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UCSB HAA Winter 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The 2015-16 school year brings a number of exciting changes to the department. We heartily welcome two vibrant Assistant Professors to the faculty, Dr. Claudia Moser in Ancient Art and Dr. Heather Badamo in Medieval Art. We have high expectations of the many positive contributions they will bring to our community in the future, but their arrival has already heralded one major change: for the first time in our history, we are now a majority female faculty department! We are furthermore delighted that seven extremely promising and gifted graduate students have joined the department, working in a wide range of fields.

History of Art and Architecture is launching a couple of new initiatives, as well as seeing others through to completion. Our departmental website is being redesigned from the ground up and should be up and running by the beginning of Winter quarter. The departmental infrastructure will be enhanced by the construction of a new digital image laboratory (HAA’s first lab!) within the image resource center, where we will explore new technologies for both research and teaching, including interactive projection. In conjunction with the Art, Design and Architecture Museum, we have launched a new graduate curatorial internship program, and are delighted that the museum is hosting a Graduate Teaching Assistantship that is focused on outreach, bringing art history instruction to area K-12 schools.

Following the thoroughly enjoyable (and delicious) beginning of the year party that took place on October 9, a number of exciting events are coming up: the 2015-16 History of Art and Architecture Lecture series Taking Place, will begin on November 19 with Prof. Michelle Berenfeld discussing “Building Communities: Neighborhoods and Social Space in Late Roman Cities.” The 41st Art History Graduate Student Associations Annual Symposium, to be held in Spring quarter, takes up the theme Radical Ephemeralities.  Please keep an eye out for announcements about the annual Holiday Party and the department’s CAA reception.

I would like to close my inaugural note to the newsletter as the department’s new chair, with a word of thanks to Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay, the outgoing chair, for the stellar job she did in shepherding the department through the past four years. She accomplished a tremendous amount for us and is now enjoying a well-earned year to devote to her own work thanks to the very prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship that she won. And the entire department bids a very fond and wistful goodbye to Prof. Jeanette Peterson, who retired at the end of last year.

All best,

Mark Meadow
Professor and Chair

2015 PhD graduates

Couldn’t be happier! Graduating Ph.D. students and faculty at 2015 commencement exercises.

Top row, L to R: Prof. Emerita Jeanette Peterson, Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay, Dr. Brigit Ferguson, Prof. Laurie Monahan, Dr. Abelina Galustian, Dr. Patricia Lee, Dr. Elizabeth Aguilera, Dr. Ana Mitrovici;

Bottom row: Prof. Mark Meadow, Dr. Mary McGuire, Dr. Deborah Spivak, Dr. Wencheng Yan.

Walter S. White

The exhibition Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-Century Architecture opened at the Art, Design, & Architecture Museum in September, curated and researched by Prof. Volker M. Welter. It is on view through Dec 6, 2015.  Research was conducted in conjunction with various undergraduate and graduate seminars over the last  five years. The catalog includes essays by current and former students of the department (see below under Faculty Research & Publications).

Left: Max E. Willcockson House (Indio, Calif.), ca 1959; Right: Miles C. Bates House (Palm Desert, Calif.): perspective rendering (by Sigfried Knopp), 1955

Walter S. White

The department lost a dear friend and valued partner with the passing in July of Karen Sinsheimer. Karen served as the Curator of Photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art for 25 years. In addition to her impact on the world of photography, Karen mentored many of our department's graduate students. She is remembered for her generous spirit, her intellect, and her unwavering support of photographers, interns, family, and friends. Read about her SBMA contributions here.

2015-16 Department Lecture Series
Forthcoming Lectures (all will take place in Arts 1332):

  • Thurs, Nov 19, 5:30: Michelle Berenfeld (Pitzer College), "Building Communities: Neighborhoods and Social Space in Late Roman Cities." Read more about this lecture here.
  • Thurs, Jan 21, 5:30: Sonya Lee (University of Southern California) will speak on cave temples in southwest China.
  • Thurs, Feb 25, 5:30: Ioannis Mylonopoulos (Columbia University), "Greek Sacred Architecture and the Archaeology of the Senses"
  • Thurs, May 26, 5:30: Anthony McCall, light sculpture artist, will discuss and screen his iconic "Line Describing a Cone"
2015-16 Lecture series
Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of Touch, 1617-18.

Mon, Nov 2, 12:30, Arts 1332: Prof. Mark Meadow will present the department's first Works-in-Progress session for 2015-16, “Prudently Abandoning Wonder: Changing the Governing Concept of the Wunderkammer.”

Left: Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of Touch, 1617-18.
Right: Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of Sight, 1617-18, detail

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of Sight, 1617-18, detail.
Prof. Robert William co-edited Michael Baxandall, Vision, and the Work of Words with Prof. Peter Mack of the Warburg Institute and Warwick University. The volume includes an essay by Williams, “Inferential Criticism and Kunstwissenschaft,” Ashgate Press, 2015
Robert Williams book cover
The catalog for the Walter S. White exhibition at UCSB's Art, Design and Architecture museum. Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-Century Architecture includes essays from Prof. Volker Welter and current and former students of the department.

Prof. Ann Jensen Adams participated in three international conferences recently, the first in June as one-day moderator of the conference Knowledgeable Youngsters: Youth, Media and Early Modern Knowledge Societies held at Utrecht University. In July she presented “Flinck, Bol, and the market for portraits” at the invitational conference Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol:  Rising Stars in Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, sponsored by Queens University Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. In October she presented the paper “Mimesis in history: the Paradox of the Early Modern Netherlandish portrait,” at the conference Methodik zwischen Theorie und Praxis. Historische und aktuelle Ansätze in der niederländischen Kunst und Kulturgeschichte.  Internationale Konferenz des Arbeitskreises Niederländische Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte (ANKK), held in Bonn and Cologne.

Prof. Emerita Ann Bermingham gave the annual Clifford Lecture this past spring at the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Los Angeles. Her topic was the Regency cartoonist George M. Woodward. She is the fourth art historian to give the lecture since its establishment in 1984. She shares this honor with Barbara Maria Stafford, Thomas Crow, and Mary Sheriff.  She will be lecturing this fall at Dartmouth and Harvard.

On Oct 4, 2015, Prof. Mark A. Meadow was the keynote speaker for the inaugural event celebrating the opening of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Cabinet of Art & Curiosity. He also moderated a panel discussion with the artist Mark Dion, Prof. Janet Browne from Harvard University and our own Prof. Bruce Robertson.

Prof. Meadow also delivered a lecture on Oct 21, “Across Time and Space: the Valuation of Cultural Distance in Early-Modern Collections,” at the Europe from the Outside In? Imagining Civilization through Collecting the Exotic Conference , hosted by the Centre for Research into Dynamics of Civilization at the University College London.

Prof. Bruce Robertson has been appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, for Jan-June 2016.

Prof. Jenni Sorkin was a curatorial consultant and catalog author for the exhibition, Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 1933-1957, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (Oct 10, 2015-Jan 24, 2016). The exhibition will travel to the Hammer Museum at UCLA and the Wexner Center at Ohio State University. The catalog is available through Yale University Press. In collaboration with the exhibition, Prof. Sorkin and her colleague, Dr. Gloria Sutton, Assistant Professor of Media History, Northeastern University, are co-convening the symposium, After Black Mountain: Community and Collaboration, held at the Fenway Center, Northeastern University, Friday, Oct 30, 2015. Prof. Sorkin is also an invited presenter at the University of Maine's symposium on Black Mountain, Oct 22-24, organized by Dr. Steven Evans, Associate Professor of English Literature, sponsored by the University of Main Humanities Center in collaboration with the National Poetry Foundation.

In May, Prof. Volker Welter lectured on "The Evolution of Umwelt: Stages in the Architectural Design of the Anthropocene" at the conference Approaching the Anthropocene: Perspectives from the Humanities and Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB. In July he delivered a talk on " 'Environment' versus the City of Tomorrow?" at the European Utopian Studies Society Conference, at Newcastle University, England, and a talk entitled "From the Valley Section to the Sitzlandschaft: Designing with Portable Landscapes in View," at the conference Portable Landscapes: Environments on the Move, held at the College of St Hild and Bede, Durham University, England.

During the academic year 2015-16, Prof. Welter is co-convening the new Architecture & Mind Research Focus Group with Profs. Mary Hegarty (Psychological and Brain Sciences) and Dan Montello (Geography). The group, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB, holds regular scholarly discussion meetings focusing on the various ways in which the humanities, cognitive psychology and behavioral/cognitive geography examine human comprehension of space and place, and architecture's relations to both the human body and mind, among other topics.

Prof. Robert Williams published the essay, “How Life Should be Lived: Vasari’s Biography of Raphael,” in Sterbliche Götter: Raffael und Dürer in der deutschen Romantik, M. Thimann, ed., Göttingen, 2015. His “Repetition, Variation, and the Idea of Art in Renaissance Italy” will appear in the online journal California Italian Studies. His annotated bibliography (numbering 250 items), “Art Theory to 1800,” was posted on the subscription website Oxford Bibliographies Online. A review of Bernard Berenson: Formation and Heritage (edited by Joseph Connors and Louis Waldman) was published in caa reviews, and another, of the exhibition Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action, will appear on the same site in the coming months.

In the summer of 2015, Prof. Williams began work, together with Dr. Linda Wolk-Simon of Fairfield University, on a project, “Raphael’s Use of the Blind Stylus,” funded by the Kress Foundation and UCSB. The first phase involved study of Raphael drawings in the four principal drawing collections of Britain, as well as the Graphische Sammlung Albertina in Vienna, and the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, and the first application to Raphael’s drawings of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) a new technique, which will permit the recovery of preliminary sketches – made with a “blind stylus” – and their reconstruction independent of their subsequent graphic elaboration. The project is expected to continue for the next three years and to involve work in the major drawing collections of eight countries.

Prof. Williams delivered a lecture, “Raphael, Giovanfrancesco Penni, and the Workshop Modelli,” at the conference Raphael’s Collaborations at the Worcester Museum of Art in September. In October he delivered “Vasari, Ruskin, and Renaissance Art,” at Willamette University and “Istoria and the Work of Representation,” at the annual meeting of the Society for Sixteenth Century Studies in Vancouver (in a session chaired by former UCSB undergraduate Tiffany Hunt). He will be co-chairing, with Dr. Anna Kim, sessions at both the annual CAA meeting in Washington in February and the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Boston in April, entitled “Rethinking the Rhetoric of the Image.” In the Boston session he will present a paper, “Actuality, Potentiality, and Raphael’s Tapestry Cartoons.”

Prof. Richard Wittman published "Print culture and French architecture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: a survey of recent scholarship," a state-of-the-field essay, in Perspective, the journal of the French Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA). (Full text will be available online in 2017.)

Prof. Wittman has two visiting researcher postions upcoming in 2016. For January-February he has been invited to be visiting researcher in Paris at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA). For April-June, he has been invited to be visiting researcher at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) in Norway. He continues work on his book on the 19th-century reconstruction of San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome.

Graduate Student News

Sarah Bane curated an exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanic Gardens in San Marino entitled "Funny Business: Humor in British Drawings from Hogarth to Rowlandson," on view through November 30th. 

Sophia Quach McCabe is a Fulbright Fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany for the 2015-2016 academic year. 

Suzanne van de Meerendonk will be presenting a paper on paintings by Theodoor van Thulden in the 's-Hertogenbosch Town Hall at a symposium about paintings in historic interiors (Amsterdam, November 18). (Click to read more about the research project.) She also wrote an essay in the catalogue Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-century Architecture for the Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at UCSB.

Lilit Sadoyan was appointed the inaugural History of Art & Architecture Department / Art, Design, & Architecture Museum Graduate Curatorial Internship for the 2015-16 academic year.

Erin Travers received the  Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation European Studies Fellowship for Dissertation Research, which she will use to conduct on-site research in the Netherlands and England this summer, and the UCHRI Andrew Vincent White and Florence White Scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year.

Diva Zumaya curated an exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art which opened in October titled Piranesi: Architecture of the Imagination.

Dear Alumni: please send your news of appointments, awards and other achievements to meadow at or spafford at