Vol. 4, n. 1 - February 2002
Notes from the Chair
This report is being written as we enter into our last preparations before the College Art Association Annual Meeting, held on February 20-23.
In keeping with our ambition to open the Department to new kinds of courses, beyond those regularly given by the faculty, we have hired a number of visitors to spice up life in the old halls. In the Fall term 2001, professor and architect Mark Hewitt taught his specialty, Arts and Crafts in the U.S. with emphasis on Gustave Stickley, to a SEMINAR IN ART HISTORY. In the Spring term 2002, Meredith Bzdak is teaching a SEMINAR IN ART HISTORY on the subject of "New York-Los Angeles: Urbanism and Architecture in the Twentieth Century." Also in the Spring term 2002, Michael Bzdak is giving a course called "Art and Commerce: Corporate Support of the Arts in America 1900-2000." Sound like the Department in your time here? Try this one, given by Alison Poe this Spring 2002:"The Roman Art of Death," a study of ancient Roman tombs, death masks, funerary altars, sarcophagi, death and the afterlife, hey, Alison, lighten up!
Last Spring we were anticipating the hire of two new faculty in American and 18th-19th century European art, but over the summer the Acting Dean cut the number of hires to one. With the arrival of Dean Holly Smith, now our on-going Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the second line was re-authorized. As this report goes to press, however, the State of New Jersey is in the midst of financial strains from Trenton that call for 5% cuts in costs and a total hiring freeze. Despite the dim forecast that we have received for the coming months, however, we remain confident that we will be able to swim upstream, against the current of financial realities and hire at least one new faculty this Spring. It may be some time before we have replenished our faculty resources and replaced all five lines lost in recent years to promotion decisions, retirements, and a resignation; but we are confident that our reputation will remain high. The fact that several of the faculty have received (and continue to receive!) feelers and offers from outside institutions but have decided to remain at Rutgers is the best indication of the high level of the program we run and the quality of the students who are active in it. In the last thirty years, we have made a distinctive mark in Art History, a mark that is the result of the fine achievements of its graduates, as well as its faculty. For this we are extremely grateful and remain very proud.
The events of last Spring 2001 continued after our happy CAA reunion in Chicago. For Black History Month, we organized the "Mississippi Project" which was a presentation of the musical background of the Obie Award- winning "Ain't Nothing But the Blues". Our star was Mississippi Charles Bevel and he held forth to an audience of 75 in the Art Library, where we had visitors from all of the New Brunswick campuses sitting in a half- circle and singin' along with the master. It's the first of a number of collaborative events we hope to have with the Art Library under the new direction of Joe Consoli. Joe has been a fresh presence in every way at the Library and we welcome him warmly to the activities of the Department. With his newly appointed assistant Sara Harrington, they have instituted a new and effective outreach at the Library, to which all have responded in a positive way.
The Spring term concluded with the traditional Graduate Party, which we staged in a slightly different manner. Rather than the sandwiches in the basement of Voorhees, we did a hot lunch at the Rutgers Club for all our newly minted BA, MA, and PhD students. The huge room was full and the tributes to the retiring Professors Baigell, Eidelberg, and McLachlan were beautifully delivered by their former students Barbara Mitnick, Barbara Anderman, and Michael Bzdak. It was a fitting close to the academic year.
Our academic year of activities opened on September 20, with a reception for undergraduate majors, who were welcomed by the Department Chair, Tod Marder, and the Undergraduate Advisor, Sarah Brett-Smith. This was immediately followed by a seminar on the use of PowerPoint for class presentation of digital images, conducted by Carla Yanni, in hopes of increasing the use of digital imagery among our students. Dr. Yanni has been especially helpful in leading groups and individuals through the paces of preparing digital images to incorporate into class presentations. University grants for which she has applied have enabled students to use our digital cameras and projectors to complete their projects. We hope that it will become a regular feature of the Senior Seminar to have students composing their materials in this way. Despite the apparently bleak economic outlook for New Jersey and the University, we fully intend to continue this initiative. Already Dr. Yanni has been instrumental in bringing us two very significant external grants to support the expansion of this program, so that our ability to make the necessary equipment available to all art history majors and graduate students will soon be very impressive. Thank you, Carla Yanni and Sensors Inc.!
On October 24 Don Beetham held an Open House at the Visual Resources Collection and provided us with a seminar on the use of Adobe PhotoShop and other digital imaging tools. This is the place to mention how important Don Beetham has been for the development of digitization in the Department and the whole University. Through his research, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Joseph Seneca, was convinced to award the University the purchase of the Luna Insight image software, which will eventually be administered by the Libraries and provide all campuses with their visual resources. It is a tribute to the whole VRC operation (run on a proverbial shoe-string) that graduate students from SCILS will occasionally check in at our office for training in these materials. One day we hope that the VRC can be adequately staffed and funded to support its three entirely diverse operations: the slide room, digital imaging, and web site and newsletter work. (Though the funding has hardly changed in 25 years, the latter two tasks are entirely new.)
Our visiting lecture series in the Fall term included a talk by Al Acres of Princeton University, who spoke on "Porous Subject Matter and Christ's Haunted Infancy" in the Art Library on November 15. His presentation on Netherlandish art complements the course presently being offered in the Department by Dr. Sue Jones, who comes to us from the Courtauld Institute by way of the Chicago Art Institute, where she was co-authoring a catalogue of the Chicago collection. We are extremely fortunate to have such a gifted expert in our midst at exactly the moment when we find ourselves "short-handed North of the Alps." Her expertise lies in the works of and around the Van Eycks, so a warm welcome to Sue Jones, and a hearty thanks for your important contributions to our programs.
Another interesting initiative took place on November 5, when the Department Chair organized the loan of a camera capable of infrared reflectography. This technology allows us to "photograph" a painting and look through the surface to see the artist's early underdrawing that guided the original arrangement of shapes and colors. Taking advantage of the Zimmerli Museum's interest in this project, we brought the camera to the collection and found some extremely interesting and unexpected things under some works. In the case of an Early Netherlandish Painting the entire composition, with notable variations, was discovered under the surface. In another case, an eighteenth- century American painting revealed the same sort of unexpected information. Perhaps the most exciting revelation appeared under a late nineteenth-century French portrait, where the underdrawing looked years ahead of its time. The equipment was lent by Sensors, Inc. and was demonstrated with the help of Carla Yanni, Sue Jones, Tod Marder, as well as Dennis Cate, Jeff Wechsler, and Greg Perry from the staff of the Zimmerli Museum. In the near future we hope to write up our finds with the helping eyes, minds, and research of undergraduate majors.
The Spring term has begun in busy fashion. Jack Spector gave a lecture on Frank Gehry at the Mason Gross School of the Arts on February 6 that was fascinating and well received. On February 13 Nicholas Adams, Vassar College, lectured on the architecture of Gunnar Asplund to the pleasure of all who attended.
Archer Harvey and Allison Poe with Award
The Graduate program in Art History is especially proud to announce the receipt of several prestigious awards last spring. At the Awards Ceremony, held on April 25, 2001 in the Zimmerli Art Museum, acting FAS Dean Richard Falk presented the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award to Professor Matthew Baigell. Midori Yoshimoto was awarded the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research by a Graduate Student, and Alison Poe received the Graduate Dissertation Teaching Award. The latter award not only recognizes the graduate student but benefits directly the undergraduate program in that Alison is teaching an advanced seminar this semester on the Roman Art of Death, to which she brings the specialized knowledge of her dissertation research. Alison Poe was also the recipient of one of four Bevier Fellowship awarded university-wide in the Humanities.
CAA 2002: Philadephia. Be sure to join us for our reunion at which we will honor our recent retirees at the local restaurant, Joseph Poons, 1002 Arch Street, Friday, February 22, at 5:30pm. Again this year, many alumni, faculty and current graduate students will be visible at the annual convention.
To look out for and atttend:
Prof. Sarah Blake McHam, "Ghiberti's Commentari" (Friday afternoon);
Prof. Joan Marter, Discussant, "Preparing Art Historians for Museum Work" (Friday afternoon);
Prof. Mariet Westermann, "Scholarship in Dutch Art, 1640-1700." (Thurs afternoon);
Dr. Steve Arbury, "Virgin Mary in Baroque Spain" (Thurs eve);
Dr. Kelly Helmstutler DiDio, "Leone Leoni Constructs His Identity: Status Signaling Through the Casa Degli Omenoni." (Thurs eve);
Dr. Caroline Goeser, Co-Chair, "Rethinking Modern Illustration in the US and Cuba." (Thurs eve);
Thomas J. Loughman, "Commissioning Familial Remembrance: Alberti Patronage at Santa Croce, Florence 1304-90." (Friday am);
Dr. Scott B. Montgomery, Co-Chair, "Cities and their Saints" (Thurs am);
Dr. Dennis Raverty, discussant, "Has Post Structuralism Gone Too Far?" (Thurs am);
Midori Yoshimoto, "The Freeing Spirit: Art and Life of Takako Saito, the Most Distant Niece of Duchamp." (Thurs afternoon);
Dr. Lilian Zirpolo, "Death, Philosophy and Civic Duty in Lanfranco's Sacchetti Chapel Frescoes at S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome" (Friday afternoon).
Note from Dr. Tod Marder:
In more than twenty-five years in the Department, I have seen only one retirement. Now, in the Spring of 2001, we've accepted, reluctantly, the retirement requests of no less than three more colleagues, Baigell, Eidelberg, and McLachlan. They have been part of the family of the Department since my arrival and it is due to their work and wisdom that the program has the shape it does. No major initiatives were done without their participation and input, and we all owe them a great debt.
Matthew Baigell won the Graduate School Teaching Award in the Humanities from Rutgers University in 2001. His recent publications include: Jewish Artists in New York: The Holocaust Years (Rutgers University Press, 2002 [in press]); “Hyman Bloom's Jewish Paintings," Hyman Bloom (National Academy of Design [in press]) and Yefim Ladyzhenski (Rutgers Zimmerli Art Museum, 2002). In December 2001, he presented the lecture "Rothko's Paintings of the Early 1940s," at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton. His other 2001 lectures include "Mark Rothko's Art of the 1940s," Thirty First Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, Philadlephia, "Jewish Artists in New York During the 1940s," Weinmann Annual Lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, and "Mark Rothko's Art of the 1940s," Thirteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem. In addition, Dr. Baigell published these books and articles in 2001: Artist and Identity in Twentieth Century American Art, Cambridge Univ. Press; Co-editor of Complex Identities: Jewish Consciousness and Modern Art, Rutgers Univ. Press; Co-Author of Peeling Potatoes, Painting Pictures: Women's Art in Post Soviet Russia, Estonia, and Latvia, Rutgers Univ. Press; "Jewish American Artists and the Holocaust: The Responses of Two Generations" in Omer Bartov and Phylis Mack, eds., In God's Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century, Berghahn Books; "The Persistence of Holocaust Imagery in American Art," in Bernard Schwartz, ed., The Holocaust's Ghost: Writings on Art, Politics, Law, and Education, University of Alberta Press.
Sarah Brett-Smith has forthcoming, "When is an object Finished? The Creation of the Invisible among the Bamana of Mali," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 39 (2002), African Works, 99-132. Dr. Brett-Smith also has in press a review of the show, Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali at the Museum for African Art in NYC in American Anthropologist.
Martin Eidelberg's recent publications include: "'Dans ses lieux uniquement consacrés à l'art,' Watteau and the Bonds of Friendship," in Mélanges en hommage à Pierre Rosenberg (2001), 163-68; "The Case of the Vanishing Watteau," Gazette des Beaux-Arts 138 (2001), 15-40; Behind the Scenes of Tiffany Glassmaking: The Nash Notebooks (with Nancy A. McClelland) (New York and London: St. Martin's Press, 2001); Design 1935-1965, What Modern Was; Selections from the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Montréal 1991. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991; 3rd rev. ed. 2001); and "Watteau and Audran at the Hôtel de Nointel" Apollo (January 2002). Dr. Eidelberg presented the following papers: "The Art Nouveau Movement and the United States," at the American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California on March 13, 2001; "Through Rose-Colored Glasses, The Leaded Glass Windows of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright," at the American Craft Museum in New York on August 9, 2001; "Tiffany's Vision of Nature," at the Queens Museum of Art, Queens in New York on October 7, 2001; "The Czech Avant-Garde," at Cooper Hewitt, National Museum of Design at the Smithsonian Institution on October 25, 2001; "Louis C. Tiffany as a Glass Artist," at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois on January 19, 2002. He was curator of an exhibition for the Smithsonian Institution entitled Glass of the Avant-Garde. From Vienna Secession to Bauhaus, The Torsten Bröhan Collection from the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid (catalogue: co-edited with Torsten Bröhan, Munich, London, New York: Prestel, 2001). The exhibition is currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York (August 2001-March 2002), after which it will travel nationally.
Rona Goffen published "Signatures: Inscribing Identity in Italian Renaissance Art," Viator 32 (2001): 303-70; and "La pala feriale di Paolo Veneziano," in La Basilica di San Marco, ed. Ettore Vio (Florence, 2001). In May 2001, Professor Goffen presented the Annual Hammer Foundation Lecture at UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, where she was Visiting Professor during the spring semester. This spring, Professor Goffen will be visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where she will present three lectures. Her new book, Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, (Yale University Press), will appear this October.
Angela Howard marked 2001 by several scholarly achievements. Her publication of Summit of Treasures, Buddhist Cave Art of Dazu, China (Weatherhill) was the result of fifteen years of fieldwork. She was the recipient of the Asian Council-Luce Foundation grant for the "China-on site Graduate Seminar." In November, Dr. Howard participated in two international symposia in New York: "The Dynamics of Transmission, Early Buddhist Art from Korea and Japan, 6th-9th Century, Japan Society," in which she spoke on "The Shandong School of Buddhist Sculpture: Confluence of South and North," and "China's Silk Road: People, Places and Luxuries,” Asia Society, for which she presented, "The Central Asian Connection: Construction and Decor of the Fourth Century Buddhist Caves of Jintasi, Zhangye." From January 6-23, 2002, she traveled to India visiting major Buddhist sites.
Joan Marter was appointed Chair of the Museum Committee for the College Art Association, 2002. Her recent publications include: American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. II (New York: MMA and Yale University Press, 2001) [as co-author]; "Feminist Art,” in Encyclopedia of American Studies (New York: Grolier, 2001); Ora Lerman's Language and Narratives," in The Art of Ora Lerman (New York, 2001); Roy Gussow Sculpture (New York, 2001). Dr. Marter will present a paper, "Rapprochement in a Changing Museum Culture: Curators and the Academy," at the College Art Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia, February 22, 2002. Professor Marter has been awarded a Getty Research Grant, 2002.
Sarah Blake McHam held a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, as a Visiting Member in Spring 2001. She was also the recipient of an American Philosophical Society Fellowship in 2000-1. Dr. McHam's recent publications include a book chapter, “The Role of Pliny's Natural History in the Sixteenth-Century Redecoration of the Piazza of San Marco Venice, “Diverse Sixteenth-Century Redecoration of the Piazza of San Marco, Venice," Diverse Approaches to the Representation of Classical Mythology in Art, eds. Luba Freedman and Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich (Berlin, 2001), 89-105. Her article "Donatello's bronze David and Judith as Metaphors of Medici Rule in Florence," appeared in Art Bulletin 83 (2001), 32-47. During the past year, Dr. McHam presented the following papers: "Pliny's Natural History and Italian Renaissance Art," Daniel H. Silberberg Lecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, October 2001; "La Bottega dei Lombardo e la Cappella dell'Arca di S. Antonio al Santo," Lombardo Convegno, Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, June 2001; "The Rise and Fall of Padua," International Conference on Medieval Art, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 2001; "Why Giovanni Bellini at 80 Painted his First Nude," New York University, April 2001; "Reflections of Pliny in Giovanni Bellini's Woman with a Mirror," Renaissance Society of America Annual Meetings, Chicago, March 2001, and Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., May 2001. She will be presenting "Ghiberti's Commentarii," at the February 2002 College Art Association Meetings in Philadelphia. In November 2001,Dr. McHam participated in a seminar at the Folger Library, Washington, D.C., on "Transactions of the Book."
Elizabeth McLachlan ’s recently published, "Liturgical Vessels and Implements, their function, symbolism and materials," in a collection of essays entitled The Medieval Liturgy, The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (2001).
Catherine Puglisi was promoted to full professor in 2001, and she was reappointed as graduate director for another three years. She has two articles currently in press: a book chapter, "Caravaggio's Life and Lives over Four Centuries," in The Cambridge Companion to Caravaggio, ed. Genevieve Warwick, Cambridge University Press; and, in collaboration with her husband, William Barcham, "Paolo Veronese and Barberini Rome," Saggi e Memorie di Storia dell'Arte.
Penny Small was promoted to Professor II in 2001. Her book on the relationship between art and text in Classical Antiquity was accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Small presented a paper, "Artists and Literacy: The Vatican Vergil," as part of the Medieval Latin Studies Group Panel, "Latinity and Literacy in Antiquity and the Middle Ages," on January 6, 2002, at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association in Philadelphia. Recently she gave an invited lecture, "The Great Writing Experiment: Tablets, Rolls, and Codices," as part of the History of Material Texts, a faculty seminar at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, on January 28, 2002.
Jack Spector's recent publications include: Surrealist Art and Writing, 1919 to 1939. The Gold of Time. Cambridge University Press, Spanish edition in preparation, vol.57 no.4, vol.58 no.1, Winter 2000, Spring 2001, with introductions, "Psychoanalytic Approaches to Art History by Frankfurt Art Historians; On the Limits of Understanding in Modern Art: Klee, Miro, Freud," American Imago 57, no.4 (2001), 479-96. He also presented "Frank Gehry's Spaces" at Mason Gross Graduate Department of Art, in February 2002.
Mariët Westermann curated the exhibition "Art and Home: Dutch Interiors at the Age of Rembrandt," which opened on October 14, 2001 at the Newark Museum (reviewed in The New York Times, Dec 28, 2001; catalogue: Waanders, with The Newark Museum and Denver Art Museum). In November, Dr. Westermann gave a lecture at the University of Texas and another at the Tyler Museum of Art.
Carla Yanni was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2001. Her article, "The Crystal Palace: A Legacy in Science" will appear shortly in the Journal of the Prince Albert Society. The publication, produced in collaboration with the Royal Society of Art, London, UK, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Great Exhibition. She has presented papers on the architecture of 19th-century American insane asylums to the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Policy and Aging Research and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, where she is currently a fellow.
Ashley Atkins recently published The Sum is Greater than the Parts: Collage and Assemblage from the Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art for the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. In October 2001 she presented a paper, "Winslow Homer and the Aesthetic Movement," at the Southeastern College Art Conference held in Columbia, South Carolina.
Sharon Matt Atkins presented "Exploring Gender Identity Through Appropriation: Cindy Sherman's History Portraits," during the "Art and Identity" session at the Southeastern College Art Conference, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (October 2001); and "Tangled Identities: Untangling Hair as a Signifier in the Art of Lorna Simpson," for the Department of Art History Graduate Student Symposium, Rutgers University (April 2001). She curated an exhibition for The Seventh Annual New Jersey International Book Arts Exhibition, held at the John Cotton Dana Library in Newark, New Jersey from November 2, 2001 to January 11, 2002. Her recent publications include an entry on Ann Ryan in The Encyclopedia of New Jersey, eds., Maxine Lurie and Marc Mappen (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming) and entries on Robert Colescott and Jeff Koons in Contemporary Artists, 5th Edition, eds. Tom and Sara Prendergast (New York: St. James Press, forthcoming).
Lisa Victoria Ciresi's article "A Liturgical Study of the Dreikönigenschrein" will be published in the forthcoming Objects, Images and the Word: Art in the Service of the Liturgy, ed. Colum Hourihane, Index of Christian Art, Princeton University. In addition, her article "The Aachen Karls- and Marienschreine" has been accepted for publication in Art and Architecture of Late Medieval Pilgrimage, eds Sara Blick and Rita Tekippe, E.J. Brill Press, Leiden (2004); she will also be presenting this paper at the 37th International Medieval Congress at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 2002).
Aliza Edelman participated in the Southeastern College Art Conference, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (October 2001) for the session "The Visual Culture of Corporations and the Incorporation of Visual Culture" with her paper, "It Takes Art to Make a Corporation Great: The Politics of Philip Morris." On the beautiful and cool evening of July 28, 2001, she married Sean Ross at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York.
Craig Eliason presented a paper at the CAA in Chicago in February 2001. His paper, "Manifestos by Mail: Postcards in the Theo van Doesburg Correspondence," was part of a panel about postcards and art history, whose papers will be published as an upcoming special issue of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation. He dissertation, "The Dialectic of Dada and Constructivism: Theo van Doesburg and the Dadaists, 1920-1930," was completed in January 2002 under the supervision of Professor Jack Spector.
Aaron Freedman is curating two exhibitions, which will open simultaneously at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, between Jan 29 and March 28, 2004: “Change and Continuity: Indian Folk and Tribal Art from the Lowe Art Museum” and “Heart and Hand: Indian Drawings from the Subhash Kapoor Collection.”
Tom Loughman will be presenting two papers: "Commissioning Familial Remembrance: Alberti patronage at Santa Croce, Florence," in the session "Conspicuous Commissions: Status Signaling Through Art in them Italian Renaissance" at the CAA Conference in Philadelphia in 2002; and "Organized to Orient: Notes on Spinello Aretino's Life of Saint Benedict at San Miniato al Monte, Florence" in the session, "Monumental Narrative: Construction of Space and Ritual" at the Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, MI, 2002. He is giving a workshop in Princeton on Monastic Art in the Renaissance.
Molly Gwinn participated in the Spring 2001 Andrew W. Mellon Colloquium at the Zimmerli Art Museum. Her paper was regarding the print "Le Ciel," from Henri Riviere's album "La Tentation de Saint-Antoine," in the museum's collection. The theme of St. Anthony's appeal to late 19th-century French artists and critics is the topic of her dissertation.
Natalia Kolodzei has published "4+4: Two Generations of Russian Avant-Garde." Exh. cat., Mimi Ferzt Gallery, NY (Sept - Oct, 2001); "Komar & Melamid: Dreaming of a Trend," ArtChronika 6 (2001), 88-93; and in the same issue, p. 15, a review: "Marc Chagall Early Works from Russian Collections.” She gave a presentation: "Oscar Rabin: Lionozovo and Soviet Nonconformism" in the Fall 2001 Andrew W. Mellon Colloquium "Art as Social/Political Propaganda," at the Zimmerli Art Museum. In September 2001, she presented her paper "Gia Edzgveradze: Georgian Soviet Hybrid within Nonconformist Circles" in the Conference on Social Norms and Deviance in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Era at The Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In October, 2001, she curated an exhibition for the French Embassy in Washington DC, "Exhibition of Contemporary St. Petersburg Artists. Selection from the Kolodzei Collection" from the Russian Consulate, NYC.
Alison Poe received the 2001-2002 Bevier Grant from Rutgers for dissertation research. She was also granted the Rutgers Dissertation Teaching Award, which has enabled her to design and teach a 400-level undergraduate seminar, "The Roman Art of Death." She has written several entries for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology.
Denise Rompilla was appointed Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art at St. John's University, Queens, NY, in September 2001. Denise is also part of the faculty for the new minor in Women Studies, the Summer Program in Paris, and serves as an advisor to the University Gallery. In December, Denise presented a paper on "The Atom and the Universe are their Playthings: Making/Unmaking the Universe in the Alchemical Painting of Jess" at the International Conference of Art and Alchemy in Aarhus, Denmark. In that same month, she was awarded a grant from the Council for the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island for a year-long program on the History of Women in Photography at the Alice Austen house, the home and museum of pioneering 19th-century woman photographer. She has begun research for a textbook for Prentice-Hall on the History of VisualCommunications, based on a course she has developed at St. John's University.
Jen Schubert published two articles in 2001: "Nosadella's Annunciation," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, Vol. 59, nos. 1 & 2, pp.63-8., and "Nosadella, non Agostino, nella collezione di Benedetto Giustiniani," Quaderie Secentesche. Gli Artisti, i Committenti, i Generi della Pittura, edited by Francesca Cappelletti(Rome: Gangemi, 2002).
Jennifer Tonkovich is the curator in charge of Pierre Matisse and His Artists, 14 February-20 May 2001, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. As the Assistant Curator of Drawings at the Morgan Library, she has several other projects in the works, including A Love Affair With Line: Drawings by Al Hirschfeld (6 June-1 September), and with Diane Kelder, Stuart Davis: Art and Theory, 1920-31 (6 September-20 December). She is also co-author of the Pierre Matisse catalogue and contributing author to the catalogue for The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994, which opens at the Library on September 27, 2002.
Aileen June Wang has published "An Adoration of the Magi After Hugo van der Goes," The Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 59 (2000) 39-45. Her article, "Michelangelo's Signature," based on her dissertation, was accepted for publication by The Sixteenth Century Journal. She was married on Sept. 2, 2000 to Michael Steirman, a CPA for the Manhattan firm Friedman, Alpren, and Green.
Midori Yoshimoto curated the exhibition, "Japonisme: Highlights from the Zimmerli Art Museum's Collection," to be held at the Center for the Arts, Vero Beach, Florida, from January 26-March 22, 2002. She will present a lecture at the opening.
Karen Loaiza Blough (PhD, ’95) published six entries in Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia (John Jeep, ed.; Garland: New York) as well as a short article on "The Barberini Codex" in AMICI (Newsletter of the American Friends of the Vatican Library; Spring, 2001 issue). She delivered a paper entitled "Bread and Wine: The Wedding at Cana, the Multiplication of Loaves, and Epiphany in Southern Gaul" at the 28th St. Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies in St. Louis on Oct. 12, 2001.
Sarah Boyd (MA, 02) is the Assistant Director of Communications in Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago as of September 2001.
Pamela Merrill Brekka (MA, ’99) recently published: "Pieter de Hooch," "Nicolaes Maes," "Pieter Brueghel the younger," "Jan Breughel the elder," in Absolutism and the Scientific Revolution 1600-1720, ed. Christopher Baker, Westport, forthcoming in 2002; "An Early Netherlandish Adoration of the Magi," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton 59 (2000), 57-63. She presented "Italy and the North: Artistic Exchange and Pan-European Thought circa 1450," at the North and South: Identity, Imagination and Memory in Medieval and Renaissance Culture conference, held at the University of South Carolina, March 2001. She is taking a temporary leave of professional pursuits in order to spend much needed time at home with her children, Adam and Maggie, and husband, Richard.
Louise Belvedere Caldi (PhD, ’02) completed her dissertation, “The King and His Brother: Simone Martini's Louis of Toulouse Crowning Robert of Anjou and the Visual Language of Power,” and has in press "From Poverty to Politics: Simone Martini's Image of the First Franciscan Bishop Saint, Louis of Toulouse," Poverty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Kate Forhan, New York. She presented two papers in 2001: "Simone Martini, Robert of Naples and Angevin Dynastic Dominion," International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, in May 2001 and "From Poverty to Politics: Simone Martini's Image of the First Franciscan Bishop Saint," Poverty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Convivium Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Siena College in October 2001. She will deliver "The Conception of Simone Martini's Louis of Toulouse Crowning Robert of Anjou," at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo in May of 2002.
Andrea Campbell (PhD, ‘01) has been appointed Reader-Scholar at the Index of Christian Art, Princeton as of January 21, 2002.
Adrienne DeAngelis (PhD, ‘97) published "Danese Cattaneo's Portrait Bust of Girolamo Giganti," Burlington Magazine 143 (2001), 747-52. She is also the creator of the Resources in Art History for Graduate Students website.
Jennifer Dework (MA, ‘97) married Joel Katz on July 8, 2001 in Santa Barbara, CA. In February 2001, she started as the Education Associate for Public Programs at the Orange County Museum of Arts in Newport Beach, CA. Previously she was the director of the Peter Fetterman Gallery (Fine Art Photography) in Santa Monica.
Felicia Messina-D'Haiti (MA, ‘95) gave birth to twins Victoria Alexandra (6lbs. 6oz.) and Matthew Gabriel (6 lbs. 13oz.) on August 22, 2001. Congratulations to the d’Haiti family. As of August 2001, Felicia was advanced to the status of Doctoral Candidate in the University of Maryland's Education Policy and Leadership Department.
Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio (PhD, ‘01), recent alumna of the Medici Archive Project, Florence, will present a paper entitled, "Leone Leoni Constructs His Identity: Status Signaling Through the Casa degli Omenoni" at the CAA Conference in Philadelphia (February 2002).
Kathleen Enz Finken (PhD, ‘98) is Associate Professor of Art History, and Chair of the Department of Art and Design, Minnesota State University, Moorhead. The department is a booming, exciting place, with 400 studio art, art history and art education majors. She has currently in press "An Early Christian Construction of Time: Salvation History in the Catacomb of Callistus in Rome," Symbols of Time. Selected papers from Section Seven of the Thirtieth International Congress of the History of Art, September, 2000 (forthcoming, Spring, 2002). She presented "The Art Historian's Edge, or 'Seeing is Believing'." Roland and Beth Dille Distinguished Faculty Lecture, Minnesota State University Moorhead (invited lecture, Feb. 2002). At present she serves as President of the Board of Directors, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND (FY 2000) and continues to be a member of the Executive Committee as well as the Board of Directors, Plains Art Museum Foundation. She leads study tours abroad almost every year (Italy, Scotland, England). As per her family, she writes, “My oldest son, Colin, graduated from high school last spring, is doing great, and is currently living in California. River, now 14, is in high school and is a super kid. Jerry, my husband, has a
booming business in Clinical Supplies (handling all aspects of drug studies--national and international)”.
Joanna Gardner-Huggett (PhD, ‘97) co-edited vol. II of Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art (2001) with Lilian Zirpolo.
Andrew Graciano (BA, RC '95) recently returned to Virginia from England, where he had been conducting doctoral research on Joseph Wright of Derby. He now plans to finish his dissertation and graduate in May with a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Up until December 20, 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art.
Maria Romina Gutierrez (MA, '01) is a full-time Research Assistant in the European Paintings Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Sandhya Jain (BA), is in her third year as a graduate student, specializing in paper, in the Conservation Department at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Last summer she interned at the Villa La Pietra in Florence.
Biljana Kesic (MA, ‘01) is the Education Coordinator at the Phippen Museum of Art in Prescott, AZ (Art & Collectors of the American West).
Melissa Beck Lemke (MA, '94) spent two weeks in Italy in March 2001, on a National Gallery Robert H. Smith Fellowship sponsored trip, to study the high altar and surrounding monuments by Giuseppe Mazzuoli and his shop in the church of San Martino in Siena. She is currently the Archivist for Italian Art in the Photographic Archives of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Stephanie Leone (PhD, ‘01) is an Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History in the Fine Arts Department at Boston College since September 2001.
Amy Liebman (BA, January 2002), an Art History and Landscape Architecture double major has been hired right out of school to join the New York office of Michael van Valkenberg. Michael Van Valkenberg has the most prominent and exciting landscape firm now working in the United States, and it is a tremendous feather in all of our caps to have a graduate placed there. Michael's work has been covered extensively in the professional journals and popular press, including the New York Times; and he was until recently the Chairman of the Landscape Architecture Program at Harvard, the oldest such program in the country. Amy has been an outstanding student in our courses, and particularly distinguished in her architectural studies. She was interned to the local firm of Timothy Marshall Associates during her junior and senior years at Rutgers. Occasions like this prove that our academic programs can mesh nicely across campuses, and that our internship experiences can and often do lead to exciting career opportunities. As the commitment to architectural studies continues to grow in Art History, it's nice to know that we can look forward to successes like this one.
Sharon Lorenzo is completing course work for the Ph.D. in Non-
Western Art History at CUNY in the spring of 2002 and preparing to pass her orals in the fall. She has given two lectures at Princeton University, taught a seminar at Muhlenberg College in Museum Studies, addressed the Allentown Art Museum on the “Art of the Andes and Colonial Art in Mexico” and will be giving a lecture at Colby College in February on the murals at Dartmouth College.
Natalie McMeans (MA, ‘01) is presenting “Art Explorers,” an art appreciation program for 4th through 6th graders at the Highland Park Library.
Dina Comisarenco Mirkin (PhD, ‘97) received the "Trofeo Alfil de Rey" this past May, which is the most important academic prize given to professors at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de Mexico. She is a lecturer there on the history of art, culture and design.
Barbara Mitnick (PhD, ‘83) currently serves as Chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, a division of New Jersey's Department of State, responsible for granting "bricks and mortar" funds to non-profits organizations for buildings in New Jersey on the State and/or National register. Over the last ten years this program has been instrumental in the restoration of more than 125 completed projects, and currently has more than sixty projects in progress. In February the Trust will receive applications for a new grant round. She also recently mounted a new exhibition (with co-curator, Mark Lender) entitled “George Washington and the Battle of Trenton: The Evolution of an American Image” at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, which will be on view until February 24, 2002. She is also working with New Jersey’s 225th Celebration of the Revolution Commission, serving as the General Editor of a book of twelve essays entitled New Jersey in the American Revolution, scheduled for publication by 2004.
Scott Montgomery (PhD, ‘96) was hosted as a Visiting Scholar in April at the Department of Art at SUNY/Plattsburgh. He gave a talk on the cult of St. Ursula and a lecture on the pilgrimage to the upper-
division Medieval class.
Amy M. Mooney (PhD, ‘01), Assistant Professor at Washington State University, will be co-chairing a session at CAA 2003 on identity and portraiture, “The Passing Portrait.” She was the recipient of a Travel Grant (2001) and a Research Initiation Grant (2002), both from Washington State University. Her recent publications include: "Archibald J. Motley, Jr.: Conflating Class and Countenance," Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, Cary Wintz, ed. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers (forthcoming, 2003); "Singularity, Chance and the Shuffle of Things," The Raw and the Cooked, exh. cat. (University of Washington Press, 2001); and To the Observing Subject: The 2001 MFA Exhibition, exh.cat., (Pullman Museum of Art, Washington State University, 2001). In 2001, she presented three lectures: "Literal or Metaphorical? Illustrating Harlem Renaissance Literature" Tacoma Museum of Art, Tacoma, WA; "Class, Consciousness, and Countenance: An American Portrait," Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL; and "Passing By: Archibald J. Motley, Jr.'s Portrait Types," American Studies Colloquium, Washington State University.
Allison Palmer (PhD, ‘94) received tenure at the University of Oklahoma last year and will be on sabbatical spring of 2002 traveling and completing a variety of research projects spanning the Milanese trecento through the Roman Baroque. She is an Associate Professor and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Art. She recently published "The Walters' Madonna and Child Plaquette and Private Devotional Art in Early Italian Renaissance Italy," in The Journal of the Walters' Art Museum 59 (2001). She presented a paper on the quattrocento sarcophagus of St. Columban in Bobbio, outside Piacenza, at the Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference held in Denver in October 2001.
Dr. Wayne Roosa (PhD, ’90) is currently the Department Chairperson at Bethel College in St. Paul Minnesota.
Stephanie Smith (PhD, ‘99) will co-chair the session, "Monumental Narrative: Construction of Space and Ritual" at Kalamazoo, MI, in 2002.
Francesca Toffolo (BA, RC, ‘97) is organizing a workshop on Monasticism in the Renaissance at Princeton, (where she is a PhD candidate), this spring at which she will be giving a paper.
Ian Verstegen (MA, ‘98) completed his dissertation, "Federico Barocci, the Art of Painting and the Rhetoric of Persuasion" in January 2002, at Temple University under the supervision of Marcia Hall.
Teresa A. Urspruch (BA, RC ’96; MLIS ‘01) is currently working at Baker & Taylor in Bridgewater, a book and entertainment distributor, as a Cataloging Librarian, creating library cataloging records for media items including motion pictures and music.
Lilian Zirpolo (PhD, ‘94) had an article published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts (March 2001) entitled "Images of Privilege and Power in Pietro da Cortona's Frescoes at the Villa Sacchetti in Castelfusano." She will be presenting a paper at CAA in February 2002 entitled "Death, Philosophy, and Civic Duty in Lanfranco's Sacchetti Chapel Frescoes at S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome." She is co-editor with Joanna Gardner-
Huggett of Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art.
Adventures in Asian Art
I have been teaching Asian art in the Department of Art History, Rutgers University, since 1990. In the past decade, I have developed a program of courses in East Asian art on a wide range of subject matters: archaeology, Buddhist art, sculpture and painting of both China and Japan. I have taught these courses chiefly to undergraduates. I have also taught graduate courses in Buddhist art history as a visiting professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, (1988, 1992, 1887) and participated in doctoral dissertation committees at NYU and Princeton University. I received a Ph.D. in Asian art history, in 1982, from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. During my graduate years, under the guidance of Professor Alexander C. Soper,
I developed a strong interest in Buddhist art and religion, the field that is now my specialty. Professor Soper encouraged me to pursue special training at Columbia University in classical Chinese and Chinese Buddhist literature. My doctoral dissertation and first book, The Imagery of the Cosmological Buddha, published in 1986 by E. J. Brill, Leiden, reflects the methodological approach Soper preferred and that has remained a constant in my scholarly work. In my research I have striven to place the work in its original context and I have payed equal attention to its doctrinal, historical, and formal aspect.
In the early 1980s I became deeply committed to the study of the Buddhist cave temples of southwest China that were then rather unknown to western scholars. I carried on fieldwork in Sichuan and Yunnan from October 1985-July 1986, funded by the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities China). A grant from the Asian Cultural Council, New York, allowed me to return to the same area in December 1988-January 1989. A third grant from jointly the NEH and the Department of Education enabled me to complete the investigation of Buddhist cliff sculpture in China's Southwest. The book Summit of Treasures: Buddhist Cliff Sculpture of Dazu, Sichuan, published this fall by Weatherhill, New York, is the outcome of fifteen years of research in this geographic area. Several articles, catalogue essays, and presentations at international symposia were, moreover, the result of that fieldwork. To mention a few, the 1988 Stockholm Bulletin article, "Tang Buddhist Sculpture of Sichuan: Unknown and Forgotten," and the 1997 Artibus Asiae article, "The Dharani Pillar of Kunming, Yunnan," are especially important because they record and analyze sculpture not previously published.
Since I have always believed in the necessity of expanding one's area of specialization and tackling new issues, in recent years I began investigating other regional developments of Chinese sculpture. I have become very interested in the issue of multi-culturalism as reflected in the Buddhist art of the Gansu corridor and its relationship to earlier model along the Silk Route in Xinjiang. Once more the NEH granted me a fellowship for University Teachers, August 1998-January 1999. I traveled extensively in Gansu and Xinjiang visiting the sites together with Professor Li Chongfeng, Department of Archaeology, Beijing University. I presented the first-hand evidence of this research trip at the University of Chicago, Department of Art History, at the international conference, Between Han and Tang, Fall 1999 and last November 10 at Asia Society, New York, at the symposium China's Silk Road: People, Places and Luxuries.
Standing Buddha, Excavated 1996 in Qingzhou, Shandong, China. (550-577)
In recognition of the experience I have acquired doing fieldwork in China and collaborating with Chinese colleagues, I received this year The Asian Cultural Council-Henry Luce Foundation China On-Site Seminar Program grant. According to its requirements US based scholars (myself as director of the project and Dr. Yu Chun-fang of Rutgers, Chair Religion Department), and Dr. Li Chongfeng, Archaeology Department, Beijing University, PRC, will teach ten graduate students (five American recruited nationally and five Chinese) in a four-week seminar Buddhist Art of the Kizil Cave Temples on location in Kizil, Xinjiang, PRC. This prestigious grant provides honoraria, traveling and living expenses for all the participants support for a conference, and administrative fees paid to Rutgers. Based on my studies and extensive fieldwork I have completed a textbook for undergraduates. The volume Chinese Sculpture, in the Culture and Civilization of China Series, (New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming 2002) is a collaborative effort with American and Chinese scholars (Wu Hung, Yang Hong, and Li Song). Presently I am the editor of Art of the Buddhist Caves and Temples of China (300-1800) (New Haven and Beijing: Yale University Press and Waiwen Press). This is also a collaborative work between Western scholars and Chinese scholars and the first all-embracing survey of Chinese Buddhist art in a Western language. Lastly, I have had the good fortune of combining my independent research and teaching with museum work. In the fall of 1982, I helped organize the exhibition Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from the Wei through the T'ang Dynasties, National Museum of History, Taibei, Taiwan. From September 1987-April 1988, I participated in organizing the Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Galleries, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. From February 1991-February 1992, I was co-organizer (with Buddhist art curators) of the Pan-Asian Buddhist Exhibition, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. In 1998 I was hired by the Asian Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, as Special Consultant in Buddhist Art, to organize with other curators the exhibition Early Imperial China: The First Millennium, Han Through Tang Dynasties, scheduled to open March 2004. In this capacity, I have traveled twice to China (January and May-June 2001) to visit the museums of different provinces to select Buddhist art, mainly sculpture.
The two years and some months that I have spent at Rutgers (beginning fall semester 1999) have been extraordinary. My two roles, as a faculty member and Research Curator, slip into full-time jobs when exhibitions and catalogues are in production (usually in the middle of a teaching semester); it is a rare privilege in our discipline to integrate, as I am striving to do, teaching and curatorial research. My appointment at Rutgers has led to a number of exciting developments in my scholarship. Whereas I had previously published almost exclusively on the pre-revolutionary, Russian avant-garde, I am now expanding my work to focus on the aspects of avant-garde practices from the 1920s through the 1980s. My interest in the intersection of orientalism and modernism in the work, theories, and self-promotional activities of Natal'ia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, and their associates circa 1910-14 has broadened to include the work of Russian artists who migrated to Central Asia in the 1920s and founded local national schools, primarily in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Sergei Kalmykov, The Celestial Chalice. 1941. Zam Dodge Collection
One line of research that arises naturally from my preceding work is to determine the extent to which the orientalist mission of these Russian artists shaped the cultural views and formal preferences of regional artists in the 1920s and 30s. I am also working in the other chronological direction to understand the legacy of early Soviet modernist/
nationalist projects in radical Central Asian art of the 1960s through the 1980s. Having written extensively on Russian avant-garde artists who transformed representations of the East as exotic other into representations of self-identity, I am now investigating parallel strategies among contemporary Central Asian artists. Due to decades of the suppression of artworks and archives, it was only in 1999 that I was finally able to view the paintings necessary to complete my book on Natali'a Goncharova and Russian Modernism. In that same year a major archive, holding vast troves of material on the Russian avant-garde, became available in Amsterdam. This unexpected coup provided important new evidence for several of my theses, which I advance in the book. Now, having completed the manuscript, I am also delivering the last lectures I intend to give on the subject (for a while). I lectured on Vsechestvo, a movement theorized by Goncharova and her colleagues in 1913 as an alternate expression of modernity, on a panel appropriately entitled "Other modernisms/modernities" chaired by John Clark and Oriana Baddeley at the Congrés internationale d'historiens d'art (CIHA) in London in September 2000. It was extremely rewarding to be on a panel that included presentations on modernist movements in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Thailand. At the same time I have been developing and directing a scholarship on the collection that drew me to Rutgers in the first place: the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. With over 20,000 objects in the collection, there are a number of compelling directions for scholars such as myself to take. No doubt, Norton would agree with me that he remains a compulsive collector; so one of my first functions was to address "gaps" in the collection.
Stone Statues. Museum of Natural History & Archeology. Almatg, Kazakhstan.
Following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, and consequently, of the monolithic Ministry of Culture, we have found great opportunities to collect regionally. The Dodge collection is rich in work produced in Moscow, Leningrad, and the Baltic States (Norton's long-standing area of personal interest). But the relative inaccessibility of the Caucasus and Central Asian countries made it more difficult to view and acquire works there. Because I had already established connections with artists and dealers in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, mainly through the Soros Centers for Contemporary Art, I chose to concentrate on developing our collection in these areas. In December 1999, I made our first purchases in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The works were by prominent unofficial (some aggressively nonconformist) artists and by several artists who, in fact, could be considered luminaries at the tail end of the historical avant-garde. Sergei Kalmykov and Pavel Zaltsman had careers that extended from pre-Revolutionary Moscow and St. Petersburg through the Soviet 1960s and 1970s in Almaty. Each exerted a major influence on contemporary art production from the 1960s thaw through the 1980s; during this last period political independence movements catalyzed the expansion of the art world in several Central Asian urban centers. Another trip to Kazakhstan in the summer of 2000 brought us new riches, including several major works by Kalmykov. It also provided my 11-year-old son, Sam, and myself with the opportunity to visit a number of Bronze Age settlements (archaeological sites) in the Tamgali steppe. In addition to seeing our first (and thankfully dead) tarantula, as well as the local wolves (the actual animals), we examined an amazing variety of petroglyphs, thousands of years apart in age, burial sites and, yes, the remains of walled Saka settlements. All this research and travel resulted in an exhibition about which we, art historians, tend to dream. In Recent Acquisitions from Central Asia, I was able to display most of the work I had collected, including objects that arrived just in time for the opening. Now, having been awarded (in December 2001) an IPAM grant, based on my proposal to exchange research and programming with the Savitsky Art-Historical Museum in Nukus, Karakalpakistan (Uzbekistan), I will turn my attention to artists whose work is held in large quantity (and great quality) by that museum. The director of the Savitsky Museum, Marineka Babanazarova, will be our guest at Rutgers for the month of April 2002.
garde. This material will form one chapter of the upcoming book. The exhibition, Realities and Utopias, which I organized at the Zimmerli together with Rutgers graduate students in November 2000, was a first step towards conceptualizing this project. A second exhibition is planned for the autumn of 2002; this one will constitute another thematic approach to abstract painting. The second exhibition was also organized in part based on a graduate seminar that I taught in the fall of 2001 and benefits greatly from the input of our students (who I hope will contribute essays to the catalogue). As the chair of a panel on late twentieth-century abstract painting for the next CAA convention held in New York City, I plan to learn the perspectives other scholars bring to the subject, especially in their various areas of expertise. During this semester I took my first sabbatical leave, where I look forward to delving into the contents of the Zimmerli's artists' files, archives, and new acquisitions, which will hopefully move me forward with my research. Happily, many of the artists I need to interview live throughout Europe -- in Paris, Bremen, Dusseldorf and Rome, for example. I hope to meet many of them for the first time within the next few months, but I won't say no to a trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, that is if Norton insists that we need to fill a gap there...