UNT Art Historian Jennifer Way: Scholar Report

Jennifer Way, University of North Texas, published “Mobilizing Craft: Diplomacy in the International Turn of American Art History,” in MODOS Revista de História da Arte 2 no. 1 (2018). Find it at https://www.publionline.iar.unicamp.br/index.php/mod/article/view/967.
She presented “When photos lie to you: visual depictions of needs-based aid among the displaced in postcolonial Vietnam” at the American Historical Association annual conference, and she is chairing the session, “Cultures of Allegiance and Resistance: U.S. Efforts at Peace and Militarism through Art” at the 2018 annual conference of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Her MA art history students are active in presenting their research, too. Current student Athena Buxton is presenting “Losing Her Space: Charlotte Salomon’s Leben? Oder Theater? and Inaccessible Places” at Things Left Behind: Material Culture, Disaster, and the Human Experience, University of Missouri, Art History and Archaeology Graduate Student Association Symposium. A recent graduate of the program, Isabel Lee, is presenting  “Soft American Power? ca 1970, Contemporary Art from Lebanon,” in the Art in Middle Eastern Diplomacy session at College Art Association annual conference, Los Angeles.

Art History Community Mourns the Loss of Curator Nicole Atzbach

Nicole Atzbach, the tenacious and brilliant curator at the Meadows Museum and a true friend of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, passed away on November 4, 2017 after a battle with cancer. Active until weeks before her death, she involved herself with her usual gusto in what was to be her final project, a fascinating exhibition juxtaposing Cubist still-life and landscape paintings by Diego Rivera and Pablo Picasso. Her aim was nothing less than revolutionary for art history: to demonstrate that the Mexican expatriate actually engaged the now famous Picasso in a kind of duel of formal invention, particularly in creating paintings that combined elements of the still-life and landscape genres. The exhibition, though small, was revelatory, and it capped what was a short but significant career as curator at the Meadows Museum. We at EODIAH shall all miss our late colleague.

A memorial service in celebration of her life was held at the Museum on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations to a scholarship fund set up by them for her children may be sent to Geoff Atzbach, 3020 Hollycrest Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920.

Read more from SMU’s website


Dallas Museum of Art News and Exhibitions

New Year, NICE Numbers
The DMA began the new year with a record-setting end to 2017. In calendar year 2017, 882,451 people visited the Museum, a 25% increase over last year, marking the best calendar year yet since returning to free general admission in January 2013. In July we announced that the DMA had ended its 2017 fiscal year with its highest attendance in a decade, and the second highest in the Museum’s history. The Museum welcomed 802,870 visitors in FY 2017, with the landmark presentation of México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde drawing more than 125,000 visitors, and making Eugene McDermott Director Dr. Agustín Arteaga’s first anniversary a truly happy one.

Vision Seeking
The year 2018 also began with the opening of Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, curated by Dr. Kimberly L. Jones. A wonderful example of the DMA’s continued commitment to presenting diverse cultures and the best art each creates, the DMA is honored to be the first location outside of the Museum of Northern Arizona to show the impressive mural by Hopi artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie. This beautiful work depicts the history of the Hopi people and is accompanied by significant works from the DMA’s collection, from ancient to contemporary. Ed Kabotie, Michael’s son, was in Dallas for the opening week of the exhibition, where he shared his story as an artist, as well as the story of his father and Delbridge as artists. The exhibition is included in free general admission and on view through early December.

Hopi Visions was Dr. Jones’s last exhibition at the DMA. She and her husband are moving to Abu Dhabi, where he has accepted a new position.

Julian Onderdonk, Untitled (Field of Bluebonnets), Dallas Museum of Art

Ambassador Row
This winter four works from the DMA’s collection will be installed at Truman Hall in Brussels, Belgium, the US NATO Mission residence of The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US Ambassador to NATO. The Ambassador, who previously served as a US Senator from Texas, requested the DMA works through the State Department’s “Art in Embassies” program to promote cultural diplomacy. They include paintings by Lone Star State artists Frank Klepper, Reveau Bassett, and Julian Onderdonk, and the incomparable British statesman and “Sunday” painter Winston Churchill. The DMA “NATO exhibition” will remain on view for up to three years to coincide with Ambassador Hutchison’s tour of duty.

Five Decades of Deep Commitment
In January, Texas Instruments and the TI Foundation announced the establishment of a philanthropic fellowship program to honor its founders’ long legacy of giving back. Funded by a $2.1 million TI Foundation grant, the TI Founders Leadership Fellows program provides three annual nonprofit work experiences to university or graduate students planning a nonprofit career. The fellowships, designed to build a pipeline of nonprofit leaders in the Dallas area over the next 20 years, were established in collaboration with three local organizations with strong ties to TI’s founders: the Dallas Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Dallas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The TI Foundation, which has provided tremendous support to the DMA for over half a century, is also a presenting sponsor this year of The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana. Organized by the DMA and inspired by the Museum’s collection, it is the first American museum exhibition dedicated to Asante regalia in over 30 years.

Jacques Blanchard, Zeus and Semele, c. 1632, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art

Piet Mondrian, The Sea (Ocean 2) (verso), Dallas Museum of Art

Woman with a Lamp (1909) , Dallas Museum of Art

Three Gifts of Art by Three European Masters
The DMA recently announced the gift of three major works of European art that reflect the extraordinary generosity of Dallas collectors and their dedication to expanding the Museum’s collection in meaningful ways. Zeus and Semele is a recently rediscovered masterwork by the important 17th-century Baroque painter Jacques Blanchard. Although not as well known today–a fate related to the artist’s early death at 37 and resulting scarcity of his work—Blanchard was celebrated in his day for his richly hued and sensual subjects inspired by 16th-century Venetian painting. Through the generosity of collectors Thomas C. and Jeanne Campbell, who gifted this exceedingly rare and remarkable painting to the Museum’s Foundation for the Arts Collection, the DMA continues to expand its Old Master collection with exceptional works of art.

Ann Jacobus Folz’s gave two amazing examples of European Modernism reinforcing the Museum’s impressive holdings of early 20th-century art. The first is an impressive scaled, double-sided charcoal drawing by the modern master Piet Mondrian, the eleventh example by Mondrian to enter the collection. The DMA has the second largest holdings of his work in the U.S. thanks to the continued generous giving of Dallas collectors. The front side boasts an evocative, almost painterly drawing that relates closely to the painting Farm Near Duivendrecht, in the Evening (c. 1916) in the Museum’s collection. On the back, an abstract composition titled The Sea (Ocean 2) reveals the beginning of Mondrian’s move away from representational imagery toward the grid structure that would become a hallmark of later works. “This crucial intermediary phase of Mondrian’s stylistic development was, until now, missing from the collection,” noted Dr. Nicole Myers, the DMA’s Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. “With this gift, our visitors will be able to experience the dramatic transformation of Mondrian’s approach—from Post-Impressionism to Abstraction—as it unfolds across the walls of our galleries.”

The Museum also acquired from Folz a significant painting by Pierre Bonnard, its seventeenth work by this influential Modern artist. In spite of the Museum’s deep holdings, Woman with a Lamp (1909) is the first acquisition that captures Bonnard’s transition from the decorative Nabi aesthetic of the 1890s to his more abstract, brightly hued paintings from the 1920s on.

On view at the DMA this Winter/Spring:

Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins
Stoffel Quadrant Gallery

Young Masters 2018
February 24 to April 15, 2018
Exclusively at the DMA

Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers
Through May 13, 2018
Rachofsky Quadrant Gallery
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

Paris at the Turn of the Century
Through May 27, 2018
Level 2
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

Laura Owens
March 25 to July 29, 2018
Hoffman Galleries

The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana
April 15 to August 12, 2018
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit
Through December 2, 2018
Focus II
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

Asian Textiles: Art and Trade Along the Silk Road
Through December 9, 2018
Level 3
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

The Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery
Through April 26, 2020
Focus I
DMA Organized; Exclusively at the DMA

Crow Collection of Asian Art Exhibitions, Lectures, and Events

Kwon, Soon Hyung (b. 1929)
Porcelain clay body



Earthly Splendor: Korean Ceramics from the Collection

January 20 – ongoing

This exhibition pairs outstanding examples of contemporary Korean ceramics with historical Korean ceramics from the museum’s permanent collection to highlight the material, aesthetic, stylistic, and technical developments of Korean ceramics throughout history.


Fierce Loyalty: A Samurai Complete


The exhibition features an exquisitely crafted and perfectly preserved samurai suit of armor worn by Abe Masayoshi (1700-1769), Lord of Fukuyama Fiefdom in the Edo period (1603–1868). It also includes a 17th-century pair of Kasen-zu byōbu, or battle screens, which depict the important historical battle of Yashima from the Genpei War (1180–1185), which was fought between the Minamoto and Taira families.





Breathe: Art and Wellness Workshop

Sat. March 10 10:00am-2:00pm

Now in its third year, the Breathe program invites local veterans and first responders to gather for monthly workshops centered around the practices of qigong and art-making. March’s workshop will introduce the Japanese art of Kitsugi, which involves piecing broken ceramics back together with resin and powdered gold.

This month’s Qigong practice will focus on the second of eight principles: Rising Energy. The Crow Collection is proud to partner with SimplyAware to offer quality Qigong training for each workshop. Rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the practice of Qigong involves simple movement to improve breathing, posture, and mental focus. Learn more about Qigong with the video below of SimplyAware instructor Chris Bouguyon demonstrating the Golden Ball practice.


Breathe: Art and Wellness Workshop

Sat. April 21 10:00am-2:00pm

Now in its third year, the Breathe program invites local veterans and first responders to gather for monthly workshops centered around the practices of Qigong and art-makingIn April, participants will explore photography and work together to capture moments in the city and in nature outside of the museum (weather permitting). In May, you will use these photos to create a multi-media collage.

This month’s Qigong practice will focus on the third of eight principles: Minding the Breath. The Crow Collection is proud to partner with SimplyAware to offer quality qigong training for each workshop. Rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the practice of qigong involves simple movement to improve breathing, posture, and mental focus. Learn more about Qigong with the video below of SimplyAware instructor Chris Bouguyon demonstrating the Golden Ball practice.




Bloom and Give Trunk Show at the Lotus Shop

Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 12:00pm-5:00pm

Bloom and Give’s products are created by small co-ops in India that share their relentless pursuit of excellence and quality, and their belief in a fair wage. Their products include handmade scarves, home goods, and bags, and their goal is to use age-old techniques to create contemporary designs that can be enjoyed in everyday life. Proceeds from this trunk show will go towards education programs for girls in India!


Julie Cohn Trunk Show at the Lotus Shop

Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28 12:00pm-5:00pm

Julie Cohn Design uses old-world casting techniques to create modern artifacts. Made in America, each piece has been carved in wax by the designer and finished by hand in Dallas. All of Julie’s creative endeavors have come together to form her unique vision and aesthetic, and her pieces are all about possibilities for layering and stacking to create one-of-a-kind collages or small sculptures that uniquely juxtapose disparate elements with simple elegance.




Here’s the weekday wellness breakdown. All classes are free, and no registration is necessary. Free two-hour parking validation for Friends of the Crow Collection

Classes take place at 2001 Ross Ave. Suite 3550 – Crow Collection of Asian Art Offices on the 35th floor of Trammell Crow Center.


Mondays – Mindfulness Meditation

12:00 – 12:45pm

Begin your week by resetting and recharging as a counterpoint to the chaotic movement of life. Create an opportunity for the body and mind to connect with the breath and explore a peaceful presence in the moment. Join this guided group meditation to experience a deeper sense of awareness, increase your attention and focus, and enhance self-insight. All levels are welcome. Come as you are: these programs are designed for professionals in business attire. This class will be led by Michael Lavalle PhD.

Tuesdays – Qigong

12:00 – 1:00pm

Qigong (pronounced chee gung) is sometimes described as “the soul of tai chi.” Dating back 4500 years, Qigong is considered one of the catalysts of traditional Chinese medicine practices. This class promotes flexibility, balance, and strength in the body through gentle, flowing movements. This class will be led by Sifu Fayne Bouguyon, LMT of SimplyAware.


Wednesdays – Tai Chi

12:00 – 1:00pm

Tai chi (also known as tai chi chuan or tai ji) is a Chinese traditional art of movement that is widely known for its graceful, meditative form. This class follows a series of movements practiced in a slow, focused manner to decrease stress, increase balance and agility, and promote overall physical and mental well-being. This class will be led by Greg Young of White Rock Tai Chi.


Thursdays – Restorative Yoga

12:00 – 1:00pm

Restorative yoga has many benefits including increased flexibility, decreased stress, and lowered blood pressure. This class involves relaxing yoga poses using blankets and other props to support the body as you rest. This class will be led by Erin Brandao E-RYT 500.


Fridays – The Relaxation Room

12:00 – 1:00pm

On Fridays from noon-1:00 PM the Center for Contemplative Leadership will be open for anyone to come and sit and breathe. Self-guided meditation instructions will be provided for any interested.


Amon Carter Museum of American Art Exhibitions and Events

William Zorach (1887–1966)
The Artist’s Daughter, 1930
© Reproduced with permission of the Zorach Collection, LLC
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Tessim Zorach, 1968.25, image courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum

A New American Sculpture 1914–1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman and Zorach
Through May 13

In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar
Through June 17
Ellen Carey: Dings, Pulls, and Shadows
Through July 22
Jan Staller: CYCLE & SAVED
Through August 19
Commanding Space: Women Sculptors of Texas
Through November 18
Artist Lecture: James Surls
March 29, 6:30 p.m.
Artist Lecture and Book Signing: Rania Matar
April 28, 10:30 a.m.
Yoga in the Galleries*
April 3, 10, 17, 7 a.m.
April 5, 12, 19, 5:30 p.m.
*Register online at cartermuseum.org/calendar
Spring Break at the Amon Carter
March 13–16, 1–3 p.m.
Ages 10 to 16
Visit the Amon Carter museum website for more information.

Kimbell Art Museum Exhibitions and Lectures



From the Lands of Asia: The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection

March 4, 2018 to August 19, 2018

When Americans Samuel and Myrna Myers visited Paris in the mid-1960s, they became so enamored with the city that they decided to make their home there. This was where they built an extraordinary collection that until now has never be exhibited publicly. Over the course of more than 40 years, the Myers assembled some 5,000 works of art that, together, offer a very personal vision of the world of Asian art. This exhibition will present over 400 objects selected from this remarkable collection, with works representing key periods in the history of the art of China, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea and Vietnam.


Symposium and Lectures



From the Lands of Asia: The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection

SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 10 am–1 pm


A Quest for Asian Art: The Spirit of the Myers Collection, Jean-Paul Desroches, senior curator of the French National Patrimony

Radiant Stones: The Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture, Filippo Salviati, professor, department of Oriental studies, “La Sapienza” University, Rome

Chinese Silk: Conspicuous Consumption and Lucrative Trade, John E. Vollmer, independent scholar, New York

Stories for My Children and Grandchildren: A Conversation with Sam MyersModerated by Jean-Paul Desroches and Jennifer Casler Price


Wednesday Series: Art in Context

APRIL 4, 12:30 pm

Art and Diplomacy: The Sculptural Brilliance of Ancient Ife

Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Friday Evening Lecture

APRIL 6, 6 pm

Transcendent Specifics: Buddhist Arts of Tibet, Japan, Korea, and China

Katherine Anne Paul, curator, arts of Asia, Newark Museum, New Jersey


The Artist’s Eye

April 21, 11 am   Swang Lin, associate concertmaster, Ann Koonsman Chair, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra


Wednesday Series: Art in Context

APRIL 25, 12:30 pm

Journey to Peru: The Wari, the Inca, and the Road to Machu Picchu

Jennifer Casler Price, curator for Asian and non-Western art, Kimbell Art Museum


Wednesday Series: Art in Context

MAy 9, 12:30 pm

Delacroix: Taking a Close Look

Peter Van de Moortel, assistant conservator of paintings, Kimbell Art Museum


Friday Evening Lecture

MAY 11, 6 pm

Shimmering Splendor, Woven Wealth: Silk in Imperial China and Beyond

Lee Talbot, curator, Eastern Hemisphere Collections, The George Washington University and The Textile Museum, Washington, DC


The Artist’s Eye

MAY 19, 11 am   Albert S. Komatsu, architect, Fort Worth


Meadows Museum Exhibitions and Lectures

Eduardo Chillida (Spanish, 1924–2002), Gure aitaren etxea (1ª versión Nº 2) / Our Father’s House (1st Version No. 2), 1985. Iron. © Zabalaga-Leku. ARS, New York / VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Courtesy The Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth


Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillida

February 4 –  June 3, 2018

This spring, the Meadows Museum will present Dallas’s first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Eduardo Chillida (1924–2002). Chillida, one of Spain’s most celebrated modern sculptors, is famous for his monumental iron and stone sculptures that shape both urban and rural landscapes. This exhibition includes 66 of the artist’s works, from his sculptures, to his drawings, collages, gravitations, graphic works, and a selection of his books. Co-curated by William Jeffett, chief curator of exhibitions for The Dalí Museum, and Ignacio Chillida, the artist’s son, the works in Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillida come exclusively from the Museo Chillida-Leku in Hernani (San Sebastián, Spain); the exhibition travels to Dallas from the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. A complimentary exhibition, Chillida in Dallas: De Musica at the Meyerson, is curated by Meadows/Mellon/Prado Curatorial Fellow Amanda W. Dotseth and will focus on the landmark commission by Chillida at Dallas’s Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The two exhibitions will open on February 4, 2018, and run through June 3.


Eduardo Chillida, Year 1963. Photo: Budd, N.Y. © Zabalaga-Leku. ARS, New York / VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Courtesy The Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth



Dalí: Poetics of the Small

The Meadows Museum, SMU, will present the first in-depth exploration of the small-scale paintings of Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). While many of Dalí’s canvases are known around the world and are among the defining works of the Surrealist movement, the small size of many of these works is frequently overlooked. Nearly half of the artist’s paintings during the early part of his Surrealist period (1929–1936) were actually small format works: some measuring just over a foot, and others as small as 3 x 2 in. Organized by the Meadows as part of its mission to present Spanish art in America, Dalí: Poetics of the Small will be on view at the Meadows Museum—the only venue for this exhibition—from September 9–December 9, 2018.
Read more at the Meadows website.

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989), The Fish Man (L’homme poisson), 1930. Oil on canvas, 10 1⁄2 x 7 1⁄2 in. (26.7 x 19.1 cm). Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum Purchase with funds from The Meadows Foundation; Hollyand Doug Deason; Mrs. Eugene McDermott; Linda P. and William A. Custard; and Gwen and Richard Irwin, MM.2014.11. Photo by Brad Flowers. © 2018 Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society

Lectures, Symposia, and Events

Thursday, March 1, 5:30 PM
purple square MUSIC AT THE MEADOWS
Oldovini Organ Recital
Larry Palmer, professor emeritus of harpsichord and organ, SMU
Enjoy these special opportunities to experience centuries-old music on an eighteenth-century organ surrounded by masterworks in the Meadows Museum’s permanent collection.
Virginia Meadows Galleries


Friday, March 2, 12:15 PM
green square GALLERY TALK
Women of the Art World and Works of Baroque Seville
Alicia Zuese, associate professor of Spanish, Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences
Free with regular Museum admission
Jake and Nancy Hamon Galleries


Thursday, March 8, 6:00 p.m.
The Medieval World in a Spanish Context
Julian Raby, Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art
Description to come
Free; reservations required at 214.768.8587
Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium


Friday, March 9, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
purple square SYMPOSIUM
The Medieval World in a Spanish Context
Ana Cabrera, Th­e Victoria & Albert Museum/Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Madrid
Jordi Camps, chief curator of Romanesque art, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Heather Ecker, principal, Viridian Projects
Charles T. Little, curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Therese Martín, tenured scholar, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid
Christine Sciacca, ­ associate curator of European art, 300–1400 CE, The Walters Art Museum
Shannon Wearing, affiliate, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Organized by Amanda W. Dotseth, the Meadows/Mellon/Prado curatorial fellow, this symposium brings together international scholars on the art of the Middle Ages to explore the breadth of objects found within the context of Spanish collections, both medieval and modern. From Islamic textiles and metalwork to North African ivory, manuscripts of varied manufacture, and Scandinavian red deer antler, the materials and production methods found in Spanish contexts reflect the diversity of the medieval world.
Free; reservations required at 214.768.8587
Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium


Thursday, March 22, 6:00 p.m.
red square LECTURE
From Rodin to Plensa: Modern Sculpture at the Meadows Museum
Steven A. Nash, former director, Palm Springs Art Museum; founding director, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
Laura Wilson, photographer, Dallas
Join us for a special double lecture as we launch the publication of From Rodin to Plensa: Modern Sculpture at the Meadows Museum. ­This beautifully designed permanent collection catalogue features new research by Nash about the objects in the Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture collection, along with artistic photographs of the sculptures by Wilson. ­The stunning images Wilson captured for this exceptional book set it apart from a typical catalogue, making it a work of art in its own right. Each will share their experiences working on the project. ­This program will be followed by a reception and book signing with the author and photographer; books can be pre-purchased when making reservations.
Free (does not include book); reservations required at 214.768.8587
Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium


Friday, March 23, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
purple square WORKSHOP
Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Meadows Museum again collaborates with The Cedars Union on a community event to teach people how to edit, update, and add articles on Wikipedia, in order to bring meaningful change to the knowledge available about female artists and art world figures, and encourage greater female editorship on Wikipedia. All are welcome, regardless of experience, gender or background. Event is come and go.
FREE; learn more and register
Constantin Foundation Seminar Room


Friday, April 19, 6:00 p.m.
red square LECTURE
Lightness and Rightness: Eduardo Chillida and James Johnson Sweeney in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Beatriz Cordero, professor, Saint Louis University, Madrid
This lecture will focus on Eduardo Chillida’s exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1966, the first show of the Spanish artist outside Europe. In this exhibition James Johnson Sweeney, then director of the MFAH, offered an insightful view of Chillida’s sculpture. He underlined the “lightness and rightness” of Chillida’s works, as well as the artist’s roots in Spanish artistic traditions. Sweeney’s consideration of Chillida as a “tastebreaker” and as “the foremost sculptor of his generation” anticipated the later understanding of the qualities of his works.
Free; reservations required at 214.768.8587
Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium


Friday, April 20, 12:15 p.m.
green square GALLERY TALK
Chillida in Dallas Part I: Chillida Downtown
Jed Morse, chief curator, Nasher Sculpture Center
Free; reservations required at 214.768.8587
Nasher Sculpture Center and Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center*
* Note: Participants will be walking between the two institutions.


Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
purple square Meadows Family Day: Founders’ Day Celebration
Visitors of all ages can explore the sculptures and works on paper of Eduardo Chillida. Activities will include hands-on 2-D and 3-D art projects, and sensory approaches engaging visitors through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Enjoy special entertainment, activities, refreshments, and more!


Thursday, April 26, 5:30 p.m.
purple square MUSIC AT THE MEADOWS
Oldovini Organ Recital
Larry Palmer, professor emeritus of harpsichord and organ, SMU
Enjoy these special opportunities to experience centuries-old music on an eighteenth-century organ surrounded by masterworks in the Meadows Museum’s permanent collection.
Virginia Meadows Galleries


Friday, April 27, 12:15 p.m.
green square GALLERY TALK
Chillida in Dallas Part II: Chillida in Dallas
Scott Winterrowd, director of education
Free with regular Museum admission
Downstairs Galleries


Thursday, May 31, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
(All dates: May 31, June 7 & 14)
Light, Camera, Landscape: The Rise of International Impressionism
Nancy Cohen Israel, art historian and owner of Art à la Carte
Technological advances in the nineteenth century made it possible for artists to work en plein air. ­The advent of train travel and tubed pigments beckoned urban artists to villages such as Barbizon and Fontainbleau. Taking full advantage of natural light, these painters started an artistic revolution. Not only did the Paris School become a magnet attracting artists from across Europe and the United States, but it ultimately sent them back to their home countries, bringing this radical new style with them. ­This series will trace the rise of Impressionism in France, the offshoots of painters in Spain and Italy, and the aftershocks that it sent throughout the West.
$40 for the 3-part series; free for Museum members, and SMU faculty, staff, and students; registration required at 214.768.8587
Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Exhibitions

Nina Chanel Abney, Hobson’s Choice, 2017
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
Unframed: 84 1/4 × 120 1/4 × 2 inches
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; Museum purchase.

FOCUS: Nina Chanel Abney

January 27 – March 18

Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings are visually frenetic, reflecting the fast-paced energy of life today. Her imagery refers to such diverse subjects as pop culture, world events, and art history in compositions with flattened, simplified forms. Abney’s works commonly incorporate snippets of text, disembodied figures and silhouettes, and geometric abstract shapes. Themes that relate to American society, including celebrity culture, race, sexuality, and police brutality, are broached in her paintings. By touching on serious subjects in a colorful palette and graphic style, Abney’s work is, as the artist states, “easy to swallow, hard to digest.”

New Works by Ron Mueck

February 16 – May 6

In 2007, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosted Ron Mueck, featuring the artist’s figures that are extraordinarily realistic, except in scale-they are always depicted much smaller or larger than life. The exhibition broke attendance records for the Museum as Mueck’s stunning works became a must-see for visitors from across the region. Now a decade later, Ron Mueck returns to the Modern for a special project showcasing seven major works created between 2008 and 2018, including a new sculpture debuting in Fort Worth.

Ron Mueck, Woman with Shopping, 2013. Mixed media
113 x 49 x 34 cm / 44 1/2 x 19 1/4 x 13 3/8 inches
Photo: Patrick Gries. Copyright Ron Mueck.
Courtesy the artist, Anthony d’Offay, London and Hauser & Wirth


Kamrooz Aram, Ornamental Composition for Social Space 1, 2006

FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram

March 31 – June 17

Spanning painting, sculpture, collage, and installation, Kamrooz Aram’s work investigates the complex relationship between Western modernism and classical non-Western art. By highlighting their formal connections, he reveals the typically downplayed role that non-Western art and design have played in the development of modernism and its drive toward abstraction. Challenging the traditionally Euro-centric narrative established by art history, Aram’s work sets forth to disrupt this perceived hierarchy by merging and equalizing Western and non-Western forms. The artist will present all new work for this exhibition.


June 10 – September 16

Known for his collaborations with pop icon Kanye West and fashion house Louis Vuitton, and for vibrant anime-inspired characters, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has blurred the boundaries throughout his career between high and low culture, ancient and modern, East and West. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the exhibition is a major retrospective of his paintings, featuring fifty works that span three decades of his career, from the artist’s earliest mature works to his recent, monumentally scaled paintings.

The exhibition shows how Murakami’s art is rooted in traditions of Japanese painting and folklore, and highlights the artist’s careful attention to craft and materials. It also showcases the artist’s astute eye for the contemporary influences of globalization, media culture, the continued threats of nuclear power.

Takashi Murakami, Klein’s Pot A, 1994-97
Acrylic on canvas mounted on board in plexiglass box (optional)
15 3/8 x 15 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches
Colección Pérez Simón, Mexico
© 1994-97 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Yoshitaka Uchida


Nasher Sculpture Center Exhibitions and Events

First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone
January 27, 2018 – April 29, 2018
Groundbreaking exhibition presents ancient tools and gathered objects as evidence of the earliest forms of artistic intention
First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone, an exhibition exploring prehistoric tools and collected objects as evidence of the beginnings of artistic intention and craft, is the first museum exhibition to present ancient handaxes as works of art. Traditionally understood as the longest-used tool in human history, the handaxe is equally fascinating for its non-utilitarian, aesthetic qualities. While handaxes are not rare—thousands have been discovered throughout the world—First Sculpture will present a refined and exemplary collection of these objects, which date from 2.5 million to 50,000 years old, as evidence of the earliest forms of artistic intention. The exhibition highlights the aesthetic qualities of each stone and provides crucial historical and scientific information to give the viewer a deeper understanding of human history, as well as an enriched appreciation for humankind’s early ability to sculpt beautiful objects. Whether carved from visually interesting stones using stone flaking techniques, called knapping, or rendered at unusual sizes that would inhibit use of the object as a tool, a case can be made for the handaxe as the first sculpture our prehistoric ancestors conceived. The exhibition also explores figure stones—naturally occurring stones that carry shapes and patterns that resemble human or animal forms, especially faces, and which were gathered by prehistoric people. The stones, which sometimes show evidence of modification, indicate an inclination to recognize figuration within nature much earlier than has been generally accepted. The exhibition is the product of a unique curatorial collaboration between Los Angeles-based artist Tony Berlant and anthropologist Dr. Thomas Wynn, Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Artist Unknown, Handaxe knapped around a fossil shell, Ca. 500,000-300,000, FlintWest Tofts, Norfolk, England, Approx. 5 ¼ x 3 in. (13.3 x 7.6 cm) Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

A Tradition of Revolution
May 12 – August 19, 2018
Permanent collection exhibition explores themes of revolution and unrest as manifest in sculpture
The Nasher Collection represents a compendium of revolutionary ideas: Art of the last 150 years can largely be seen as a continuous re-evaluation of norms and accepted practices, an extended period of cultural innovation with each generation of artists pushing against or blazing new trails from the new ground established by the preceding generation. A brief selection includes Medardo Rosso’s radical experiments with the casting process to express the sweet ephemerality of experience; the seismic shift caused by Pablo Picasso’s development of the visual language of Cubism; Naum Gabo’s use of newly developed, space-age materials expressing the technological ethos of the age and effectively dematerializing sculpture; as well as the ever finer distillation of form to its essentials beginning with Brancusi and running through Minimalism to the present day.  Artists working today continue to pursue many of these developments, adding their unique, contemporary perspectives and broadening the potential meanings of the forms. A Tradition of Revolution presents a cross-section of the Nasher Collection and the sculptural innovations of the last 150 years within the context of concurrent philosophical, scientific, and societal shifts.  Ranging from the beginnings of Modernism in the work of Rodin, Gauguin, and others to radical experiments of the present day, the exhibition will include works never before seen at the Nasher, including several recent acquisitions.

Sol LeWitt Modular Cube/Base, 1968, Painted steel, 20 1/8 x 58 ½ x 58 ½in. (51.1 x 148.6 x 148.6 cm) Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas © 2018 Estate of Sol LeWitt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo: David Wharton

Sightings: Luke Fowler
May 12 – August 19, 2018
First-ever sound work to be presented at the Nasher, commissioned in partnership with Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland
Nasher Sculpture Center and Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland—two institutions with unique outdoor settings for art, one a contemporary garden in a dynamic urban setting and the other a lush garden at an ancient castle in a bucolic rural setting—have jointly commissioned Luke Fowler to create a new sound sculpture for both locations. For this commission, Fowler draws on practices of focused listening and architectural acoustics to create a multi-channel sound installation. Using everyday objects and acoustic environments unique to each site, Fowler will create compositions that subtly examine the material history of the two sites and their acoustic qualities. The work premiered at Lismore in August, presented in one of the medieval defensive towers surrounding the garden.  Fowler will next travel to Dallas to take recordings of objects at the site, use the recordings to create a new sonic composition, and install the new sound composition in a resonant part of the Nasher garden. The exhibition is part of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of smaller-scale exhibitions and installations that highlight new work of emerging or established artists.

Luke Fowler, Gone Reflections, August 19 –October 15, 2017, Installation view at Lismore CastleArts, Lismore, Ireland


JULY 10, 2017 – APRIL 14, 2018

In the short story William Wilson, Edgar Allan Poe presents a sinister plot: the tale of a character who, from his childhood, experiences the apparition of a figure who in everything resembles and haunts him with similitude and repetition – until he turns out to be himself. It is the doppelgänger, or double, a recurring figure in literature (from Dostoyevsky to Borges and Wilde) and in all the arts. The very act of representing – oneself or the other – can be understood as a gesture of creation of parallel realities, thus doubles to those in which we live. The exhibition DOUBLES, DOBROS, PLIEGUES, PARES, TWINS, MITADES takes this literary figure as a starting point to create an inventory of situations in which otherness and duplication/repetition are manifested in works from The Rachofsky Collection, The Rose Collection, The Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others, assuming diverse configurations: from forms of representation that occur through replicas, shadowing, and mirroring to logical-formal exercises that are expressed by the use of halves and doubles. The narrative departs from works in which the theme of the double appears explicitly – the most striking example being Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers), an iconic piece from the collection with its identical but different clocks – to arrive at the idiom of abstraction, where virtual space and its relationship between exterior and interior constitute a bridge to the rapports between the self and the other.

Gallery 1: work by Jorge Macchi and object from the Yoruba peoples, courtesy The Warehouse

DOUBLES, DOBROS, PLIEGUES, PARES, TWINS, MITADES includes work by John Ahearn, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Kai Althoff, Laurie Anderson, Giovanni Anselmo, Janine Antoni, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Georg Baselitz, Alighiero Boetti, Marcel Broodthaers, Vija Celmins, Chung Chang-Sup, Alice Channer, Lygia Clark, Bruce Conner, Alexandre da Cunha, Jessica Dickinson, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas, Luciano Fabro, Saul Fletcher, Lucio Fontana, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Fernanda Gomes, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Lee Kangso, Ellsworth Kelly, Mary Kelly, Lee Kun-Yong, Luisa Lambri, Glenn Ligon , Seung-Taek Lee, Jorge Macchi, Mangelos, Babette Mangolte, Piero Manzoni, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kris Martin, Allan McCollum, Gabriel Orozco, Damián Ortega, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, R.H. Quaytman, Charles Ray, Ad Reinhardt, Mauro Restiffe, Medardo Rosso, Salvatore Scarpitta, John Schabel, Richard Serra, Jiro Takamatsu, Richard Tuttle, Luc Tuymans, Lee Ufan, William Wegman, Rachel Whiteread, Steve Wolfe, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, as well as objects from Dallas Museum of Art’s Ancient Art of the Americas and Arts of Africa collections.

Rodrigo Moura
Exhibition Curator


DOUBLES, DOBROS, PLIEGUES, PARES, TWINS, MITADES is the first in a series of guest-curated exhibitions at The Warehouse.

Watch an Interview with curator Rodrigo Moura

Islamic Art Revival Series Exhibition

Islamic Art Revival Series presents its first photography exhibition

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE, Through the Lens of Three Women

At the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations

February 28 – March 25, 2018

Presented by the Islamic Art Revival Series (IARS) a program of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, an exhibition of photography by three Texas based women including Carolyn Brown, Tuba Koymen, and Farah Janjua.

Free Activities & Events to Enlighten and Inspire Friday, March 2nd

Opening Night Reception featuring Dr Nada Shabout as the keynote speaker. Dr Shabout is a Professor of Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative (CAMCSI) at the University of North Texas. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA).


The Islamic Art Revival Series (IARS) is a program of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, designed to increase awareness and build bridges of cultural understanding through the arts. Started in 2011 by a cross-cultural coalition of businesses and nonprofit leaders, students and small business owners, the IARS includes a diverse group of women and men, who are passionate about sharing the rich cultural relevance of Islamic Art and to enhancing cross-cultural understanding. For more information, visit islamicartrevival.com.


The Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation is a 501(c)(3) civic organization that empowers, promotes, and supports all women and their families through educational, outreach, philanthropy and social services. For more information, visit tmwf.org.

Ten Reasons an Onsite Functioning Fine Arts Library is Essential to the College of Fine Arts and to the University of Texas

In December 2017, the Art History Faculty at UT Austin delivered a letter to Dean Douglas Dempster, Provost Maurie McInnis, Vice-Provost Lorraine Haricombe, Director of UT Libraries, and President Greg Fenves regarding the future of the University of Texas’s Fine Arts Library.  The letter is reprinted below.



December 6, 2017

To: Dean Douglas Dempster, Provost Maurie McInnis, Vice-Provost Lorraine Haricombe, Director of UT Libraries

Cc: President Greg Fenves

From: The Art History Faculty

Re: Future of the Fine Arts Library


A number of letters have already been sent to you, but we want to consolidate our concerns about the possible loss of the Fine Arts Library in one document and, at the same time, provide additional information. We hope that this summary can serve as a platform for further discussion, including by the newly appointed Task Force.


Ten Reasons an Onsite Functioning Fine Arts Library is Essential to the College of Fine Arts and to the University of Texas

  1.  Art libraries are at the core of the discipline. Unlike the sciences, which rely on journals reporting the latest research, Art History is a culture of ideas and images that do not circulate primarily in journals but rather in exhibition catalogs and books. That is why publication of a major book is the standard for every level of promotion at R1 universities, including the University of Texas. Because of image copyright issues with museums and rights organizations, catalogs and books are rarely ever produced in e-book form. Further, exhibition catalogs, in particular, are often very specifically and complexly designed, so that critical artistic effects are lost in digitization. An art library that is actively collecting and shelving catalogs and books is essential for meaningful original research in the field—it is the equivalent of an up-to-date laboratory in the sciences.
  2. Negative effects of a possible move of FAL to smaller space in PCL. It has been suggested that some proportion of the Fine Arts Library holdings could be transferred to a space in PCL. Not only would space limitations in PCL reduce the FAL to a shadow of its former self, there would be no room for the library to continue to collect and grow. And once the Fine Arts Library was no longer an official branch of the General Libraries, the door would be open for budget cuts that could drastically reduce the library’s support for the acquisitions that keep it evolving as an organic, up-to-date research center. At the same time, such a move would place a geographical barrier between both graduate and undergraduate students and the resources that remained in the token “fine arts library.”
  3.  Graduate program. Without a fully functional, on-site Fine Arts Library (comparable to our major competitors—Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc.), it will be impossible to recruit graduate students to UT. The library has been a critical component of recruitment (helping to counterbalance our lack of major funding packages), and it is central to the high quality of the research done at UT and the respect our program has earned. Moreover, ready access to the library and to spaces for student study are vital to the community of graduate students and their efficient access to materials.
  4. Faculty recruitment and retention. An up-to-date and readily accessible Fine Arts Library is also a crucial element of recruiting and retaining excellent faculty. Why should faculty come to or stay at UT if resources for research and teaching are no longer readily available or purchases have been radically curtailed? That five of the Hamilton Book Award grand prize winners (and several other winners of secondary Hamilton awards) are members of the Art History faculty documents both the quality of library support and the scholarship that has been possible to date. That would definitely change with the library’s reduction in the future. And the idea of a “star” hire for Art History suggested by the Provost’s office becomes completely unrealistic. Why would anyone of stature leave a major center with museums and libraries to move to UT, where their ability to conduct research would be so seriously hindered?
  5. Undergraduate education. In line with the University’s emphasis on undergraduate research, the Art History faculty two years ago established a new sophomore level course, “Problems in Art Historical Research,” which is squarely grounded in the Fine Arts Library. That course joins the junior-level Art Historical Methods and the senior Thesis capstone course, all of which are centered on library research. The FAL is the laboratory for these courses, just as it is for the many undergraduate classes with a research paper assignment. As of this year, a librarian is being “embedded” in certain Art History classes to support undergraduate research directly. To dismantle or downgrade the Fine Arts library would be akin to removing or downsizing laboratories in the sciences. And it would have a similar negative impact on the ability to recruit strong undergraduate majors to UT.
  6. “Global Cultures” and diversity. The Fine Arts Library has long been a major repository of the “Global Cultures” that are now a required Flag in the UT undergraduate education for all majors. The library is a ticket to those world cultures and can open students’ eyes in a way that no internet search could ever do. The FAL supports diversity in education in cultures both within the U.S. and beyond, and downgrading it would negatively impact our commitment to global art education and research.
  7. Users from across campus. The Fine Arts Library is not solely a facility for the College of Fine Arts. There are patrons from all over campus, including the staff of the Blanton Museum of Art, for whom it is a vital resource for research on collections, exhibitions, potential acquisitions, and education programs. Faculty and students from many other programs on campus are regular users of the library, including, in particular, American Studies, the School of Architecture, the Plan II Honors program, and the English Department as well as UGS Signature Courses and the UGS Bridging Disciplines Program.
  8. Visual Resources Collection. Another crucial resource for our teaching of Art History is the Visual Resources Collection, housed within the Fine Arts Library, which does the high-quality scanning necessary for our teaching. That staff needs ready access to multiple images of a given work to assure the best quality images, and faculty work closely with them in this process. Their proximity to books and catalogs and to faculty is vital to their operation. Their assistance with undergraduate and graduate presentations is also critical to student success in the classroom.
  9. Circulation and delivery issues.
    1. Circulation The circulation figure of 100,000 has been cited as evidence that library usage has “crashed.” While with streaming technology circulation of CDs and DVDs has naturally declined from the over 200,000 figure of the past, 100,000 items is still robust circulation and does not by any means include all of the library usages that occur without a book being checked out. The demand for these resources will continue, and a move of further materials to remote storage, which would be necessitated by the reduction required by displacement of the library to PCL, will require considerable more staff numbers and time to fulfill such requests, which will not cease.
    2. Problems of delivery from the Joint Library Facility near College Station. As you know, 55,000 books and 20,000 bound periodical volumes were removed from the Fine Arts Library during 2015-2016 and transferred to the Joint Library Facility in central Texas. According to the Texas A&M libraries website, the volumes have now gone into joint ownership status with A&M and have been “deduplicated.” Upon hearing this news, surprised faculty were assured that a simple interlibrary loan request would bring books and journals to Austin in 3-5 days. In reality, however, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty are now regularly experiencing delays on the order of 10 days or more to receive books. As several worried undergraduates declared this week, “How can we finish our papers in time when we can’t get the books we need?” All this is to say that no more books can be lost from the FAL to remote storage. Further demands on library staff time and further serious obstruction of student and faculty research, along with an even larger carbon footprint from trucking books back and forth from the JLF, are additional negative effects that reducing or dismantling the Fine Arts Library would produce.
  10. Designers need libraries—like visual artists, performers, and historians of art, music, and theater. Along with these arguments from Art and Art History, you have received powerful written testaments to the importance of the Fine Arts Library from faculty members in Music as well as Theatre and Dance. Just as Studio Art faculty rely on exhibition catalogs and books for their own creative research and for educating their students, in order to assure that they are not reinventing the wheel, teachers and students of Design in the new School of Design and Creative Technologies will need the support of an actively collecting Fine Arts Library for their creative endeavors. There is a great deal of sophisticated literature on digital design, for example, and UT students in this field will be sorely out of date without ready access to a library that covers the history of design up to the present moment.


We as faculty, along with students and other faculties across the College, are deeply concerned at the prospect of any reduction or moving of the Fine Arts Library which is, in so many ways, at the heart of the College and its mission. We hope that creative consideration of space options within CoFA can produce an alternative solution. For example, a considerable part of the space in the Doty Fine Arts Building basement, where the lounge is often largely empty, might be reconfigured for the use of the new School. Similarly, there is also quite a bit of unused space in the IT office outside the Fine Arts Library entrance.

The prospects for the new School are exciting, but they do not merit the destruction of the excellent programs in place in the College now, which would be the inevitable result of the dismantling of the Fine Arts Library.



Eddie Chambers

Michael Charlesworth

John R. Clarke

Penelope Davies

George Flaherty

Julia Guernsey

Linda Dalrymple Henderson

Joan A. Holladay

Ann Johns

Janice Leoshko

Stephennie Mulder

Adele Nelson

Moyo Okediji

Nassos Papalexandrou

Astrid Runggaldier

Glenn Peers

Susan Rather

Ann Reynolds

Astrid Runggaldier

Richard Shiff

Jeffrey Chipps Smith

David Stuart

Louis Waldman


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: www.icomus.org
  • 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 www.icomus.org 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 sarah.kozlowski@utdallas.edu by Monday, March 19, 2018.

Director’s Welcome

Richard Brettell – AH – Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Aesthetic Studies – Art History


Fall 2017 marks the beginning of the fourth full year of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. We have already done a good deal for the discipline of art history in North Texas—sponsored and co-sponsored symposia, scholars’ days, lectures, workshops, and festive gatherings for art historians in museums, universities, colleges, and galleries—and beginning to fulfill the mission encouraged by Mrs. O’Donnell of bringing the scattered community of art historians in Dallas-Fort Worth together as often as possible. We have also done very well in providing a nurturing environment for UT Dallas doctoral students, and six newly minted “Drs.” have been sent out into the world. We have brought scholars to Dallas from Switzerland, Italy, and Canada and are about to welcome a new colleague for a year-long visit from Harvard University. All in all, we can look back with pride on three action-packed and exciting years.

We will hold our Fourth Annual Dinner this Fall, and it will be our first to be held at UT Dallas rather than at the wonderful home of our partner, the Dallas Museum of Art. At the dinner we will honor our founder with a premier of a newly commissioned film about her philanthropy and we will let our inner circle in on our ambitious plans for the future. This Fall, we will also inaugurate two international partnerships which we hope to grow into long-term scholarly programs—the first with our colleagues at Nanjing University in China and the second with the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. Who knows—when we begin to think about Africa, perhaps will add Nairobi to Nanjing and Naples!

This Fall, we said a fond, if reluctant, “goodbye” to two esteemed colleagues, Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, who plans to start an ambitious new foundation for Islamic Art in New York, and Dr. David McPhail, who is returning to London after launching our Conservation Science Program, a partnership with the Department of Chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas and its Dean, Dr. Bruce Novak. Look forward to news on both of those fronts.

Dr. Suzanne Preston Blier
Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies
Department of History of Art & Architecture and Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

We extend a big Texas welcome to Dr. Suzanne Preston-Blier, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Blier will be with us for a full academic year, has rented an apartment in the heart of downtown Dallas, and is trying to figure out how to live in Dallas without knowing how to drive! She will work both on campus and in an office at EODIAH-DMA (the latter a short walk from “home”), and her plan this year is to complete a new book and to develop an interactive digital map of Africa throughout human history (the longest of any continent). She will work with our colleagues in Arts and Humanties and ATEC as well as with Dr. Roslyn Walker, Acting Chief Curator at the DMA and curator in charge of the museum’s superb collection of African Art.

As for faculty news, Dr. Mark Rosen is in the throes of completing an important new book on the representation of cities from above from its beginnings in the fifteenth century through the era of hot-air balloons in the late eighteenth century—a study which links the arts and the sciences of observation. Dr. Charissa Terranova has completed an edited series of articles, and is hard at work on her third scholarly book, all of which are involved with the history of the visual arts in their intense interaction with the sciences. Dr. Sarah Kozlowski has pursuing projects on fourteenth-century diptychs in Naples and on fictive porphyry versos in Italian panel painting, and will soon be promoted to Associate Director of EODIAH.

This semester we look forward to a series of workshop talks, a study day in collaboration with the DMA, a co-sponsored symposium around the Meadows Museum’s Zurbaràn exhibition, and a number of site visits to Dallas collections.


Richard R. Brettell, Ph.D.

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

Greetings from the Assistant Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski

Assistant Director

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History


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

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.

Friends of EODIAH

Dr. Richard R. Brettell and Ms. Lucy Buchanan

During the past few months, EODIAH has hosted numerous events and important programs. Here is a “snapshot” of some of our supporters.

To support EODIAH, please click here.

Your gift at any level helps fund our many collaborations, scholarly seminars, lectures and art history programs that provide an unparalleled resource to our community and beyond.

For more information, call Lucy Buchanan at (972) 883-2472 or email at lucy.buchanan@utdallas.edu.


Lucy M. Buchanan

Director of Development

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Edith and Mr. Peter O’Donnell

Margaret McDermott and Dr. Richard C. Benson, President of UT Dallas

George Schnerk and Mrs. Margaret McDermott

Mr. and Mrs. John Ridings Lee

Dr. B. Hobson Wildenthal and Mrs. Ray Wallace

Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Ms. Salle Stemmons

Mrs. Nancy Shutt and Mrs. Mark Lemmon

Mrs. Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly and Dr. Joanne H. Stroud-Bilby

Ms. Mary McDermott-Cook and Mr. Dan Patterson

Mr. and Mrs. George Lee Jr.

Dr. Agustín Arteaga and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Campbell

Mr. and Mrs. William Solomon

Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir with Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Cattarulla

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Barrett

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Grant

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Halbreich

Ms. Serena Ritch

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Custard

Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pack

Ms. Patricia Patterson and Mrs. William E. Rose


Mrs. Edith O’Donnell

The O’Donnell Institute was founded in 2014 through an extraordinary lead gift from Mrs. Edith O’Donnell. Mrs. O’Donnell is joined by other individuals and institutions whose generosity and energy support our work.










Edith O’Donnell



Mrs. Eugene McDermott

The Hamon Charitable Foundation

The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation

The State of Texas

Mrs. W. Ray Wallace



Mr. and Mrs. John Ridings Lee

George Schnerk



Margot B. Perot

Salle Stemmons


PATRON – $5,000

Communities Foundation of Texas

Mr. Harlan Crow

Carolyn and Bob Dickson

Legett Foundation

George A. and Nancy P. Shutt Foundation


SUPPORTER – $2,500

Elizabeth Boeckman

Nancy M. Dedman

Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Denker

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Grant

Ms. Ruth Mutch

Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Paul T. Stoffel



Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Catarulla

Eugene and Rhoda Frenkel


PARTNER – $500

Lucy M. Buchanan

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Campbell

Mary McDermott Cook

Mr. and Mrs. George Lee, Jr.

The Dallas Foundation – Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Sr.

Ms. Patricia Patterson



Mrs. I.D. “Nash” Flores III

Roger S. Horchow

Winifred and Ivan Phillips

Mr. Peter Rathbone and the Estate of Perry Rathbone

Eve Reid

Dr. David Wilcox



For more information, call Lucy Buchanan at (972) 883-2472 or email at lucy.buchanan@utdallas.edu or go to our website utdallas.edu/arthistory/support

Art and Medicine Updates

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas

Bonnie Pitman continues to make major advancements in her work on Art and Medicine at UT Dallas. Her recent publications in the Dallas Morning News and San Antonio Medicine highlight her continuing initiatives to expand the awareness of the national movement teaching medical students the art of close-looking, developing empathy and dealing with ambiguity through looking at works at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Pitman’s feature in Zócalo Public Square focuses on her life-long dedication to art museum engagement and the successful practices she implemented at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Dr. Heather Wickless, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and Amanda Blake, Interim Director of Education at the Dallas Museum of Art are commencing plans to join Pitman in teaching the 2018 class for UT Southwestern Medical School students.


St. Louis University Keynote and the St. Louis Art Museum Gallery Tour with Physicians and Educators


 Pitman has been invited to deliver a keynote lecture and grand rounds at Saint Louis University (SLU)’s Art History Department this Fall 2017, to art history faculty and students, health professionals and students, and art educators. Her talk “The Art of Examination: Art and Medicine Explored” provides an overview of the current art in medicine programs around the country and her work at UT Southwestern Medical School, teaching medical students skills for close observation, empathy, communication and dealing with ambiguity through close looking at art. She will also facilitate an educational session in the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) galleries with members of the museum’s Learning & Engagement team and physicians at the Medical School using objects in the museum’s collection to share her unique methods of merging art and medical teaching.


New Publications

Dallas Morning News 

“Universities partner with Dallas Museum of Art to teach medical students importance of empathy”

San Antonio Medicine 

The Art of Examination: Medical School and Art Museum Partnerships”

Zocalo Public Square

“Want to Find New Audiences? Keep Trying New Things”

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

“Patterns of Islamic Art” at the O’Donnell Institute Research Center at the Dallas Museum of Art, 2017, photograph by Carolyn Brown


We are excited to welcome everyone to join us this fall for our scholarly programs in the Research Center. Upon her completion of the first English-language translations of Paul Gauguin’s seven texts, UTD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Elpida Vouitsis discussed on August 29th how Gauguin’s writing style successfully communicates the duality of meaning in his artworks. In November our fellows have the special opportunity to visit the recent installation of Keir Collection objects with Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir. Our semester will conclude with a workshop by one of our new PhD fellows, Edleeca Thompson. Her research examines the myriad of ways museums display African art collections and how these design decisions effect interpretation.

The Research Center will host two new exhibitions this fall: Patterns in Islamic Art and Maya Trade and the Ulúa River Regions. I’ve curated a selection of Carolyn Brown’s photographs of Islamic architecture in the Middle East. Her images beautifully capture the nonfigural design elements in Islamic art: geometric, vegetal, and calligraphic. Patterns repeat and intertwine in colorful tiles on mosque façades and delicate stained glass that decorate intimate interiors. Our fourth vitrine installation, curated by DMA Curator Dr. Kimberly Jones, displays small ceramic vessels from the Ulúa region in Honduras. Despite their diminutive size, these objects were bound up in networks of trade and exchange throughout the Classic Maya kingdoms.

The Research Center promises to be a lively center of scholarly activity this fall with a new group of fellows from around the globe. We look forward to the coming year and welcome you to our many Fall programs. Visit our website at https://utdallas.edu/arthistory/programs/ and plan your calendar!

Lauren LaRocca

Coordinator of Special Programs

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Cultural Developments in North Texas with Dr. Richard Brettell and Mark Lamster: Presented by the Dallas Architecture Forum

The Dallas Architecture Forum Presents:

Cultural Developments in North Texas  

Richard BRETTELL, Ph. D in conversation with Mark LAMSTER


10 October 2017

Tuesday, 7 pm, with informal reception and check-in beginning at 6:15 pm

Horchow Auditorium, Dallas Museum of Art

Free Admission for UT Dallas students, faculty and staff (with ID)

No reservations needed, Join us!

The last two decades have seen dramatic developments in the cultural fabric of North Texas. In Dallas, the Arts District saw the addition of the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Wyly Theater, the Winspear Opera House, the Moody (formerly City) Performance Hall, and the completion of the Booker T. Washington campus. Fort Worth has added the Modern Art Museum and the Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell among its new signature buildings.

Much has happened besides the completion of these signature buildings. Galleries, artist labs, new musical and theatrical organizations have also come into existence or increased their reach across North Texas. Academic centers such as UT Dallas and non-profits such as The Dallas Architecture Forum have expanded their cultural reach and raised awareness and dialogue on issues important to all of us. In addition to the Arts District in Dallas and the Cultural District in Fort Worth, there are emerging centers of creative activity across many North Texas cities.

Join us for a lively discussion with Rick Brettell and Mark Lamster as we examine some of these major accomplishments over the last twenty years. Dr. Brettell and Mr. Lamster will also discuss what needs to occur over the next two decades to enhance the arts and cultural opportunities for all North Texas residents.

EODIAH Professor Maximilian Schich Presents at NetSci2017

Maximilian Schich

EODIAH and ATEC Associate Professor Maximilian Schich was selected to present the Springer/Nature invitation talk at NetSci2017, the flagship International Conference on Network Science (http://netsci2017.net/). In the talk, titled Networks in Art and Culture, Prof. Schich outlined his own research trajectory from art history and archaeology towards a science of art and culture that bridges the “two worlds”, currently done in co-affiliation with UT Dallas ATEC and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH).

The talk, selected by Springer/Nature to be sponsored as the Springer Complexity invited talk, coincides with the NetSci2017 conference call officially adding “arts and design” to the list of established network science disciplines, including “computer and information sciences, physics, mathematics, statistics, the life sciences, neuroscience, environmental sciences, social sciences, finance and business.” The addition of “arts and design” is a direct consequence of a successful satellite symposium series on “Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks”, co-organized by Maximilian Schich, Isabel Meirelles (OCAD University), and Roger Malina (UT Dallas ATEC), from 2010 to 2015.

After achieving acceptance rates between 14% and 25%, Prof. Schich says “It was a strategic move to stop doing the satellite and effectively nudge the main conference to add “arts and design” to the official disciplines and let a “culture” session emerge within the main conference program via relevant submissions diverted through the absence of our own satellite.”

In the coming academic year, Prof. Schich will work to summarize his emerging field as an EODIAH-sponsored guest professor at Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich/Germany, one of the most extensive international art libraries world-wide. Schich is glad to return in Fall 2018, stating, “In which other university can an Art Historian collaborate with excellent students from all over campus, without the need to excuse the use of science to understand art and culture? Go UTD!”.

MORE ON NetSci2017:
Why should network scientists be interested in art and culture? Why should historians of art and culture be interested in network science? Why does NetSci2017 officially call for contributions in “arts and design”? And why does the main conference feature a session on “culture”? This talk will provide reasoning regarding these questions, both documenting the rise of a vibrant community, and outlining challenges that are central to both network science and the study of art and culture. A NetSci satellite theme with more than 60 contributions from more than 37 disciplines since 2009, network analysis now permeates data-driven research in art and culture, while culture analytics increasingly establishes itself as a science.


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.

O’Donnell Institute Launches New Master’s Program in Art History in Fall 2018

Honoré Daumier, Outside the Print–Seller’s Shop, 1860-1863, oil on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

In Fall 2018 the O’Donnell Institute will launch a new Master’s Program in Art History.

The MA program at the O’Donnell Institute introduces students to a global history of art through close engagement with artworks held in collections throughout Dallas and Fort Worth.

Students explore a broad range of material across geography, chronology, and medium, building a strong foundation in historiography, theory, and professional practices. In their coursework and independent research projects, students draw on privileged access to public and private collections, outstanding research resources, and the innovative and interdisciplinary research initiatives of O’Donnell Institute scholars. As a capstone to their studies, students design and carry out an original research project such as a scholarly essay, a small exhibition, a collaboration with a practicing artist, or an archival project.

Students pursue their coursework and independent research in close collaboration with mentors at the O’Donnell Institute and its partner institutions, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the intellectual life of a center for advanced research.

The intensive sixteen-month program is designed as a rigorous, immersive experience, preparing graduates for top doctoral programs or arts careers.

The program will welcome its first class in Fall 2018.

Applications are due January 15, 2018. 

To learn more visit www.utdallas.edu/arthistory/graduate or write to MAinfo@utdallas.edu.

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.


Melinda McVay Presents Talk on John Yeon at Portland Art Museum


Melinda McVay presents findings from her dissertation in a talk at the Portland Art Museum.

Former Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History Fellow Melinda McVay presented findings from her dissertation “The Politics of Display—Architects and Museums: John Yeon, James Speyer, and Lina Bo Bardi” in a talk at the Portland Art Museum.

In addition to the homes that Portland native John Yeon designed that helped define regional modernism in the Pacific Northwest, he also created pristine, serene environments for museums in Portland, San Francisco, and Kansas City.

McVay’s talk examined this lesser-known aspect of Yeon’s work, in particular his interpretation of Asian architectural settings for museum displays, and was the last talk in conjunction with the PAM’s exhibition, Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon (May 13 – Sep. 3, 2017), a retrospective look at an Oregon original.

The Museum presented a variety of public programs and tours in conjunction with the exhibition, including the opening lecture by distinguished curator and architecture scholar Barry Bergdoll. Quest for Beauty is accompanied by two books published by the Yeon Center with Monfried Editions, John Yeon: Architecture and John Yeon: Landscape.


Richard Louis Brown (sitting), Yeon’s lifetime partner, and his new partner, Thomas Carson Mark (center), and Melinda McVay (right) at Yeon’s Jorgensen house.

SMU Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita Alessandra Comini Updates

The first half of 2017 has been very good to me. Three of my scholarly books were brought out in new editions (Schiele in Prison, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt) and I published another crime novel, The Kollwitz Calamities in my Megan Crespi Series. This is my first Krimi in which a WOMAN artist is the subject!

April saw me in Europe for three lectures in Austria and one in Switzerland, plus being featured in two separate documentary films about my 1963 discovery of the 1912 prison cell of Egon Schiele. Here below is a photo of the discoverer in that (refurbished cell, now a museum) still alive in 2017.

Dr. Alessandra Comini visits the 1912 prison cell of Egon Schiele.

TCU School of Art Announcements

Babette Bohn Receives National Gallery Fellowship

Dr. Babette Bohn will be a Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. for the full 2017-18 academic year. She will be working on her book, Women Artists, Their Patrons, and Their Publics in Early Modern Bologna. 

Bohn was also selected to give the Samuel H. Kress-endowed lectureship for the Italian Art Society in June 2017 in Bologna. Her lecture, drawn from her book-in-process, was entitled, “Il fenomeno bolognese” rivisto: Donne artiste a Bologna tra Quattrocento e Settecento.

Mark Thistlethwaite Teaches Course in Conjunction with Amon Carter Exhibition

Mark Thistlethwaite, Kay and Velma Kimbell Chair of Art History TCU School of Art, is teaching a semester-long TCU art history course–“Americans Outdoors”–at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, in conjunction with the exhibition “Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art” (opening October 7). The course includes a public lecture on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.

For titles of these lectures and further information, see the ACMAA website.