Category: EODIAH Fellows

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. 

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.”

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

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

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

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

Call for Applications: 2018-2019 Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellowships

Call for applications:

2018-2019 Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellowships at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History invites applications from current PhD students in Arts & Humanities at UT Dallas to apply for a limited number of 2018-2019 Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellowships to support the completion of their dissertation.

We welcome applications both from students working on art history topics and from humanities students (in history, philosophy, and literature, for example) whose work intersects in productive ways with the field of art history.

To be eligible, applicants must have passed their field exams (by the end of the Spring 2018 semester) and made significant progress on their dissertation. Applications will be judged on the basis of merit and potential; preference will be given to applicants who will complete the dissertation during the fellowship year.

For the 2018-2019 academic year each Fellow will be awarded a stipend, tuition waiver, and a private study carrel at the O’Donnell Institute. During the fellowship period Fellows will be expected to dedicate themselves to their dissertations full time, in residence, and to participate fully in the scholarly life of the O’Donnell Institute.

To apply, please prepare the following material in an application addressed to Dr. Richard Brettell, Founding Director, and Dr. Sarah Kozlowski, Associate Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.

  1. A cover letter
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. A 600-word description of your dissertation project. What is the body of materialthat the dissertation treats? What questions are you asking of this material? How will you go about answering these questions? What contributions does your project make to your field?
  4. A 300-word summary of work you have completed to date
  5. A 300-word proposal for work to be completed during the fellowship year
  6. Name and contact information of the primary dissertation advisor(s)

Please submit these materials in a single pdf, using your last name as the file name, to by Monday, March 19, 2018.

ISAAC In Nanjing

EODIAH’s University of Nanjing Fellows at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. From left to right: Dr. Liu Yi; Ms. Zheng Weili, Managing Editor and Project Director for the Humanities with Nanjing University Press; Dr. Gao Xin; Dr. Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Last December, Dr. Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Dr. Ming Dong Gu, Director of the Confucius Institute at UT Dallas, and I went to Nanjing to meet Dr. Zhou Xian, an eminent scholar and Director of the Institute of Art at Nanjing University. For Andrew and me, the whole trip was a revelation, especially since it was our first trip to China. While there, a great fact became painfully clear: that, although American universities and museums have taught and collected Chinese art for nearly two centuries, little is known in China about the history of American art before Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Although our art history is almost painfully short compared with the multi-millennial history of Chinese art, it is of vital importance to an understanding of our nation and its history.

Given the fact that the US and China are the two largest economies of the early twenty-first century, it is important that we understand each other fully, and, as we walked on the historic campus in central Nanjing (I call it a college town with a population of 14,000,000 people!), we came upon the home of Pearl Buck, the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature. Learning about her relationship with Nanjing University inspired us to work together to create a new institute called ISAAC, The Institute for the Study of American Art in China. ISAAC will bring together the library and collections of The Amon Carter Museum, the Confucius Institute, and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas, and the Institute of Art at Nanjing University.

Our aim for ISAAC is threefold: to train three Chinese art historians annually for three years in American art history through an ambitious travel and study program centered in Dallas-Fort Worth; to mount an annual summer Americanist symposium in Nanjing; and to start with the Nanjing University Press a series of translated books on American art history for Chinese readers. This does not come cheaply, but the commitment was so strong that we applied to the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago to join with UT Dallas and the Amon Carter to fund the program for three years. We were honored to receive from Terra a grant of $250,000, which, with the commitment to fund one senior scholar (Amon Carter) and two junior scholars (EODIAH), funds the program for three years.

Within nine months, we went from a dream to a reality, and already two assistant professors and a representative of Nanjing University Press have arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth. In a few short weeks, they will be joined by Dr. Zhou Xian, who has taken time from his very busy life at Nanjing University to spend more than a month with us in the United States. The two Assistant Professors, Dr. Gao Xin and Dr. Liu Yi will be with us for a full year, traversing the United States and studying with colleagues in Dallas-Fort Worth. Dr. Zheng Weili of the Nanjing University Press will be with us for a month as well and is about to undertake a multi-year program of translation and publishing of major books on American art and architecture before World War II.

This project has the aim of bringing a profound knowledge of American art, architecture, and landscape to China, training teachers and publishing books so that a new generation of students will know American art at its finest and most wide-ranging. Lauren LaRocca, from the Institute’s staff, has taken on the duties of planning the wide-ranging travel for the scholars—to Chicago, to Washington D.C., up the Rockies from Santa Fe to Cody, up the Mississippi from New Orleans to Minneapolis, and to Arkansas and Oklahoma—with the goal of understanding America through its great center regions and its capital. We know that, when they return to China, the scholars will be able to teach American art history in new and exciting ways and help us to select scholars for the next two years.

Richard R. Brettell, Ph.D.

Founding Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair


EODIAH’s University of Nanjing Fellows filling out their immigration papers. From left to right: Dr. Liu Yi, Dr. Gao Xin, Ms. Zheng Weili.

2017-2018 Edith O’Donnell Graduate Fellows Dissertations

Dissertations in Progress

Jacob Crawford

Playing with Publishing: The Performance of Early Modern English Play Book Title Pages

My dissertation centers on early modern English printing of playbook title pages published from the advent of professional playing companies in the 1570s until the closure of the theatres during the interregnum of 1642. My investigation includes nearly 600 preserved playbook title pages and includes analyzing the rhetoric of attributions, acknowledgments, lengthy titles, and visual imprints (woodcuts) that remind readers of the traditions and agents involved in its creation. The title pages of early modern English playbooks warrant additional examination because the performativity of their elements are not fully represented by previous bibliographers, such as H. S. Bennett, and my dissertation aims to investigate as many of these title pages as possible because playbooks are inconsistently recognized for their unique characteristics.

An investigation of early modern playbooks is critical to understanding the unique contributions of playbooks to English publishing and literature, and that the rhetoric of title pages in early modern English playbooks warrants a closer examination to expose why the key elements of attribution, acknowledgements, titles, and images call attention to the performance of plays. Such an investigation is a counter to previous scholarship that simply categorizes title pages as a marketing tools. I do not see title pages as mere marketing tools for the sale of playbooks and promotion of printing houses, but as a visual instrument linking the performances in the playhouse to the imagined stage of the reader.

The visual elements on a playbook’s title page range from simple decorative patterns and printer’s marks to elaborate illustrations of scenes from the pages of the plays. The variety and purposes of these images range from traditional adornment of the page to sending a message to the reader that contains a visual memory of an actual performance. Images are powerful tools of storytelling and invoke a visual performance on the page, and help to remind the reader of the origin of the literary work they are about to participate.

Virginia Curry

“Causarum Cognitio”: The Architecture, Collections and Social Agency of American Athenaea

Three Case Studies: Redwood, Boston and Caltech

The concept of adult, non-ecclesiastical education evolved organically as a global phenomenon in Western Europe during the early 11th Century. Independent circles of like-minded individuals interested in reading and enrichment in the classics and the sciences gathered in small home groups which were taught by and for students. While some of these Athenaeum groups, such as the Lincei in Rome (of which Galileo was once a member) remain to the present day as private circles, others gradually evolved into major universities.

Many American Athenaea were founded in the northeast corridor of the United States, between 1731 and 1930.   As in Western Europe, a number of these eventually evolved into universities.

Since the first American Athenaea were founded in relatively populated centers in the Northeast, it was not at all unusual for athenaeum members to hold memberships in more than one circle.   Founding fathers Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin, authors Poe, Melville, Emerson, and Hawthorne, painters Durand, Cole, and even visiting authors from London including, von Humboldt, Dickens and Conan Doyle, were often affiliated with multiple Athenaea in America as well as in Europe.

The Athenaeum caused a literal blending of kindred spirits engaged in the fields of art, literature and science.   In one famous instance, the meeting of artists Asher Durand and Thomas Cole with writer William Cullen Bryant was immortalized in a painting by Asher Durand, called “Kindred Spirits,” memorializing the friendship between the three.

One exceptional attraction of Athenaea was the opportunity to encounter individuals who pursued a variety of interests.   Historic figures of the Salem Massachusetts Athenaeum, for example, included such diverse personalities as Edward August Holyoke, a founder of the American Academy of Sciences; Nathaniel Bowditch, a mathematician who changed the course of American navigation; author Nathaniel Hawthorne; Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story; electric motor inventor Charles Grafton Page; and American Impressionist painter Frank W. Benson.

Fine art and antiquity collections in several Athenaea include portraits by Samuel Morse. A Boston native and inspired polymath, painter and sculptor, best known for the telegraph and the code that bears his name, Samuel Morse also painted a historical record portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette, John Adams and other luminaries from life. In New York, Morse founded the National Academy of Design in the building shared by the New York Society Library (both still extant) which also functioned as the first library of the American Congress. Several American Athenaeum museum collections were, in fact, so successful that they were eventually spun off into nearby independent museums such as the Fine Arts in Boston and the Berkshire in Pittsfield.

What can we learn from the successful Athenaea which can be applied to an engaging contemporary revival of this form and what space and responsibilities might it occupy?

My research will address this question though the comparison of three extant and successful Athenaea: The Redwood Athenaeum in Newport Rhode Island, founded in the seventeenth century, the Boston Athenaeum in Boston Massachusetts, founded in the eighteenth century and the Athenaeum at the California Institute of Technology, (Caltech) founded in the twentieth century. Caltech Athenaeum is the only Athenaeum founded on a university campus.

I shall argue that Athenaea groups functioned as incubators not only for creating an American identity through fine art and architecture, but also promoted rational discourse in science, scientific design and literature. Many Athenaea plans included scientific laboratories to permit members to conduct experiments.

I shall also argue that membership in Athenaea internationally as well as in America is not predicated on a single note of education, class, or career path. This embrace of diversity remains the key to productive and engaging rational discourse.

My dissertation will present a study focused on three thriving, contemporary institutions in order to assess their missions in terms of their legacy of philosophy and rational discourse. I shall argue that Athenaea which have broadened opportunities for discourse in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in their development strategies may tend to impact on their success while others have not. I shall also argue that the presence of competing institutions and universities has not proven to be adverse to the success of Athenaea, as the latter serve as informal centers for the sharing of adult discourse and cultural and scientific enrichment and have long co-existed in proximity to the former.

My research will identify, compare and contrast features of three aforementioned extant American Athenaea: Redwood, Boston and the Athenaeum of California Institute of Technology. My research shall identify and discuss key features of these three which may be incorporated into plans for a twenty-first century Athenaeum, as well as examine the role of new technology in a re-envisioned institution.




Brianni Nelson

You’re Just Being Sensitive: Blurred Lines of Race Humor in New Media

In the 1990s, cultural critics proclaimed that the Internet would be a great equalizer; espousing the utopian possibilities of the Internet as a place where the differences and discrimination that plagued the “real” world would vanish. But, this virtual sphere of a post-racial utopia did not come to fruition. This text examines the circulation of racist humor within this Internet, one that continues offline patterns of racist expressions. Access to emerging media alters the ways in which people interact with one another by drastically reducing the complexity associated with engaging with other people and resources in physical space, thereby similarly transforming communication around racial issues. It is significant that these transformations extend beyond the presumed serious side of racial issues, but also into entertainment, particularly humor and joke telling. This text investigates what happens at the intersection of race talk, comedy entertainment, and digital media – specifically in the rising popularity of humorous image and video memes on social networking sites at the same time as the rising popularity of discussing race through a “colorblind” philosophy.

This text presents a cultural study of historical and current representations of race-related humor in print, visual, and digital media, focusing specifically on the affordances of networked communication and sharing-based platforms that facilitate the rapid spread of racist content under the “protection” of humor, as evidence of how videos, and their components, signify meanings and communicate messages.

While there is an extensive history about the significance of race, the failings of color-blindness, the role of humor in everyday life, and why minority representation in media matters, current literature falls short of understanding the implications of post-race dialogue in digital space and its implications on the type of comedy users desire, produce, and consume.


Aditi Samarth

The Survival of Hindu Cremation Myths and Rituals in 21st-Century Practice:

Three Contemporary Case Studies

The dissertation is a comparative, cross-disciplinary study of cremation myths and rituals in three distinctly different Hindu diaspora communities of Bali, Mauritius, and Dallas. The dissertation is patterned upon Arnold Van Gennep’s theories of the rites of passage rituals and ceremonies, Victor Turner’s theories on liminal persons who are “betwixt and between” two states of existence, and Mary Douglas’s view of death as “sacred-pollution” to be treated with reverence to harness pollution’s full positive impact, thus transforming the “undifferentiated chaos of death” into structural pattern for the living. Cremation rituals (persons, performance, time, objects, symbols, aesthetics, structure, and placement) act as a symbolic bridge to connect the dead from this world to the next, so that the survivors may protect themselves and harness the blessings of the deceased as an ancestor.

The dissertation (1) situates Hindu cremation rituals within the context of ritual studies, (2) identifies the structure and symbolism in each of the three iterations of the cremation ritual, (3) compares and contrasts the three cremation practices, and (4) explains the continuity and change in the three cremation rituals to identify the non-negotiable aspects of a Hindu cremation. The dissertation answers two questions: “What is the myth and ritual of the Hindu Agni Sanskar (fire rite or ritual, or cremation)?” and “What adaptations enable the myth and ritual to survive and continue outside of its original “mother” India culture, in the three distinctly different diasporic Hindu communities of Bali, Mauritius, and Dallas?” The dissertation adds to the existing discourse on a growing global Hindu identity, focusing on shared rituals of what remains of the “mother” India culture in diaspora settings?




Fatemeh Tashakori

Reverse Orientalism: The Westerner as the Other in Persian paintings of the Safavid dynasty

 After Edward Said, in numerous dominant oriental discourses, many scholars have argued that in orientalist paintings, the depiction of Eastern nude or semi-nude women in private spaces such as Turkish baths and harems have aimed to fetishize and eroticize Eastern women for the pleasure of European male voyeur. It seems the exact same process occurs in the Islamic world and I aim to pursue whether such “reverse Orientalism” can be identified in the Ottoman and Safavid era and beyond.

In this regard it seems what Said and other critics of Orientalism have put forward against the West and the Western art academia is not limited to such Western circles, but is a stance widespread even in the East. This can especially be seen in Eastern paintings of the West, namely the depiction of Western women and young men in the late Safavid period in Iran. These paintings illustrate the same tendencies Said and other orientalist critics say Westerners have about the East.

Tendencies such as the fetishism of the other culture especially the other culture’s women, the objectifying of the other peoples and in general portraying the otherness of a foreign culture through depiction can be clearly shown in many examples of Safavid paintings. Hence, what Said and others have stated against orientalist tendencies in art and literature, seems not solely a western phenomenon, but rather an occurrence that is widespread even among Easterners. In my dissertation I attempt to illustrate how Safavid paintings fetishize and create an “Other” when depicting Westerners, namely Western women and young men.

In the course of the late Safavid period, sixteenth century to the end of the seventeenth century, Westerners started to visit Iran, Persian artists discovered the potential of these exotically dressed foreigners as a motif for their miniature paintings. Based on an argument that shows the creation of “Otherness” is not solely a Western colonial creation, I theorize Otherness in the arts and the academia is a product of “exoticism” of the other cultures which should not be confined to the West. Studies on Persian paintings of the late Safavid period distinctly exhibit the stylistic development and invention of new painterly compositions and motifs. The considerable prevalence of themes such as nude women, single figures instead of group scenes, and European individuals in paintings are among those characteristics that set this period apart from Iran’s past artistic tradition. Depiction of young men costumed in European dress became a significant genre in the first half of the seventeenth century in Iran. Historically speaking, this period of time in Iran is when European foreigners began to visit Persia.

In sum, I aim to explore these ideas, which I have already found connections among them through my research and studying, in paintings of the Safavid dynasty and its continuous existence in the contemporary art of Iran.

In regard to this new era influenced by encountering a new Western culture I try to answer the following questions: What was it that made young men in European dress so popular in Safavid paintings? Given the fact that in the 16th and 17th centuries of Iran, Isfahan, the capital city of the Safavid dynasty, had become a cosmopolitan center, and Persians extended a warm welcome to foreigners particularly European visitors, can one assume that the depiction of these beautifully dressed young men clad in European grab made them pleasurable and erotically desirable as exotic objects to Persians’ aesthetic taste? Moreover, does the nature of being politically dominant or more powerful have an influence on who would potentially fetishize the other culture as an exotic object for the sake of desire?


Edleeca Payne Thompson

African Art on View: Mediating Transnational Histories in FOUR METROPOLITAN ART MUSEUMS

African art collections have always presented interesting challenges with display and interpretation. Museum collections of African art, and inherent association with European colonialism, further complicate the historical contexts necessary for understanding the art. In addition, displaying African art reflects a museum’s role in shaping African cultural identity within the broader contexts of world art and cultural history. My dissertation explores the politics of displaying African art and the ways museums mediate the formal presentation of the art between its contextual significance and the meaning for which it was originally produced. Within this environment are cultivated specific transnational historical constructs profoundly integral to understanding the evolution of the display and interpretation of African art in museums. While European interests in Africa were fueled by colonialism, trade, and aesthetic appropriations leading to Modernism, American interests revolved around economic issues of human slavery, civil rights, and racism. By comparing and contrasting institutions with disparate colonialist histories, this research seeks to uncover potential approaches to the interpretation of African art outside of the historical parameters informing current formalist-driven displays.

The museums and the attendant cities selected for this study represent distinct collection foci, exhibitionary practices, audience demographics, and historical cultural contexts with respect to African art: the Musée du quai Branly, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne; and the Dallas Museum of Art. The colonial and art historical engagement of the cities within which these selected museums reside also provides institutional structures through which the display of African art has been interpreted. Analysis of museum mapping, collections adjacency, object groupings, and attendant programming are all relevant points of departure for discussions on whose history these museums emphasize in their displays of African art. In addition, this study will evaluate methods museums have used to choreograph the visitor experience with African art through the use of object-centered and cross-cultural displays as well as those incorporating virtual technologies and social media.

I argue that displays of African art that are more inclusive of the transnational histories informing its production sharpen understanding beyond aestheticism and nullify the boundaries of institutional constructs of blackness and the African diaspora. This study seeks to offer a roadmap for museums to explore more innovative ways of displaying works far removed from their cultural contexts in order to impart deeper meaning for audiences largely distanced from them.


Completed Dissertation

Elizabeth Ranieri


This dissertation examines the art, literature, and history of the Basilica of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples, Italy, and the way in which this sacred space has been imbued with meaning by the Order of Preachers. The dissertation establishes a framework of sacred space theory and historical context of medieval and early modern Naples. It argues that places are sacrilized through a combination of person, place, and text—all three of which are evident at San Domenico Maggiore. It examines the pertinent first-person writings about the sacred space from the archives and guidebooks by both lay and Dominican authors.

The dissertation discusses the early history of the Dominicans and their medieval iconography, paying particularly close attention to Thomas Aquinas and his tenure in Naples, but also to the ways that the Dominicans and their donors used imagery derived from the history and legends surrounding Aquinas’ life—especially the years spent at San Domenico Maggiore—to decorate the space and to attract pilgrims. It explores the systems of early modern patronage of the sacred space by examining specific chapels and artworks. It examines the diffusion of the imagery of the Virgin of the Rosary in early modern Naples and the ways in which the Council of Trent influenced art-making in sacred spaces. It also provides a visual analysis of the Chapterhouse and Sacristy situated within the convent complex and demonstrate how the two spaces use Dominican and site-specific visual rhetoric to represent Dominican agency in these rooms.

EODIAH Fellow Edleeca Thompson at Symposium on African Art in Ghana

This past August, Edleeca Thompson, PhD Humanities Candidate and O’Donnell Institute Fellow, spent two weeks in Accra, Ghana, for the 17th Triennial Symposium on African Art. The Symposium was sponsored by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) and Brookhaven College and hosted by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. This was the first time in its 50-year history that the conference has been held in Africa and about 400 scholars, art historians, archaeologists, curators, and teachers from all over the world were in attendance. The Conference was particularly relevant for Edleeca’s work exploring the politics of displaying African art and the ways museums mediate presentation of the art between its contextual significance and the meaning for which it was originally produced.

Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana

Traveling with Dr. Roslyn Walker, Chief Curator and the Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, Edleeca attended a variety of lectures and talks including topics on African art history, Diaspora studies, contemporary African visual arts and performance, museum and collections practices, as well as other fields pertaining to African life and culture.

While in Accra, Edleeca also attended the opening reception for Phyllis Galembo’s Fancy Dress Masquerade exhibit at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, and visited many contemporary artists’ studios and galleries. In addition, Edleeca visited Cape Coast Castle, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, the Manhyia Palace and Prempeh II Museum, Bonwire Kente Village, and the famous Kente cloth and bronze casting workshops in the Ashanti region of Central Ghana.


Fall Symposium in Naples: A collaboration between the O’Donnell Institute and the Museo di Capodimonte

Napoli e il Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

in un contesto mondiale  

12-14 Ottobre 2017



Giovedì 12 Ottobre

Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte


9.00                 Punto di incontro al museo (cortile adiacente la biglietteria)
registrazione partecipanti con distribuzione materiale e pass

9.45                 Partenza shuttle per il Cellaio



10.00               Caffè di benvenuto

10.30               Saluti introduttivi

                        Sylvain Bellenger (Direttore Museo e Real Bosco Capodimonte)

                        Sarah Kozlowski (Assistant Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)

                        Barthélémy Jobert (Presidente Università Paris-Sorbonne)

                        Pietro Spirito (Presidente Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Tirreno Centrale)

11.00-11.40     Il porto di Napoli nel Mediterraneo

Olaf Merk (Administrator Ports and Shipping at the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the


Sergio Arzeni (President, International Network for SME, Rome; Executive Member, Global

Coalition for Efficient Logistics, Geneva; Former Director, OECD)

11.40-11.50     Breve introduzione alla storia del Bosco di Capodimonte

                        Carmine Guarino e Salvatore Terrano (Università degli Studi del Sannio)

12.00               Shuttle dal Cellaio verso il Giardino Torre

                         Passeggiata guidata nel Bosco di Capodimonte fino al Giardino Torre

                        Carmine Guarino e Salvatore Terrano (Università degli Studi del Sannio)

12.45-13.45     Pranzo al Giardino Torre

13.45               Ritorno al Cellaio con shuttle

14.00               Caffè

14.15               Inizio lavori

Introduce e coordinano Sarah Kozlowski (The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History) e

                       Elizabeth Ranieri (The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)

14.30-15.00    La Chiesa di San Gennaro a Capodimonte

                       Maria Gabriella Pezone (Università della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”)

15.00-15.30     Spain, Rome, and the Planning of Capodimonte

                         Robin Thomas (Pennsylvania State University)

15.30-16.00     The Royal Palace of Capodimonte: A Symbol of Power in its Urban Context

                         Alba Irollo (Bruxelles)

16.30               Ritorno al Museo di Capodimonte (con shuttle) o visita a San Gennaro e La Capraia (a piedi)

16.45               Visita facoltativa al Museo di Capodimonte (aperto fino alle 19.30)





19.30               Cena di benvenuto al Porto, con saluti delle autorità:

Antimo Cesaro (Mibact, Sottosegretario)

                       Vincenzo de Luca (Regione Campania, Presidente)

                        Luigi De Magistris (Comune di Napoli, Sindaco)


Saluti e ringraziamenti, Richard Brettell (Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)



Venerdì 13 Ottobre

Museo di Capodimonte




9.00                 Saluti: Sarah Kozlowski (The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)


9.05                 Introduce e coordina Pierluigi Leone de Castris (Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa)


9.15-9.45         Fragments of Liturgy: the Jonah Slab and the Paschal Candlestick in of Capodimonte’s Collection in  

                         their Context

                        Manuela Gianandrea (Roma, Università La Sapienza) e Elisabetta Scirocco (Roma, Bibliotheca


9.45-10.15       Stranieri a Napoli: il trittico di Sant’Antonio Abate di Niccolò di Tommaso

                        Teresa D’Urso (Università della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”)


10.15-10.45     Valencia, Naples, and the Netherlands: Colantonio’s Vincent Ferrer Altarpiece as a Product of

                          Cultural Transfer and Visual Translation Adrian Bremenkamp (Roma, Bibliotheca Hertziana)


SALA BURRI/2° piano sezione arte contemporanea


10.45               Caffè


11.00-11.30     L’Arte Contemporanea al Museo di Capodimonte

                        Andrea Viliani (Napoli, Museo MADRE)


11.30-12.00     Black Porosity: On Alberto Burri’s Grande Cretto

                        Riccardo Venturi (Parigi, Gerda Henkel Stiftung)




12.00-12.30     Silver: Surface and Substance

                         Helen Hills (York, University of York)
13.00-14.30     Pranzo, Trattoria da Luisa



APPARTAMENTO REALE/Sala 44 /1° piano


15.00-15.30     Foreigners and their Role in the Neapolitan Crêche

                        Carmine Romano (Université Paris-Sorbonne)


GALLERIA FARNESE/Sala 19/1° piano


15.30-16.00     Monstrorum historia: Agostino Carracci’s Arrigo peloso, Pietro matto, Amon nano

                           and the court of Cardinal Odoardo Farnese

Mary Vaccaro (University of Texas at Arlington)


WUNDERKAMMER/Galleria Farnese/1° piano


16.00-16.30     Collecting and the Circulation of Goods in Fifteenth-Century Naples

                         Leah Clark (The Open University)

16.30-17.00     La Circolazione delle Merci e delle Opere d’Arte nel Porto di Napoli del XVII Secolo

                        Gian Giotto Borrelli (Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa)

17.00               Visita facoltativa al Museo di Capodimonte (aperto fino alle 19.30)


Sabato 14 Ottobre

Museo di Capodimonte




9.45                 Saluti: Sarah Kozlowski (The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)


9.50                 Introduce e coordina Tanja Michalsky (Bibliotheca Hertziana)


10.00-10.30     Out of context: il tabernacolo di S. Patrizia come metafora dell’arredo                                

                           sacro tra committenza, tutela, commercio e musealizzazione

                         Sabina de Cavi (Universidad de Córdoba)




10.40-11.10     Emulation, Vainglory, and Failure: Paolo de Matteis’s Self-Fashioning

                        James Clifton (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation)

11.10-11.30     Caffè


11.30-12.00     Rustic Tidings: Reconsidering the Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds

                        Jesse Locker (Portland State University)
12.00-12.30     Spaniards in Naples: Mobility and Identity in a Contact Zone

                          Fernando Loffredo (Washington, National Gallery of Art / Center for Advanced Study in the

Visual Arts)

13.00-14.30     Pranzo, Trattoria da Luisa
SALONE DEI CAMUCCINI/1° piano Appartamento Reale


15.00-15.30     Napoli e Cina

                         Lucia Caterina (L’Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”)

15.30-16.00     Mattia Gasparini and the Salottino di Porcellana in a European Context

                         Tobias Locker (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

16.00-16.30     Maria Amalia e il Salottino di Porcellana tra le corti di Sassonia, Polonia, e Italia

Agnese Pudlis (Royal Castle, Warsaw)

16.30-17.30     Visita facoltativa al Museo di Capodimonte (aperto fino alle 19.30)




17.30               Cocktail di chiusura


Sylvain Bellenger (Direttore Museo e Real Bosco Capodimonte)



                       Richard Brettell (The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History)




EODIAH Fellows Update

We are proud to announce that three of our EODIAH Fellows received their doctorates last Fall with dissertations on museum education, contemporary Mexican art, and nineteenth-century French drawings. We expect to graduate two more Fellows at the end of the Spring!


Rebecca Becker Daniels


American art museums have conceived of themselves as educational institutions for their largely urban publics and have invested space, time, effort, and money to fulfill their educational missions. Twenty-first century museums seek to engage the public, yet attendance is trending down and museum audiences reflect only a small portion of the increasingly diverse American public. In response, some museums offer programs specifically for teenagers, many who live in previously underserved neighborhoods. This dissertation is a qualitative, phenomenological study of nine such programs in five American cities, which ascertains the characteristics of these programs, analyzes the transformative influence of technology, and evaluates how engagement with art can benefit teens, the museum, and the surrounding urban community. I rely on the historical context of museum education, the developmental milestones that occur during the teen years, and educational theories about digital technology to connect the capabilities and limitations of teens to their experiences in art museums. In addition, I situate each museum within the urban conditions of its city and investigate the role of the museum as a physical and social place in a digital age. I propose three characteristics that demonstrate quality teen programming and support each characteristic with anecdotes gleaned from observations and interviews. First, the program mutually benefits both the museum and the teenagers. Second, the program actively keys into networks both inside and extending beyond their own museum. Third, the program embraces technology and reimagines new ways to interact with art. Results of this study demonstrate that the best gauge of teen programs’ performance is the balance of three intersecting components: the art and architecture that create place, the digital technology that pervades teens’ lives, and the interpersonal relationships that these programs generate. A richer understanding of teen programming will aid in the development of twenty-first century museums that are a vital part of public life, benefitting their own institutions, their participants, and the surrounding urban community.


Debra J. DeWitte



This project delves into the study of works on paper (pastels, watercolors, charcoals, and drawings) that were exhibited in Paris between 1860 and 1890. The exhibition of drawings during these years has not previously been analyzed from a macro level largely because the resources were not available to do so. Instead, art historians have more often focused on individuals or small groups of artists, and from these findings, have made inferences about the art world as a whole. However, of the thousands of artists who exhibited drawings in the Salon during this period, art historians would be challenged today to recognize even 5% of their names. Through a revelation of the exhibitors of drawings during these years, there is considerable evidence of successful nineteenth-century artists that are not known or studied today. Thus, this project also aims to demonstrate the efficacy of data analysis in the field of art history. Case studies include state-funded exhibitions, such as the World’s Fairs held in Paris and the Paris Salon, and exhibitions organized by dealers and artist societies, such as Société des aquarellistes français, Société des pastellistes français, and the Impressionists. By comparing private exhibitions orchestrated by dealers and artist societies with state-sponsored exhibition strategies, the importance of works on paper as objects to promote artists is better established. This dissertation also continues the conversation among scholars about the degree to which groups like the Impressionists were dissimilar from traditional artists presented at the Salon.


Monica Salazar


Monica Salazar’s dissertation is about the presence of death in contemporary Mexican art, specifically the ways in which it transforms an ancient tradition while reflecting the sociopolitical changes brought about by the neoliberal policies that were put into place during the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–1994). It studies the relationship between the narrative of death representations in Mexican art; the economic and sociopolitical turmoil of the 1990s; and the presence of death in the works of prominent contemporary Mexican artists—among them Teresa Margolles, María García-Ibañez, Gabriel de la Mora, Lenin Márquez Salazar, and Gonzalo García—in order to argue that their work not only transforms the national tradition of death to which it belongs, but also responds to the unprecedented changes imposed by neoliberalism. Her dissertation also argues that the current crisis of place—an overarching anxiety over the physical territory of the country (which is threatened by neoliberalism)—has a strong presence in contemporary Mexican art, and is evident in its treatment of the national symbol of death. It demonstrates how the ending of decades of land distribution that were crucial in the construction of a national identity bound to the land, where the bones of its ancestors lay, was the catalyst for new kinds of death representations that appeal to the senses, the emotions, and universal ideas. Through the study of a selection of artworks of contemporary Mexican artists who sharply interrogate the idea of death in Mexico, this project shows how the death imagery that started to appear in the art of the 1990s marks a radical break from the traditional symbolism of the nationalistic imagery started by José Guadalupe Posada and Diego Rivera, reflecting no less than a reinvention of the national identity in the face of globalization.

Joseph R. Hartman Joins University of Missouri as Assistant Professor this Fall

Joseph R. Hartman, EODIAH fellow 2016-2017, will be joining the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies and Art History this Fall. Hartman will work with a team of distinguished scholars in both fields, contributing to the growth of the Latina/o Studies and Art History programs at UMKC through community outreach with the Latinx community and collaborations with the Nelson-Atkins Museum and other centers for Latinx advocacy in Kansas City. In addition to teaching, Hartman will continue research on Cuba, U.S. Imperialism, and the aftereffect of U.S. interventions in Latin America among immigrant communities today. In a crowded and competitive job market, Hartman feels very fortunate to be given this opportunity; and he is especially grateful to colleagues and mentors at EODIAH, SMU, UNT, and the wider community of art historians in North Texas that have made this possible.

Joseph R. Hartman: Alternate Revolutions: Reexamining Cuban Art History beyond 1959

EODIAH Research Fellow Joseph R. Hartman presented his work on the panel “Alternate Revolutions: Reexamining Cuban Art History beyond 1959” organized by Abigail McEwen and Susanna Temkin with discussant Rachel Weiss for the College Arts Association 105th annual conference held in New York, NY (February 15-18). Hartman presented his work “Revolutions, Repetitions, and Prison Architecture in Machado’s Cuba, 1925–33.” His talk reexamined the formal qualities of modern prison architecture in Cuba and its relationship to the nation’s history of plantation slavery.

Hartman, Cuban Art History

Allan Antliff, EODIAH Visiting Research Scholar


Allan Antliff, Associate Professor, Art History and Visual Studies, University of Victoria

Allan Antliff, Associate Professor, Art History and Visual Studies, University of Victoria

“Glamourized,” a critical appraisal of post-modernist trends in contemporary art by EODIAH Visiting Scholar Allan Antliff, has just appeared in New Perspectives for Contemporary Music in the 21st Century, Daniel Biro and Kai Johannes Polzhofer, eds. (Hofheim, Germany: Wolke Verlag, 2016).

While in residence at the Institute Allan Antliff will be completing his latest book, Aesthetics of Tension: Anarchist Currents in Contemporary ArtAesthetics of Tension explores anarchist art production across an array of mediums, including digital art, video and film, painting, sculpture, installations, performance, audio works, ‘zines’, graphics, and architecture. This art, Antliff argues, thrives on qualities of contestation at the same time as it seeks to intensify ruptures that are generative, unleashing imaginative freedoms that find their grounding in the artwork’s relational power and communicative efficacy. Addressing issues such as racism, biotechnology, surveillance, war, the economics of art, collective art making, and gentrification, Aesthetics of Tension will foreground a body of work steeped in challenges to the status quo.

Paul Galvez, EODIAH Research Fellow Curates Exhibition at galerie frank elbaz

Julije Knifer, 21-25 XI 10-16X 21-25X 10-15XI. 4-7 XII 10-13.XII.81, 1981, Graphite on paper, 19 5/8 x 25 5/8 in. / 50 x 65 cm

Julije Knifer, 21-25 XI 10-16X 21-25X 10-15XI. 4-7 XII 10-13.XII.81, 1981, Graphite on paper, 19 5/8 x 25 5/8 in. / 50 x 65 cm

Martin Barré, Sheila Hicks, Julije Knifer, Mangelos, Bernard Piffaretti

Meandering, Abstractly

curated by Paul Galvez at galerie frank elbaz, Dallas

January 14 – March 25, 2017


For decades after MoMA’s 1936 exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art Alfred Barr’s iconic diagram was the image of modern art’s history: a series of –isms hung on a genealogical tree, from post-Impressionism to Surrealism. In 2013, the same institution envisaged a 21st century update, more interlacing network than hereditary branches. Meandering, Abstractly re-visits postwar European abstraction via less well-known routes:  Zagreb and Peru, instead of New York and Düsseldorf.

The show’s basic question is this:  how did artists like Julije Knifer, Mangelos, Martin Barré, Bernard Piffaretti, and Sheila Hicks come to re-interpret the legacies of Malevitch, Mondrian, Max Bill, and Josef Albers in such unexpected and highly original ways, leading them to produce works whose extraordinary inventiveness is due in no small part to the unique historical and geographic circumstances of their creation.

Paul Galvez holds a PhD from Columbia University. He is a Research Fellow at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, where he works on modern art from the nineteenth century to the present.  His writing has appeared in journals such as ArtforumCahiers d’art moderne, and October as well as in several monographs: Courbet: A Dream of Modern Art (Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2011); Martin Barré: the decisive years (Éditions Dilecta, Paris, 2013), an exhibition catalogue published the same year as a 2-person show he curated on the work of Barré and R.H. Quaytman at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; Brice Marden: Graphite Drawings (Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, 2014); David Balula: Ember Harbor (Shelter Press, 2014); Bernard Piffaretti, 1980-2016 – Catalogue Raisonnable (MAMCO, Geneva, 2016); and Bernard Piffaretti, Works: 1986-2015(Karma, New York, 2016).


Read more at the gallery’s website.