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UCSB HAA Fall 2019 Newsletter

Dear All,

We can thank Heraclitus for the dictum that “the only constant is change,” which certainly holds true for the Department of History of Art and Architecture. This year we welcome — in spirit but not yet in body — Prof. Allison Caplan as our most recent hire. Alison is a specialist in Colonial and Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art. She is currently the (first ever) Austen-Stokes Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History of Art at Johns Hopkins University and will be joining us (in person) next Fall. If everything goes according to plan, Allison will not be arriving alone, since we are currently running a search in Global Early Modern Art and/or Architecture. Stay tuned for announcements!

The department had the pleasure of hosting our first Terra Foundation Immersion Fellow, Francesca Wilmott from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, who spent Fall quarter in residence researching her dissertation project, “Far Out California: Regionalism in American Art of the 1960s and 70s,” under the mentorship of Prof. Jenni Sorkin. We wish Francesca every success with her fascinating dissertation.

This Fall quarter witnessed the inauguration of our latest curricular initiative, a new minor in Architecture & Urban History, which, like our minor in Museum Studies, is intended as a pragmatic career track for our undergraduates. Thanks to the many innovations the department has made to our undergraduate curriculum in the past few years, and the able guidance of our Academic Coordinator, Savannah Parison, we have seen robust growth in the number of our majors and minors.

This year’s theme for our lecture series, under the leadership of Prof. Alicia Boswell, is “Making.” On October 17, Mr. James Inedu-George, Design Director of HTL, delivered a talk on “The Cross, the Mask, and the Frame: A MegaCity Story,” which proposed a new architectural worldview based upon the lessons of African Traditional Architecture. Dr. Elena Phipps, adjunct faculty at UCLA and former Senior Museum Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum, spoke about “Global Red: Cochineal, textiles and materials of trade between the 16th-18th centuries” on November 14th. We are looking forward to visits from Prof. Pamela Smith, Columbia University, who will be speaking on Thurs. January 16, 2020 about “Making and Matter in a Sixteenth-Century Workshop,” and Dr. Mary Miller, Director of the Getty Research Institute, will be giving a lecture on April 9, 2020.

In closing, I must confess that I am quite pleased (and also the tiniest bit sad) to announce that this will be my last Chair’s Note, since I am stepping down as department chair after four and half years. My standard joke of late is to point out that I am still standing and still smiling, which is indeed saying something, mostly about how much the department staff, students and colleagues have helped. I’m sure everyone will join me in welcoming Prof. Laurie Monahan, who will be taking over the reins as chair in January.

With warmest wishes for a successful new year to one and all!


Mark A. Meadow
Professor and Chair

Congratulations to our 2019 Ph.D. graduates!

Left to right: Professor Bruce Robertson, Professor Ann Jensen Adams, Diva Zumaya, Margaret Bell, Marta Faust, Sophia Quach McCabe, Suzanne van de Meerendonk, and Professor Mark Meadow.

Off celebrating: Julianne Gavino, Mary McGuire, Shannon Gilmore, and Anna Myjak-Pycia

Click to see large version

In Spring and Summer 2019, lecturer Jeremy White and local architect Paul Rupp organized bi-weekly workshops on architectural drawing basics. The workshops, hosted by the department, prepared students for the American Institute of Architects' annual Student Architecture Competition, which challenged participants to design an accessory dwelling unit no larger than 1200 square feet. Competitors were allowed to use any tools and skills at their disposal, and entries included both hand-drafted and form-based modeling software projects.

In October, three UCSB students were honored by the local chapter of the AIA for their designs. Yuang Li, Weiwei Gao and Maiqi Zhang, all HAA majors pursuing the Architecture and Environment Emphasis, were awarded the top three honors. Their design submissions were evaluated by a panel of local architects, and the three were honored at AIASB’s general meeting in December.

Right: Yuang Li, Weiwei Gao and Maiqi Zhang, with Paul Rupp and Jeremy White behind.

Lecture series

Upcoming Events:

The next event in the 2019-2020 Lecture Series, Making, will be on January 16, at 5pm. Professor Pamela H. Smith, from Columbia University, will speak on Making and Matter in a Sixteenth-Century Workshop The talk will take place in Arts 1332, and will be followed by a reception. On April 9, Dr. Mary Miller, Director of the Getty Research Institute, will deliver the final lecture in this year's series. Please check our Events page for updates

The 45th annual Graduate Student Symposium will take place on Friday, April 24, 2020. The theme this year is Representation, Materiality, and the Environment. The Call for Papers is currently open, with a deadline of January 15, 2020.

Past Events:

There were two lecture series events in Fall:

  • October 17, 2019: Mr. James Inedu-George, Head of Design, HTL, The Cross, the Mask, and the Frame: A MegaCity Story (photo at left)
  • November 14, 2019: Dr. Elena Phipps, Metropolitan Museum of Arts and UCLA, Global Red: Cochineal, textiles and materials of trade between the 16th-18th centuries

    On October 11, the Image Resource Center lecture and workshop series Mapping kicked off the year with two hands-on workshops. The workshops were organized by IRC Curator Jackie Spafford and led by Andrew Maurer, the Interactive Media Coordinator at Smith College. The morning workshop, Photogrammetry Basics, gave participants the tools and guidance to create a digital 3D model. The afternoon session, Building a Virtual Gallery, provided an overview of tools and tips to create a walk-through online exhibition. Both workshops were well attended by faculty, staff and graduate students from several departments across campus.

    On October 28, 25 undergraduates, mostly HAA majors and many in the Museum Studies emphasis, attended Jeffrey Boloten's talk on the global art market.  Boloten, trained as an attorney, works as an adviser on the art market and is the leader of the Art and Business Programme at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. He touched on recent trends, such as online sales, new media, and emerging global markets, and offered advice on required training and outlined program options at Sotheby’s Institute. The popular session was organized by Prof. Carole Paul and Academic Coordinator Savannah Parison.

  • In conjunction with the exhibition "Dutch Golden Age paintings from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston" at the St. Louis Art Museum, Professor Ann Jensen Adams delivered a lecture "Name Dropping – the critical fortunes of Rembrandt’s portraits,"and gave a guided tour of the exhibition to a group of art history graduate students in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis. 

    Professor Swati Chattopadhyay and her colleagues Marta Gutman, Zeynep Kezer, and Matthew Lasner launched PLATFORM, a new open digital venue  for exchanging ideas about working with, researching, teaching, and writing about buildings, spaces, and landscapes. (More information)

    Professor Sylvester Ogbechie participated in the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA) two-part seminar on Black Modernisms in October 2018 and at the National Gallery of Art in April, 2019. His presentation, “Black Atlantic Modernisms, Pan Africanism, and Ontologies of Global African Art,” reviewed the impact of African hermeneutics and retentions in the works of three African and African Diaspora modernists. In November 2018 he gave a public lecture titled “Restitution, Repatriation and Resolutions: African Cultural Patrimony in the Age of New Digital Regimes” at the University of Oregon which examined the impact of new digital technologies on ongoing debates about African cultural patrimony. In February 2019, Prof Ogbechie contributed an essay titled “Critical Thoughts on African Ceramics and Cultural Heritage Issues” to the exhibition catalogue for A Different Perspective: African Ceramics from the Collection of Franz, Duke of Bavaria, which opened in September 2019. From July 22-27, 2019, Prof. Ogbechie organized and oversaw the 2019 Foto-Factory-Lagos 4th annual workshop on contemporary photography in Lagos Nigeria and on September 24, 2019, presented a lecture titled “Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Debate and Challenges” at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He also recently spoke at the UCSB Arts Colloquium Series, The Black Aesthetic in the Visual Arts, on Being African, Being Contemporary.

    Professor Emerita Jeanette Peterson, in her continuing research on the intersection of European-indigenous visual cultures in colonial Mexico, has published a study on the impact of transnational printed images with Christian themes: "Translating the Sacred: The Peripatetic Print and Sahagún’s Florentine Codex, Mexico (1575-77)," in The Nomadic Object: Early Modern Religious Art in Global Context, ed. Mia M. Mochizuki & Christine Göttler. Intersections (Brill 2018), as well as "In iollotli, in tultecaiotl: The heart, the artisanship of the pre- and postconquest Nahuas in Mexico," Proceedings of the International Art History conference (CIHA 2016), Vol. 1: 18-28. Beijing, 2019. Peterson also wrote chapter 1, "Images in Translation," and chapter 11, "Rhetoric as Acculturation: The anomalous Book 6” for the recently published volume The Florentine Codex, featured below. Peterson is one of the four founding co-directors, including Kim Richter (GRI), Kevin Terraciano (UCLA) and Diana Magaloni-Kerpel (LACMA) of a collaborative project at the Getty Research Institute, The Digital Florentine Initiative. The initial goal for 2021 is to create an interactive website and companion ebook, The Florentine Codex’s Book 12: Nahua Visions and Voices of the Conquest of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, to commemorate the quincentenary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

    Professor Jenni Sorkin was a visiting critic in Fall quarter at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University (Philadelphia) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore). She delivered a paper at the Bard Graduate Center’s “Re-forming Modernism: Craft, Design, and Architecture at the Bauhaus” conference in New York. Among her recent publications are entries in Darby English’s Among Others: Blackness at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and a commissioned brochure text from Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Museum on the legacy and history of the Newcomb Pottery (1895-1940), an historic and important women-only Arts & Crafts institution. In Fall quarter she mentored the HAA’s first Terra Pre-Doctoral Fellow in American Art, Francesca Wilmott, a PhD student in-residence from the Courtauld Institute of Art (UK). In November she gave the 23rd annual Peter Dormer Lecture at the Royal College of Art in London, Britain’s most distinguished lecture series in the applied arts.

    In November, Professor Peter Sturman presented the 32nd annual Samy Yukuan Lee seminar, Signatures and Inscriptions of the Song Literati, and lecture,  Xu Wei's Calligraphy in Jail, at the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA.

    Professor Volker Welter's latest book Tremaine Houses: One Family's Patronage of Domestic Architecture in Midcentury America has been published by Getty Publications. The book explores the Tremaine family's extraordinary architectural patronage of mid-twentieth-century designs and buildings by Philip Johnson, Cliff May, Oscar Niemeyer, Lutah Maria Riggs, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many other architects of sites in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New York, and as far away as Ireland. The book argues that one goal of the Tremaine family's patronage was to create a setting--and, by implication, a mode of modern life--that integrated art, architecture, and design.

    Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Religious Art for the Urban Community (Brill, 2019) , by Barbara A. Kaminska (Ph.D. 2014)

    The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2019), edited by Professor Emerita Jeanette Favrot Peterson and Kevin Terraciano
    Idolizing Mary (Penn State University Press, 2019), by Amara Solari (Ph.D. 2007)
    Graduate Student News

    Holly Gore was the 2019 Furniture Society Resident Writer at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The residency supported her dissertation, “Reinventing Work: Modernist Wood and Skilled Trade, 1930-1970.”

    Samira Fathi has received the UCSB Humanities/Social Sciences Research Grant; the 2019 Summer Research Grant from the Center for Middle East Studies to visit the Freer/Sackler archives at Washington DC; and the graduate student travel grant from the Iranian Studies Initiative for presenting at the 2020 Annual Conference of the College Art Association.

    Maggie Mansfield has recently received three fellowships for dissertation research and writing. The Getty Library Grant Award, The James Ford Bell Library Fellowship (University of Minnesota), and the Kress Institutional Fellowship at the University of Leiden. She will travel to Minnesota for research and collaboration on a project on Bernard Picart's Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde (1723-1743) in February and present at the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Conference in St. Louis in March. She will pursue research at the Getty during this coming summer. In September she will begin the Kress Fellowship in Leiden for two years. 

    Colin Raymond received the Japan Foundation 2019-2020 Japanese Studies Doctoral Fellowship, a twelve-month fellowship that provides travel, stipend, fees, and health coverage for doctoral students to conduct research under the guidance of an advisor at a Japanese University. Colin is in residence at Sophia University in Tokyo working with Professor Michio Hayashi and conducting research for his dissertation, "Formulations of a Medium: The Rise of Video in Japanese Art 1965-1989."

    Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander (Ph.D. 2018), Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center, curated the permanent collection installation, The Medium Is the Message: Art since 1950, and served as coordinating curator for Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze. In May, she invited and worked alongside the artist Lonnie Holley for a week at Stanford, where he taught students, gave public talks, and performed a concert live in the Cantor's galleries. Alexander was invited to give three talks this year: "Magic City Modern: A History of the Birmingham-Bessemer School," at LACMA as part of the Expanding Outliers symposium; "Finding Form in Found Materials" at the American Folk Art Museum; and "Black Codes: the Art of Post-Civil Rights Alabama," in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University. She also served as a juror for the Artadia Prize of San Francisco, which awards merit-based, unrestricted funds to innovative contemporary artists.

    Austen Bailly (Ph.D. 2009) has been named Chief Curator at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

    Margaret Bell (Ph.D. 2019) was appointed Assistant Curator at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, in July.  She has an exhibition opening in April 2020 entitled "The Expressive Body: Memory, Devotion, Desire 1400-1750", which will explore the powerful bodily responses art objects generated in the early modern period in devotional and erotically-charged contexts.  Her second show, opening in April 2021, is entitled "Doing Without: Representations of Need, Greed and Sacrifice", which will examine representations of poverty from roughly 1500 to the mid-twentieth century.  

    Matthew H. Fisk (Ph.D. 2013) is currently Academic-Year Lecturer in the Art & Design department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In early spring 2019 Matthew completed certification as a California Naturalist interpreter and is slowly mastering the index of flora and fauna in San Luis Obispo County. He also recently started his own consulting business focused on fundraising and development needs for nonprofit organizations.

    George Flaherty (Ph.D. 2011) published “Border Architecture: Territories, Commons, and Breathing-Spaces,” in The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture (Routledge, 2019), edited by UCSB's Swati Chattopadhyay and Jeremy White. He was also visiting professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, and lectured at the Centro Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo Cerrillos and Universidad Alberto Hurtado, both in Santiago, Chile. 

    Julianne Gavino (Ph.D. 2018) has accepted the position of Curator of Academic Engagement at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado College.

    Melina Gooray (MA 2018) has been named Director of Education at The Colored Girls Museum.  The Museum received a grant for $175,000 from the Knight Foundation based on a grant application Melina wrote for an immersive tech project in Digital Humanities which will be part of her dissertation at Northwestern University.

    Barbara A. Kaminska's (Ph.D. 2014) doctoral dissertation was published as Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Religious Art for the Urban Community (Brill, 2019). Her essay on Flemish prints appeared in the volume Protestant Majorities and Minorities in Early Modern Europe. Barbara’s most recent article, “Picturing Miracles: Biblical Healings in the Paintings by Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer,” will be published in the Fall 2019 volume of Brill’s journal Explorations in Renaissance Culture. Barbara also published two book reviews in the Sixteenth Century Journal, and gave presentations at the Renaissance Society of America conference in March 2019 and the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in October 2019.

    Mary McGuire (Ph.D. 2018) has accepted a tenure track position in the Art History department at Mt. San Antonio College in Los Angeles.

    Suzanne van de Meerendonk (Ph.D. 2018) is the Kress Interpretive Fellow at Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University this year.

    Makayla Rawlins (BA 2019) has been hired at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in the Collections Care Department as a museum technician.

    Briana Simmons (Ph.D. 2017), along with fellow Art History professor Walter Meyer, received a prestigious $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for an art history project entitled “Mapping and Preserving the Hidden Histories of Santa Monica”. This grant to Santa Monica College was the largest award granted in Southern California.

    Amara Solari (Ph.D. 2007) book Idolizing Mary (Penn State University Press) came out this year. She is the lead editor this year of The Hispanic American Historical Review. She also received a three-year NEH Collaborative Grant with Linda K. Williams of the University of Puget Sound, for the project Maya Christian Murals of Yucatán: Indigenous Catholicism in Early Modern New Spain, which will support preparation of a co-authored book and supplementary website relating to religious murals painted by Christianized Maya artists in Yucatán, Mexico, between 1550 and 1750. 

    Noa Turel (Ph.D. 2012) was named incoming chair of CAA’s International Committee. In 2020-21 she will help direct a number of initiatives, including the ongoing CAA-Getty International Program.

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