Department News

Professor Feldman Awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship

Hannah FeldmanProfessor Feldman was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship to pursue advanced training in Middle Eastern Urban Studies.  New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest.

Professor Thompson's Exhibition En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean Featured as a Critic's Pick on

Professor Krista Thompson's exhibition "En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean" at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans was featured on as a Critic's Pick. Curated with Claire Tancons, the exhibition features nine commissioned artists who draw on the social and aesthetic practices of Carnival in their public performance work to critique and transform definitions of performance art and postcolonial manifestations of Carnival.

The article can be found here.

Professor S. Hollis Clayson Presenting the Twenty-Seventh Annual Hilla Rebay Lecture at the Guggenheim Museum

Professor Clayson will be delivering the prestigious Twenty-Seventh Annual Hilla Rebay Lecture at the Guggenheim Museum, titled "Episodes from the Visual Culture of Electric Paris."

Professor Clayson’s analysis of the visual culture of the French capital city takes root in the often overlooked fact that lighting (éclairage) was a key attribute of the City of Light in the nineteenth century. The pitched social, aesthetic, and technical debate about new forms of artificial illumination took shape along an axis defined by dazzle (blindness) at one end, and illumination (visibility) at the other. Clayson maintains that the new lights, their visual properties, and the era’s debates about them provided circumstances that stimulated aesthetically innovative art gingerly balanced vis-à-vis the lights themselves between rejection and embrace, between disavowal and enthusiasm. Her lecture will analyze works by John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, and several of the era’s leading caricaturists.

Lecture will take place on May 12th at 6:30 PM. The event is free and followed by a reception. Learn more at

A New Location for the Department

The Department of Art History has moved to a new address while our building is being renovated. We are now located in downtown Evanston, at 1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 4400, Evanston, IL 60201. We hope you will visit us at our new space.



There are no upcoming events at this time.

Current & Upcoming Events

2014-15 Elizabeth and Todd Warnock Lecture Series: Christopher S. Wood, The Whisperers

The Christian myth hints at the tensions between the Holy Family and the religious community.   Late medieval Italian depictions of the Presentations of Mary and Christ in the Temple of Jerusalem make visible for the first time the pragmatic, skeptical, and desublimating gossip of the community, and hint at the protagonists’ inner psychic life, sexual and familial.  The talk interprets the invidious gaze of the onlookers as a secularizing counter-mode to perspectival and devotional seeing.

This event is free and open to the public.  The lecture takes place on May 20th at the Block Museum from 5:00-6:00 PM, and will be followed by a reception until 7:30 PM. 

Art and Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum, A University Library Symposium

Professor Clayson will be presenting "Mary Cassat's Lamp" at the Northwestern University Library Symposium, "Art and Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum." The event takes place May 26, from 2:00-4:00 PM in the Forum Room of the University Library.

Black Arts United States: Institutions and Interventions

Black Arts United States: Institutions and Interventions is a conference organized by Northwestern's Black Arts Initiative and co-sponsored by the Department of Art History. The conference will take place June 4-6, and will feature closing remarks by Associate Professor of Art History Huey Copeland as well as a panel moderated by Art History PhD candidate Faye Gleisser. For a complete listing of the conference schedule and to register, please visit  The conference is free and open to the public. 

Medieval Colloquium:  A World Within Worlds? Reassessing the "Global Turn" in Medieval Art History

The Medieval Colloquium, organized by Professor Christina Normore, will take place June 5-6th at University Hall 201.

More information about the conference can be found here.

Department Symposia

Winter 2014
Visual Public Spheres: Art Media in the Middle East and North Africa, 2001-2011
Organized by Hannah Feldman

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About the Department

Welcome to the Northwestern University Department of Art History, a place comprised of a highly talented and productive group of scholars I am proud to call my peers. Our faculty is renowned for its interdisciplinary scholarship with particular strengths in early modern and 19th-century European art and architecture, Modern and Contemporary art and architecture across the globe, and Black Visual Culture in the United States and African Diaspora. Read more

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May 18, 2015