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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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.

Binghamton Art History Department releases statement on inclusivity

For over three decades, the Art History Department has been committed to the cross-cultural, global study of art, visual culture, architecture and the built environment. This has never simply been a decision regarding disciplinary “methodology” but rather, we believe, a profoundly principled commitment to questioning the Eurocentric, patriarchal and class-based biases ingrained in the field and our society at large and to excluding all forms of discrimination and prejudice, regardless of the prevailing political climate.

As a department that welcomes a very international student body and strives to model an inclusive transnational community open to all regardless of nationality, race, gender identification or sexual preference, we reaffirm our commitment to a more egalitarian engagement with world cultures and stand in solidarity with all those struggling to realize that vision in academia and beyond.

Graduate Activities: Mariah Postlewait and Lauren Cesiro

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Congratulations to doctoral students Mariah Postlewait and Lauren Cesiro, who have been selected as HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Scholars for 2016-18: 

The HASTAC Scholars fellowship program is an innovative student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students. Each year a new cohort is accepted into the program. More than 800 HASTAC Scholars in dozens of disciplines have been sponsored by 145 colleges and universities–ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large Research 1 institutions. We are building a community of students working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences.

From the Visual Resources Collection: Archivision Additions

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It is exciting to announce the addition of over 15,000 new images to our Shared Shelf Collection (accessible via ARTStor). These new modules from Archivision include 3,000 Italian artworks, ancient Roman frescoes, mosaics, sculpture and masterworks—paintings and sculpture—from the Medieval to Baroque periods.

In addition there are architectural works spanning the contemporary (Millennium Park in Chicago; works by Gehry, Pelli, Calatrava and Libeskind) to the ancient world (the mosaics from Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Sicily; Ephesus and other monuments of the Roman empire) and in between (French chateaux and gardens; Byzantine architecture in Mystras; Venice). Other highlights include Frank Lloyd Wright, major murals of Diego Rivera and excellent coverage of Oxford. There are images featuring Russia as a highlight  (over 2000 images including the major palaces and gardens around St. Petersburg and coverage in Moscow.)

The group also holds material from Paris, including several important hôtels, and London–extensive coverage of Chiswick House and grounds, plus many of Wren’s churches. For Classics there are ancient Roman drawings scanned directly from original 19th century volumes (348 plans, sections and elevations) and coverage of the Elgin marbles. Art from the Victoria and Albert Museum, including their amazing cast collection, provides survey support. A collection from Mexico is also included (Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Puebla and Taxco.) For the contemporary period, there is new architecture in London and in Los Angeles, including Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall and complete coverage of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA, and important works by Mackintosh like the Glasgow School of Art and the House of an Art Lover.