The Art History Newsletter

Americas Category Archives

RIP: David Craven, 60

15 February 2012 | Americas

The New Mexico Daily Lobo reports the death of David Craven, author of Art and Revolution in Latin America, 1910-1990: [Craven] died Saturday from an apparent heart attack while playing tennis, his family said. Craven became a professor at UNM in 1993 and was the fine arts department chair for two years. He published 10 [...]


‘the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject’

11 January 2012 | Americas, Books

Also in, Katherine Manthorne considers ($) Kirsten Pai Buick’s Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject: [This book is Buick's] anticipated full-length examination of this sculptor’s career. It is a thoughtful, groundbreaking study that should be a must-read for anyone interested in art of [...]


What makes contemporary American art American?

18 April 2011 | Americas, Books, Contemporary

In her new book “Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art,” Katy Siegel examines artists’ “preoccupations with issues of race, mass culture, the individual, suburbia, apocalypse, and nuclear destruction” — noting that “while a leading textbook like Art Since 1900, for instance, assumes that the most important art is American or European, those [...]


‘The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art’

14 January 2011 | Americas, Books

Does the traditional encyclopedia — printed on paper, written and edited exclusively by experts — still have a role to play in the age of Wikipedia? The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, just published in five hefty volumes, has enormous strengths. It builds on the excellent Grove Encyclopedia of Art (1996), revising and supplementing its [...]


Hide / Seek Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery Becoming Contentious

2 December 2010 | Americas, Current Events, Film, Modern, Museums

The National Portrait Gallery’s innovative exhibition of images of and by queer people in America, HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, is becoming controversial.  The exhibit was altered by pulling a video by David Wojnarowicz and it may close before the scheduled date.  The story has been picked up by The Washington Post as well [...]


An antihistory of antimonuments

3 November 2010 | Americas, Books

In his new book Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War, art historian Alexander Nemerov “takes a performance of Macbeth in Washington, DC on October 17, 1863—with Abraham Lincoln in attendance—to … illuminate American art, politics, technology, and life as it was being lived.” Rather than marshal history to explain [...]


William H. Gerdts wins award

6 October 2010 | Americas, Awards

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has announced that this year its “Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History will be presented to William H. Gerdts.” Gerdts, a former curator and professor emeritus at CUNY Graduate Center, has published several books including The Color of Modernism: The American [...]


ICAA to Publish Vast Latin American Art Archive

28 September 2010 | Americas, Modern

On The Atlantic‘s website, William Haseltine transcribes a recent talk by Museum of Fine Arts Houston curator Mari Carmen Ramirez: The International Center for Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston is a unique resource center for the study of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art. Established in 2001 [...]



27 September 2010 | Americas

Historians of American art: Norman Rockwell used photography, Winslow Homer has been dead 100 years (as of Wednesday), and Grant Wood was gay:


‘The Totem Pole’

11 August 2010 | Americas, Books

The hefty new book The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History by Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass appears to be the definite take on this fascinating subject. Exploring the pole’s origins along the Pacific Northwest coast as well as its afterlives in aboriginal and popular culture, this book “is situated comfortably within the transdisciplinary field of [...]


How should we look at public art?

19 May 2010 | Americas, Architecture, Awards, Books, Modern, Museums, News

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced that it awarded the annual Eldredge Prize to Kirk Savage for his book Monument Wars.   I should disclose that I am far from impartial on this topic–Savage was my advisor in graduate school.  That said, I think that his book is notable as a model for future scholarship. Rather than framing the official monuments, [...]


Manierre Dawson, Abstraction Pioneer?

21 April 2010 | Americas, Modern

A catalogue raisonné will appear this fall for the early American abstract artist Manierre Dawson. According to its author, Randy Ploog, Dawson had never traveled further than Michigan, had no contact with progressive artists in Europe, New York or even his native Chicago … What prompted this young civil engineer to produce these groundbreaking paintings [...]


Romare Bearden Symposium

2 April 2010 | Americas, Conferences, Modern

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote this in advance of last weekend’s Romare Bearden symposium: Artist Romare Bearden … is the subject of a symposium … at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown. “Bearden in the Public Realm,” include[s] a Friday conversation with novelist John Edgar Wideman … Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Mary [...]


‘Native Moderns’

29 January 2010 | Americas, Books, Modern

In CAA Reviews, Kate Morris considers Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–1960 by Bill Anthes: [Anthes] asserts that, though the study focuses on American Indian painting in the immediate postwar period, his is “not merely a recovery project with the goal of adding a few neglected figures to the canon of American modernism.” Rather, he [...]



14 April 2009 | Africa, Americas, Conferences

Later this week the James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art turns 20: The 2009 Porter Colloquium presents new research, new interpretations, and new subjectivities that inform scholarly practice and promote fresh ways of thinking and writing about African American art and other art in the African Diaspora. This year’s theme, Trajectories … The [...]


Art revival?

10 December 2008 | Americas

From The New Criterion: Anyone who suspects that nineteenth-century American art has less to teach us than twentieth-century modernism should take a drive up the winding road of Route 23A, up Kaaterskill Clove in the eastern escarpment of the Catskill Mountains. Here in the town of Hunter, New York, a group of young artists is [...]


American Histories of Photography

5 March 2008 | Americas, Photography

The Fall 2007 issue of American Art contains five commentaries on photography. Anthony W. Lee writes: More than most fields, the history of photography is mercurial and eclectic in its interests and methods. This is partly because its subject has continually proved to be a moving target (even the earliest inventors could not agree what [...]


‘oldest urban settlement in Americas’?

28 February 2008 | Americas, Ancient, Architecture

From the AP: A team of German and Peruvian archaeologists say they have discovered the oldest known monument in Peru: a 5,500-year-old ceremonial plaza near Peru’s north-central coast … The discovery is further evidence that civilization thrived in Peru at the same time as it did in what is now the Middle East and South [...]


The Not-So Abstract Expressionist

7 November 2007 | Americas, Modern

In the July 2007 Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Andrea Pappas argues that, although abstract expressionism was marketed as an art of “timeless, ‘universal’ themes and subjects,” at least one of its artists had other things on his mind: The standard view of Rothko presents him as an artist who eschewed the particular, the local [...]


‘Transatlantic Perspectives on American Visual Culture’

23 October 2007 | Americas

The latest issue (52: 1) of Amerikastudien / American Studies is devoted to “Transatlantic Perspectives on American Visual Culture.” In their introduction, editors Astrid Böger and Christof Decker write that because American Studies is a relatively new discipline, that may have helped it become a particularly hospitable place for emerging and hitherto marginalized research agendas. [...]