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UCSB HAA Fall 2016 Newsletter

Dear All,

Best wishes to one and all for a happy, safe and prosperous New Year, which might be asking quite a lot given the dramatic political changes underway nationally and internationally. Our department, along with the rest of the UC, rededicates itself to the principles of diversity, inclusion and freedom of thought and expression that are necessary to the success of any system of education — higher or otherwise — and to the well-being of society. The department believes deeply that access to a meaningful education remains an essential gateway to social and economic mobility.

Beyond the political landscape, this has been a year of many firsts. Our year started off with a bang, with the screening of Anthony McCall’s landmark 1973 solid light film, Line Describing a Cone, followed by a discussion led by our own Prof. Jenni Sorkin and Prof. Colin Gardner of the Art Department. This was a first for History of Art and Architecture in a few ways: it was the first of what we hope will be a series of public events in downtown Santa Barbara; the first event collectively co-sponsored by History of Art and Architecture, Art and the Art, Design and Architecture Museum; and the first time (that I know of) that we have held a departmental event in a nightclub.

The McCall event was actually the last of the previous year’s lecture series, “Taking Place,” which had been delayed until September. This year’s series, on “Memory,” and again ably coordinated by Prof. Claudia Moser, started with a talk on November 3 by Prof. Ralph Ghoche of Barnard College on “Romanticism and the Funereal Imagination: The Tomb of the Admiral Dumont d’Urville.” Upcoming speakers on “Memory” include Prof. Bridget Doherty (Princeton University), Prof. Nick Wilding (Georgia State University), Prof. Pascal Boyer (Washington University, St. Louis) and Prof. Ann Marie Yasin (University of Southern California). Check the website for dates and times.

On Tuesday, January 31, the department will host the renowned architect Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and other monuments, in a conversation with students moderated by Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay. This opportunity was made possible by UCSB’s Arts & Lectures, who have brought Ms. Lin to campus for “An Evening with the Visionary Creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” on Monday, January 30 (free to students!). A&L performers and speakers are now regularly shared with UCSB departments; this is the first time we have had an A&L speaker come to the department.

Generous funding from the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts is also allowing us to have, for the first time, dedicated programming for the new Museum Studies Emphasis. Our inaugural speaker in the new program, Sarah Loyer from the Broad Museum, took place on January 13 at 3pm, in Arts 1332. This will be followed by a field trip to the Broad Museum in February and other events throughout the year. Check the website for upcoming events.

It is somewhat startling to think that it was only ten years ago, in a departmental self-evaluation, that we wrote excitedly about adopting a radical new technology: Powerpoint and digital projection. Hoping to stay ahead of the curve, I am pleased to announce that the department has secured funding, generously provided by the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, to construct its first laboratory: the Digital Image Lab (DIL), which will occupy about a third of the space of former Slide Library and current Image Resource Center.  With seating for up to 25 students, the lab is intended to allow us to experiment with new technologies — hardware and software — for the delivery of images in the classroom and for research. Our first change is to adopt interactive projection for use in discussion sections, which we successfully tested last year and are about to implement in our two section rooms: the “Moose Room” upstairs and our conference room downstairs. We have also designed the exterior of the modular DIL wall to serve as the department’s first dedicated exhibition space, which will enhance our courses, especially classes related to the Museum Studies Emphasis.

Through the initiative of Prof. Claudia Moser, the department will be gaining another new resource, UCSB’s first archaeological “mock trench,” which will be used in training undergraduate students in proper stratigraphic excavation techniques. This new facility will be made available to local K-12 schools, as well as other departments on campus.

We are also very pleased to announce the hire of Dr. Amy Buono as a Visiting Assistant Professor for Winter and Spring quarters of this year. One of our own Ph.D.’s (2007), Dr. Buono has recently returned from teaching in Brazil and will be offering courses on Colonial Latin American art and on Museum Studies, based on her own recent research. While Amy is not our first Visiting Assistant Professor, we are nonetheless very happy to welcome her back!

With my very best wishes for the New Year,

Mark Meadow
Professor and Chair

Anthony McCcall 'Line Describing a Cone'

On September 28 our department hosted a performance of Anthony McCall's "Line Describing a Cone" with the artist in attendance for a post-performance discussion. The event took place at the Soho club in Santa Barbara and was very well attended by members of both UCSB and the community at large.

Left: "Line Describing a Cone" (1973), during the twenty-fourth minute. Installation view, "Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977," Whitney Museum of American Art, 2001. Photograph by Hank Graber.

Right: “Face to Face” (2013). Installation view, "Solid Light Films and Other Works (1971-2014),” Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam, 2014. Photograph by Hans Wilschut.

Anthony McCcall 'Line Describing a Cone'

Departmental Lecture Series

Winter quarter:

Brigid Doherty (Princeton University), "Historical Memory and the Persistence of Kitsch"
Thursday, February 23rd at 5:30pm in Arts 1332
(Image at right: Adrian Ghenie, Pie Fight Interior 8 (2012), o/c)

Spring quarter:

Nick Wilding (Georgia State University) (date TBD)
Pascal Boyer (Washington University in St. Louis) (date TBD)

Brigid Doherty lecture image
Maya Lin

Maya Lin Events:

January 30, 7:30pm
Campbell Hall
An Evening with the Visionary Creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

January 31, 12-1:00pm
McCune Conference Room, IHC, HSSB 6020
A Conversation: Maya Lin and Swati Chattopadhyay

Both events are free for students.

Professor Swati Chattopadhyay is the recipient of the Birkbeck Institute of the Humanities Fellowship, University of London, for Spring 2017.  While at Birkbeck she will be working on a new project, The Garden Plot: British Empire and Landscape Design in India, 1780-1910. She delivered a keynote at the European Association of Urban History Annual Conference in Helsinki this past August, and presented a public lecture at a conference, Transforming Informality: Place-making, Power Relations, infrastructure & Exchanges, at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London, in October.

Professor Jenni Sorkin's essay "Gender and Rupture" was mentioned in the New York Times' coverage of the Peter Voulkos exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design.

Professor Volker M. Welter published Portraits Matter, a review of Black Chronicles: Photographic Portraits 1862-1948, an exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery that juxtaposes traditional portraits on permanent display with photographic images of people from outside Great Britain who lived and worked there during the late 19th and early 20th century.  Prof. Welter argues that the combination of photographic portraits with detailed biographical-historical research makes the temporary exhibition such a powerful intervention in the gallery spaces.

Graduate Student News

Mallory Baskett published an article, "All the World's Futures: Globalization of Contemporary African Art at the 2015 Venice Biennale" in Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture 10, no. 1 (July 2016): 28-42, as well as a book review on for Christa Clarke's African Art in the Barnes Foundation.

Hannah Kagan-Moore has published an article titled "The Journey Through the Judgment: Affective Viewing and the Monstrous in Bosch's Vienna Last Judgment Triptych," in the journal Preternature, Fall/Winter issue 5.2, through Pennsylvania State University Press.

Shannon M. Lieberman has recently received three grants enabling conference travel: the Academic Senate Doctoral Student Travel Grant, a Conference Travel Support Grant from the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, and the Gulnar Bosch Student Travel Assistance Grant. She presented part of her dissertation research in the paper "Just a Story: Mistress Narratives and the Art Historical Canon, 1965-1976," delivered in October at the at The Making of the Humanities V conference in Baltimore. She also presented the paper “ ‘I Have So Much Trouble With This Question’: The What is Feminist Art? Exhibition at the Los Angeles Woman’s Building” at the 2016 Southeastern College Art Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

Yunchen (Clio) Lu's paper "Achieving the Literati Value in Cursive Calligraphy: From Biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiangru to Sayings of a Chan Buddhist Monk" was accepted by the 7th International Graduate Student Symposium of Art History Peking University. She also presented her paper "Political Motivations of Art Criticism: Yue Ke's Calligraphy Collection in Southern Song China" at the 42nd Annual Cleveland Symposium at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Virginia (Ginny) Reynolds Badgett wrote a review of the Hammer's recent exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957 appearing in the fall issue of Panorama, the peer-reviewed online journal of the Association of Historians of American Art.

Lilit Sadoyan curated the exhibition Done. Undone. Redone: The Chair (Sept 10 to Dec 4, 2016) as Curatorial Fellow at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Works from the eighteenth century to present day reveal the challenge of balancing form and function in chair design, and chairs are presented as sculptural objects. Lilit also presented at two symposia this Fall: “Only Time Will Tell: Clocks and Domestic Splendor in Eighteenth-Century France” at  the UCLA Art History Graduate Symposium, Hammer Museum; and “Patronage, Production, and Performance: The Tapestry of Louis XIV Visiting the Gobelins” at the Cleveland Symposium, Cleveland Museum of Art.

Erin Travers was spent time at the Medical Historical Library at Yale University as a Ferenc Gyorgyey Fellow this past summer, and was asked to write a short entry for the library's blog explaining her research and findings.

George Flaherty’s (Ph.D. 2011) book, Hotel Mexico: Dwelling on the ’68 Movement was published in August 2016 from the University of California Press.

Flaherty book
Staci Gem Scheiwiller's (Ph.D. 2009) monograph, Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies (Routledge, 2016) is coming out in December.
Scheiwiller book
Kevin Murphy (Ph.D. 2005) wrote the catalogue text for "Not Theories but Revelations:" The Art and Science of Abbott Handerson Thayer, Williams College Museum of Arts, 2016.
Murphy catalogue

Charissa Bremer-David (BA, 1980), Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, was a team leader in researching and launching the new interactive display about the art collector J. Paul Getty (1892-1976). The installation, J. Paul Getty Life and Legacy at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, explores the context of his life, his evolution as an art collector, the institution he established, and his philanthropic legacy.

Jason Foumberg (BA, 2004) curated a group exhibition of digital artworks, titled "Mouse in the Machine," at Art House in Santa Fe, NM (on view through April, 2017). Jason is curator of the Thoma Foundation.

Toni Guglielmo (Ph.D. 2008) has recently been appointed to the Editorial Board of Curator: The Museum Journal and is currently serving on the Editorial Board staff as Associate Editor of Exhibitions. (She invites submissions on topics related to the history of museums and exhibitions, the theory or practice of museums, or an exhibition review for 2017 for the journal – contact Toni at

Benjamin Hufbauer (Ph.D. 1999) is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He recently published a short popular article, titled "How Trump's Favorite Movie Explains Him" in Politico, in which he addresses Donald Trump's mis-interpretation of CItizen Kane.

Maile Hutterer (BA, 2004) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Oregon.  Last year she published the article  “Lofty Sculpture: Flying Buttress Decoration and Ecclesiastical Authority,” Gesta 54, no. 2 (2015): 195-218.

Daniel Chak-Kwong Lau (Ph.D. 2006) is an Associate Professor in the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University. In October he presented a paper entitled “The Synergy between Scholarly and Artistic Pursuits: Poetry, Calligraphy, Seal Engraving, Epigraphy and Evidential Research by Ding Jing (1695-1765)” at The Symposium on Calligraphy, Painting and Seal Engraving by Wu Rangzhi (1799-1870) and Zhao Zhiqian (1829-1884), organized by Macao Museum of Art.  In February he was invited as the first Artist-in-Residence of Cheng Yu Tung College, The University of Macau, where he gave a lecture entitled “Stele School and Model-book School: Heritage and Innovation of Chinese Calligraphy,” and conducted a calligraphy performance, calligraphy workshops and a solo exhibition, “Breakthrough—Exhibition of Calligraphy and Seal Engraving by Dr. Daniel Chak Kwong Lau.” The exhibition featured 50 of his latest works and highlighted his site-specific performance of Chinese calligraphy entitled “Wings of the Dawn”—his new approach of integration of calligraphy performance, aerial drone videography and photography (video link).

Carol Magee (Ph.D. 2000) is an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a co-PI on the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded “Learning from Artists’ Archives: Preparing Next Generation Art Information Professionals through Partnerships with North Carolina’s Artists’ Archives” Grant, in its third of three years, which supports six fellows enrolled in the dual master’s degree offered by UNC’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and the Art Department’s art history program.  In March, Dr. Magee was an invited participant at the workshop “Re-Imagining the African City: The Arts and Urban Politics” hosted by the Collaborative Research Group “Visual and Expressive Cultures” of the Africa Europe Group of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies at the University of Basel. She also curated the exhibit "Urban Cadence: Street Scenes from Lago and Johannesburg" for TECAA.

Kevin Murphy (Ph.D. 2005) is in his third year at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he is now Senior Curator.  He also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Museum Practice, Material Culture, and the art market. He curated the exhibition "Not Theories but Revelations:" The Art and Science of Abbott Handerson Thayer, which ran from March to September of this year. 

Daniel Novak (BA, 2006) completed his Ph.D. and post-doctoral research in Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences in the College of Education, University of Washington in 2013.  He recently took the position of Assistant Director of Distance Learning at CSU Northridge's Tseng College. He has published several articles related to the intersections of technology and learning theory, which can be read here.

Emily Peters (Ph.D. 2005) will be moving to Cleveland to become the Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Emily has been the Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum since 2008.

Mira Rai Waits (Ph.D. 2014), assistant professor in the Art History & Visual Culture Department at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, was awarded the 2017 Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Emerging Scholar Prize for her article "The Indexical Trace: A Visual Interpretation of the History of Fingerprinting in Colonial India," Visual Culture in Britain, Vol 17, Issue 1, 2016. The article is based on her MA thesis from UCSB.

After three years as Curator of the Wichita Art Museum, Lisa Volpe (Ph.D. 2013) is moving to Houston to fill the position of Associate Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, beginning January 2.  She has  recently published two articles: "Embodying the Octoroon: Abolitionist Performance at the London Crystal Palace, 1851," Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide, Vol 15, Issue 2 (Summer 2016); and “The Rise, Fall, and Reemergence of Photo Clubs,” Don’t Take Pictures,  7 (Fall 2016), 34-37.

In May 2016, Michelle Sullivan (BA, 2005) was appointed Assistant Conservator of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.  Also in May, she co-presented the paper "Targeted Cleaning of Works on Paper: Rigid Polysaccharide Gel and Conductivity in Aqueous Solutions" with Amy Hughes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The paper was presented at the joint Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Conservation (CAC) held in Montreal, Canada.  Publication of the article is forthcoming in postprints of the conference proceedings.

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