News Archive

Undergraduate Art Historians Receive Institutional and Departmental Awards

Linnea Hodge and Julia Poppy (pictured here) tied for this year’s Outstanding Junior Art History Major Award. Additionally, Will Kirkland, a double major in History and Political Science won the Warnock Prize for Art Historical Writing. Hodge was also named a Franke Undergraduate Fellow by the Kaplan Institute for 2016-17 where she will continue work on a thesis exploring the display of Native American art in the Pacific Northwest.

We also congratulate Lucy Wang for her successful earning of department honors in conjunction with her honors thesis, "''Cathedral of Commerce': Reexamining Corporate Branding and Gothic Revival Iconography in the Woolworth Building."

Alumni Win 2016 Johnson Award

Alison Fisher (Ph.D., 2014) and Greg Foster Rice (Ph.D., 2003) received the Society of Art Historian’s 2016 Philip Johnson Award for The City Lost & Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960-1980. The award is given annually to an outstanding exhibition catalogue by the leading scholarly society devoted to the study of architecture and the built environment.

Martha Tedeschi Appointed Director of Harvard Art Museums

Congratulations to Martha Tedeschi (Ph.D., 1994), who has been named Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. As Deputy Director for Art and Research at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2012, Tedeschi oversees the museum’s eleven curatorial departments, and facilitates numerous programs including the Andrew W. Mellon Chicago Objects Study Initiative that directly benefits department graduate students. She will assume her new position and title in July 2016.

Thompson wins CAA Book Award

Krista Thompson, Weinberg College Board of Advisors Chair, has been awarded the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award for 2016 by the College Art Association—one of the singular prizes in Art History. Congratulations!

Clayson Professor Copeland Appointed New Associated Dean for Academic Affairs at The Graduate School


Photograph by LaMont Hamilton

Effective September 1, 2015, Professor Copeland will be the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Northwestern's Graduate School.  In this new role, Copeland will provide "academic leadership for all doctoral, master's certificate, and cluster programs under the supervision of The Graduate School."  For more information, see here.


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


Description: annah Feldman

Professor 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.


Sally Metzler's Exhibition "Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague" Opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description: upiter and Antiope

Professor Metzler exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Bartholomeus Spranger Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague," will be open November 4, 2014 through February 1, 2015.  More information about the exhibition can be found here and The New York Times review of the show can be found here.


Claire Dillon (B.A. 2014) Highly Commended for Undergraduate Paper


On Friday 21st November Claire Dillon (B.A. 2014) from Northwestern University was highly commended by the international awarding body  The Undergraduate Awards.

The world’s only pan-discipline academic awards programme, The Undergraduate Awards (UA) recognises and rewards innovative young thinkers across 25 disciplines from business and engineering to visual arts and midwifery. Each year, the top performing students – winners and highly commended entrants – are invited to the UA Global Summit. The 2014 UA Global Summit welcomed 120 future leaders to Dublin, Ireland to spark cutting-edge ideas, forge lasting collaborations, and encourage responsible leadership.

The 120 winners and highly commended students from around the world, and representing 50 universities, attended the UA Global Summit in Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral on Friday, 21st November. Winners were awarded the George Berkeley Gold Medal for their leading-edge research and course work.

Claire Dillon was highly commended in the Media & The Arts Category for her paper The Center Cannot Hold: Methodological Complications in the Study of Bruce Nauman and Samuel Beckett.

Claire also attended the UA Global Summit 2013, when she was Highly Commended for her paper last year. This year Claire was awarded a ticket to the Summit for her success as a campus Ambassador for The Undergraduate Awards.  


Professor Clayson Named 2015 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at Institute of Fine Arts


In 2015, Professor Clayson will be the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at New York University's Institue of Fine Arts.  This professorship brings distinguished scholars to the Institute to teach a course and give a series of public lectures, and was endowed in 2006 in honor of Professor Varnedoe's legacy of "innovative teaching and remarkable public presence."  For more information, see here.


MProfessor Thompson's Exhibition "En MAS': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean Featured 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.


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.


Myers Foundations Symposium: Before the Contemporary: Arts, Institutions, Revolutions


Organized by Professor Feldman, this week-long series of events start a conversation about new historiographies of art, urban space, and public culture in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, 1900-present

A  listing of included events can be found by clicking on the image above.


"Black Arts United States: Institutions and Interventions" Conference

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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.


S. Hollis Clayson Presented with the Ordre des Palmes Académiques

"On Wednesday March 11, 2015, Professor Hollis Clayson of Northwestern University was presented with the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, one of the highest insignias bestowed upon educators. The insignia, which was established in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte, seeks to recognize purveyors of the French culture and language."

For more information about the ceremony and Professor Clayson's prestigious award, please see this article from the French Embassy in the United States.


Twenty-Seventh Annual Hilla Rebay Lecture: S. Hollis Clayson

Tues, Jan 27, 6:30 pm, Guggenheim Museum

Hollis Clayson’s analysis of the visual culture of Paris takes root in the often overlooked fact that lighting (éclairage) was a key attribute of the City of Light in the 19th century. Clayson maintains that the forms of artificial illumination, their visual properties, and the era’s debates about them provided circumstances that stimulated aesthetically innovative art. The lecture analyzes the work of John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, and Mary Cassatt, and several of the era’s leading caricaturists.


The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960-1980

Alison Fisher (Ph.D. 2014), now the Harold and Margot Schiff Assistant Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Art Institute of Chicago, co-curated the exhibition "The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980" now on view in Galleries 283–285 at the Art Institute. There is a three-day conference in conjunction with this exhibition from November 20-22.

More information about the exhibition:

More information about the conference:


Shiben Banerji, Philology and Worldarchitecture: The Global Imaginaries of Lethaby, Mahony, and Griffin


The search for architectural ideas that were common to European as well as non-European societies formed a productive motive for the historiography and practice of modern architecture at the turn of the 20th century. This quest took the shape of a preoccupation with fragments, and the ways in which disparate motifs could be combined into a unified composition. Belonging to the aesthetics of accretion, these historiographical and design practices (referred to in this talk as Worldarchitecture) were conceptually distinct as well as chronologically prior to the so-called International Style. This largely overlooked chapter in the transnational history of modern architecture is reconstructed through an analysis of architectural writings from the 1890s by the English Arts & Crafts theorist William Richard Lethaby, as well as two building projects by the American architects Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin: the Capitol for the Commonwealth of Australia (1911), and Newman College for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (1915 - 18).

Shiben Banerji just joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago this fall, as an Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. The Northwestern Art History Department welcomes him to the Chicago art history community.


Myers Symposium in Honor of David Van Zanten

This symposium honors the scholarship of David Van Zanten, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, who has taught in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University since 1979 and the University of Pennsylvania from 1971 to 1979.

This event will celebrate his contributions over his 44-year career as a researcher and teacher. Colleagues and students from Europe and the United States will not only thematize his work but also discuss the current state of the fields in art history, architecture, and urban studies.


Hollis Clayson, "Episodes from the Visual Culture of Electric Paris"

Our esteemed professor, Hollis Clayson - recent recipient of the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms) by the French Ministry of Education in recognition of her service to French culture - will be giving a lecture at SAIC about her research into the effects of artificial lighting on the visual culture of Paris in the 19th-century. 


Chicago Objects Study Initiative

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded nearly $1.3 million to Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago to support innovative objects-based studies in art history. The department looks forward to collaborating with area institutions on a variety of projects that are intended primarily to enhance the experience of art history graduate students.


Ashley E. Dunn Presents "Medium and Memory in Martial's 'Ancien Paris'" at the Art Institute of Chicago

Congratulations to current graduate Ashley E. Dunn, who will be delivering her paper, "Medium and Memory in Marital's 'Ancien Paris'" at the Art Institute of Chicago on September 5, 2014.  Her paper was selcted for presentation from the Art Institute's 49th Graduate Student Seminar.  More information can be found at


Congratulations Professor Clayson

Congratulations to Professor Holly Clayson who has recently been named a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms) by the French Ministry of Education in recognition of her service to French culture. More information about this honor can be found in this article.


Congratulations Dr. Lucento

Congratulations to Angelina Lucento on successfully defending her dissertation, "Painting for the Collective: Art, Politics, and Communication in Russia, 1918-1932."  Dr. Lucento will begin a position as postdoctoral fellow at the Central Eurpoean University in Budapest.


From a Nation Torn Published

Professor Hannah Feldman's book From a Nation Torn: Decolonizing Art and Representation in France, 1942-1965 was recently published by Duke University Press.



Bound to Appear Published

Professor Huey Copeland's book Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.



Congratulations Dr. Oliver

Congratulations to Liza Oliver on successfully defending her dissertation "Mercantile Aesthetics: Art, Science, and Diplomacy in French India (1664-1761)." Dr. Oliver will begin a position as postdoctoral fellow in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Congratulations Dr. Bugajski

Congratulations to Jill Bugajski on successfully defending her dissertation "Totalitarian Aesthetics and the Democratic Imagination in the United States, 1937-1947."



Congratulations Professor Keating

Jessica Keating (Ph.D., 2010), has been named Assistant Professor at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.



The Cry of Nature Published

Professor Stephen Eisenman's book The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights was recently published by Reaktion Books.



2014 CAA Reunion Reception

The Department of Art History co-hosted a reunion reception with the Department of Art Theory & Practice in conjunction with the CAA Annual Conference in Chicago. The event took place at the Palmer House Hilton on Thursday February 13 from 6:30-8:30.



Professor Thompson Receives Creative Capital Award

Professor Krista Thompson has received a grant from the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. The award will support her book project Photography, Screen and Spectacle in Contemporary Africah Diasporic Culture.



Professor Gunter Receives Named Chair

The department congratulates Professor Ann Gunter on her new appointment as the Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities.



Professor Van Zanten Delivers Keynote

Professor David Van Zanten delivered the keynote address at the upcoming conference "Network Beaux-Arts: Going Global," convened jointly by institutions in Paris and London.


Warnock Travel Grants

The Department awarded Warnock Travel Grants to undergraduates conducting research for their honors theses. Claire Dillon (WCAS '14) is pictured at left interviewing Cuban director Fernando Pérez.





Art Historians Win ACLS Awards

Three members of the department have been awarded prestigious fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies. Professor Huey Copeland received an ACLS Fellowship to support the project "In the Arms of the Negress: A Brief History of Modern Artistic Practice," and graduate students Jill Bugajski and Faye Gleisser each received a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art. Image credit: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Mary Turner (Silent Protest Against Mob Violence), 1919. Photo by Huey Copeland.



Block Exhibition Opens

The exhibition Drawing the Future: Chicago Architecture on the International Stage, 1900-1925, curated by Professor David Van Zanten, has opened at the Block Museum of Art. The exhibition catalogue features an essay by graduate student Ashley Dunn.


Sheila Crane Wins Book Award

Sheila Crane (PhD, 2001) has been awarded the prestigious Spiro Kostof Book Award by the Society of Architectural Historians. Her book Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture was published by University of Minnesota Press in 2011.


Undergraduate Art Historians Receive Awards

Two undergraduate art history majors received research grants during the latest award cycle. Luke Fidler received two Conference Travel Grants, and Sophie Jenkins (left) was awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant for her project "'Quoting from Portraiture': Placing Deanna Lawson's Contemporary Photography in an Art Historical Context."


Professor LaFountain Receives Terra Foundation Award

Jason LaFountain has received a Terra Foundation Award to help fund the publication of the book A Companion to American Art. Edited by John Davis, Jennifer A. Greenhill, and Professor LaFountain, the volume comprises 36 new essays about the study of American art and will be published by Wiley-Blackwell Press. In addition to co-editing the book, Professor LaFountain will contribute a chapter on multilingualism and American art.


Professor Krista A. Thompson Receives Tremaine Foundation Grant

Professor Krista A. Thompson has been awarded a prestigious Tremaine Foundation Grant. Her project, entitled "'En Mas': Carnival 21st Century Style" and designed in collaboration with Claire Tancons, explores the intersections between contemporary art and historical masquerade in the Caribbean and its diaspora. The project will be realized in the form of an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA, as well as a series of performances and video-based exhibitions.


New York CAA Reception

The Department of Art History co-hosted a reunion reception with the Department of Art Theory & Practice in conjunction with the CAA Annual Meeting in New York. The event took place at the Flatiron Lounge, 37 West 19th Street, on Thursday February 14 from 6:30-8:30.

Congratulations Dr. Lee

Congratulations to Min Kyung Lee on successfully defending her dissertation "The Tyranny of the Straight Line: Mapping and Constructing Paris, 1791-1889." Dr. Lee is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Visiting Instructor of Art History at Swarthmore College.


Professor Holly Clayson Named Samuel H. Kress Professor

The department warmly congratulates Professor Holly Clayson, who has been named the Samuel H. Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts for 2013-14. One of the highest honors in the discipline, this professorship is awarded annually to a distinguished art historian by the National Gallery of Art. During her term at CASVA, Clayson will complete her book, Electric Paris: The Visual Cultures of the City of Light in the Era of Thomas Edison (to be published by the University of Chicago Press), and commence work on a new study of the Modern Interior as Image and Space.


Congratulations Dr. Lewis

Congratulations to Jacob Lewis on successfully defending his dissertation, "Charles Nègre in Pursuit of the Photographic," on October 16, 2012.


New Promotions

The department warmly congratulates Professors Huey Copeland and Hannah Feldman, both of whom have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and granted tenure.

Congratulations Dr. Veneskey

Congratulations to Laura Veneskey on successfully defending her dissertation, "Alternative Topographies: 'Loca Sancta' Surrogates and Site Circulation in Late Antiquity and Byzantium" on May 23, 2012.




Congratulations Dr. Chowdhury

Congratulations to Zirwat Chowdhury on successfully defending her dissertation, "Imperceptible Transitions: The Anglo-Indianization of British Architecture, 1769-1822" on May 2, 2012.




Professor Kiaer at Princeton

Panofsky LaneChristina Kiaer is on leave as a residential fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for the 2011-12 academic year, where she is working on her book project, A Biography of the USSR in Pictures: Aleksandr Deineka and the Problem of Socialist Realism. She lives on Panofsky Lane.


Congratulations Professor Van Zanten

Professor David Van Zanten, the Mary Jane Crowe Professor of Art and Architecture, has been elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The department warmly congratulates Professor Van Zanten on this honor.



Rowe is Morey Prize finalist

The Jew, the Cathedral, and the Medieval City: Synagoga and Ecclesia in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge University Press) by Nina Rowe (Ph.D. 2002) is a finalist for the 2012 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award from the College Art Association. The winner will be announced in advance of the 100th Annual Meeting to be held in Los Angeles, 22-25 February 2012.

CAA Reception

The Department of Art History co-hosted a reunion with the Department of Art Theory & Practice in conjunction with the CAA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The event took place at The Mountain, 475 Gin Ling Way, on Friday February 24 from 6:30-8pm.

Fisher and Bertrand Goldberg at the AIC

Alison FisherPh.D. candidate and Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago Alison Fisher is the co-curator of “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention” on view at the AIC until January 15. The exhibition was co-curated by Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the AIC. It is accompanied by a stunning catalogue with essays by Fisher, Ryan, and others.


June 21, 2016