, mental health, and other medical arenas, such as the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in Perth, Australia, that partners with the Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group to offer object-based learning for Emergency Medicine specialists and trainees. The course is designed to teach close observation of unfamiliar material in a non-threatening context, with students gaining skills in collaborative program solving, creative thinking, tolerance of ambiguity, close visual-spatial observation, and empathy.


Center for Brain Health

As the Director of Art – Brain Innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie Pitman moves forward in partnership with the Center for Brain Health in her research initiatives. Pitman has paired with Dr. Leanne Young, Executive Director of the CBH Brain Performance Institute, to infuse the framework for the Power of Observation (the process of seeing, looking, and observing) with cutting edge neuroscience research. 2019 will bring exciting advances in the Power of Observation framework as Pitman and Young develop a set of evaluations, workshops, and lectures.


Do Something New

Bonnie Pitman continues to share her personal journey of living with chronic illness with her Do Something New™practice that celebrates life in a daily exploration of taking an ordinary day and making it extraordinary.

On September 20, she will hold a talk at the Center of Brain Health Brain Performance Institute on her latest discoveries of Do Something New™as she prepares her venture for a future book. The enlightening session will invite idea discussion and inspire all to adopt practices of their own.

Register for Bonnie Pitman’s upcoming talk on her Do Something New Practice

September 20, 2018

Doors open at 6:30 PM
Reception 6:30-7 PM
Lecture 7-8 PM

UT Dallas Center for Brain Health on Mockingbird Ave, Brain Performance Institute


EODIAH’s Master’s Program in Art History

We are proud to announce that this fall marks the inaugural year of EODIAH’s Master’s Program in Art History.  The Institute’s own Sarah Kozlowski, Lauren LaRocca, and Paul Galvez have worked diligently over the last couple of years with the Office of Graduate Studies and the University so that we might have the pleasure of welcoming four new students who over the course of the new one-and-half year program will help make UTD an even more exciting place for art-historical scholarship.

The incoming group, comprised of Fatima Esmail, Marjaneh Goudarzi, Harper LaRoux, and Nausheen Hoosein, reflects a wonderfully diverse set of backgrounds and interests, which will only add to the already dynamic life of the EODIAH community. In addition to coursework under the AHST course prefix, both on campus and in conjunction with our expanding network of affiliated institutions and associated faculty, the new crop of MA’s will complete terminal practicum projects as the capstone of the degree.

We couldn’t be happier about this great step forward in making EODIAH a center for the training of the next generation of scholars, curators, and art professionals in the DFW metroplex and beyond and we very much look forward to their healthy involvement in the life of the Institute.

Announcing the premiere issue of Athenaeum Review

The front cover of Athenaeum Review 1 (2018) features an artwork by Lorraine Tady: Octagon Vibration Series/Event Horizon after Monks Mound Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, IL, 2017. Acrylic and archival ink on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Copyright © 2017 Lorraine Tady. Courtesy of the artist and Barry Whistler Gallery.


We are pleased to announce the launch of Athenaeum Review, a new journal jointly published by the Edith O’Donnell Institute and the School of Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas, which features essays, reviews and interviews by leading scholars in the arts and humanities.

The mission of Athenaeum Review is to help make interesting and important ideas in the humanities freely available to the general educated public, and to promote thoughtful, in-depth criticism of the arts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Our first issue includes an introduction to the Athenaeum and an essay on the Wilcox Space, both by Rick Brettell, as well as reviews of “First Sculpture” at the Nasher by Paul Galvez, and of two books on bioaesthetics by Charissa Terranova.

Among much else, there are also essays on Frankenstein at 200, democracy promotion, culinary history, David Hume and Adam Smith, African performance, and science fiction, as well as lists of the best books on British Romanticism, Athenian democracy and Joseph Conrad.

On our website, you will find a series of extended illustrated interviews with artists about their work, including Lorraine Tady, Angela Kallus, Bryan Florentin, Liz Trosper and Luke Harnden , all of whose work is published in the first print issue. There is also a selectively curated weekly calendar of important local lectures, performances and exhibitions.

The Athenaeum Review podcast features conversations with scholars about their work, including recent EODIAH fellows and guests Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Yve-Alain Bois, Suzanne Preston Blier, Michael Lobel, and Annabel Daou.

Please join us for two consecutive events celebrating the appearance of the first issue:

A reception will take place at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 27th at Interabang Books in Dallas (RSVP), followed on Friday, September 28th by a panel discussion at UTD’s SP/N Gallery, where Rick Brettell, Charissa Terranova, Paul Galvez and Dennis Kratz will discuss “The Future of Criticism.” (5:00pm reception, 5:30pm talk; RSVP). Refreshments, including the much-loved gougères, will be served by Oak Cliff Creperie on both nights.

For more information about Athenaeum Review, please contact Ben Lima:

ISAAC Year 1 Report 2018

Liu Yi and Gao Xin in the Crystal Bridges’ Rare Book Collection

Our ISAAC scholars had a very full spring and summer travel schedule in 2018. In February we spent a week in Washington, D.C. and visited the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and the Phillips Collection. Each visit provided exceptional insight into the development and diversity of American art. At each institution we were welcomed by knowledgeable staff and engaged in meaningful dialogues. The nation’s capital provided a firm foundation in America’s history and its art.

In March we ventured to St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul, and were joined by Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in St. Louis. In addition to time at the St. Louis Art Museum and Kemper Art Museum we visited two private art collections with excellent examples of American Regionalism and its antecedents including artists Tomas Hart Benton, Hale Woodruff, Charles Burchfield, and Joe Jones. In Minnesota we drove along the Mississippi River, largely still frozen, to visit the delightful Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona, MN. MMAM is home to a large variety of European and American masterworks including examples from the Hudson River School, Impressionism, and American Realism and Modernism. We spent our final day at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), immersed in the impressive Kunin Collection, one of the foremost collections of American modern art in private hands.

Liu Yi at the Gilcrease Museum of Art with Senior Curator Laura Fry

In April EODIAH Visiting Assistant Professor and MA Program Chair Dr. Paul Galvez accompanied the scholars to Philadelphia and New York City. In Philadelphia the scholars visited the Barnes Collection, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A walking tour of old city Philadelphia gave particular attention to the architecture and urban planning. A visit to the University of Pennsylvania’s John Morgan Building revealed Thomas Eakins’ Agnew Clinic before heading to New York City. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art the scholars met with curator Sylvia Mount and discussed the changing paradigms for studying and exhibiting American art in the museum’s permanent collection, with particular focus on broadening the range of “American” art to include the Americas and cross-cultural exchanges. At the Whitney curator Barbara Haskell led the scholars through the Grant Wood exhibition explaining the selection of works, including their efforts to reconsider the category of “regionalism” that is often associated with Wood’s work. Their trip concluded with architecture-focused visits to the Frick Collection and the Guggenheim Museum.

An Ozarks trip in May began in Bentonville, Arkansas at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. We met with Assistant Curator Jen Padgett and toured the galleries, with a focus on their 19th century landscapes and early Modernism paintings. A tour of the Bachman-Wilson House, an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian architecture, posed a nice comparison to the Robie House in Chicago, an example of Wright’s Prairie School style. The day ended in the Rare Books collection, comprised of historic books and manuscripts dating back to the 16th century.

In Tulsa we focused on important collections of Western American Art with visits to the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Gilcrease Museum to view works by Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, and Thomas Moran’s stunning painting, Spectres from the North. We visited the Helmerich Center, its hallways lined with framed facsimiles of historic documents, including the Fort Reno Ledger Drawings (1879 and 1887) and a certified copy of the Declaration of Independence signed by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane.

ISAAC Scholars and Amon Carter staff Brett Abbott and Maggie Adler at the Grand Teton National Park

A geyser at Yellowstone National Park

The scholars’ final trip was led by the Amon Carter’s Brett Abbot, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, and Maggie Adler, Curator, to Wyoming in June. It centered around visits to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and aimed at providing the scholars with first-hand experience of the raw power of America’s grand western landscape – a setting that has dramatically influenced, and in turn been deeply impacted by, the development of American painting and photography from the 19th century to the present.

Each trip was filled with exciting discoveries and lively intellectual discussions with scholars, curators, archivists, librarians, and collectors, among others. Speaking for myself and the Institute, it has been an immense pleasure to work with Gao Xin and Liu Yi and introduce them to collections, archives, and libraries throughout the United States and equip them with the knowledge and experience to teach American art history to their undergraduate students.

The Institute will welcome our second group of ISAAC fellows from Nanjing University in late August. Senior Scholar Dr. Hansong Dan, Associate Professor, School of Foreign Studies; Junior Scholar Ting Zhang, PhD Student, The Art Institute; and Dr. Weiyi Wu, Assistant Researcher, The Art Institute. Dr. Dan will be in residence for two months, and Ms. Zhang and Dr. Wu will be in residence for two academic semesters. Each of the scholars will present a workshop on their current research; you can check the Institute’s Programs page this fall for more information.

Dr. Charissa N. Terranova, Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies


Charissa N. Terranova will be publishing her next monograph, Biology in the British Bauhaus: Morphogenic Modernism in Art, Science, and Design, on Bloomsbury Press. Forthcoming in 2019, the book studies a culture of creative interaction across fields in twentieth-century Britain that began in the German Bauhaus during the 1920s. With the emigration of figures from the Bauhaus to London during the 1930s, a new field of creative action unfolded according to the logic of biological emergence. Emergent form, like embryos, takes shape through integrative levels, with greater complexity and unique form arising from lower levels but irreducible to them. The precepts of modern German design took hold among a group of embryologists, geneticists, crystallographers, and physicists creating a panoply of pioneering exhibitions, publications, laboratory experiments, and art and design projects across the twentieth century. Terranova shows how such collaborations created extraordinary outcomes in the arts, humanities, and sciences alike.

Forthcoming on Bloomsbury Press 2019, D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s Generative Influences in Art, Design, and Architecture: From Forces to Formsis an anthology coedited by Ellen K. Levy and Charissa N. Terranova about the Scottish zoologist-mathematician D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson. With essays by fourteen international scholars of art, science, and design, the book situates Thompson within both scientific and cultural domains that are themselves interwoven. It pursues largely overlooked dimensions of evolutionary theory and form generation, including the roles of aesthetics, agency, and relationships of parts to wholes.



Charissa N. Terranova leads a dialogue between six internationally renowned scholars of modern and contemporary art history about artist and impresario György Kepes. Titled György Kepes’s Vision + Values Series and the Origins of Cybernetic Art, this gathering is open to the public and takes place 10 am – 12 pm Saturday October 13 at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Audience participation is encouraged.

Kepes was a renaissance man and shapeshifter of modernism. A pioneer of new media art and heir of the Bauhaus, Kepes pushed modernist experimentalism into new realms. He incorporated science and technology as a means to rethink the avant-garde through cybernetics, both organic and mechanical. Prior to an almost thirty-year career as professor at MIT 1947-1974, he lived in North Texas, making lifelong connections here and leaving a trail of fascinating art and design projects. Join us and engage in a discussion about the life of Kepes, a second-generation Bauhaus figure, who spent a year in North Texas before embarking on his career at MIT. This event is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.



Charissa N. Terranova has been invited, along with Pomona College Professor of French Claire Nettleton, to give a talk at Being Human, a symposium in London sponsored by publishing house Palgrave-Macmillan and the University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Terranova and Nettleton will give a presentation titled Viral Culture: How CRISPR Gene-Editing and the Microbiome Transform Humanity and the Humanities.



Dr. Charissa N. Terranova is co-chairing with Pomona College Professor Claire Nettleton Culturing Bacteria: How Microbes Reconfigure Mind, Art, and the Humanities, a double panel of eight scholars at the annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts November 14-18, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. Scholars from the arts, humanities, and natural sciences will present work on the new materialist politics that has arrived in the form of microbiota. Scientific data about bacteria in the air, ocean, and on and in bodies of all living matter reveal that humans are ecologically integrated in a multiverse of humming life. Recent studies have shown that ratio between human and bacterial cells within the human body to be 1:1. We are thus as human as we are bacterial. This panel explores the ways in which bacteria are commensal to all life, recasting minds outside of bodies, art beyond the realm of the gallery, and the humanities in terms of the inhumanities.

Virginia Curry, EODIAH Graduate Fellow

Virginia Curry was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors of ICOM-US for a term of three years.  Ms. Curry also serves on the Board of Directors of the ICOM International Committee for Collections (COMCOL).

The ICOM International Committee for Museum Documentation (CIDOC) has selected two papers submitted by Ms. Curry for presentation as technical papers for their annual conference with the theme:  “Provenance of Knowledge”. The first technical paper “Cognitio Causarum”: Interdisciplinary Discourse in Antiquity and Modernity; Preserving and Privileging the Original Archive considers reliance on libraries and archives as modeled in antiquity to act as the knowledge base for adult interdisciplinary lifelong discourse and learning in modernity. The second technical paper “In the Eye of the Beholder: Felony Hubris” concerns the maintenance and utilization of museum archives to interrogate provenance and authenticity issues of museum collections.  The Gardner Museum Collection is highlighted in this paper.

The ICOM International Committee for Museum Exchange (ICEE) and International Committee for Fine Art (ICFA) have also accepted a paper by Curry for presentation at their joint annual meeting in November in Madrid and Barcelona.  The theme of the conference is “Cultural Heritage: Transition and Transformation”. Ms. Curry’s presentation concerns the Keir Foundation Collection on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art and its utilization by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of UT Dallas in “hands on” art history instruction, interdisciplinary seminars, and shall demonstrate how the Keir Collection’s arrival at the Dallas Museum of Art exemplifies the Museum’s DMX program “which was launched in 2012 and facilitates loans of cultural objects from international organizations in exchange for the museum sharing its expertise in conservation, exhibitions, education and new media.”

Rebecca Quinn-Teresi, EODIAH Graduate Fellow

Andrés and Francisco de Cervantes Cabrera before the Virgin, carta ejecutoria de hidalguía, The Hispanic Society of America B2258, Granada 1623

This fall EODIAH Graduate Fellow Rebecca Quinn-Teresi is teaching the “Topics in the History of Collecting: Early Modern” seminar for the new EODIAH MA program.

In November she will be presenting a shortened version of her dissertation chapter at a conference in London. The title of the paper is “Visualising Limpieza de Sangre: The Immaculate Conception in service of the Hidalgo” and the conference is “Iberian (In)tolerance: Minorities, Cultural Exchanges, and Social Exclusion in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era” co-sponsored by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, the Instituto Cervantes, London, and the Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London.

Linda K. Anderson, UTD PhD Aesthetics Candidate

“On Cutting” (2017) Photo courtesy of the Minding Making Project, Harvard University

The Technical Art History Colloquium: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NL

“Minding Making: Hands-On Learning in the American University”

For art historians, writing about art objects in history has generally taken precedence over writing about the making process.  Several Dutch institutions have joined together to unravel this “vertical hierarchy” in order to better understand the relationship between the two: minding and making.

The Technical Art History Colloquium is a joint effort of Utrecht University (the group ARTECHNE), the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, and the University of Groningen. ARTECHNE forms the core of the group, concentrating its efforts on technique in arts, dating from 1500-1950 at Utrecht University.  ARTECHNE hosts the Colloquium gatherings and in June, Glenn Adamson, a Senior Scholar at Yale Center for British Art, presented a unique American viewpoint.

ARTECHNE hosts workshops, labs, a database, people and blogs to promote understanding of the expanding nature of art history, conservation, and the most recent approaches to art historical practices.

The meeting at the Rijksmuseum featured Adamson’s presentation “Minding Making: Hands-On Learning in the American University”. Adamson presented the “Minding Making Project” at Harvard University. The project aims to collapse this hierarchy by equalizing the emphasis on minding of objects over the physical making of objects. Harvard seeks to create an equal relationship atmosphere rewarding through knowledge of both sides (minding and making), benefitting scholars, makers, museums, conservators and the university. Adamson stressed the need to better understand the role of makers with the hands-on learning of skills. He believes the closer the two (minding and making) come together, the easier the vertical hierarchy can be broken down. Adamson demonstrated how students physically learn the making process and thus can better understand the minding of the objects.

Adamson described the project as an effort to react against the world of digital screen technology in art schools. While acknowledging the benefits of technology, Adamson emphasized that scholars studying materials need the physical world experience of object making. Adamson demonstrated the process of making in several locations: Columbia University’s focus on modern craft techniques, Yale University’s conservation team and Harvard University’s Minding Making Project.  Adamson stressed the need to “turn to the materiality of objects” in order to understand the making process, while also contributing to the minding process.




Jouette Travis, UTD Art History Student

Jouette Travis, majoring in art with an art history emphasis, will represent UTD at the ICIM 2019  “International Conference on Interculturalism and Mulitculturalism” early next year.

The conference is sponsored by the Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração do Porto (ISCAP) the Portugese business school founded in 1886. The presentations will take place at their Centre for Intercultural Studies, March 28-30, 2019, in Porto, Portugal.

The thematic panel for Jouette’s abstract is Multimodal Intercultural Dialogues and the title of her presentation is “Modern Marriage Between Former Enemies”.

For more information about the conference:

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

Art and Medicine at EODIAH

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas

EODIAH’s Art and Medicine programs continue to flourish. Bonnie Pitman, who launched Art and Medicine at The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas, has been busy this Spring lecturing at UT Dallas, teaching her Art of Examination course through UT Southwestern, and advancing her research at the Center for Brain Health.

UT Dallas Lectures

In March, Pitman gave a lecture “The Art of Healing: New Approaches for Physicians and Patients” as part of the UT Dallas Arts and Humanities Symbiosis: Where Science Meets Art lecture series. Symbiosis is a UT Dallas campus group whose focus on the intersection between art and science aims to incorporate art education into science-focused degree programs. Pitman’s talk discussed artists with illnesses, nuances of observation, and EODIAH’s Art and Medicine programs that focus on close observation of works of art as used by medical schools to improve diagnostic practices with patients.

This Spring, Pitman gave a talk to UT Dallas undergraduate and graduate students in Professor Greg Metz’s Gallery Studies course at the new S/PN Gallery that focused on her research called the Power of Observation and her tenure as Executive Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Additionally, Pitman conducted two gallery tours this term for EODIAH art historians and guests at the Dallas Museum of Art, examining its collection through the lens of Art and Medicine and the Power of Observation.

Bonnie Pitman leads EODIAH scholars in Art and Medicine tour at the Dallas Museum of Art

Baylor Surgery Physicians & Residents retreat


On April 17, Pitman hosted 55 Baylor University Medical Center surgery physicians and residents, along with their instructors, at the Dallas Museum of Art for an all-day retreat in Art and Medicine.  Students were immersed in the museum’s galleries to receive training on close-looking, learning new skills on how to talk about art, relate to art, and relate to one another as well as completing team exercises focused on developing new communication and observation skills.

Baylor medical students engage in observational activities in the Dallas Museum of Art galleries


Art of Examination 

Finishing its fourth year, UT Southwestern’s preclinical elective The Art of Examination will see 32 new medical students having gained instruction on using the power of art to enhance their observation, communication, and empathy skills.

Bonnie Pitman leads the course with faculty partners Heather Wickless, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UTSW; Courtney Crothers, UTSW Art Curator; and Dallas Museum of Art educators Lindsay O’Connor and Amy Copeland.

This term’s sessions included Artists as Patients/Healing and the Arts, Mindfulness and Burnout, Visual Investigation with Art: The Human Form, Empathy and Compassion held at the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Warehouse, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, UT Southwestern Medical Campus, and a special visit to a private collector’s home.

In each class, students gain new perspectives enhanced by interactive exercises that address topics including conservation, artists with disease, empathy, physician burnout, and cultural influences.

Art of Examination students at the Dallas Museum of Art

Bonnie Pitman lectures at the Brain Performance Institute, Center for Brain Health, UT Dallas

Center for Brain Health

As the Director of Art – Brain Innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie Pitman continues to expand her research and teaching on the art of observation relative to neuroscience. She held sessions for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers that provided strategies to improve brain performance around her initiatives Do Something New®, her daily practice of focus and celebration of making an ordinary day extraordinary while dealing with chronic illness, and the Power of Observation, an initiative that connects neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing.  The Power of Observation was also the focus on her lecture in the “Sips and Science” series at the Brain Performance Institute, in which she explored how deeper stages of observation allow for greater concentration and attending in life. Drawing on works of art in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection, Pitman’s programs at the Center for Brain Health develop skills for attending, connecting, analyzing, interpreting and creating, engaging participants in learning about art history. She will further these subjects by developing workshops this fall.

Report from the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History Research Center

O’Donnell Institute Fellows’ Preview of Francisco Moreno’s The Chapel and Accompanying Works at Erin Cluley Gallery, April 4, 2018.

It’s been an exciting spring with guest lectures by distinguished art historians.  Dr. Yve-Alain Bois gave a riveting lecture at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Matisse’s use of the bamboo stick in his drawing practice, with a focus on his late stations of the cross.  Our O’Donnell Institute Visiting Research Professor, Dr. Suzanne Preston Blier, presented her new material on Picasso’s most famous painting, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, soon to be published in a new book.  On the eve of his retirement Dr. Thomas Gaehtgens, Director of the Getty Research Institute, spoke about the ways in which the greatest 19th century German museum director, Wilhelm von Bode, dealt with the pervasive European fear that Americans were purloining European culture.

EODIAH’s own Drs. Sarah Kozlowski and Elizabeth Ranieri gave an exciting report on February 27 on the O’Donnell Institute’s new research center in Naples.  The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities will launch in Fall 2018, and great strides have been made to prepare for the first group of research residents, who will begin to arrive in August.

Our O’Donnell fellows had the opportunity to preview local artist Francisco Moreno’s The Chapel and Accompanying Works large-scale painting installation at Erin Cluley Gallery on April 4, prior to its public opening.  The presentation features Moreno’s all-encompassing painting surface based on the barrel-vaulted structure of the Spanish Romanesque mural paintings from the Hermitage of la Vera Cruz (Maderuelo) installed in the Prado, Madrid.  The Chapel will be on view through May 19 at the Erin Cluley Gallery.

Planning is underway for our fall programs; visit our website at later this summer and plan your calendar!

Lauren LaRocca

Coordinator of Special Programs

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

“John Wilcox: Diptychs and Polyptychs” Published

John Wilcox: Diptychs and Polyptychs. The Wilcox Series, Volume 4, 2018

We are pleased to announce the publication of the fourth in a series of six volumes on the painting of John Wilcox: John Wilcox: Diptychs and Polyptychs. The Wilcox Series, Volume 4, 2018. With introductions by Rick Brettell and David Wilcox and essays by Sarah Kozlowski and Benjamin Lima. (Boston: The Ioannes Project and Dallas: The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, 2018).


For more information on the Wilcox Space visit our Research portal here.


A Tale of Two Cities and Two Symposia

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is casting its net widely so as to benefit from the best possible partners. The past month has seen two superb scholarly symposia, one held in Dallas and the other in New York, in which EODIAH has played crucial intellectual and sponsorship roles.

Islamic Sympsosium

Close to home, we worked with our distinguished Visiting Associate Professor, Dr. Melia Belli, to create a partnership with the Islamic Art Revival Series and the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States and our permanent partner, the Dallas Museum of Art. The result was entitled INTERSECTIONS: THE VISUAL CULTURE OF ISLAMIC COSMOPOLTIANISM. Held over two days on May 4 and 5, the symposium brought scholars from the US, Canada, and Europe to Dallas, forming intellectual and social bonds over lectures, discussions, meals, and bus rides in the Margaret McDermott Suite at UTD’s McDermott Library as well as the Dallas Museum of Art (details included below).

Tour of the Keir Collection at the Islamic Art Symposium

Musical Performance, Bahman Panahi, Musicalligraphy: the relationship
between calligraphy and music

The idea of the symposium results from the latest methodological shifts in inter-cultural studies by stressing the interactions among artists, patrons, and institutions from the Medieval world to the present. The aim of the symposium was to demonstrate the many ways in which “Islamic” art maintained active relationships with other cultural and religious traditions throughout the millennium and a half of Islamic cultural traditions. With powerful short papers, discussion sections, and longer keynote address by world-renowned scholars, the symposium was a resounding proof of EODIAH’s local partnerships and international ambitions.

The second symposium was held in New York at the Frick Collection under the partnership of EODIAH and the Frick’s distinguished Center for the History of Collecting. The topic was the early collecting of Impressionist paintings, and the keynote speaker was our own Rick Brettell, who, with the close collaboration of the Frick’s wonderful Inge Reist and her staff, presided over a group of scholars from England, France, Germany, and the United States to discuss the early collectors of Impressionism in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Held in the Frick’s beautiful oval auditorium, the scholars spoke to a full house, and we were lucky enough that UTD’s Provost, Dr. Inga Musselman, was able to attend the second of two days, May 11 and 12. We were even luckier that our friends at Christie’s made possible a very collegial dinner at the Restaurant d’Orsay and that Northern Trust, with offices in Dallas, Chicago, and New York helped us with the costs.

Both symposia were so bristling with intellectual energy and new research that it is likely that one if not both of them will result in books.

(L-R) Lionel Pissarro and Joachim Pissarro (great grandsons of Camille Pissarro), George Schnerck, Rick Brettell

Laura D. Corey, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel

(L-R) Inge Reist, Director of The Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Art Reference Library; Chris Riopelle, Curator of French Paintings at the National Gallery London; and George Shackelford, Deputy Director of the Kimbell Art Museum

L: Lionel Pissarro and Andrea Nasher at dinner at the Frick Collection. R: Joachim Pissarro and Anne Distel, Musée d’Orsay.




More about Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism

A collaboration between the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, Islamic Art Revival Series and Aga Khan Council for the Central United States in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, a monumental Islamic Art Symposium Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism was held Friday, May 4 – Saturday, May 5, 2018.

Intersections: the Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism was an innovative Islamic Art Symposium in Texas; the first major academic symposium to investigate art of various media (architecture, painting, textiles, calligraphy, photography and music) born of contact between Islamic and non-Islamic societies. Papers and presentations addressed artworks from a wide temporal (eighth century to present) as well as geographic (North Africa, Europe, Middle East, Central and South Asia) scope.

Calligraphy presentation at the Islamic Art Symposium

The first session was held at the UT Dallas Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Richard Brettell, Symposium Co-Chairs Dr. Melia Belli and Samina Hooda, and Dr. Amyn Sajoo. Panels included Islam, Art and the Medieval World and Early Modern Conversations with panelists Marcus Milwright, Cathleen Fleck, Alia Sandouby, William Toronzo and Alicia Walker, Jennifer Pruitt, Manuela Ceballos, Heghnar Waterpaugh, Mika Natif, Saleema Waraich, and Chanchal Dhadlani, and Vivek Gupta. The Keynote Address was given by Dr. Jonathan Bloom on “Fatimid Objects in European Churches”.  The day concluded with a musical performance by Bahman Panahi on “Musicalligraphy: the relationship between calligraphy and music” on the tar/sitar.

Sessions at the DMA featured keynote speaker artist Shahzia Sikander discussing her multicultural past and our future. Sikander has received many prestigious awards, including the Asian Society Award for Significant Contributions to Contemporary Art and the Inaugural Medal of Art from the US Department of State (AIE), Washington, DC. A scholarly panel on Modern and Contemporary Islamic Art and a presentation by Jason Moriyama, a Senior Partner with Moriyama and Teshima Architects in Canada were followed by a special tour of the DMA’s Keir Collection of Islamic Art. Other presenters included Jenifer Pruitt, Michelle Craig, Nada Shabout, and Vivek Gupta.

The Islamic Art Revival Series, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art presented events at the DMA on the Thursday prior to the Symposium including a lecture and calligraphy workshop with Bahman Panahi, Islamic Art Presentations, and a Code of Ethics Workshop with Dr. Azra Aksamija.

Download the full Symposium program here.

UT Dallas doctoral student Tricia Stout Presents at Nasher Prize Dialogues Symposium

UT Dallas doctoral student Tricia Stout was invited to present at the prestigious Graduate Symposium for the Nasher Prize, which was awarded to Theaster Gates. Tricia is a PhD student in Arts & Humanities at UT Dallas, where she is specializing in Literature and Aesthetic Studies. Her current research focuses on issues within Cultural Studies, Aesthetics and Politics, and Film Studies, with specific attention to Latin America.

The Nasher Prize Dialogues Symposium was held on April 5 and consisted of five 30-minute paper presentations from art history graduate students across the nation who were selected to participate in this year’s symposium that focused on the work of Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. Tricia presented her paper “Art as an Ongoing Relationship: Theaster Gates’ Architectural Projects” in the afternoon panel, which was followed by a question and answer session moderated by Sofia Bastidas and open to the audience. The symposium concluded with a keynote presentation by Matthew Jesse Jackson, and panelists had the opportunity to meet the 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate, Theaster Gates. Below is a copy of Tricia’s paper abstract.

Art as an Ongoing Relationship: Theaster Gates’ Architectural Projects 

Within the past three decades both social practice art and community art have flourished. One characteristic of community-based art is that it focuses on the importance of building relationships. These relationships can be characterized in three distinct categories: (1) the relationship between the artist and the community; (2) the relationship between individuals as they experience or participate in the art collaboratively; and (3) the relationship between the viewer and the work of art. As a potter, turned social practice artist, Theaster Gates emphasizes the ability of the artist to shape nothing material into something. In his ongoing architectural projects, Dorchester Projects (established in 2008) and Stony Island Arts Bank (established in 2015), Gates refers to this shaping of material as establishing “heat” within a neighborhood; this “heat” ultimately creates dialogue. This paper will explore the connection between the importance of beauty, dialogue, and the three categories of relationships that emerge within Gates’ architectural projects. In addition, it will touch on the recent trend amongst community artists to incorporate an element of education into the art experience, which prolongs the existence of the work of art, as its relationships take on a life of their own.

Read more from D Magazine

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

Art and Medicine at EODIAH

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas

The Art and Medicine program headed by UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman began this year with many exciting new developments.


New Publications


Pitman published an article in The Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) highlighting contemporary artist Beverly Fishman, whose large-scale, pill-shaped reliefs explore intersections between the pharmaceutical industry, colors and surfaces of drugs, and relationships with illness. Fishman veneers her pill forms with slick layers of jarringly vibrant colors that shift and vibrate based on viewer perception. The confrontation of these wall-mounted abstractions with names such as “Untitled (Stacked Pills)” are meant to spark dialogue concerning the myriad ways medications have permeated and inform our culture.

Read the article, “Pharma Art – Abstract Medication in the Work of Beverly Fishman,” Journal of the American Medical Association here

Read more about Beverly Fishman


Beverly Fishman, Untitled (Stacked Pills), 2016 (right: detail). Urethane paint on wood, 149.9 cm × 121.9 cm × 5.1 cm. Photo courtesy of PD Rearick.






Art of Examination


This Spring 2018 semester sees 32 medical students from UT Southwestern enrolled in The Art of Examination, a preclinical elective focusing on developing skills for clinical diagnosis through looking at works of art. Now in its fourth year, Bonnie Pitman with faculty partners Heather Wickless, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UTSW; Courtney Crothers, UTSW Art Curator; and Dallas Museum of Art educators Lindsay O’Connor and Amy Copeland, instructs students in using the power of art to learn observation and communication skills related to working with patients.


Sessions are held at the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Warehouse, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and UT Southwestern Medical Campus to address topics including conservation, artists with disease, empathy, physician burnout, and cultural influences. Students learn to synthesize personal observations, knowledge, and experiences as they gain awareness of collaborative thinking and communication processes. The class engages students in discussions, drawing and writing exercises, lectures, and interactive experiences all designed to cultivate skills beneficial to clinical practice.


Art of Examination students learn new ways of relating to art by mirroring poses in the DMA’s European Art galleries.


Art of Examination students explore connections between art and science at the DMA Conservation Lab with DMA conservator Laura Hartman



Center for Brain Health


As the newly-named Director of Art – Brain Innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie Pitman expands her research and teaching of the art of observation, meditation, and compassion. This Spring, Pitman will develop lectures and workshops that provide strategies to improve brain performance around her initiatives Do Something New®, her daily practice of focus and celebration of making an ordinary day extraordinary while dealing with chronic illness, and the Power of Observation, an initiative that connects neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing.


Register for Bonnie Pitman’s upcoming Sips and Science talk on DO Something New!

April 12, 2018

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Center for Brain Health Campus


ISAAC Report 2017-2018

The Institute welcomed our first group of ISAAC scholars from Nanjing University last fall and we took our first research trip in early October to Chicago. The Terra Foundation of American Art staff, Director Elizabeth Glassman, Curator PJ Brownlee, and Carrie Haslett, Program Director of Exhibition & Academic Grants, welcomed us to the city. A special tour of their impressive collection included early American landscapes, portraiture and genre painting.

Liu Yi and Gao Xin in the Terra Foundation’s art vault



ISAAC scholars at the Block Museum of Art’s study room with Curator Corinne Granoff

Our week included visits to significant American art museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Each institution’s curatorial staff graciously hosted our group and engaged in meaningful dialogue with the scholars. Midway through the week, we travelled to the South Side to meet renowned Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt at his studio. Executed in welded and cast steel, aluminum, copper, and bronze, Hunt’s abstract creations are in collections across the globe, including his 2016 installation at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Gao Xin and artist Richard Hunt in his studio

We also had the opportunity to visit four private collections. Works by the Chicago Imagists featured prominently in two of the collections; another contained a comprehensive collection of photographs that spanned the history of the medium. The fourth displayed Arts and Crafts collections in settings created to reflect the aesthetics of the movement, including the work of Gustav Stickley.


Following Chicago was a trip in mid-October to New Mexico, with time in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Abiquiú, and Taos. The scholars were introduced to the art, culture, history, and landscape of the Southwest. Our trip began with a drive to Albuquerque, the new home for Dallas artist Jean Lacy and her son Nathaniel Lacy, and her large collection of art and objects including folk art and Native American pottery. Lacy’s own work focuses on the African-American experience. She shared her recent work with the scholars, a series of cigar boxes that display small tableaus of found objects and text that respond to current issues of race and politics.



Gao Xin at the Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center with Director Eumie Imm Stroukoff





View from Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú Home and Studio

An important focus of the trip was on the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe, with time at the O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center, and her Abiquiú home and studio. Scenic drives to and from our appointments revealed familiar landscapes and forms seen in O’Keeffe’s work. Other notable collections of folk art and Taos art were at the International Museum of Folk Art and the Harwood Museum respectively.

Dr. Zhou Xian in the International Folk Art Museum’s art storage with Curator Laura Addison

The scholars will take five more research trips this year before they return to Nanjing in August. Their travels will take them to Washington, D.C., up the Rockies from Denver to Cody, up the Mississippi from St. Louis to Minneapolis, to Philadelphia and New York City, and to Arkansas and Oklahoma. Opportunities to meet scholars, students, and collectors and to explore collections, archives, and libraries throughout the United States serve to train a new generation of Chinese art historians who are equipped to teach American art history at the university level throughout China.


Please join us on Tuesday, March 6th, 4:00 p.m. in the DMA Research Center for a research report from our ISAAC scholars. Liu Yi is working on a book about American landscape painting, and Gao Xin is working on a study of American Modernism and its interactions with various forms of European Modernism. Both are brilliant, personable, and very important for scholarly relations with China since each will write the first books in Chinese on American Art before 1945. Yi and Xin will each share their research projects and future plans to create an undergraduate seminar for their students upon their return to China. I hope you can join us in March and meet these exceptional scholars.


Lauren LaRocca

Coordinator of Special Programs

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Dr. Charissa Terranova, Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies

The anthology D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s Generative Influences in Art, Design, and Architecture: From Forces to Forms, coedited by Dr. Charissa N. Terranova Ellen K. Levy, has been contracted by Bloomsbury Press.

In November 2017, Terranova gave the talk, “Bacteriophiles Unite! The Protean Identity Politics of Bacteria within Bioart” at the annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts in Tempe, Arizona. The paper was part of the panel Other Signals: Communication among Forms of Embodiment, chaired by Meredith Tromble.

In October 2017, Terranova went to the UK for research and to give a conference talk and three invited lectures. The conference talk was titled, “Space, Time, Visualization: D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Joseph Plateau, and the History of Art-Sci Imaging,” at the Centenary Celebration of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form, University of Dundee, in Scotland. Other talks included “Fearless Polymathy: The Morphogenic Modernism of British Art-Science-Design,” at LASER, Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Science, and Technology, in London and “Modeling Expanded Evolution: The Work of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Stuart Kauffman, and Gemma Anderson,” at a workshop on D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson that was co-sponsored by the Lorentz Center and University of Amsterdam, Leiden, NL.

The Athenaeum Review: A New Review of Arts and Humanities

The Athenaeum Review (formerly Formwork) is a new publication of the UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities, co-sponsored by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, whose mission is to share serious, thoughtful work in the arts and humanities with the general public.

The Athenaeum Review publishes essays, reviews and interviews by leading scholars, with a particular focus on exhibitions, performances, and other cultural and intellectual events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as the arts and books more generally. Our first issue will appear this fall, and include essays by Richard Brettell, Founding Director of the O’Donnell Institute, Charissa Terranova, associate professor, and Paul Galvez, postdoctoral research fellow at EODIAH.

For more information, please contact Benjamin Lima at


Virginia Curry, EODIAH Graduate Fellow

Virginia Curry, EODIAH Graduate Fellow and UTD doctoral student in Humanities and Aesthetic studies, has been selected to present a paper at the Annual Conference of the Association for Art History, this April.  This year’s theme is “Looking Outwards” and held at the Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College, London.  Curry will present on the panel “From the Phoenicians to the Celts; Toward a Global Art and Architectural History of the Ancient Mediterranean”.  Her paper is titled, “Familia in Eternam: The Intimate Imagery of the Egalitarian Etruscan Couple”.  Its abstract is included below.


Familia in Eternam: The Intimate Imagery of the Egalitarian Etruscan Couple

Virginia M. Curry

The sculpted and incised figures on the sarcophagi and urns of Etruscan affinal couples, spanning the period from approximately 600 BCE to 100 BCE represent the ancestors of the families aligned in what some scholars consider as essentially theocratic regional leagues throughout Etruria. The sculpted and incised figures on these funerary urns often appear quite animated and intimately portrait-like. They are usually inscribed with the full names of the husband and the wife, including the full names of each of their parents. These elements suggest that proof of the preservation of their lineage was intentional because it was a continuous, active and consistent practice during this period. My original catalogue of the 44 known couple’s sarcophagi and urns demonstrates the Etruscans intention to artistically portray themselves as fervently religious, affectionate and joyfully banqueting together in the afterlife. This motif was later included in many individual urn bases in Volterra where some of the names of the deceased were adapted from the Etruscan language to Latin, but maintained Etruscan nomenclature. I argue that the strong insignia of ancestral and family unity appears to have retarded the pace of their Roman acculturation through this intelligent new kind of blended society. It allowed the Etruscans the opportunity to synthesize their iconic motifs, inscriptions and ancestry with that of the Romans, as their Etruscan ancestors lent the power of their agency as the ancestors of the Romans.

Become a Member of ICOM-US today!

To Fellow Art Historians:

On behalf of ICOM-US, I am writing to invite you to join the International Council of Museums, National Committee of the United States (ICOM-US), your passport to a dynamic network of 35,000 professionals at 20,000 museums in 137 countries!

ICOM is the only international organization dedicated to advancing the global museum community through research, resources, workshops, conferences and more. Your membership in this worldwide organization is an important part of fighting illicit trafficking, increasing emergency preparedness and supporting the work of museums around the world.  This is also an opportunity to explore art and art history careers and make contacts for your career which include and may go beyond the opportunities of the classroom. Some of the international committees (members may choose up to three international committees to join in addition to membership in the US National Committee) cover specialized museum related topics such as: conservation, documentation, security, costume, collecting, and much more.


Your ICOM membership card enables you to enjoy many important benefits:

  • Get free or reduced-price admission and priority access to museums around the world (including the Vatican Museums and the Louvre.)
  • Develop your network of ICOM-US members through our new website:
  • Join up to three of the 30 International Committees focused on museum professions and special interests.
  • Attend any of the 150 museum and heritage-related events annually, in the U.S. and worldwide, including the ICOM triennial General Conference in Kyoto, Japan in 2019.
  • Advocate for museum standards of excellence (ICOM Code of Ethics)
  • Engage in international efforts, such as the fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, or emergency actions in museums worldwide
  • Check out the latest research on museum trends and innovation
  • Access to ICOMMUNITY, a new collaborative web platform for members


Becoming a member of ICOM is easy! – Just visit to learn more and apply for membership today. Non-voting, discounted student membership is available.


Then, as a new member, take a look at the upcoming events you can attend listed in our online calendar.


Plan to join us in Phoenix as we partner with the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting & Museum Expo, May 6-9, 2018, for several exciting ICOM-US events, including our annual luncheon on May 7, 2018.

Keynote Presenter Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, will talk on “Museums and Sustainable Development”.


Now more than ever, museums of the world need one another. Join today, we look forward to seeing you soon!




Virginia M. Curry
Board Member, ICOM National Committee for the United States

Doctoral Fellow, Edith O’Donnell Institute