HART Hosts Visual Resources Mini-Conference Over Fall Break

VRAlocal_BannerApproximately 40 visual resources curators and librarians from four bordering VRA chapters (Great Lakes, Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic) attended a two-day mini-conference held October 16-17 in Cohen Memorial Hall on the Peabody campus at Vanderbilt. The theme of the conference, organized by Chris Strasbaugh, director of the department’s visual resources center, was “Visual Resources and the Digital Humanities.”

Jay Clayton, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and director, The Curb Center at Vanderbilt, welcomed the participants Thursday morning and addressed the topic “What is Digital Humanities?” The morning session, Location, Location, Location: GIS and the Digital Humanities, featured Jeannine Keefer, University of Richmond, Mapping the Urban Campus in Philadelphia; Stephanie Schmidt, BA’12, Sazerac Company, Frankfort, KY, In Production: Establishing the Buffalo Trace Distillery Archives; and Lindsey Fox, GIS coordinator of Peabody Library, Introduction to GIS.

The afternoon session focused on Transforming Unique Collections through Technology and featured three presentations: Macie Hall, Johns Hopkins University, and Katie Knight, New York School of Interior Design, Unpacking Our Wares: Using Omeka for Virtual Exhibits; Jenna Rinalducci and Jen Stevens, George Mason University, Transforming Artists’ Books for the Online Environment; and Pam Hackbart-Dean and Sarah Prindle, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale, Sense of Place in the Digital Humanities and Online Image Collections. These presentations were followed by two workshops held simultaneously: a Vanderbilt geocaching (historical) tour of the campus led by Lindsey Fox; and a hands-on learning of digitization workflows in the department’s VRC led by Chris Strasbaugh.

The evening session, actually held at the Parthenon beneath Vanderbilt alumnus and sculptor Alan Lequire’s 40-foot statue of Athena Parthenos, was devoted to Parthenon Lectures in Archaeology: New Techniques for Age-Old Questions. Trudy Jacoby, Princeton University, addressed Excavating the Records: Bringing Archaeological Collections to Light; Julia Nations-Quiroz and Mark Ellison, Vanderbilt graduate students, Using DIMLI to Create a Digital Catalog of Early Christian Sarcophagi; and a video of James A. Herbst, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, ASCSA Corinth Excavations: New Technologies in the 2014 Season.

The Friday morning session opened with the overarching theme Changing Centers to Support Digital Humanities, featuring Jodi Hoover, University of Maryland–Baltimore County, Is This Thing On? Providing Access to Audio Visual Equipment in the Library; Kristen MacDonough, Bay Area Video Coalition, A/V Artifacts: Cultivating a Living Glossary for Audiovisual Errors; Chris Strasbaugh, Vanderbilt, Spatial Exploration: Building a 3D World for Student Exploration of Chinese Relics; and Barbara Brenny, North Carolina State University, VR Librarian as Liaison to Develop Content for High-Tech Displays.

After a “show and tell” session, participants broke into discussion groups for lunch at the Midtown Cafe according to the following categories: digitization, cataloging, and solo curators. The group returned to Cohen Hall where optional sessions and activities were held for the remainder of the afternoon.

Betsey Robinson Co-Presents Talk on Conserving Roman Mosaic

Mosaic SmalBetsey Robinson, associate professor of history of art, co-presented a talk entitled “A Roman mosaic in the south stoa, Corinth, Greece: New studies and conservation plans” with Nicol Anastassatou, chief conservator of the Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies. Their presentation was part of a two-day colloquium held October 16-18 at the Getty Villa and organized by the North American Branch of L’Association International pour l’Étude de la Mosaïque Antique.

Toward the eastern end of the South Stoa at ancient Corinth stands a modern structure that was built to protect a late second/early third century CE mosaic. The central panel of the mosaic, discovered by Oscar Broneer in 1933 during his excavations, depicts a victorious athlete approaching a seated, semidraped goddess, perhaps Corinth herself, with attributes of the local Aphrodite (of Acrocorinth) and the nymph Peirene. Her shield reads “Eutychia” (Good Luck).

Robinson’s article, “Good Luck” from Corinth: A Mosaic of Allegory, Athletics, and City Identity (AJA, Vol. 116, January 2012, pp. 105-132), discussed not only the meaning and art historical value but also the need for conservation work after eight decades of exposure. Thanks to a generous grant from the Stockman Family Foundation, the mosaic is getting the necessary attention.

After the approval of a conservation study created by chief conservator Nicol Anastassatou, Robinson and two highly experienced mosaic conservators, Spiros Armenis and Charis Delis, are hard at work. The plan calls for the mosaic to be detached, the deteriorated preparatory layers removed, and the mosaic reset upon a new stable substratum. The team is currently in the process of cleaning the surface, consolidating fragmentary stone and glass tesserae, and preparing the mosaic for the detachment. The project is slated to take place over the next two years.

*Central figural panel from the Roman mosaic in the South Stoa, Corinth, Greece

Penelope Umbrico Presents Studio VU Lecture on October 29

umbricoPenelope Umbrico, who teaches at the School of Visual Arts, New York City, will deliver the Studio VU Lecture on Wednesday, October 29, at 7 p.m. in Wilson Hall, room 126. Umbrico will talk about her photo-based installations, video, and digital media works that explore the changing technologies of image making and the ever-increasing production and consumption of images on the web.

Utilizing photo-sharing and consumer websites as an expansive archive, she navigates between producer and consumer, local and global, and the individual and the collective. Her works question the idea of the “democratization” of photography and media, where pre-scripted images, made with tools programmed to function in predetermined ways, undermine a claim to authorship, subjectivity and individuality. For Umbrico, all images within this emergent environment are evidence of something other than what they depict.

Umbrico has exhibited internationally, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a recent Guggenheim Fellowship and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

Aperture published her monograph, Penelope Umbrico: Photographs, spring 2011. Forthcoming monographs include Range (Aperture); and Out of Order (RVB Paris), both fall 2014.

All Studio VU Lectures are free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Wilson Hall lots as well as the parking lot across the street on 21st Avenue and Terrace Place. For more information, contact the Department of Art at 615-343-7241.

Workshop on Religion and Late Antique Culture October 23-24

cohen-1A workshop on religion and culture in late antiquity will be held at Vanderbilt this Friday, October 24, with a Thursday evening keynote at the Nashville Parthenon. The workshop, Religion in Late Antique Culture and Society (RELACS), is sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the Department of History of Art. Participants will meet all day Friday in Cohen Memorial Hall, with a late afternoon field trip to the Nashville Parthenon.

Gregor Kalas, associate professor of the history and theory of architecture, School of Architecture, University of Tennessee, will deliver an Archaeological Institute of America lecture on Thursday, October 23, at 6 pm at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park. In his lecture, titled “Visualizing Statues in the Late Antique Roman Forum,” Kalas will explore using high-tech digital techniques to visualize the appearance of sculpture in the late antique Roman Forum. This lecture is sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, and the departments of history of art and classical studies at Vanderbilt.

Kalas will welcome participants to the Friday morning session, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in Cohen 308 with a follow-up Q & A regarding the AIA lecture. Jacob Latham, assistant professor of history, University of Tennessee, will present a paper entitled “The pompa circensis in Late Antiquity: Christianization, transformation, restoration” at 10:30 a.m. followed by Tina Shepardson, associate professor of religious studies, University of Tennessee, “Give it up for God: Wealth and the cost of religious resistance in John of Ephesus’ Church History,” 11:30 a.m.

The afternoon session commences at 2:00 p.m. in Cohen 324 with Barbara Tsakirgis, associate professor of classics and history of art, “Omega House in Athens: An early Christian residence?” followed by a plenary session at 3:00 p.m. led by Robin Jensen, Luce Chancellor’s Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship, and David Michelson, assistant professor of the history of Christianity. Betsey Robinson, associate professor of history of art, will lead a field trip, “The Parthenon after antiquity,” at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Late antiquity is a term used by scholars to describe a historical period that includes both the end of classical civilizations and the first centuries of medieval societies in the Mediterranean, Africa, Europe and the Near East. The Religion and Culture in Late Antiquity seminar, which meets once a month at the Warren Center for the Humanities, describes the geographic definition of “late antiquity” as focusing primarily on the cultures and societies of the Mediterranean world. Seminar coordinators are Jensen, Michelson, and Mark Ellison, graduate student in religion.

For more information on the workshop, contact Ellison, workshop convener, at mark.d.ellison@vanderbilt.edu.

Patricia Leighten to Deliver Goldberg Lecture on November 6

cartier-bresson.behindGareStLazare.1932Patricia Leighten, professor of art history & visual studies, Duke University, will present the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History on Thursday, November 6, at 4:10 p.m. in 203 Cohen Hall. Her lecture is entitled “The Secret Life of Henri Cartier-Bresson,” with a reception to follow in the atrium.

Leighten’s field of research is late nineteenth and early twentieth-century modernism and politics in Europe, primitivism, and the history and theory of photography. In her research and teaching, she is interested in the relationship between visual culture and the politics of both representation and interpretation. Leighten received her PhD from Rutgers University.

She is author of The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris (University of Chicago Press 2013) and Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897-1914 (Princeton University Press 1989) as well as coauthor of A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914 (University of Chicago Press 2008) [Le cubisme devant ses contemporains–Documents et critiques (1906-1914), Paris: Les Presses du réel, forthcoming 2014] and Cubism and Culture (Thames & Hudson 2001 [Cubisme et culture 2002]).

Sponsored by the Department of History of Art, the Goldberg Lecture is free and open to the public. Limited parking is available in Lot 95 outside Cohen Hall, off 21st Avenue South on the Peabody campus and across from Medical Center East.

*Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind the Saint-Lazare Station, Paris, 1932, gelatin silver print

Gregor Kalas to Deliver AIA Lecture on Thursday, October 23

kalasstructureGregor Kalas, associate professor of the history and theory of architecture, School of Architecture, University of Tennessee, investigates late antique urban landscapes by digitally reconstructing the center of Rome in order to reveal the ritual function of buildings and the topographical linkages between significant city spaces.

His current research concerns the late antique revitalization of public architecture in the Roman Forum, Rome’s chief monumental precinct.

Kalas will deliver an Archaeological Institute of America lecture on Thursday, October 23, at 6 pm at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park. In his lecture, titled “Visualizing Statues in the Late Antique Roman Forum,” Kalas will explore using high-tech digital techniques to visualize the appearance of sculpture in the late antique Roman Forum. “During the fourth and fifth centuries CE, statues populating the open areas of the Roman Forum preserved memories of the individuals represented in portraits,” wrote Kalas. “This visualization project contextualizes the now dispersed statues and their inscribed bases in the public space of the late antique Forum.”

While in Nashville to deliver the AIA lecture, the next morning Kalas will welcome participants to an all-day workshop on Religion in Late Antique Culture and Society (RELACS) sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Late Antique Seminar and the Department of History of Art.

His book, The Restoration of the Roman Forum in Late Antiquity: Transforming Public Space, is forthcoming in January 2015 by the University of Texas Press, Austin. The first comprehensive examination of the Roman Forum in late antiquity, this book explores the cultural significance of restoring monuments and statues in the city’s preeminent public space, demonstrating shifts in patronage, political power, historical associations, and aesthetics. Kalas holds degrees from Williams College (BA), Johns Hopkins University (MA), and Bryn Mawr College (PhD).

Free and open to the public, Kalas’ lecture is sponsored by the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, and Vanderbilt’s Department of Classical Studies and Department of History of Art. Those who plan to attend the AIA lecture on October 23 are encouraged to call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat.

HART Society Sponsors Information Session for Majors on Thursday

HARTdaliInterested in majoring in the History of Art? Ready to study abroad? Nervous about getting a job? Confused about how Art History will fit into the mix? Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 23!

Along with cookies and lemonade in the Cohen atrium from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, History of Art majors will have HART department professors, students, study abroad reps, and a career counselor on hand to offer one-on-one advice and answer any questions.

Contact jodi.l.chamberlain@vanderbilt.edu with any questions regarding the event.