Today! VizCult: Christopher Wood, New York University

The ex-voto is an offering to a deity in fulfillment of a vow, a promise made in a moment of despair.  Delivered from illness or imprisonment, the votary visits a shrine and publishes her commitment with a gift.  Ex-votos—sometimes valuable gifts, sometimes mere evidence—are often misrecognized by scholarship, which confuses them with cult images, miracle-working images, and image-borne pleas for spiritual salvation.  In fifteenth-century Italy, votaries began to offer painted panels narrating their own stories.  This new class of ex-voto, resembling works of sacred art, only invites more confusion.  The talk attempts to distinguish the ex-voto from other devotional images, including artworks, on the basis of the concepts of reference and authorship.

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Faculty Activities: Karen Barzman at the Archivio di Stato di Venezia

On November 14, 2017 Karen-edis Barzman will deliver a talk titled “‘Una fortezza di tanto momento.’ Novigradi, al confine tra Dalmazia e Bosnia ottomana” (‘A Fortress of Such Great Moment:’ Novigrad, at the border between Venetian Dalmatia and Ottoman Bosnia), at the conference Castelli, Fortezze e archivi. Fonti sulle fortificazioni veneziane nello Stato da terra e nello Stato da mar , organized by the Archivio di Stato di Venezia. The conference is co-sponsored by the Istituto ellenico di studi bizantini e postbizantini di Venezia and runs from November 13-14 at the Archivio di Stato di Venezia.

 

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Next VizCult: Christopher Wood, New York University

The ex-voto is an offering to a deity in fulfillment of a vow, a promise made in a moment of despair.  Delivered from illness or imprisonment, the votary visits a shrine and publishes her commitment with a gift.  Ex-votos—sometimes valuable gifts, sometimes mere evidence—are often misrecognized by scholarship, which confuses them with cult images, miracle-working images, and image-borne pleas for spiritual salvation.  In fifteenth-century Italy, votaries began to offer painted panels narrating their own stories.  This new class of ex-voto, resembling works of sacred art, only invites more confusion.  The talk attempts to distinguish the ex-voto from other devotional images, including artworks, on the basis of the concepts of reference and authorship.

Alumni Activities: Josh Franco at the Archives of American Art

Congratulations to Josh Franco (PhD 2016), who was recently named national collector for the Archives of American Art. Josh began work at the Archives in July 2015 on a contract basis, collecting papers documenting Latinx art. For that special project, Josh built and strengthening the Archives’ Latinx holdings and quickly developed relationships with a network of artists and arts communities across the United States. In a little more than two years, he acquired significant collections, including the papers of “Chaz” Bojórquez, Jaime Davidovich, Kathy Vargas, Jari “WERC” Alvarez and Geraldine “Gera” Lozano, Victor Zamudio-Taylor, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Andres Serrano, and many others. Josh’s new, permanent position as national collector will ensure that Latinx collections remain a vital part of the Archives’ collecting program, and that they continue to play an essential role in the ongoing interpretation of the history of visual arts in the US.

Alumni Activities: Alison Ferris

Binghamton alumna Alison Ferris (MA 1991), Senior Curator at Des Moines Art Center, has been recognized by the Center for Curatorial Leadership as one of twelve curators selected to participate in its annual fellowship program for 2018. The program meets in New York City in January for an initial two weeks of instruction, followed by residencies with leading museum directors, the development of an individual Diversity Mentoring Initiative, and a final week of coursework in May. Other Fellows come from leading institutions including the Harvard Art Museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Congratulations to Alison for this recognition of her achievements, her leadership and her distinctive curatorial vision that is certain to energize the upcoming fellowship program as it looks to deepen engagement with a more representative and nuanced expression of art history and culture.

Alison joined the Des Moines Art Center in February 2016. Since then, she has reinstalled the permanent collection and curated two major 2017 exhibitions: Ruptures and Drawing in Space. She is currently organizing the first major solo exhibitions in the United States for British artist Susan Collis (2019) and Scottish artist Karla Black (2020).