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Call for Papers | Midwest Art History Society 2022, Houston

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 4, 2021

Work at the MFAH Sarofim Campus concluded with the opening in November 2020 of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building (shown above). Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the structure houses art produced after 1900 and moves the MFAH up to the twelfth largest art museum in the world (in terms of gallery space). Photo: Richard Barnes, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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From the Call for Papers:

48th Annual Conference of the Midwest Art History Society
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Menil Collection, 10–12 March 2022

Proposals due by 15 December 2021

Head south to Bayou City for the 48th annual conference of the Midwest Art History Society. The conference will be held in Houston, Texas, in close proximity to world-class art collections and cultural sites. Participate in engaging sessions at one of the most impressive art institutions in the nation, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), on Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11, with special sessions and visits to the Menil Collection and other area institutions on Saturday, March 12.

On Thursday evening, MAHS members are invited to a keynote lecture, “Re-presenting Afro-Atlantic Histories,” presented by Kanitra Fletcher, Associate Curator, African American and Afro-Diasporic Art, Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Dr. Fletcher will examine Afro-Atlantic Histories, the largest international exhibition effort to date to treat the Black Atlantic as an area of cultural exchange and transformation between Africa and the Americas (MASP, São Paulo and MFAH).

Established in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston holds a growing encyclopedic collection of more than 70,000 objects spanning from antiquities to the present. The museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim main campus comprises a number of important museum buildings and their collections, including the newly opened Nancy and Rich Kinder Building designed by Steven Holl Architects (2020) to house 20th- and 21st-century collections. The MFAH is also home to two house museums, a repertory cinema, two libraries, public archives, and facilities for conservation and storage, as well as the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), a leading research institute for 20th-century Latin American and Latino art.

Conference attendees are encouraged also to explore the Lillie and Hugh Roy Sculpture Garden and the beautiful works in the Brown Foundation, Inc, Plaza, which provides views of downtown Houston. Just across the street, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston offers visitors an opportunity to view exemplary work by living artists. Established in 1948 and housed today in a space designed by Gunnar Birkerts in 1972, the museum exhibits work by local and global living artists and organizes thought-provoking arts programming to educate and inspire audiences.

Close to the Museum District are spectacular sites of downtown architecture and green spaces, interspersed with a vibrant collections of museum spaces including the Asia Society Texas Center, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the Czech Center Museum Houston, Diverseworks, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Lawndale Art Center, the Jung Center, Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, and the Health Museum.

The Houston skyline is distinguished by a host of striking buildings, varying from the Houston City Hall, constructed by the Works Progress Administration following the Great Depression in the 1930s, to the 1999 postmodern ‘Skyscraper of the Century’ Williams Towers designed by Philip Johnson. Green spaces include the Discovery Green, an area famous for its restaurants, food trucks, and free community events varying from yoga to concerts and arts shows; and Herman Park, home of the Houston Zoo and trails leading to a small lake with pedal boats and a Japanese Zen Garden.

Beyond the Museum District, the nearby Montrose neighborhood developed in 1911, offers visitors diverse dining and shopping options. In the 1980s, it was the center of the gay community and today is a demographically diverse area with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches, and cottages located along tree-lined boulevards. More recently (in 2009), Montrose was named one of the ‘ten great neighborhoods in America’. The world-class art collections of Dominique and John de Menil are housed in the Menil Collection in the heart of Montrose. The impeccable Renzo Piano building features matchless galleries of Surrealist art, as well as later modern and contemporary art, arts of Africa, Oceania and Latin America, and important temporary exhibitions. The Menil campus also contains the Rothko Chapel, a museum building dedicated to the art of Cy Twombly, and the new Menil Drawing Institute with its own display and study spaces.

Conference presentations are expected to be under twenty minutes. Proposals of no more than 250 words and a two-page CV should be emailed to the chairs of individual sessions by Friday, 15 December 2021. Chairs are to submit finalized panels for their sessions by 10 January 2022.

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A selection of sessions of potential interest for eighteenth-century scholars is listed below (with the full listing available here).

Drawings and Prints, I
Chair: Cheryl Snay (Curator of European Art, Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame), csnay@nd.edu
This session invites new research or perspectives on early modern American and European drawings and prints from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.

Graduate Student / Early Career Workshop: Museum Work — Skills, Applications, Opportunities
Chairs: Rex Koontz (University of Houston) and Christine Bentley (Missouri Southern State University), rkoontz@uh.edu and bentley-c@mssu.edu

Provenance Studies
Chair: Jon Evans (University of Houston), jevans@uh.edu

Textiles / Fashion
Chair: Erica Warren (The Art Institute of Chicago), ewarren2@artic.edu

Decolonizing Art History
Chair: Lauren DeLand (Savannah College of Art and Design), delan104@umn.edu

Art History Pedagogy
Chairs: Beth Merfish and Sarah Costello (University of Houston-Clear Lake), merfish@uhcl.edu

Socially Engaged Art History Round Table
Chairs: Cindy Persinger (California University of Pennsylvania) and Azar Rejaie (University of Houston Downtown), persinger@calu.edu and rejaiea@uhd.edu

African Art and Art of the African Diaspora
Chair: Felicia Mings (Curator, Art Gallery of York University), mings@yorku.ca

Art of the Indigenous Americas: Ancient and Modern
Chair: Rex Koontz (University of Houston), rkoontz@uh.edu

Between the Local and Global: Art of the Americas
Chair: Cristina Gonzalez (Oklahoma State University), cristina.gonzalez@okstate.edu

Asian Art
Chair: Jennifer Lee (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), jlee241@saic.edu

Early Modern Art (15th–18th Centuries)
Chair: Elizabeth Carroll (San Jose State University), elizabeth.carroll@sjsu.edu

Recent Acquisitions in the Midwest
Chair: Cheryl Snay (Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame), csnay@nd.edu

Technical Art History
Chair: Amy Morris (University of Nebraska at Omaha), ammorris@unomaha.edu

Undergraduate Art History Session
Chair: Paula Wisotzki (Loyola University), pwisots@luc.edu
Faculty members who have received outstanding research papers from undergraduate students within the past two academic years are invited to submit them for inclusion in our eighth annual Undergraduate Research Session. These papers should explore specific art historical research questions. In all cases, a faculty member (usually the submitter) must serve as a mentor and accompany the undergraduate student to the annual conference. Submissions should include the complete paper of no more than 2500 words, a 250-word abstract, and the student’s resume. In the event that the paper is accepted, undergraduate student presenters and faculty mentors are expected to pay membership and conference fees.

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