News Archive

Graduate Student Olivia Dill Helps with CT Scan of Mummy for Block Museum Exhibition

Olivia Dill, first year graduate student, helped with CT scan of Northwestern’s Hibbard mummy to discern how she died. See full article here.

Professor Clayson named Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow

Professor Clayson has been named the Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow for fall 2017 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Professor Thompson wins CAA Book Award

Professor 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!

Professor Normore awarded tenure

Undergraduate Art Historians Receive Institutional and Departmental Awards

Linnea Hodge and Julia Poppy 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."

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

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

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.

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

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

The world’s only pan-discipline academic awards program, The Undergraduate Awards (UA) recognizes 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. 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.”

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 Institute 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.

Professor 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.

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

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

"Black Arts United States: Institutions and Interventions" Conference

“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.

"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 5-6, 2016 at University Hall 201.

Professor 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, recognizes purveyors of the French culture and language.

Professor Clayson Delivers Twenty-Seventh Annual Hilla Rebay Lecture

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, and takes place at the Guggenheim Museum on January 27, 2016.

Exhibition Curated by Alison Fisher, 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" in Galleries 283–285 at the Art Institute. There is a three-day conference in conjunction with this exhibition from November 20-22, 2015.

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

The department welcomes Shiben Banerji, recently appointed Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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 at 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"

Hollis Clayson 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 selected for presentation from the Art Institute's 49th Graduate Student Seminar.

Professor Clayson Named Chevalier Dans l'Ordre Des Palmes Académiques

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.

Professor Feldman Publishes From a Nation Torn

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

Professor Copeland Publishes Bound to Appear

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.

Professor Eisenman Publishes The Cry of Nature

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.

Claire Dillon (WCAS, 2014) Receives Warnock Travel Grant

The Department awarded Warnock Travel Grants to undergraduates conducting research for their honors theses. Claire Dillon (WCAS, 2014) is pictured at left interviewing Cuban director Fernando Pérez.

Department 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.

Exhibition Curated by Professor Van Zanten, Drawing the Future: Chicago Architecture on the International Stage, 1900-1925

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 Spiro Kostof 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 Conference Travel Grants

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 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.

2013 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 February 14, 2013 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 Clayson Named Samuel H. Kress Professor

The department congratulates Professor 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.

Professors Copeland and Feldman Awarded Tenure

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

Christina 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.

Professor Van Zanten Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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.

Nina Rowe Named Finalist for Morey Prize

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, February 22-25, 2012.

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 February 24, 2012 from 6:30-8pm.

Exhibition Curated by Alison Fisher, Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention and Bertrand Goldberg

Ph.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.