Summer 2020 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Alumni,
It has been an academic year like no other. The disruption of COVID-19 and the tragic killing of George Floyd have turned our world upside down. While we have all struggled with the new reality of remote learning and the question of how to address racial injustice, I take pride in our students and faculty who are meeting these challenges with commitment and resourcefulness. Although recent events have unsettled our academic routines, I am pleased to share some of the highlights from the past year.
We welcomed two new faculty members this year: Daniel Greenberg, a specialist in East Asian art history, and Laura Kalba, a specialist in nineteenth-century art. Last fall, Professor Anna Seastrand’s article, “Motivated Reading: Text and Image in the Expanded Temple,” was published in the journal South Asian Studies; Professor Steven Ostrow’s article “Bernini, Baciccio, and the Dome Fresco in the Gesù: A Reconsideration,” was published in Artibus et Historiae; and my own book, Sound, Image, Silence: Art and the Aural Imagination in the Atlantic World, was published by the University of Minnesota Press. Professor Jennifer Marshall completed a residency in the fall as a faculty fellow at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study.
Our graduate students were busy this year presenting their work until travel restrictions were put in place. Johnathan Hardy presented a lecture for the Archaeological Institute of America lecture series at Macalester College; Hyeongjin Oh presented papers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and at the University of Toronto; Stuart Deets presented a paper at the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Environmental Justice Symposium and was selected as a CREATE Scholar at the University of Minnesota; and Hannah Wiepke presented her work at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen. We are also delighted to announce that several recent and current doctoral students are taking up new positions. Laura Wertheim Joseph (PhD ‘15), was appointed curator of exhibitions at the Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M). In fall 2020, Shannon Flaherty (PhD ‘19) will begin a tenure-track position in art history at Earlham College; Colleen Stockmann (ABD) will begin a tenure-track position in art history and arts administration at Gustavus Adolphus College; and Natalia Vargas Marquez (ABD) will begin a three-year faculty position at DePauw University.
Our undergraduate majors have continued to have success beyond the classroom. Isabella Gold is the recipient of the 2020 Weisberg Curatorial Award and will be an intern at the Walker Art Center in fall 2020 under the direction of curator Victoria Sung. Ian Karp was a curatorial fellow in Prints & Drawings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in fall 2019. Congratulations to Jennifer Wiest and Matthew Kriske, the respective recipients of the fall 2019 and spring 2020 capstone prize for the best senior project in art history.
Finally, it is with deep sadness that I report the recent passing of John Steyaert, who taught Medieval art at the University of Minnesota from 1971 until 2009, and of Norman Canedy, who taught Renaissance and Baroque art from 1962 until 1995.
Please keep in touch, and stay safe and well during these unsettled times.
Professor, Department Chair
From Fireworks to Fake Flowers: Laura Kalba on Everyday Art
Associate Professor Laura Kalba joined the art history department to teach courses in modern art and visual culture. She says, ”I want to empower my students, to give them tools that help them to see art in new ways, and embolden them to think critically about the relationship between the past and the present.”
The Dynamic Path to Academia
Four undergraduate alumni give us a look at the unique interests that led them to their respective graduate programs across the country. They share stand-out moments from their college experiences and reflect on how the art history department prepared them to pursue advanced degrees.
The Art of Looking Deeply
Dan Greenberg is a new assistant professor in the art history department. In fall 2019, he began his time here teaching an introductory class on Asian Art and a course on Chinese painting. "What I want people to come away with [from my classes] is this ability to interact with the world in a specific way and to use this mindset to think about the world around you,” Greenberg says.
Reconstructing a Museum
Executive Director Kristin Makholm (PhD '99) and Curator Laura Wertheim Joseph (PhD '15) have revived the Minnesota Museum of American Art after it was closed for a decade. “It's really about bringing new voices, telling new stories, bringing out hidden narratives that maybe have been neglected or passed over in the past,” Makholm says.