News & Events Highlights

Statement on Department’s Commitment to Openness and Inclusion

Professor Normore Wins Prestigious Teaching Award

Graduate Alumni Placement 2000 to Present

Phillip Bloom, University of Indiana-Bloomington. Focusing on two paintings from a set of one hundred crafted between 1178 and 1188 near the important Chinese port of Ningbo, this lecture will engage in a dialectical analysis of their social history and the visual imaginaire that informed their production. This set of paintings, now largely held in Daitokuji Monastery, Kyoto, Japan, depicts saintly monks (arhats) both engaged in the mundanities of Chinese Buddhist monastic life and performing supramundane feats that transcend space and time. To make sense of these paintings, this lecture will first investigate the specific social and economic contexts within which the works were produced. Challenging the inherent interpretive limits of such an approach, which has hitherto dominated scholarship on the set, we shall turn our attention to the sensory imagination of ritual that underlies the artworks, engaging with both the material facts and mental fantasies embodied in the paintings. Ultimately, this lecture will illuminate the ways in which the set simultaneously roots us in social reality and opens to us visions otherwise accessible only to the most gifted monastic gazers.

Gallery Talk: Lovis Corinth

Wednesday, May 24, 4:00 PM
Join Curatorial Assistant Linnea Hodge (WCAS, Art History 2017), for an informal, afternoon gallery discussion of the works of Lovis Corinth (German, 1858‒1925). A current display of late self-portraits from the Block Museum collection shows an artist intensely examining or perhaps even resisting his own mortality. Corinth was among the best-known artists working in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Germany and an influential member of the Berlin Secession, a group of artists formed to challenge the official artists’ association.
Alessandra Russo, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University. Between the late fifteenth and mid-seventeenth century, in the context of the Iberian expansion, the presence and observation of unexpected artistic forms, media, and monuments triggered a new space of inquiry. Novel objects, surfaces, architectures, materials, and ideas about artistry were observed far and near--in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and in Europe. They traveled between continents in physical and textual forms: sent and offered as proofs of new territories, desired and collected as unique treasures, but also described, compared and analyzed in letters, histories or inventories. All around a sphere that could now be mentally embraced, missionaries, collectors, travelers, historians, and artists felt under the power of novel creations. The tangible realities of specific artifacts and media (sometimes only fragments and ruins, sometimes masterpieces in perfect conditions) prompted audacious revisions of historical, art historical, and geographical narratives. They triggered, for instance, the most improbable yet vivid conjectures about previous contacts between populations. Objects and monuments also encouraged bold comparisons with surprising results. Observing and writing about the arts with new spatial coordinates also faced the pressing issue of defining origins and originality. This talk will offer some conceptual keys to engage with a remarkable archive and to understand its crucial role in the transformation of the study of art history.