Undergraduate and Faculty Activities: “Acquiring Art for the Museum” featured in Binghamton University Magazine

Anne McHugh

Anne McHugh championed the purchase of Käthe Kollwitz’s Tod Frau und Kind (Death, Woman and Child). It can be seen at the Art Museum through June 20. Photograph by Jonathan Cohen for Binghamton University Magazine.

University Art Museum Director Diane Butler’s course “Acquiring Art for the Museum”–and the acquisition that resulted, Käthe Kollwitz’s Tod Frau und Kind (Death, Woman and Child, advocated by Annie McHugh ’16)–are featured in the current Binghamton University Magazine:

Agostino Veneziano’s engraving was the first to go. Albrecht Dürer’s Satyr Family and Whistler’s Longshoremen were next.

Diane Butler, director of the Binghamton University Art Museum, watched with eager anticipation as her students made tough choices about eight prints they had come to admire. With each round of voting, a piece was crossed off the list. The final ballot would reveal which print would be purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection.

To read more, click here.

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Next VizCult: Chris Butler, Griffith University, TODAY

“The Politics of Inhabitance and the Possibility of Spatial Justice”
Wednesday, April 29, 5:15 pm
University Art Museum
Brisbane

Two versions of modernism – two forms of inhabitance. A ‘fibro’ shack in the shadow of the legendary ‘Torbreck’ tower block, Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Australia, 2000.

Contemporary philosophical accounts of the relationships between dwelling and modernity have been particularly influenced by the work of two twentieth-century writers: Martin Heidegger and Gaston Bachelard. Certainly Henri Lefebvre’s writings on space and inhabitance are critically engaged with Heidegger’s reflections on the intimate connection between dwelling and ‘Being,’ and with Bachelard’s depiction of the poetic force of the home. However through his linking of spatial aesthetics to a politics of concrete utopianism, Lefebvre attempts to move beyond both Heidegger’s formulation of the problem of dwelling and the aura of nostalgia that surrounds Bachelard’s poetics of domestic space. In this paper, I will explore how Lefebvre’s intellectual engagements with these two thinkers were pursued in his writings on the right to the city and in his direct contributions to a number of architectural and urban planning projects in a number of cities around the world. Lefebvre’s reworking of the question of dwelling will be compared with reflections on this topic that appear in the architectural philosophy of Massimo Cacciari and Manfredo Tafuri. In doing so, I will argue that Lefebvre provides a way of understanding how everyday spatial practices and the ordering of the built environment are structured by a politics of inhabitance – a politics which defines the very possibility of spatial justice.

Chris Butler is a lecturer in the Griffith Law School at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Faculty Activities: Nancy Um at the Getty

Associate Professor and interim chair Nancy Um has been selected to attend the UCLA digital art history summer institute in July. Beyond the Digitized Slide Library is an eight-day summer institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, with major support for the program and its participants provided by the Getty Foundation. Participants will learn about debates and key concepts in the digital humanities and gain hands-on experience with tools and techniques for art historical research (including metadata basics, data visualization, network graphs, and digital mapping). For more information, click here.

Graduate Activities: Kasia Kieca at Cornell

Hine_Men at Work

Lewis W. Hine, Men at Work: Photographic Studies of Modern Men and Machines (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1932).

 

On May 2, Master’s student Kasia Kieca will be presenting a paper, titled “Industrial Visions: The Politics of Assemblage in Lewis Hine’s Men at Work (1932),” at Cornell University’s Department of German Studies graduate symposium, On Seriality:

In 1932, American photographer Lewis Wickes Hine published Men at Work: Photographic Studies of Modern Men and Machines, a photobook marketed to adolescents. In this publication, Hine juxtaposed photographs he took for the Empire State Building’s public relations department with photographs of men working on various industrial operations which he had taken for multiple commissions around the United States. In the introduction of the book, titled “The Spirit of the Industry,” the reader is asked to consider the laborers who make the functioning of modern society possible: “Cities do not build themselves, machines cannot make machines, unless back of them all are the brains and toil of men.” This paper will argue that despite this heroizing credo and Hine’s insistence that his camera was capturing the “human side” of industry, Men at Work instead underscores the alienation of the early twentieth-century worker from both his place in the larger industrial operation and from the goods he was laboring to produce. Through the dynamic and sometimes incongruent arrangements of photographs and text, this book presents only isolated moments of industrial operations. Indeed, there are no photographs of completed projects. Published amidst one of the worst years of the United States’ economic depression, Men at Work is further complicated by the volatile socio-political context in which it emerges. This paper will aim to place this book within its larger historical context, while arguing that the meaning created by its fragmentary assemblage is one that eluded even Lewis Hine himself.

Next VizCult: Chris Butler, Griffith University

“The Politics of Inhabitance and the Possibility of Spatial Justice”
Wednesday, April 29, 5:15 pm
University Art Museum
Brisbane

Two versions of modernism – two forms of inhabitance. A ‘fibro’ shack in the shadow of the legendary ‘Torbreck’ tower block, Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Australia, 2000.

Contemporary philosophical accounts of the relationships between dwelling and modernity have been particularly influenced by the work of two twentieth-century writers: Martin Heidegger and Gaston Bachelard. Certainly Henri Lefebvre’s writings on space and inhabitance are critically engaged with Heidegger’s reflections on the intimate connection between dwelling and ‘Being,’ and with Bachelard’s depiction of the poetic force of the home. However through his linking of spatial aesthetics to a politics of concrete utopianism, Lefebvre attempts to move beyond both Heidegger’s formulation of the problem of dwelling and the aura of nostalgia that surrounds Bachelard’s poetics of domestic space. In this paper, I will explore how Lefebvre’s intellectual engagements with these two thinkers were pursued in his writings on the right to the city and in his direct contributions to a number of architectural and urban planning projects in a number of cities around the world. Lefebvre’s reworking of the question of dwelling will be compared with reflections on this topic that appear in the architectural philosophy of Massimo Cacciari and Manfredo Tafuri. In doing so, I will argue that Lefebvre provides a way of understanding how everyday spatial practices and the ordering of the built environment are structured by a politics of inhabitance – a politics which defines the very possibility of spatial justice.

Chris Butler is a lecturer in the Griffith Law School at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.