Graduate Activities: Michael James


John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, 1832. Oil on canvas, 72 1/4 x 108 inches. Purchased by Daniel Wadsworth and members of the Atheneum Committee, 1844.3.

Doctoral student Michael James spent the summer as a curatorial intern in the department of American Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, working closely with Assistant Curator Erin Monroe to plan a fall 2016 installation focusing on John Trumbull’s Revolutionary War paintings.

Michael will also present his paper “American Progress and Manifest Destiny: Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), held this year in Roanoke, VA and hosted by Virginia Tech and Hollins University. He’ll be joined on his panel, which convenes on Thursday, October 20 at 10:00, by representatives from UNC-Charlotte, the University of Connecticut, the University of Central Florida, and Georgia Southern University.

Faculty Activities: Tom McDonough in Social Histories of Art


Associate Professor Tom McDonough‘s introductions and commentary for two of T. J. Clark’s essays were recently published in  Social Histories of Art: A Critical Anthology, (les presses du réel, June 2016) under the auspices of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art. This anthology gathers together significant art historical primary texts and situates them in the discipline’s history:

The history of art is not singular. This young discipline, which since the nineteenth century has attempted to conquer its autonomy as a science, is to be read and practiced (preferably, at least) by relating and linking it to a context — diverse, burgeoning, and sometimes unstable, but rich: such is the purpose that governs this book.
Repeatedly, throughout the twentieth century, voices were heard proposing a reading of artistic production informed by material, economic, political, or institutional conditions. This anthology in two volumes makes these voices resonate by proposing a path that sweeps that century, from 1930 to 2000, between Europe and the United States. It allows us to read, chronologically, thirty-three texts, some of which are little known, often translated into French for the first time, and presented and commented by today’s art historians. From one chapter to another, in connection with an art history that leads the reader from the Florentine Renaissance to photography, from the art of the Netherlands to the recent history of museums, these extracts debate Marxist readings and gender studies, technical approaches and theoretical essays, without ignoring the crises, tensions, aporias, and even the silences that have punctuated this history.

Faculty Activities: Jeffrey Kirkwood at the IKKM


The Palais Dürckheim (home of the IKKM), designed by Henry van de Velde in 1912.

Assistant Professor Jeffrey Kirkwood will be a fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM) at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany for the Winter Semester 2016/17. His research project, titled “Modal Materialism,” will examine the history of media technologies in the visualization of counterfactual, contingent, and possible states. Professor Kirkwood, who was an Associate Junior Fellow at the IKKM in 2011-2012,  joins other former fellows such as Boris Groys, Georges Didi-Huberman, Tom Gunning, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, and Harun Farocki.

Faculty Activities: Andrew Walkling at the Huntington


Associate Professor Andrew Walkling kicked off his year-long sabbatical by driving across the country to Los Angeles, where he will be spending four months on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Henry E. Huntington Library/Art Gallery/Botanical Gardens working on his next book project, “Instruments of Absolutism: Restoration Court Culture and the Epideictic Mode”.  En route, he couldn’t resist stopping in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, home of London Bridge–the actual London Bridge, built between 1824 and 1831 (to replace the 12th-century structure which, by then, was famously “falling down”), and then dismantled in the 1960s, when all the exterior stonework was moved to this bizarre desert outpost.  Note that in the photograph, Walkling’s hand is not actually resting on the metal post, which was too hot to touch, as the outdoor temperature was 115 degrees.  Nevertheless, he braved the heat, and now has a lot of great detail pictures of this nineteenth-century landmark that he’s dying to show to former and future students of his “Early Modern London” class.

Faculty Activities: Julia Walker at the Walter Benjamin Kolleg


Alison and Peter Smithson, Berlin Hauptstadt Proposal, 1958.

From September 4-10, Assistant Professor Julia Walker will be participating in the 2016 Summer School of the Walter Benjamin Kolleg at the Universität Bern. The theme of this year’s Summer School, “Border Regimes: Confrontations, Configurations, Transpositions,” seeks to contribute to a critical interdisciplinary discussion on borders and analogous concepts. Read more about Walker’s project below. Continue reading

Faculty Activities: Kevin Hatch at MoMA


Bruce Conner. CROSSROADS (promotional still). 1976. 35mm film (black and white, sound) transferred to video, 37 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Accessions Committee Fund purchase), with the generous support of the New Art Trust. © Bruce Conner 2016. Courtesy Conner Family Trust.

On Friday, September 23, Assistant Professor Kevin Hatch will give the keynote lecture at A Symposium on Bruce Conner, held at the Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the exhibition BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE, which is the first complete retrospective of the artist’s 50-year career. Professor Hatch’s talk is titled “Not Thinking of You: A Letter from Bruce Conner”:

Among Bruce Conner’s many artistic mediums are the letters—sometimes serious, sometimes funny, and always fascinating—that he exchanged with figures ranging from other artists (like Wallace Berman and Ray Johnson) to pop culture celebrities (such as Dennis Hopper and John Lennon). Not only do these letters offer an unexpectedly intimate portrait of a particularly elusive artist, but they also point to something larger: a vision of an ideal art world, realized in epistolary form and unencumbered by the limitations and boundaries of a rapidly codifying art market.

Also see Hatch’s previews of the exhibition in Artforum and The Art Newspaper.