New Book | A History of Art History

Posted in books by Editor on September 30, 2019

From Princeton UP:

Christopher S. Wood, A History of Art History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019), 472 pages, ISBN: 978-0691156521, $35.

In this wide-ranging and authoritative book, the first of its kind in English, Christopher Wood tracks the evolution of the historical study of art from the late middle ages through the rise of the modern scholarly discipline of art history. Synthesizing and assessing a vast array of writings, episodes, and personalities, this original and accessible account of the development of art-historical thinking will appeal to readers both inside and outside the discipline.

The book shows that the pioneering chroniclers of the Italian Renaissance—Lorenzo Ghiberti and Giorgio Vasari—measured every epoch against fixed standards of quality. Only in the Romantic era did art historians discover the virtues of medieval art, anticipating the relativism of the later nineteenth century, when art history learned to admire the art of all societies and to value every work as an index of its times. The major art historians of the modern era, however—Jacob Burckhardt, Aby Warburg, Heinrich Wölfflin, Erwin Panofsky, Meyer Schapiro, and Ernst Gombrich—struggled to adapt their work to the rupture of artistic modernism, leading to the current predicaments of the discipline. Combining erudition with clarity, this book makes a landmark contribution to the understanding of art history.

Christopher S. Wood is a professor at New York University. He is the author of Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art and Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape, the coauthor of Anachronic Renaissance, and the editor of The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s.

Journée d’étude | Les sources d’une histoire de l’antiquarisme

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 30, 2019

From the study day programme:

Les sources d’une histoire de l’antiquarisme
Forum Antique, Bavay (Nord), 3 October 2019

Pour faire suite à l’exposition Curieux antiquaires: Les débuts de l’archéologie à Bavay, 1716–1830, le Forum antique de Bavay organise, le jeudi 3 octobre 2019, une journée d’étude sur Les sources d’une histoire de l’antiquarisme. La dimension de cette rencontre est essentiellement méthodologique. Il s’agit de faire dialoguer des spécialistes de l’histoire de l’antiquaire autour de la question des sources, de leur croisement et de leur mise en résonance, et de permettre aux étudiants présents d’approcher les questions relatives à la construction d’un objets ainsi qu’à l’invention des corpus.

Le format de cette journée sera celui d’un atelier. Chacun des quatre thèmes mobilisera deux intervenants. Afin de donner à l’exposé des questions de méthode et aux échanges toute leur place, le jour de la rencontre, chaque exposant disposera de 15 minutes pour résumer la teneur de sa contribution, après quoi un modérateur lancera et dirigera une discussion de 30 minutes.


9.00  Bus Valenciennes-Bavay affrété par le Forum antique de Bavay

9.30  Accueil-Café au Forum antique de Bavay

10.00  Introduction autour de la notion d’antiquaire, Véronique Beirnaert-Mary

10.15  Construction/Déconstruction de la figure de l’antiquaire par l’écrit, Marco Cavalieri, Professeur, Président INCA, Université de Louvain (modérateur)
• Parler de soi et des autres : les sources d’une histoire de la représentation (correspondances, préfaces, notices nécrologiques…), Véronique Krings
• La littérature comme source pour une histoire de la réception de la figure de l’antiquaire, Odile Parsis-Barubé

11.15  Pause

11.30  Construction de la figure de l’antiquaire par l’image, Odile Cavalier, Conservatrice du Musée Calvet, Avignon (modératrice)
• L’antiquaire au travail sur le terrain et dans son cabinet, Alain Schnapp, Professeur émérite des universités, Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS, UMR 7041, ArScan
• Les portraits d’antiquaire, Véronique Beirnaert-Mary

12.30  Déjeuner au musée offert par le Forum antique de Bavay (sur inscription)

14.00  Vie sociale des objets chez l’antiquaire, Fleur Morfoisse, Conservatrice du département antiquités et objets d’art au Palais des beaux-arts de Lille (modératrice)
• La nécessaire authenticité de la preuve. Faux et expertise antiquaire, Delphine Morana-Burlot
• L’étude matérielle des objets comme source de leur histoire, Cécile Colonna, Conseillère scientifique, INHA-DER, Histoire de l’art antique et de l’archéologie

15.00  Pause

15.15  Les sources d’une histoire de la diffusion et de la réception des travaux antiquaires, Chantal Grell, Professeur des universités, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (modératrice)
• Les enquêtes prosopographiques et la reconstitution des réseaux antiquaires. Quelles sources pour une étude de la circulation des savoirs antiquaires ?, Bruno Delmas, Directeur d’étude émérite de classe exceptionnelle à l’école national des Chartes et Odile Parsis-Barubé
• Quelles sources pour mesurer la diffusion des savoirs antiquaires ?, François Guillet, Historien

16.15  Conclusion, Odile Parsis-Barubé

16.45  Discussion finale

17.30  Bus Bavay-Valenciennes affrété par le Forum antique de Bavay

Comité scientifique
• Véronique Beirnaert-Mary, Directrice du Forum antique de Bavay, musée archéologique du Département du Nord
• Odile Parsis-Barubé, Maître de conférences HDR (Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion)
• Véronique Krings, Maître de conférences en histoire ancienne, Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, PLH (EA 4601)
• Delphine Morana-Burlot, Maître de conférences en histoire de l’art et de l’archéologie, Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, EA 4100 – HiCSA (Histoire culturelle et sociale de l’art)

The Frick Pittsburgh Names Elizabeth Barker as Director

Posted in museums by Editor on September 30, 2019

Press release (26 September 2019) from The Frick Pittsburgh:

The Board of Trustees of The Frick Pittsburgh announced the appointment of Elizabeth E. Barker, Ph.D., as the museum’s next Executive Director. The appointment as the institution’s fourth executive director, and the first woman, follows a nine-month national search, which began in early 2019, following the announcement of former Executive Director Robin Nicholson’s departure to lead the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia. Judith Hansen O’Toole has served as Interim Executive Director since February 2019. Barker will assume her position on December 1, 2019.

Barker brings to Pittsburgh twenty-five years’ leadership and curatorial experience at renowned museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and Yale Center for British Art. During her tenure at the Met, from 1994 until 2005, where she served as Associate Curator of Drawings and Prints, Barker led efforts to digitize collections and engage new audiences. Her 2001 William Blake retrospective featuring the Met’s first audio tour for families with children and a reading and concert performance by the writer and musician Patti Smith became one of the year’s most highly attended exhibitions.

A specialist in British Art of the eighteenth century with a Ph.D. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and B.A. from Yale, Barker’s publications have addressed a range of art, from Italian Renaissance to contemporary art.

David Burstin, Chair of The Frick Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees said, “Barker distinguished herself throughout the interview process with her extensive background at a variety of cultural organizations, scholarship, track record of innovation and creativity, dedication to inclusiveness, and enthusiasm for the position—and for the city of Pittsburgh. Her exceptional attributes and experience—particularly her career-long focus on increasing access and inclusion—are perfectly aligned with the museum’s needs. We are pleased she will bring her talents and energy to lead The Frick Pittsburgh into the future, while building on the superb work of Judy O’Toole, the museum’s previous directors, and our dedicated staff.”

“I am delighted to be joining The Frick Pittsburgh and honored to be able to build on the remarkable work of my predecessors—founding director DeCourcy McIntosh and his successors, Bill Bodine and Robin Nicholson—as well as the important contributions of interim director Judy O’Toole, the dedicated Board of Trustees and talented staff,” said Barker.

“The opportunity to continue to help to feed the cultural soul of those who know and love The Frick, while welcoming, engaging and inspiring new audiences to this exceptional museum is tremendously exciting. I am also humbled and inspired to become part of the Pittsburgh community, with its rich and diverse cultural resources, and join in a shared commitment to ensuring that this region continues to thrive as a vibrant and robust destination for the arts. The energy here is palpable. The instant I set foot in this beautiful city I fell in love.”

Barker has fourteen years’ experience as a museum executive. From October 2014 through March 2019, she served as Stanford Calderwood Director of the Boston Athenæum, the distinguished independent library, exhibition center and cultural venue founded in 1807. Under her leadership, the Athenæum raised $13.5 million, increased annual giving by 28% and expanded membership by 78%. During her tenure, Barker established Education and Visitor Services departments, spurred a significant expansion of programs and events and launched new partnerships with more than 40 regional cultural organizations. And, as part of an effort to increase public access to the 230,000-item special collection, Barker oversaw the initiative to publish the institution’s celebrated painting and sculpture collection online.

Commenting on the news of Barker’s appointment as The Frick’s new Executive Director, Boston Athenæum Board President John S. Reed characterized her leadership of the Boston Athenæum as defining and important. Reed remarked, “She increased access, attracted new audiences, and executed the board’s vision for the future. Her energy, experience, creativity, and collaborative approach will be a great asset to The Frick and the city of Pittsburgh.”

Prior to her tenure at the Boston Athenæum, Barker served as Director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. During her seven years at the Mead, an encyclopedic college art museum, Barker led a successful AAM reaccreditation process, doubled hours of operation and dramatically increased attendance. By raising funds to endow new positions and expand the museum’s technology, use of the Mead’s collection for teaching, research and enjoyment increased tenfold.

Barker’s earliest experience as a museum director was at Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery in Hamilton, New York. Under her direction from 2005 until 2007, the museum expanded its offerings and became more accessible for students and the general public. Barker raised $2.3 million for museum facilities and collections during her tenure, built docent, internship and fellowship programs and developed and executed a strategic plan, all while co-curating more than a dozen installations and two traveling exhibitions.

Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grants

Posted in fellowships, opportunities by Editor on September 29, 2019

With more information available through CAA:

Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grants
Applications due by 15 January 2020

The College Art Association is pleased to announce its administration of the Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grants, which provide support to doctoral, postdoctoral, and senior scholars from both the US and outside the US for research topics dedicated to the art and visual culture of the United States prior to 1980. The grants foster firsthand engagement with American artworks and art-historical resources; build networks for non-US-based scholars studying American art; and expand access to artworks, scholarly materials, and communities for US-based scholars studying American art in an international context.

Now administered and juried by CAA, this grant program was initiated by the Terra Foundation in 2003 to fund European candidates. It was expanded to reach candidates worldwide in 2012 and opened to US-based researchers in 2017 to travel abroad, developing American art scholar networks around the world with a total of 173 grantees since its inception.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with the Terra Foundation to provide continued support for scholars of American art,” said David Raizman, interim executive director of CAA. “Research funding for domestic and international scholars is essential to the vitality of the field, and these generous grants from the Terra Foundation will facilitate the advancement of their work. The inclusion of international scholars for these grants is especially gratifying, as it promotes new perspectives and engages the wider scholarly community.”

Awards of up to $9,000 will be granted on a per project basis by a jury formed by CAA. The first awards will be announced in March of 2020.

CAA’s administration of the Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grants continues a long history at CAA of supporting travel and scholarship for professionals and students in the visual arts and design. Other grants offered by CAA include the Professional Development Fellowships for Graduate Students, the Terra Foundation for American Art International Publication Grant, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, the Millard Meiss Publication Fund, the CAA Getty International Program, Travel Grants to the CAA Annual Conference, and introduced last year, the Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions.

New Book | Witnessing Slavery

Posted in books by Editor on September 29, 2019

From Yale UP:

Sarah Thomas, Witnessing Slavery: Art and Travel in the Age of Abolition (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2019), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-1913107055, $55.

Gathering together over 160 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints, this book offers an unprecedented examination of the shifting iconography of slavery in British and European art between 1760 and 1840. In addition to considering how the work of artists such as Agostino Brunias, James Hakewill, and Augustus Earle responded to abolitionist politics, Sarah Thomas examines the importance of the eyewitness account in endowing visual representations of transatlantic slavery with veracity. ‘Being there’, indeed, became significant not only because of the empirical opportunities to document slave life it afforded but also because the imagery of the eyewitness was more credible than sketches and paintings created by the ‘armchair traveler’ at home. Full of original insights that cast a new light on these highly charged images, this volume reconsiders how slavery was depicted within a historical context in which truth was a deeply contested subject.

Sarah Thomas is lecturer in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.

Exhibition | Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 28, 2019

Boar’s Head Tureen, France, probably Strasbourg, ca. 1745; tin-glazed earthenware (faïence)
(Toronto: Gardiner Museum, anonymous loan; photo by Toni Hafkenscheid)

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Opening next month at the Gardiner Museum:

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment
Gardiner Museum, Toronto, 17 October 2019 — 19 January 2020
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, 29 February — 24 May 2020

Curated by Meredith Chilton

Food and dining were transformed in Europe during the age of Enlightenment by profound changes that still resonate today. What many of us eat, the way food is cooked, and how we dine continues to be influenced by radical changes that occurred in France from 1650 until the French Revolution in 1789.

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Taste, 1744–47, oil on canvas, 132 × 154 cm (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1974.3.18).

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment explores the story of this transformation with rare objects, fascinating histories, and amusing stories. We start in the kitchen gardens at Versailles where advances in horticulture expanded the growing seasons of vegetables and fruits, making a greater selection of foods available year-round. Then we visit the steamy kitchens of cooks who advocated light, flavourful cuisine centuries before our time. Next, we discover surprisingly modern philosophies for healthy eating and vegetarianism, and join ardent foodies as they savour meals served on newly invented ceramic and silver wares, from sauceboats to tureens. Along the way, we explore how social changes were impacting eating then, just as now, as the grand formality of the past was abandoned in favour of informality and intimacy.

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment is organized by the Gardiner Museum and curated by Meredith Chilton, C.M., Curator Emerita. Works of art and objects from major North American museums and private collections, as well as key pieces of contemporary ceramics and knitted art, will come together in a delectable feast for the senses designed by Opera Atelier’s Resident Set Designer, Gerard Gauci.

After the Gardiner Museum, the exhibition will tour to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. The exhibition is accompanied by a cookbook titled The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment by Meredith Chilton, with contributions by Markus Bestig, Executive Chef, The York Club, Toronto.

Children Shelling Peas, England, Chelsea, ca. 1759–70; soft-paste porcelain, enamels, and gilding
(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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Meredith Chilton, The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, 2019), 144 pages, ISBN: 978-3897905603, $50.

Food and dining were transformed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, and these profound changes continue to resonate today. What many of us now eat, the way our food is prepared and how we dine are the result of radical changes that occurred in France from 1650 until the French Revolution in 1789. Over thirty French and English recipes of the period are presented in this cookbook, offering readers a taste of the past. Amusing stories, culinary insights, and snippets of history outline the cultural milieu of the time. The King’s Peas is richly illustrated with pictures of paintings, books, silver, glass and ceramics to stimulate the imagination—and the appetite. You are cordially invited to take part in this delectable historical feast.

Installation | Claire Partington: Taking Tea

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 27, 2019

Now on view at SAM:

Claire Partington: Taking Tea
Seattle Art Museum, 7 December 2018 — 6 December 2020

Get a new perspective on SAM’s popular Porcelain Room through the site-specific work of contemporary British ceramic artist Claire Partington. Taking Tea features an installation referencing Baroque painting and European porcelain factories, as well as a panel mounted with fragments from 17th- and 18th-century shipwrecks. The Porcelain Room is a SAM favorite for visitors with more than 1,000 European and Asian porcelain pieces from SAM’s collection grouped to evoke porcelain as a treasured commodity between the East and the West.

Claire Partington reappraises the narrative histories of the porcelain objects. Her figures engaged in the act of ‘taking tea’ give a human face to the European craze for Chinese porcelain on display in the Porcelain Room. Partington’s installation suggests the often unintentional consequences of the porcelain trade during the expansion of international shipping routes. The figures in the installation are steeped in the rarified luxury and high-end fashion these items once conveyed, but they also expose the degrading aspects of trade—the reality of precarious ocean voyages and human exploitation.

At SAM, Kim Rorschach Retires as Amada Cruz Steps In

Posted in museums by Editor on September 27, 2019

This month Amada Cruz succeeds Kimerly Rorschah as Director and CEO of of the Seattle Art Museum. Rorschach did her PhD at Yale in the 1980s, writing on Frederick, Prince of Wales. At the University of Chicago, she was director of the Smart Museum of Art before going on to serve as the founding director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Kim graciously served on my dissertation committee at Chicago, offering invaluable advice and wisdom. A few words here don’t begin to express my debts of gratitude, but I feel profoundly fortunate to have been one of her students. Craig Hanson

From the press release (10 June 2019) . . .

Amada Cruz previously served as Director and CEO of the Phoenix Art Museum. Photo by Airi Katsuta.

The Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Amada Cruz has been chosen as the museum’s new Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO following an extensive international search. Since February 2015, Ms. Cruz has served as the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States. She will assume her position at SAM in September, succeeding Kimerly Rorschach who will be retiring.

In her role at SAM—comprising the downtown Seattle Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the downtown waterfront—Cruz will oversee the institution’s wide-ranging artistic and education programs and manage a staff of more than 300.

“I am so excited about moving to one of the most progressive, innovative, and fastest-growing cities in the country. As an immigrant, Seattle’s embrace of diversity and commitment to inclusion certainly strikes a chord,” says Cruz. “Across its three stunning locations, SAM offers incredibly varied cultural experiences. It’s a particularly exciting opportunity to reintroduce the spectacular Asian Art Museum’s building and collection to the city this fall. And I am honored to be following the enlightened leadership of Kimerly Rorschach. She has been a model of a 21st-century museum director, connecting with communities and expanding the range of artists exhibiting at the museum and entering its collection. I’m looking forward to continuing SAM’s commitment to welcoming everyone.”

“After an exhaustive search with an impressive array of candidates, it’s clear that Amada Cruz is the forward-thinking leader we’re seeking,” said Charles Wright, SAM trustee and chair of the search committee. “Amada’s strong vision, extensive experience as both a curator and a fundraiser, and keen understanding of the power of the visual arts will undoubtedly help her take SAM to the next level.”

“Like the city of Seattle, the museum is always evolving and moving forward,” said Stewart Landefeld, SAM Board of Trustees Chair. “Kim’s incredible leadership has brought SAM to a vital and stable present, and Amada is the right person to lead it into an ambitious future along with SAM’s talented staff, dedicated volunteers, and committed Board of Trustees.”

During her tenure at the Phoenix Art Museum (PAM), Cruz set ambitious goals to increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion and accessibility. She oversaw a series of initiatives designed to improve financial stability, strengthen community engagement, and build national visibility. PAM attracted key national funders in support of the museum’s mission; introduced more Latinx and bilingual educational programming; and increased diversity across exhibitions and installations, presenting works by artists of color, LGBTQI+ artists, and women artists, including a retrospective for modern artist Agnes Pelton that will travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2020.

Over her 30-year career, Cruz has held posts as the Executive Director at San Antonio-based Artpace, an artist residency program; Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum at Bard College, where she co-organized the first US museum survey of Takashi Murakami’s work; and Acting Chief Curator and Manilow Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Cruz has also worked as a grantmaker and was the founding Program Director for United States Artists in Los Angeles, where she formed longstanding relationships with artists around the country and was responsible for all programming activities of a Ford and Rockefeller Foundations initiative. She also has been Executive Director of Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue in New York City, which awarded grants to visual artists in San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Cruz received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Political Science at New York University. She received the 2018 Virginia Cardenas Arts Advocacy Award by Xico, an Arizona cultural institution serving Latinx and Indigenous artists. In 2015, W Magazine named her one of the 11 most powerful female museum directors in America.

“I am absolutely delighted that Amada Cruz has been named to lead SAM into the future. She is an experienced professional of the highest integrity and brings an exciting vision for the future of our great museum,” says Kimerly Rorschach, SAM Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. “She has a profound love of art and a deep commitment to increasing access for all. I know that she will keep the museum moving forward in our dynamic city and region.”

From the press release (31 October 2018) announcing Kim Rorschach’s retirement:

Kimerly Rorschach became director of the Seattle Art Museum in November 2012. Photo by Scott Areman.

Kimerly Rorschach, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), announced today that she will retire in fall 2019 after seven years leading the institution. Rorschach will step down following the opening of the museum’s newly renovated and expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum facility. The museum’s Board of Trustees will initiate an international search to find Rorschach’s replacement.

Winnie Stratton, President of SAM’s Board of Trustees, noted, “Kim’s retirement culminates an esteemed 25-year career leading museums. SAM and Seattle are stronger today thanks to her seven years of leadership. Over the years, it has been an honor to work with Kim and see how each of our three locations have matured to a new level and thrived with her guidance. She facilitated important art scholarship and brought to Seattle groundbreaking exhibitions. She worked to bring in more diverse and younger audiences, and increased attendance and community engagement.”

Added Stewart Landefeld, Chairman of SAM’s Board of Trustees, “SAM has flourished under Kim’s leadership. Her myriad of duties aside, she has been the number one champion for the museum. Her contribution to fundraising has been transformative, including raising nearly $125M towards the museum’s current $150M campaign to boost SAM’s endowment, renovate the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and expand programming across all three sites. Collegial, disciplined, and community-focused, Kim has been a great mentor and colleague. Her passion, drive, and desire to foster new connections between art, culture, and the community, will be greatly missed.”

Rorschach joined SAM in November 2012. She immediately set her sights on creating a schedule of exhibitions and programs for the museum’s three locations that was compelling and timely and that would resonate with a rapidly growing and diversifying Seattle community.

Working with SAM’s curators, Rorschach has been able to secure and produce an exhibition lineup that has bolstered the museum’s mission to “connect art to life” and increased attendance and membership to new levels. Through the years, Rorschach has overseen a roster of special exhibitions such as Disguise: Masks & Global African Art (2015); Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art (2015); Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic (2016); Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (2017); Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect (2017); and Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas (2018). In cooperation with The Phillips Collection and the Museum of Modern Art, Rorschach helped bring to Seattle in 2017 Jacob Lawrence’s epic The Migration Series—the first time all sixty panels had been shown together on the West Coast for two decades. At the Seattle Asian Art Museum, known for its historic Chinese, Japanese, and Korean collections, Rorschach and the museum’s curators developed a lively and popular program of contemporary Asian exhibitions including Live On: Mr’s Japanese Neo-Pop (2014), Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World (2015), and Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi (2016). The Olympic Sculpture Park continued to develop and thrive with the introduction of new year-round programs including the popular SAM Lights in December, as well as art installations in the PACCAR Pavilion by Sam Vernon (2015), Victoria Haven (2016), and the current installation by Spencer Finch.

During Rorschach’s tenure, SAM’s global collection has been enhanced by significant acquisitions. Louis-Phillipe Crépin’s Shipwreck Off the Coast of Alaska (1806); Raphaelle Peale’s Still Life with Strawberries and Ostrich Egg Cup (1814); Ai Wei Wei’s Colored Vases (2010); Jaume Plensa’s Echo (2011)—a gift of the late Barney Ebsworth; and Kehinde Wiley’s Anthony of Padua (2013) are among the many new works that have added breadth and depth to the collection and addressed critical gaps.

Guided by a shared vision for strengthening SAM’s collection for all, Rorschach has worked hand-in-hand with numerous generous donors to bring to the museum several substantial and transformative private collections, including the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, the most extensive collection of modern and contemporary art in the Northwest, featuring works by Johns, Frankenthaler, Rothko, Ruscha, Irwin, and more; as well as the Sam and Gladys Rubinstein Collection, focused on early European modernism, including works by Jawlensky, Delaunay, and Kupka.

Under Rorschach’s leadership, SAM’s growth has not been limited to its collection. She joined the museum as the nation and Seattle were beginning to rebound from a major economic downturn. She took steps to address the museum’s long-term operating challenges, improving its operating performance year over year. She has been instrumental in the launch of a major $150M fundraising campaign to secure the museum’s financial future; greatly increase its operating endowment by $60M; fund the $54M renovation and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, located in SAM’s historic first home; and fund numerous new programs, including a new Asian Paintings Conservation Center. She also worked with the museum’s staff and Board of Trustees to create a multi-year Strategic Plan, confirming the museum’s mission and vision, articulating its values, asserting its leadership position, and defining key strategic directions moving forward. This Strategic Plan continues as a template for SAM’s growth and was recently updated to include new priorities, including a focus on equity and inclusion.

Equity and inclusion have been top priorities for Rorschach during her time at SAM. As part of a commitment to building racial equity, addressing institutional racism, and bringing forth real change, she led the museum’s participation in the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative; established racial equity training for the museum staff, volunteers, docent corps, and Board of Trustees; and oversaw the formation of a museum Equity Team. Under her leadership, the museum also created special exhibition advisory committees to ensure that diverse community voices are part of the exhibition, programming, and marketing planning processes.

Engaging young people and building new audiences has also been a top priority for Rorschach. With her encouragement, SAM began hosting free

Community Celebrations, inviting thousands of people to see the special exhibitions on opening day. At the Olympic Sculpture Park, the museum launched the innovative Tiny Trees preschool program partnership and new winter programming for all audiences. And SAM has continued to grow its important partnership with the City of Seattle around the Creative Advantage arts education initiative. Overall, the museum has seen dramatic growth in its young adult audiences, echoing the rapid growth of the Seattle area.

Among Rorschach’s proudest accomplishments is the renovation and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, currently underway. The project not only preserves and restores the historic Art Deco building that houses the museum, but it also adds much needed gallery and education space. The project creates an opportunity to rethink the way the Asian Art Museum collections are presented and how new tools, such as interactive technology, can help visitors engage with the collection. A 12,000-square-foot expansion will allow for an expanded programming schedule for students and adults, supported by dedicated education space and more rotating exhibitions featuring cultures outside of SAM’s core Chinese, Japanese, and Korean collections. The anticipated reopening of the museum is late 2019.

“It has been a tremendous honor to lead the Seattle Art Museum during this exciting period of challenge and growth,” said Rorschach. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished, and of our incredible SAM staff, whose dedication has inspired me every step of the way. I am also enormously grateful to SAM’s Board of Trustees and generous supporters, whose leadership has underpinned our many successes. With the downtown expansion and Olympic Sculpture Park, and now the rebirth of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, SAM’s three sites are poised to serve the community for many years to come.”

Before coming to the Seattle Art Museum, Rorschach was the founding director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which she established as the most dynamic museum presenting contemporary art in the region, with a significant national profile. She previously served as the director of the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, and held curatorial positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. Rorschach holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is a former President of the Association of Art Museum Directors and serves on the board of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, New York, founded by Agnes Gund.

The Wallace Collection to Lend

Posted in museums by Editor on September 26, 2019
The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, 2005)

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From the press release, via Art Daily (25 September 2019) . . .

Although the Wallace is traditionally considered to be a ‘closed’ collection, the terms of Lady Wallace’s bequest do not expressly forbid lending or borrowing. Sir Richard Wallace himself loaned works extensively to other institutions in Paris and London, notably the Royal Academy and the Bethnal Green museum. The conclusion reached by the Trustees and the Director is that temporary loans would not be going against the bequest and this would be entirely in keeping with Sir Richard’s desire to share great art with the widest possible audience.

As the Wallace Collection resides in Sir Richard Wallace’s original home at Hertford House, Manchester Square, in central London, each loan request will be considered extremely carefully in order to minimise disturbance to its unique environment. Owing to these restrictions, the Wallace Collection will only be able to enter into loan agreements under very special circumstances.

The decision to lend works on a temporary basis will enable the Wallace Collection to develop exciting new collaborations with museums across the UK and internationally, expanding public access to the museum’s exceptional collection and encouraging new audiences to engage with its treasures. It will also provide exciting opportunities for scholarly research and enable the museum to remain a centre of curatorial excellence.

António Horta-Osório, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, says: “This is a hugely significant moment in the history of the Wallace Collection and is the result of careful deliberations by the Board. Our successful programme of ground-breaking exhibitions, in which our own masterpieces are showcased alongside related treasures from elsewhere, can now be complemented by an ability to lend our works to other great collections. This allows us to develop new collaborations at home and internationally, and will mean that the treasures of the Wallace Collection will be shared with an even greater audience. It represents a new chapter in the museum’s history and will ensure that the Wallace Collection continues to flourish and remains relevant for generations to come.”

Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection, says: “I am thrilled we are announcing that the Wallace Collection will now be able to lend works of art. This is a transformative moment for the museum which will enable us to deepen our understanding of the Collection and play a wider role within the international art historical community. This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by the Board, mindful as we are that the Wallace Collection is loved by the public for being an intimate house museum. However, in order to share our collection with the widest possible audience we believe that it is the right next step for the Wallace Collection and we look forward to expanding our horizons in accordance with the scale of the museum.”

Conference | Late Venetian Fortification

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 26, 2019

From ArtHist.net:

Late Venetian Fortification
Split City Museum, 4 October 2019

Until now, research on Venetian fortifications has given considerable more attention to Cinquecento works than to the achievements of the following centuries. This is why the aim of the conference is to focus on the later period. New material and insights are expected on the period starting with the War of Candia. Relevant topics include but are not limited to important fortification sites and projects (Morea, Corfu, Corinto, Dalmatia etc.), activities of military engineers, procedures and institutions involved in the construction of fortifications, Schulenburg’s involvement in fortification construction.

More information is available here»


9:00  Morning Papers
• Andrej Žmegač — Late Venetian Fortification: An Introduction
• Josip Pavić — The State of War: Reflections Regarding War Management in the Stato da Mar
• Ivo Glavaš — Barone and St. John’s Fortresses above the town of Šibenik
• Elisabetta Molteni — Filippo Verneda (c.1617–1692): Un maestro della fortificazione nella Venezia del XVII secolo
• Snježana Perojević — Military Engineers and the Fortification of Split in the 17th Century
• Antonio Manno — ‘La porta dell’Adriatico’: Il ruolo di Corfù nel sistema difensivo della Repubblica di Venezia
• Christian Ottersbach — The Fortresses of Palamidi and Corfu in their European Context: Testimonies of a Revolution in Military Architecture

13.00  Lunch break

14.00  Afternoon Papers
• Nikolaos A. Lianos — Military Engineers in the Morea during the Second Venetian Domination
• Eric G. L. Pinzelli — Modon, the Eye of the Republic
• Darka Bilić — Le circostanze del soggiorno del maresciallo Schulenburg in Dalmazia e Albania veneta
• Federico Bulfone Gransinigh and Alberto Pérez Negrete — Dopo Candia e Corfù: Niccolò Erizzo e le influenze al fortificare nell’ammodernamento dei forti lagunari della Serenissima, 1716–18
• Andrej Žmegač — The Venetian Military Engineer Antonio Giancix: Chronology and Evaluation

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