Lectures, symposia, and study days are the intellectual oxygen of the O’Donnell Institute, and a chance to bring together the scholarly community from Dallas and Fort Worth and farther afield. At the end of February we enjoyed the success of our Spring symposium, Artists’ Writings on Materials and Techniques, held over the course of two days at UT Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.
In presentations and conversations ranging from the fifteenth century to the present, participants investigated intersections (and disconnects) between artists’ visual and textual practices. Along with scholars from the O’Donnell Institute, Southern Methodist University, and the Nasher, presenters included honored guests James Meyer from the National Gallery of Art and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro from The Whitney Museum of American Art.
We were particularly pleased to have the participation of many conservators from private and institutional studios in Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as from the Harry Ransom Center in Austin and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles. The theme of the conference proved to be one around which academic art historians, museum curators, conservators, and conservation scientists could come together in productive conversation. On the strength of the Institute’s conservation science initiative, we will continue to present programs like this that bring together colleagues from the academy, the museum, the studio, and the laboratory.
I continue my work to spearhead a new partnership with the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples. In October the O’Donnell Institute and the Capodimonte will present a first annual symposium in Naples, with two days of gallery talks and site visits that will set Naples and the Capodimonte in a global context. The symposium will launch the new Center for the Art History of Port Cities (Centro per la Storia dell’Arte delle Città Portuali).
Based in the Capraia, an 18th-century structure on the grounds of the royal bosco, the Center will open its doors in Fall 2018 and will be dedicated to on-site study of art and architecture in Naples and to the incubation and dissemination of new research, with special emphasis on the cultural histories of port cities, the mobilities of artworks, and processes of circulation, encounter, and exchange. Programs at the Capraia will include research residencies, an annual symposium, and an open-access digital publication.
Together these three program streams will support scholarly access to Naples, foster new research on Naples and on other port cities, create a collaborative network of students and scholars working on related projects, and communicate new research to the academic and museum communities and the general public. I am thrilled to be working in my beloved Naples with wonderfully open and creative colleagues at the Capodimonte, and I look forward to keeping our O’Donnell Institute friends and colleagues apprised of our progress.
Dr. Sarah Kozlowski
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History