Tara Zanardi to Present Goldberg Lecture on February 19

Porcelain Room Detail Figure Seated edit (3)Tara Zanardi, assistant professor of art history at Hunter College, will present the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History on Thursday, February 19, at 4:10 p.m. in 203 Cohen Hall. Her lecture is entitled “Porcelain Pleasures and the Allure of the East: Charles III and China,” with a reception to follow in the atrium.

“Tara Zanardi’s scholarly interests engage the art and visual culture of Spain and its global empire during the long eighteenth century,” said Christopher Johns, the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of History of Art.

Zanardi (PhD, University of Virginia) teaches courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art that consider a wide range of topics—art and politics, the development of museums, national identities and cultural representations, fashion, gender, and global exchange.

She has published widely in a number of scholarly journals, including Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte and Eighteenth-Century Studies, and has received numerous prestigious fellowships. Her first book, Majismo and the Pictorial Construction of Elite Identity in Eighteenth-Century Spain (Penn State University Press) will appear later this year.

Her new book project, titled Global Exchange and Tropical Play: Chinerìa in Spanish Visual and Material Culture, focuses on “the deployment of colonial exoticisms in Spain and its empire, attempting to understand in the political and artistic context why certain artistic choices were made and others avoided,” said Johns. Zanardi will explore the highly fashionable and “exotic” eighteenth-century decorative mode of chinoiserie in primarily two major sites, the royal palaces of Madrid and Aranjuez. It will be the first in-depth analysis of chinoiserie in Spanish interior design, textiles, and decorative arts.

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. For more information, call the department at 615.322.2831.

John Janusek to Present AIA Lecture (with libations) on January 27

john-janusekInstead of our usual venue (the Parthenon), John Janusek, associate professor of anthropology, Vanderbilt University, will deliver an Archaeological Institute of America lecture on Tuesday, January 27, at 6 pm at the Yazoo Taproom, 910 Division Street. In his lecture, titled “Beer. Brewing, and Empire in Ancient South America,” Janusek will talk about his research and excavation of the Tiwanaku in the South American Andes in Bolivia.

An archaeologist interested in the development of complex societies and cities in the South American Andes, he has worked in the Bolivian highlands since 1987, conducting research principally focused on the Tiwanaku civilization and its precursors. He currently directs an interdisciplinary research project at the sites of Khonkho Wankane and Iruhito in the southern Lake Titicaca Basin.

Among his publications include these books titled Identity and Power in the Ancient Andes (Routledge, 2004) and Ancient Tiwanaku, part of Case Studies in Early Societies (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Free and open to the public, Janusek’s 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.

The Yazoo Taproom opens its doors at 5:30 p.m., and the lecture begins at 6 p.m. There will be a free beer ticket to anyone who is already an AIA member or who joins the evening of the lecture. Other sales support the AIA.

Book Explores Christian Rituals and Practices in Roman Africa

christianityromanafrica.jpgPatout Burns, Edward A. Malloy Professor of Catholic Studies, emeritus, and Robin Jensen, Luce Chancellor’s Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship, explore how early North African Christians lived out their faith in their recently published book, Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, November 2014). Using a combination of literary and archaeological evidence, this in-depth, illustrated book documents the development of Christian practices and doctrine in Roman Africa—contemporary Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—from the second century through the Arab conquest in the seventh century.

Jensen and Burns, in collaboration with Graeme W. Clarke, Susan T. Stevens, William Tabbernee, and Maureen A. Tilley, skillfully reconstruct the rituals and practices of Christians in the ancient buildings and spaces where those practices were performed. Numerous site drawings and color photographs of the archaeological remains illuminate the discussions.

This work provides valuable new insights into the church fathers Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine. Most significantly, it offers a rich, unprecedented look at early Christian life in Roman Africa, including the development of key rituals and practices such as baptism and eucharist, the election and ordination of leaders, marriage, and burial. In exploring these, Christianity in Roman Africa shows how the early African Christians consistently fought to preserve the holiness of the church amid change and challenge.

“This is an astonishing compendium integrating history, theology, and material culture,” wrote John C. Cavadini, University of Notre Dame. “It is really unprecedented. The theology illuminates the art, and the art in turn illuminates the theology—and both make the history come alive, almost right before the reader’s eyes.”

Burns and Jensen will offer a Friday morning class for the Vanderbilt Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitled “The Development of Christian Practice and Belief in Roman Africa.” The class will meet from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at Belle Meade United Methodist Church, 121 Davidson Road, beginning Friday, January 16, and on consecutive Fridays through February 20.

This course will survey the documentary and archaeological evidence for Christian rituals and practices during the first six centuries in the region stretching along the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea from modern Libya to Morocco. The presentations will focus on the interaction between practices (baptism, eucharist or Lord’s Supper, penance, ordination, prayer) and beliefs. They will include a survey of the archaeological remains for church buildings, baptisteries, and burials.

Applications for Spring 2015 Downing Grants Due February 4

026839The Department of History of Art is pleased to announce grants for travel to exhibitions and research centers to supplement academic instruction for students in the History of Art department at Vanderbilt in the Honors Program, in senior seminars (HART 295), or in “W” (writing) courses. These Downing Grants, which provide assistance for up to $1,500 in travel costs, are awarded in the fall and spring of each academic year.

Applications for the spring 2015 Downing grants are due on Wednesday, February 4, and should be addressed to the Downing Grants Committee, c/o Professor Elizabeth Moodey and emailed to elizabeth.j.moodey@vanderbilt.edu.

The application should consist of a detailed proposal of one page explaining the purpose and rationale of the proposed travel; projected costs (accommodation, travel expenses, and research costs—–note that food is not included); and a supporting letter by the instructor in charge of the project.

In the past the Downing Grants have supported research on projects ranging from a 14th-century queen’s reliquary in the Louvre, to a Marcel Duchamp installation in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon in the British Museum.

*Horsemen, sculptural relief panel from the inner Ionic frieze (the Panathenaic Festival procession frieze), from the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece, ca. 447-438 BCE, marble, height 3 feet, 6 inches.

American Abstract Artists On View at Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

julianjacksonThe Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery celebrates the opening of American Abstract Artists: AAA 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio with a reception on Thursday, January 15, from 5 to 7 pm in Cohen Memorial Hall on the Peabody campus. The exhibit, on view through February 27, highlights the American Abstract Artists group (AAA) that was founded in New York City in 1936 at a time when abstract art was not met with great acclaim.

The exhibition features original works created for this project, all digital prints, and marks a willingness to endorse progressive technologies and to advance an artistic tradition. The resulting portfolio and exhibit reflect an awareness of changing artistic sensibilities in a contemporary and evolving digital era.

The AAA group has produced more than 120 exhibitions in museums and galleries and has print portfolios in major collections worldwide, including the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery. Previous AAA print portfolios (1937, 1987, and 1997) were created using more traditional forms of printmaking such as lithography and other plate-based printing methods. The current president of AAA, Daniel G. Hill, explains that “the digital process enabled a wide variety of approaches that include abstract and documentary photography, scanning of flat-work made expressly for the project, digital compositing, and image manipulation, as well as the use of vector-based software and hand-coded algorithms.” Each print is original and has been individually signed, numbered, and dated by the artist.

Organized by the Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the exhibit is accompanied by a catalogue that includes an introduction by Robert Storr, a member of AAA, painter, curator, critic and dean of the Yale School of Art. The Vanderbilt presentation is made possible, in part, by the Ewers Gift for Fine Art.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11 am to 4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm. Please note that the gallery will be closed on Monday, January 19, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Free and open to the public, the Fine Arts Gallery is housed in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Avenue South, on the western edge of the Peabody College campus. Parking is available in Lot 95 outside Cohen Hall, off 21st Avenue South on the Peabody campus and across from Medical Center East.

For more information, call the gallery (615.322.0605) or the curator’s office (615.343.1702); or visit vanderbilt.edu/gallery.

Michael Leja to Deliver Goldberg Lecture on December 4

Leja_Goldberg_SP14smallMichael Leja, professor of history of art and director of program in visual studies, University of Pennsylvania, will present the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History on Thursday, December 4, at 4:10 p.m. in 203 Cohen Hall. His lecture is entitled “Cubism in Bondage: Morgan Russell’s Synchromism,” with a reception to follow in the atrium.

Leja (PhD, Harvard University) studies the visual arts in various media (painting, sculpture, film, photography, prints, illustrations) in the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily in the United States. His work is interdisciplinary and strives to understand visual artifacts in relation to contemporary cultural, social, political, and intellectual developments. He is especially interested in examining the interactions between works of art and particular audiences.

Synchromism was an art movement founded in the early 1910s by two American artists living in Paris at the time, Morgan Russell (1886-1953) and Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890-1973). With Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Russell created an avant-garde style of colorful abstract painting. Seeking a spiritual exaltation equivalent to that produced by music, with which he also experimented, Russell combined abstract shape and color in paintings.

Leja’s book Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp (2004) traces the interactions between the visual arts and the skeptical forms of seeing engendered in modern life in northeastern American cities between 1869 and 1917. It won the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize in 2005. Leja was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008.

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.

Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion Tonight in Cohen 203

Donna FerratoIn conjunction with I Am Unbeatable: Documenting and Celebrating Stories of Empowerment—Photographs by Donna Ferrato, the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery will host a screening of Nashville Public Television’s documentary film Living in Fear at 6 pm on Thursday, November 13, in Cohen Memorial Hall, room 203. Following the film will be a panel discussion moderated by LaTonya Turner, host of the documentary, and Joseph Mella, director of the Fine Arts Gallery.

The number of incidents and the severity of domestic violence has been a public safety crisis in Tennessee for decades, and the staggering statistics show there is no typical victim. Tennessee ranks tenth in the nation for the number of women killed by men, and more than half of the reported violent crimes in the state are related to domestic violence. In NPT Reports Domestic Violence: Living in Fear, we learn about the survivors, the perpetrators, and the witnesses to these criminal acts of violence.

The screening is free and open to the public, and the gallery will be open until 8 pm. For more information about NPT Reports Domestic Violence: Living in Fear, visit wnpt.org/domesticviolence/ or about the current gallery exhibit, visit vanderbilt.edu/gallery.

Donna Ferrato
American, born 1949
Sarah Augusta, 26, Finally Free from Abuse, 2012
Archival pigment print, digital 35 mm
© Donna Ferrato