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2013 –2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the Art History Program at NIU, where we investigate the ways in which we communicate through images, objects, and the built environment. What is the human relationship to images, forms, and structures? How has that relationship changed over time, and how does it differ from one geographical and cultural context to another? We view the visual arts of various human societies as active agents in shaping perception, affecting behavior, and expressing messages through complex combinations of form and content. We ask, “Why has art been so important in the past, how does it affect our present, and how will it shape our future?”

B.A. Program Congratulations to our graduates!

Esther Espino, Tracey Redding, and Katharine Susko completed their B.A. in Art History in December, 2013. Anthony Amettis and Lindsey Sheehan will be receiving their degrees in May, 2014. Anthony Amettis presented two papers at the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, held April 3-5 in Lexington, Ky.: “Art Nouveau Sexualization: Gendered Viewing Experiences of Poster Art” and “From Technique to Subject Matter: A Generation of Difference in the American Avant-Garde.” Another paper, “Ubiquity on Parchment: Fifteenth-Century Books of Hours and the NIU Manuscript Collection,” has been accepted for publication in The Northerner Historical Review, a peer-reviewed journal produced by students in the NIU history department. Under the supervision of Professor Barbara Jaffee, he completed an honors thesis, “‘Some of Us Just Like to Read’: Lady Gaga’s Poetic Pastiche and the Rhizome,” which was selected to receive a Capstone Excellence Award for 2013-2014 from the University Honors Program, one of only two awarded. Graduating this spring with both university and departmental honors, he will begin the M.A. program in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago this fall. In the fall semester, Esther Espino completed an honors thesis, “Dualidad: Rufino Tamayo and Mexico’s Divided Identity” under the supervision of Professor Sarah Evans. Having graduated in December with departmental honors, she is now the Art Lab Assistant at Waubonsee Community College where she recently curated the juried photography exhibition, “Aw, Snap!”. Last summer, Tracey Leigh Redding participated in a summer study abroad program at Sophia University, Tokyo, organized by the Council on Interna2

The Undergraduate Art History Seminar at the Newberry Library, Chicago

The “Heron maiden” in a kabuki performance by Bandõ Tamasaburõ V and woodblock prints by Suzuki Harunobu and Utagawa Kunimasa III.

tional Educational Exchange. In the fall semester, she completed an honors thesis, “Construction of an Icon: The Heron Maiden in Japan’s Performing and Visual Art Traditions,” supervised by Professor Helen Nagata, and graduated in December with departmental honors. She recently began a position at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Ill, where her primary responsibility is coordinating the summer arts education youth programs. The topic of this year’s Undergraduate Art History Seminar (ARTH 494), taught by Professor Ann van Dijk

in the fall, was “The Medieval Book.” Seven art history majors completed original research projects on the small collection of medieval manuscript leaves in NIU’s Rare Books and Special Collections Department with the assistance, one memorable afternoon, of the renowned authority on medieval manuscripts, Dr. Christopher de Hamel of the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. One class was spent at the “Tai Cultures at Northern Illinois University” exhibit in Altgeld Hall where Professor Catherine Raymond gave the students a cross-cultural introduction to the manuscripts of Thailand on display. Another highlight was a daylong field trip into Chicago to view Byzantine and medieval Armenian manuscripts at the University of Chicago and medieval European manuscripts at the Newberry library. The Art History Division was very well represented at this year’s Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day, an annual event organized by the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. The First Place Humanities Prize was awarded to Jennifer WegmannGabb for her project, “Who’s That Girl: Ecclesia and the NIU Paris Bible Leaf.” Four other art history majors also presented their research projects to the university community: Anthony Amettis (Honorable Mention), Gabriela Crespo, Sarah Greer, and Lindsey Sheehan.

Historia Artis Historia Artis is the association for undergraduate and graduate art history students. Its officers for 2013-2014 are: President: Alyssa Jaracz Vice-President and Treasurer: Alison Bastian Secretary: Anthony Amettis Historia Artis organized two field trips for members this year. In the fall, a group of students travelled to the Elmhurst Art Museum to see “Inventory_The EAM Collection.” This spring, the destination was the Milwaukee Art Museum, a trip that took place in April. Also in April, the annual Student Symposium provided an opportunity

for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research to an audience of faculty and peers.

Historia Artis members at the Elmhurst Art Museum

M.A. Program Welcome to our new students, Tessa Christ and Felicia Herzog, who joined the program last fall. The Graduate School at NIU has named Alison Bastian one of four Outstanding Graduate Students in Art and Design for 2013-2014. Last summer she spent three weeks in Burma (Myanmar), visiting archeological sites and museums all over the country with Professor Catherine Raymond, while working on her M.A. thesis. She also assisted Professor Raymond in delivering a workshop for museum curators in Naypyidaw and attended the official ceremony at the National Museum in Yangon marking the return of a 12th-century Buddha image that had been in NIU’s custody since 1995. Currently she is finishing work on her thesis, “Exhibiting Buddhism: The Museumification of Burmese Buddha Images” (advisor: Prof. Catherine Raymond) and will complete her degree this spring. Stuart Henn represented NIU at the annual art history graduate student symposium hosted by the Art Institute

of Chicago this April where he presented his paper, “A Vision of Hyperreality: Revisiting the Films of Charles and Ray Eames through a Study of Glimpses of the USA (1959) and Powers of Ten (1977).” He is also completing a thesis entitled “The Influence of European Modernist Design Ashley Lee and Emily Ott at the Newberry Library, Chicago Aesthetics on 1930’s American Architecture and Ashley Lee and Emily Ott Furniture Design at the Chicago presented papers at the Newberry Century of Progress Exhibition” Center for Renaissance Studies 2014 (advisor: Prof. Rebecca Houze) and Multidisciplinary Graduate Student will graduate this Conference in January. Ashley spring. presented “Role Models, Mimesis, Also graduating and the Annunciation: Examining this spring is the Function of Six Cameos.” Emily Alyssa Jaracz, presented “French Composite Caskets with a thesis and the Loss of Innocence.” entitled “Frank Lloyd Wright and the S.C. Johnson Complex: Applying Theories on Domesticity and Gendered Space to a Corporate Commission” (advisor: Prof. Barbara Jaffee).


The Elizabeth Allen Visiting Speakers in Art History Series Funded through the generosity of art history division alumna, Elizabeth Allen Plotnick, this series allows us to bring a roster of nationally and internationally known scholars to campus each year. As always, this year’s program comprised lectures on a fascinating and diverse range of subjects. Thursday, October 10, 2013 Nancy Troy, Professor and Department Chair of Art and Art History, Stanford University “The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian” Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Christopher de Hamel, Fellow Librarian, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge “Twelfth-Century English Giant Illuminated Bibles” Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Lisa Banu, Associate Professor of Design History, Purdue University “Lipstick, Brassieres and Eyelashes: On Designer Raymond Loewy’s Superficial Depth in Never Leave Well Enough Alone” Monday, March 31, 2014 Dorian Borbonus, Assistant Professor of History, University of Dayton “How to Die Like an Ancient Roman”

Faculty News This year saw the publication of Sinclair Bell’s co-edited volume, Free at Last! The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire (London: Bloomsbury), in paperback and e-book editions. In addition, his book chapter on “Roman Chariot Racing: Charioteers, Factions, Spectators,” was published in A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity, edited by P. Christesen and D. Kyle (Malden, Mass.: WileyBlackwell). Professor Bell also submitted his thirty-chapter manuscript of A Companion to the Etruscans (co-edited with Alexandra Carpino) to Wiley-Blackwell; publication is scheduled for late 2014. He is close to completing his monograph on the Roman circus, for which he recently received a generous research fellowship from the George and Eliza Gardner Foundation at Brown University. This past fall Professor Bell gave several invited lectures: “Circus Maximus: Sport, Spectacle and Society in Ancient Rome” at the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago; “Chariot Racing in Roman Society” to the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati; “Foreign Faces: Africans and Others in Ancient Roman Art” at the Cincinnati Art Museum; “How to Become an Archaeologist” at Hudson High School (Ohio), of which he is an alumnus; “Who were the Etruscans? New Discoveries and Interpretations” to the Chicago Classical Club at the Cliffdweller’s Club. At the Annual Conference of the College Art Association held in February, Sarah Evans co-chaired a panel, “Studio Shots: Representations of Women as Artists,” focusing on images of American women working in their home/studios in the 1960s and early 1970s. In June, she will be traveling to the People’s Republic of China where


Belton chalet, West Glacier, Mont., and Crater Lake lodge, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

she will give a paper, “This Way and Never Another: Hybrid Object in the Works of Bharti Kher,” at this year’s Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) conference to be held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She will also be a juror for this year’s ASAP book award for most significant contribution to the study of the arts of the present. Rebecca Houze received a Summer Research and Artistry grant from NIU to travel last summer to Glacier National Park in Montana and to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, where she examined American interpretations of the Swiss chalet. This research is part of a new book project that looks at relationships between nineteenth-century European architectural villages and the construction of rustic style buildings in American national parks in the early twentieth century. Professor Houze is also working on a collection of critical essays on graphic design, inspired by student projects in her courses over the years. Her monograph, Textiles, Fashion, and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary Before the First World War:

Feathered Serpent pyramid, Xochicalco and detail (right)

Principles of Dress, is forthcoming from Ashgate in 2015. Last summer, Barbara Jaffee drove over 2,000 miles, touring museums and discovering roadside attractions in six Midwestern and Southern states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri). A highlight of her trip was the impressive Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville, a full-scale replica of the Athenian original built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. The building also serves as the city’s art museum, housing an interesting collection of American modernists from the late nineteenth and early twentieth cen-

turies. The destination that inspired the journey, the extraordinary Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ariz., didn’t disappoint. Designed by acclaimed Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, this ambitious museum, a project of Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, resembles nothing so much as an alien spacecraft come to rest at the base of a natural ravine in the heart of the Ozark forest. These experiences and more formed the core of Professor Jaffee’s graduate seminar this Spring –an investigation of art exhibitions as theatrical events. 5

Faculty News continued

of Yoshiwara koi no michibiki (A Guide to Love in the Yoshiwara 1678) and an introduction of the work for an exhibition and catalogue featuring the John C. Weber collection of Japanese art, to open at The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco in February, 2015.

The first illustration that appears in Yoshiwara koi no michibiki (Guide to Love in the Yoshiwara, 1678) attributed to Hishikawa Moronobu. The illustration represents Ryogokubashi [Bridge] and is the first of a total of twenty illustrations.

Funded by a 2013 NIU Summer Research and Artistry Award, Jeff Kowalski travelled to Mexico City and the central Mexican archaeological sites of Teotihuacan, Tula, Cacaxtla, Xochitecatl, Cholula, and Xochicalco in connection with the book he is co-authoring, Art and Experience in the Ancient Americas, on contract with the University of Texas Press. In 2013 he completed a paper, “Myth, Ritual, History and the Built Environment: Maya Radial Temples and Ballcourts from the Classic to Postclassic Periods” which is forthcoming as a chapter in An Uncommon Legacy: Essays in Ancient American and World Art History in Honor of Esther Pasztory, ed. A. Finegold and E. Hoobler (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press). In the fall he presented part of his ongoing research on the Maya palace complex known as the Nunnery Quadrangle at Uxmal at the colloquium “La naturaleza entre los mayas” in Merida, Yucatán, with a paper entitled “El Cuadrángulo de las Monjas en Uxmal: Creación, ciclos naturales y la autoridad política en un complejo palacio Maya de la zona Puuc.” This April he presented another 6

paper at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas: “Creation, Renewal Ritual, and Political Authority: Messages in the Mosaic Facades of the Nunnery Quadrangle at Uxmal.”

In the fall, Mary Quinlan gave talks at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in connection with her new book, Influences: Art, Optics, and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), and in March she was invited to Harvard University as a speaker in the De Bosis Colloquium in Italian Studies. Funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Professor Quinlan has been on research leave in 2013-14, working on her next book project, Leon Battista Alberti’s “De Pictura (On Painting)”and Its Impact on Renaissance Art.

Professor Kowalski, who began teaching at NIU in 1982, has announced his retirement at the end of the 201314 academic year. Colleagues and students are planning a celebration of his long and productive career in early May – Jeff, we truly wish you the best in this new phase now beginning! Helen Nagata’s article, “Hishikawa Moronobu’s Yoshiwara: The Formulation of a Seventeenth-Century Popular Art,” just appeared in Japan’s foremost research journal on ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Ukiyo-e geijutsu (Arts of Ukiyo-e), vol. 167 (Jan. 2014), 98-109. Last June, she gave an invited presentation, “Reading the Narrator: Reflections on Tone, Humor, and Attitude in the Text of Yoshiwara koi no michibiki,” for the University of Chicago Early Modern Japan Summer Workshop. Currently on a sabbatical research leave, she is working on a translation

Catherine Raymond (right) with Alison Bastian (left) and Sarah Rivers in Sagaing, Myanmar

Alumni News We always love to hear what students who graduated from our programs go on to do next. If you have some news to share, please send it to avandijk@

Ann van Dijk in Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome

Twelfth-century Burmese Buddha, formerly in NIU’s custody, now returned to the National Museum in Yangon, Myanmar

In 2013, Catherine Raymond was named Outstanding International Educator of the Year by NIU’s Division of International Programs for her “significant and sustained contributions to international education at the university.” She also received a NIU Summer Research and Artistry grant to travel to Burma/Myanmar, where she continued research towards an annotated catalog of the Burmese Art Collection at NIU. While there she led a NIU delegation which together visited ten national universities and presented papers at the three foremost campuses. In the new Myanmar capital, Naypyidaw, she organized – along with her colleague Dr. Lodewijk Wagenaar of the Amsterdam Historical Museum, and two of her NIU graduate students – a four-day, handson workshop for museum curators. She also attended the ceremony at the National Museum in Yangon marking the official return of a 12th-century Buddha image that had been in NIU’s custody since 1995, where she was honored for her role in the transfer. Earlier in the summer she presented a paper at the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies in Lisbon, Portugal. Back in De Kalb in September, Prof. Raymond mounted an exhibit entitled T’ai Cultures at Northern Illinois

University, featuring objects from the Burma Art Collections, the Anthropology Museum and Founders Memorial Library, to celebrate the visit of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand to NIU to receive an honorary doctorate. Currently, Prof. Raymond is working on Dress Different, an exhibition planned for the NIU Art Museum in Fall 2014 “exploring gender and ethnicity from across the cultures of Myanmar,” which will feature Burmese artworks and textiles from the NIU collections, and from Denison University Museum (Granville, Ohio). Ann van Dijk’s article “The Veronica, the Vultus Christi and the veneration of icons in medieval Rome” appeared in Old St. Peter’s, Rome, ed. R. McKitterick et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) in late 2013. In December she presented “Visual Diplomacy on the Apsidal Arch of Santa Maria Antiqua” at the British School at Rome, part of an international conference on the newly (and beautifully) restored early medieval church of Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum.

Coral Carlson (M.A., 2007, advisor Ann van Dijk) received her Ph.D. in history from Northern Illinois University in 2013 with a dissertation entitled “Tin Dreams: Place, People and Produce in Colonial Pahang” completed under the direction of Professor Eric Jones. Last year she also presented a paper entitled “Powerless Pawns or Passionate Actors: British Women of the Pahang Corporation, 1892-1900” at the Southeast Asia Studies Symposium at Oxford University, UK. Currently a lecturer in Asian History at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., she recently travelled to Italy to do research for a book on cross-cultural contact between Asia and Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries that builds on the work she did for her M.A. thesis, “The Chinese Connection: Chinese ceramics in Italian art of the 14th and 15th centuries.” Samuel Dodd (B.A., 2007) is pursuing a doctorate in architectural history and theory at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his M.A. in 2009. Under the supervision of Professor Richard Cleary, he is working on a dissertation, “Televising Architecture: Media, Public Engagement, and Design in America.” He has conducted research as an associate of the Center for Sustainable Development and as a fellow at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. In 2013, he presented a paper, “Designa-thon: Architecture Made for TV,” at the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture and co-chaired a session, “Architectural Archives and the Practice of History,” at the Society of Architectural Historians Conference. He currently works as an assistant instructor in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Continued on page 8 7

Alumni News continued David Ouellette (M.A., 2008, advisor Jeff Kowalski; B.A., 2005) is a full-time Instructor of Art History at the College of Dupage, Glen Ellyn, Ill. He recently curated an exhibition entitled “An Illustrated Popol Vuh,” featuring contemporary artistic interpretations of the Maya creation myth, as well as some ancient ceramics and textiles from the highlands of Guatemala, on loan from the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University and the New Orleans Museum of Art. This exhibition ran Oct. 10-Nov. 14 2013 at McNeese State University’s Abercrombie Gallery. In April he gave a paper at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Art History Society entitled “Breaking Open the Gourd: The Identity of Individual 6 from the North Wall Mural at San Bartolo, Guatemala.” Mary Katherine Scott (M.A., 2008, advisor Jeff Kowalski) completed her Ph.D. in 2012 at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, at the University of East Anglia, UK. Since returning to the U.S., she has been working at the University of Wyoming as an Assistant Lecturer in Art History and Spanish, as well as at the university’s Art Museum. In February, she presented a paper at the Annual Conference of the College Art Association entitled, “Innovation and Importation: Yucatán’s Textile Producers and Their Response to Globalization.” This summer, she will be taking a group of students to Yucatán, Mexico for a 6-week study abroad program where they will learn about the art, culture and history of the local Maya people from pre-Columbian times to the present. Jamie Jacobs (M.A., 2010, advisor Rebecca Houze) is working on a doctorate in the history and theory of architecture at the University of Kent, UK, where she is continuing work begun in her M.A. thesis on the nineteenth-century English architect and designer, Augustus Pugin, and his relationship to industrial production and manufacture. She is particularly enjoying the opportunities in England to consult archival materials and travel to sites that were influential on or influenced by Pugin’s work. 8

Lakshika Senarath-Gamage (M.A., 2010, advisor Catherine Raymond) is in her second year of the Ph.D. program in art history at UCLA where she is working with Professor Robert L. Brown. Focusing on art in Sri Lanka from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, she is currently researching a fourteenth-century Hindu temple known as Embekke Devalaya as a possible dissertation topic. She is also pursuing a minor in museum studies with Professor Saloni Mathur. Rebecca Weinstock (M.A., 2010, advisor Barbara Jaffee) has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in art history at the University of New Mexico where will begin working toward her doctorate this fall. Since graduating from NIU she has taught courses in art history and museum studies at Aurora University and Waubonsee Community College while serving as Director of the Flagg Township Museum (Rochelle, Ill.) and, currently, the Lockwood Pioneer Scuba Diving Museum (Loves Park, Ill.). Ginger Cooper (B.A., 2011) is currently a Program Assistant in the Workforce and Economic Development department at Harper College. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science in the near future. Khristin Landry (M.A., 2011, advisor Jeff Kowalski) is in her third year of the doctoral program at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she has been an Abraham Lincoln Fellow for two years. She is working on a dissertation entitled “Art, Architecture and Ritual in the Last Great Maya City: a view from the Postclassic Site of Mayapan,” and presented a paper related to this topic at the Annual Midwest Mesoamericanist Meeting at the end of March. She recently returned from a trip to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras during which she visited a variety of important Maya sites, including Tikal, Copan and Uaxactun. Currently she is teaching a course on Latin American Art at Dominican University, and she also teaches at Waubonsee Community College and the College of Du Page. Morgan Lemmer-Webber (M.A., 2012, advisor Sinclair Bell) is now in her second year in the Ph.D. program in art history at the University of Wisconsin-

Madison where she is studying classical art under the supervision of Professor Nicholas D. Cahill. In January she gave a lecture on “Disembodied Designs: The Challenge of Provenance in the Study of Interior Design Media” at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and American Philological Association in Chicago. Cynthia Chang (M.A., 2013, advisor Jeff Kowalski) has been appointed Executive Director of the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, IL. Kathryn Ritter (M.A., 2013, advisor Sinclair Bell) has been accepted into the University of New Mexico School of Law where she will begin in Fall, 2014.

The Art History Division at NIU offers both a Bachelors and a Masters of Art degree. Graduates from the Art History programs at NIU pursue many different kinds of careers, from teaching at the college level, to curatorial and related educational work in museums, to art-related library careers, to advanced graduate study in institutions around the world. Our faculty members are recognized for their outstanding reputations for research in their special fields of study. We couple this with a commitment to teaching students from undergraduate to graduate levels, and a strong desire to see students excel. Come explore with us! For more information, please contact the Art History Division at 815-753-7923 or avandijk@niu. edu Northern Illinois University School of Art – Art History De Kalb IL 60116-2828 For some of the images reproduced on the cover, we are grateful to: Rare Books and Special Collections, NIU Libraries; The Burma Art Collections, NIU Center for Burma Studies; The Richard F. Grott Family Gift, NIU Art Museum. Northern Illinois University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Printed by authority of the State of Illinois. Produced by the Northern Illinois University Offices of Publications and Document Services. 4/14 F177

NIU Art History 2013-2014 Newsletter  

Northern Illinois University School of Art - The Art History Division 2013-2014 Newsletter.