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UCSB HAA Fall 2016 Newsletter

Dear All,

2016-17 kept the Department of History of Art and Architecture on its collective toes, with a very active series of events. Our lecture series on “Memory,” ably managed by Prof. Claudia Moser, proved to be thoroughly lively and productive, with a very wide range of subjects - from kitsch to high art; from architectural appropriation in Late Antique Rome and the performance of collective memory in Gabon, to the political implications of memory and erasure in Latin America over more than five centuries.

The construction phase of our new Digital Image Laboratory (DIL) is complete (we built a wall!), and we are now at work to install the new interactive projector and screen and furnish the room. It is scheduled to be up and running for Fall quarter. Among other activities, the laboratory will be used to experiment with new hardware and software for delivering digital images in the classroom. To this end, we will be creating an annual competition for the graduate students to develop the most innovative and effective use of new digital technologies for instructional use. The interactive projector in the DIL will be the third installed in the department.

We extend both a heartfelt goodbye and a hearty hello to Christine Bolli, who just stepped down from her position as Graduate Program Manager for the HAA after nearly three years of excellent service to the Graduate Program, and who will be rejoining the ranks of our Ph.D. students, to complete her dissertation in Medieval Art and Architecture with Prof. Heather Badamo.  Congratulations are also due to Prof. Jenni Sorkin, who received tenure this year and is now an Associate Professor. Well done, Jenni! And we are very pleased to congratulate Prof. Amy Buono, whose position as Visiting Assistant Professor has been renewed for another year.

I am also delighted to extend an enthusiastic “huzzah!” to all of our faculty, graduate students and undergrads for their many, many accomplishments, about which you can read in the newsletter that follows.

The year wrapped up with our annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating the many contributions of our graduate and undergraduate students. We are very grateful to Dr. Daniel Novak (UCSB B.A. 2006) of Cal State Northridge, and Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell (UCSB Ph.D. 2006) of Stanford University, who were the respective Undergraduate Alumnus and Graduate Alumna speakers for 2016-17.

We are eagerly looking forward to the 2017-18 academic year, which already promises to be a banner year. We have an incoming class of nine graduate students, including four international students, and an expanding number of undergraduate minors and majors. With our new lab up and running, as well as our archaeological mock trench, we will have some exciting new resources coming on line. Please continue to send in your latest news. We are always delighted to hear from our community of alumni, faculty, friends and students.

With all best wishes,

Mark A. Meadow
Professor and Chair


Professor Claudia Moser returned from a first successful season of remote sensing (ground penetrating radar and magnetometry) at the Settecamini Archaeological Project, a Roman way station on the Via Tiburtina (between Rome and Tibur). The project is in collaboration with Dr. Margaret Andrews (Brown University), and the  Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali of Rome.  Excavation begins summer 2018 with a small team of UCSB undergraduate and graduate students.

Left & Right: Prof. Moser with team members

Moser survey

The Digital Image Lab in the Image Resource Center was completed this Spring, providing a long wished-for multi-purpose learning space. The modular wall effectively splits the IRC in two, creating a separate room for small or large group discussions and meetings, workshops, training, exams, and more. The department's third interactive projector and robust computer work stations provide opportunities for experimentation with image-based technologies, and new directions in digital pedagogy. And the wall itself creates the first department-controlled space for exhibitions, using removable shelves, paper hangers, and writeable panels.

The wall and renovation of the space was funded by Dean John Majewski and the College of Letters and Science. The technology was supplied by Collaborate IT Support. We are very grateful for their support.

Below Left: The IRC before construction; Center: The first modular bay is installed; Right: The exterior of the completed Lab with its first exhibition.

Lab wall 1
Lab wall 2
Lab wall 3
Huntington visit

Melinda McCurdy (Ph.D. 2005), Associate Curator of British Art at the Huntington, welcomed a group of graduate students and other guests from the department for a wonderful behind-the-scenes tour in June.

After a lengthy and informative tour of the Huntington Art Gallery, the group was treated to a visit to the Prints and Drawings vault where Melinda displayed some of the works on paper that will be included in a 2019 exhibition celebrating the Huntington's 100th anniversary.

The trip was organized by alumna/Visiting Assistant Professor Amy Buono.

Left: Melinda McCurdy with HAA visitors in the Huntington's Prints and Drawings vault.

The Awards ceremony took place on June 17, and the following awards were given out to our wonderfully deserving graduate and undergraduate students. Alumni Daniel Novak (BA 2006), Assistant Director of Online Learning: Instructional Design at California State University, Northridge, addressed the undergraduates, and alumna Elizabeth Mitchell (Ph.D. 2006), Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator and Director of the Curatorial Fellows Program at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, addressed the graduates.

Graduate Committee Award: Melina Gooray and Matthew Limb

Chairperson’s Award: Suzanne Decemvirale

Recognition for Participation in the Honors Program:
Emily Crum, Deena Deutsch, Megan Dixon, Angelica Garcia, Étain Hiller, Laura Kadi, Jocelyne Lopez, Andrea Martinez, and Erin Swicegood

Award for Best Honors Thesis: Megan Dixon

Writing and Research Promise Award: Deena Deutsch

Academic Excellence Award: Holly Nuovo

Art, Design & Architecture Museum Service Award: Hanzhou Chen, Megan Dixon, Rocio Iribe, and Gabriela Lopez

Right top: Dr. Novak with Prof. Carole Paul; Bottom: Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell.

Daniel Novak with Prof. Carole Paul

Elizabeth Mitchell

Dr. Amy Buono (Ph.D. 2007; Visiting Assistant Professor) participated in various international and national conferences and symposia. In September 2016, Amy delivered the paper: “Jail-time: Rio de Janeiro’s Civil Police Museum and Displays of State Power” at the 34th Congress of the Comité International de l'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA) in Beijing, China. In October 2016, she delivered the paper “Afterimages of the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae” at the  Leiden Global Interactions Group and Naturalis Biodiversity Center at Leiden University. In May 2017, Amy also participated in the Birth of the Museum in Latin America symposium at the Getty Research Institute, where she delivered the paper “Museums, Memory and Objecthood in Brazil.” For HAA’s 2016-17 lecture series on “Memory,” Amy organized a roundtable on Latin American Art and Memory with Carlo Severi, Ilona Katzew, Elena Shtromberg, and HAA emerita Jeanette Favrot Peterson. In addition, as part of Amy’s Winter 2017 Museum Studies seminar ­–– Toward a Museum of Presences –– she took undergraduate and graduate students to various institutions, including the Japanese American National Museum and the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation to engage with local debates around materiality and memory in museums and community centers today. 

As a Fellow at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, during Spring quarter, Professor Swati Chattopadhyay led a document-handling workshop at the Prints and Drawings Collection of the British Library in May, followed by a presentation of her current research in a panel on Landscape and Power at Birkbeck. She also delivered a keynote titled, "Colonial Sovereignty and the Making of an Affective Landscape" at a conference, "Grounding Biopower" at Basel University, Switzerland, in June. 

On November 11-12, 2016, Professor Mark Meadow participated in a planning workshop in Norwich, England, for the forthcoming exhibition, The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known Worldwhich will be on display at the Yale Center for British Art in Spring, 2018 and at the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Summer 2018. Mark also delivered a lecture on “Quiccheberg’s Containers: From Lädlein to Nation State,” in the “Cabinetization and Compartmentalization in Early Modern Art and Science” session, on March 30, 2017, at the Renaissance Studies Association conference in Chicago. With Prof. Linda Adler-Kassner, Interim Co-Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Mark taught the Discovery Seminar “Looking Under the Hood: Studying the University,” which introduced undergraduates to what a research university is by having the students meet researchers from across the campus, visit laboratories and studios, and conduct their own original research on the university.

Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955-1972, an exhibition co-curated by Professor Bruce Robertson (with Ninotchka Bennahum and Wendy Perron), traveled this spring from the AD&A Museum at UCSB, to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The opening celebrations included a performance of Halprin's infamous "Paper Dance" sequence from her 1965 magnum opus, "Parades and Changes," infamous because it involves nude dancers. Honoring the 50th anniversary of the performance that was shut down by police at Hunter College, the UCSB undergraduate dance company performed it, along with other dances, to great acclaim. The exhibition and performances have garnered positive press in the Village Voice, the New Yorker and the New York Times and elsewhere. The accompanying book is published by UC Press.

Professor Jenni Sorkin has been promoted to Associate Professor, beginning July 1. During the spring, she presented invited lectures at the Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans; the Shaping Bodies conference, School of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Fulbright School of Art, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and the Gregory Allicar Museum at the Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She also presented as an invited speaker at the “Creative Care” symposium held at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA in April and at the American Association of Museum Curators (AAMC), held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in May.  Jenni published an invited essay on queer emerging sculptors in the anthology, How Does It Feel? Inquiries Into Contemporary Sculpture, published and commissioned by the SculptureCenter in New York City. She is extremely proud that all four of her PhD students, Aleesa Pitcharmarn Alexander, JV Decemvirale, Holly Gore, and Matt Limb, received external fellowships for the upcoming academic year.

Professor Richard Wittman's 2007 book, Architecture, Print Culture, and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France (Routledge), is being translated into French for publication by les Presses du Réel. In November 2016, Professor Wittman was an invited speaker at an international colloquium held at the Louvre Museum in Paris on the life and work of the pioneering eighteenth-century French critic and polemicist Étienne de La Font de Saint-Yenne; he also contributed an article to the forthcoming collection of essays on La Font de Saint-Yenne to be published later in 2017. And in May his essay, "The Space of Architecture as a Complex Context" was published in the collection Place, Space, and Mediated Communication. Exploring Context Collapse (ed. Carolyn Marvin and Sun-ha Hong; New York and London, Routledge, 2017).

Graduate Student News

Margaret Bell presented a paper at the conference Beauty and the Hospital, the 11th annual meeting of the International Network of Hospital Historians at the University of Malta (April 6-8, 2017).  This summer, Margaret is a supported participant in the Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography at the Getty Research Institute (July 9-28, 2017).  On July 1, Margaret joined the staff of the Italian Art Association blog as a weekly contributor.

J.V. Decemvirale was awarded two fellowships for the coming year. The first, a Terra Summer Residency Fellowship in Giverny, France, brings together doctoral scholars of American Art and emerging artists worldwide for a nine-week residential program in the historic village of Giverny, France. The second is a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art for the 2017-2018 academic year. Both fellowships support continuing research for his dissertation, "Knowing Your Place and Making Do: Radical Art Activism in Black and Latino Los Angeles, 1960 to Present."

Laura Dizerega has been awarded a three-month scholarship from the Prussian State archives (Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz) for her dissertation, "The Bureaucracy of Empire: Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Rhenish Church Architecture, 1815-1840".

Marta Faust presented a paper, “Visions and Memory in the Zimmern Anamorphosis," at the UCSB Early Modern Center's annual conference, “Transience, Garbage, Excess, Loss: The Ephemeral, 1500-1800,” April 21-22, 2017. 

Shannon Gilmore was awarded the Graduate Humanities Research Fellowship and the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation European Studies Fellowship for her dissertation project entitled, “The Popular Piety of Fifteenth-Century Miraculous Image Cults in Tuscany.” She also presented her work at the 1st International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions in Sydney, Australia, as well as at the University of Melbourne’s Early Modern Circle and at Monash University’s seminar series for the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Melbourne, Australia.

Ashleigh Lynch was recognized in the UCSB Current for her innovative approach to the survey course "Arts of Africa, Oceania, and Native North America" (Spring 2017).

Sophia Quach McCabe was accepted to participate in the Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography at the Getty Research Institute. She was also awarded the Albert and Elaine Borchard European Studies Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year. Her exhibition review of Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns was published in Art Inquiries (Vol. XVII, no. 1).

Suzanne van de Meerendonk has been awarded the 2017-2018 Robert H. and Clarice Smith Fellowship from The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, for support of her dissertation "Public displays of affection. Negotiating power and identity in ceremonial receptions in Amsterdam 1580-1660." She also received a RSA–Kress New York Public Library Fellowship for research in the NYPL Spencer Collection this summer, and a Getty Research Library Grant for the period November 2017 - January 2018. She presented a paper, "Medium and message: the after-life of ephemeral decorations for the joyous entry of Henrietta Maria Stuart in Amsterdam in 1642",  at the UCSB Early Modern Center's annual conference, “Transience, Garbage, Excess, Loss: The Ephemeral, 1500-1800,” April 21-22, 2017. 

A. Colin Raymond was recently selected to receive a Kathryn Davis Fellows for Peace award for advanced language study at the Middlebury Japanese Language School in Vermont during Summer 2017.  The Davis Fellows for Peace awards were established in 2007 to recognize exceptionally qualified individuals with an interest in the development of intercultural understanding as a means to reduce conflict.

Ginny Reynolds Badgett was awarded a UCSB Graduate Division Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant to support research for her dissertation, "Art from Life and Individuals: Individuality at Work in Robert Henri's Portraiture."  This summer, Ginny is interning with the Boston Furniture Archive (BFA).  Funded by Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Delaware) and in its fourth year, the BFA is a mobile curatorial unit that documents Boston-made furniture from the seventeenth through the early-twentieth centuries and makes this data available world wide via the BFA database.

Lilit Sadoyan presented her paper, "Through the Warp and Weft of Perception: The Tapestry of Louis XIV Visiting the Gobelins," at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Chicago, IL (March 30 - April 1, 2017). 

Yunchen Lu and Henning von Mirbach have received the 2017 NMK Museum Network Fellowship, offered by the National Museum of Korea to enhance field experience in Korean culture.

Diva Zumaya and Margaret Bell received a Humanities For All project grant from Cal Humanities to support the exhibition that they are co-curating, Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara. The exhibition, opening in September 2017 at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and the Art, Design and Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara, is part of the Getty's 2017 Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. 

Catha Paquette (Ph.D. 2002), published a monograph on Diego Rivera, At the Crossroads: Diego Rivera and His Patrons at MoMA, Rockefeller Center, and the Palace of Fine Arts.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017
Paquette book
Sarah Parsons (Ph.D. 2000) edited and introduced Photography After Photography: Gender, Genre, History a volume of Professor Emerita Abigail Solomon-Godeau's essays.
Parsons book
Shipu Wang (Ph.D. 2006; Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Global Arts Studies Program, UC Merced,) has published his second book, The Other American Moderns. Matsura, Ishigaki, Noda, Hayakawa (Penn State University Press), out in October 2017.
Shipu Wang cover

Denise Amy Baxter (Ph.D. 2003) is Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas. She was contributing editor of A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of Empire, one of a six volume series published by Bloomsbury Press.

John Decker (Ph.D. 2004) has been named Chair of the History of Art and Design Department at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

Daniel Chak-Kwong Lau (Ph.D. 2006) published two articles: “In Search of Identity: Chinese Calligraphy in Twentieth-Century Hong Kong,” in The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Vol 12, Issue 1, 2017; and “Breaking Through while Embracing Conventions in Chinese Calligraphy” in AVA Magazine, no. 5 (Hong Kong: Kaitak, Center for Research and Development for Visual Arts, 2016), 61-3. He also wrote "Clerical Script of the Han Dynasty as the Foundation of a Convergence of the Stele and Model-book Studies: The Calligraphy of Han Yunshan (1923-2010)”, a bilingual research paper published in Hong Kong Visual Arts Yearbook 2013, edited by Tong Kam-tang (Hong Kong: Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong), 2014, pp. 64-131. He also contributed four works of Chinese calligraphy to MAHA Israel - Chinese Art Exhibition, organized by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Milk and Honey Arts, March- April, 2016 and April-May 2017. Daniel participated in Tapping the Metropolis Rhythm: Whole-Body Rendition of the Calligraphic Brush, a large-scale solo public calligraphy performance organized by the Hong Kong Museum of Art (at the Hong Kong Science Museum Piazza - watch online), Dec 17, 2016.

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 participated in 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 forthcoming exhibit "Urban Cadence: Street Scenes from Lago and Johannesburg" for TECAA, Oct 13, 2017 to Mar 4, 2018 at the Gund Gallery, Kenyon College.

Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell (Ph.D. 2006) became the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator and Director of the Curatorial Fellows Program at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in 2016. Previously a curator of prints, drawings and photographs since 2010, she is now additionally responsible for American and European paintings to 1900, while also supervising the Cantor’s fellows for Asian art, African and Indigenous American art, and American and European art to 1900. Currently she is reinstalling three galleries showcasing the Cantor’s holdings of sculpture by Auguste Rodin—the largest collection of Rodin’s work in an American museum. She also developing an exhibition for 2018 co-curated with Alex Nemerov, Department Chair & Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities in Stanford’s Department of Art and Art History, about the body and the idea of the monster in the age of Romanticism.

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. 

In addition to her monograph on Diego Rivera, Catha Paquette (Ph.D. 2002), wrote the essay “David Alfaro Siqueiros’ Street Meeting (1932),” for a special issue of  Kunst und Politik (Icons of 20th-Century Political Art). Band 18/2016, 37–44. Catha is Professor of Art History at the School of Art at California State University, Long Beach.

Sarah Parsons (Ph.D. 2000) is an Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at York University in Toronto. She recently joined the Editorial Board of the journal Photography & Culture and serves as Editor of the Americas. 

Emily Peters (Ph.D. 2005) has relocated to Cleveland to become the Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Emily had 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.

Deborah Spivak (Ph.D. 2015) accepted a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Art of the Ancient Americas in St. Louis, MO, as the Korff Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University and the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Saint Louis Art Museum.

Holly Unruh (Ph.D. 2003) recently served as a California Arts Council grants panelist for their inaugural Research in the Arts grants. She has also presented at several conferences, including the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators Conference, April 2017 and March 2016; and the 19th Annual California State University Teaching and Learning Symposium, October, 2016.

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