End of Semester News Bulletin

Saisha Grayson

Congratulations to all our students for surviving the end of the semester! Suffice to say, it left many book-strewn apartments in its wake. As we look forward to next year, we’re excited to see more of our students receive prestigious dissertation fellowships for 2015-2016:

  • Andrianna Campbell will hold a Schomburg Archival Dissertation Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for her dissertation project on Norman Lewis. She will take advantage of the Center’s wide-ranging holdings on Lewis, which include un-transcribed interviews, exhibition catalogues and photographs of the artist and his colleagues. More information on the Schomburg’s Archival Dissertation Fellowship Program can be found here.
  • Randall Edwards has received a Henry Luce Foundation / ACLS Dissertation Fellowship ​​in American Art for his dissertation “Dennis Oppenheim: Sites, 1967-75.” A synopsis of his project, which examines Oppenheim in relationship to Conceptual Art, can be read here. Luce / ACLS Fellowships are awarded to graduate students for scholarship on a topic in the history of the visual arts of the United States.
  • Finally, Saisha Grayson will be a Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, working on her dissertation “Cellist, Catalyst, Collaborator: The Work of Charlotte Moorman, 1963–1980,” a section of which she recently presented at the annual The IFA – Frick Symposium. The American Art Museum grants awards for scholars and students to pursue research at the museum, including senior, predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships.

For previous coverage of upcoming student fellowships, click here.

Amy Brandt (1978-2015)

We are very saddened to learn that Amy Brandt, a recent alumna of the Art History Program, has passed away. She was a dear friend of many current and former students and will be greatly missed.

Below is an excerpt of a message by her family that can be read in its entirety here:

Amy attended the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelors’ Degree in Art History. At the age of 22 Amy left her home country to study art history and received a License in Art History from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. From Paris Amy traveled to Boston where she was awarded a Master of Arts from Tufts University. Amy received her PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. At the time of her death Amy was the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. Amy’s energy was boundless. Amy’s book Interplay: Neoconceptual Art of the 1980s was published in 2014. Amy’s book was met with unqualified praise. During the last months of her life Amy completed work on an exhibition Tsen-Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera and was also the author of the exhibition catalogue. The Tsen-Kwong Chi exhibit opened in New York in April and was acclaimed in the New York Times (Amy was elated). In her too short career Amy worked on many exhibitions in New York, Boston, Brooklyn, Norfolk and Monaco.

Amy’s body of work speaks to her passion and love of art. Beyond her love of art and scholarship was Amy Louise Brandt’s incredible Joie de Vivre. Amy was so filled with joy and love and was very generous in her abilities to share that joy and love. Her love of David and Emma was magnificent. Her love of her mother and larger family beautiful to behold. “Good night sweet Amy. And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Amy’s family would like to thank the medical staff and entire Duke Hospital Community for all the love and support they provided Amy. The family would also like to offer a profound thank you to old and new friends who made Amy’s journey bearable. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emma Arthur Scholarship Fund in c/o David Arthur.



Recent Faculty News: Emily Braun AAMC Award and More

Emily Braun

With the end of the semester approaching, we’d like to highlight a few recent faculty news items:

Yesterday, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) announced its annual Awards for Excellence in curatorial work, and we were thrilled to see the results: Along with Rebecca Rabinow, Emily Braun received Best Catalog / Publication produced by a museum with an annual operating budget over $20 million for Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vivien Greene, Senior Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, also received a first place award for her exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe.

In other news, Yale University Press recently released The Modern Architecture Symposia, 1962-1966: A Critical Edition, edited by Professor Emerita Rosemarie Haag Bletter and Joan Ockman. Bletter also published “Fragments of Utopia: Paul Scheerbart and Bruno Taut” in Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!! – A Paul Scheerbart Reader (University of Chicago Press) 2014.

Finally, the Winter 2014 issue of Art Journal featuring Anna Chave’s article “Grave Matters: Positioning Carl Andre at Career’s End” is now available in print. We hope to see a PDF on Professor Chave’s website soon!

Tonight – Participatory Research and Political Art: California to New York

Participatory Research and Political Art

Tonight at 6:30 pm in the James Gallery, join Evan Bissell and Morris Justice Project members for a discussion of how they have used forms of participatory research and art in pursuit of social justice and political change in New York as well as California. Among the questions to be discussed are: do artists have particular skills and knowledge that can be useful to emancipatory struggles? How can visual strategies be educational, within and beyond the characterization of so-called ‘social practice’? And what are the benefits of using art as a methodological tool in gathering research? Audience members are encouraged to participate in this forum, which will take the form of an open conversation.

“Participatory Research and Political Art” is held in conjunction with the exhibition Left Coast: California Political Art, curated by PhD Student Nadiah Fellah. Make sure to visit before the show closes on May 29th!

Cosponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; PhD Program in Art History; Public Science Project, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Click here for more information.

New Content on YouTube Channel


As the semester winds down, a friendly reminder to visit our YouTube channel, as we’ve added a lot of content over the past few weeks! We’re particularly pleased to have footage from two recent conferences organized by Program students and faculty: Exhibit A: Authorship on Display, which offered a typology of authorial roles in contemporary exhibition practice, and Sexing Sound: Aural Archives and Feminist Scores, which examined the gendered aspects of music cultures in the context of contemporary art.

More YouTube footage will be available soon, including Speculative Realism, Accelerationism and Aesthetics and The City is Ours, The Body is Mine: Urban Spatial Practices in Contemporary Latin America.

2015-2016 Student Representative Election Results

Thanks to everyone who voted for next year’s student representatives – the results are in!

Serving as representatives for the general student body and joining the Executive Committee meetings will be Chloe Wyma, Chris Green, and Gemma Sharpe, with Remi Poindexter serving as an alternative. The Curriculum and Exams Committee Representative will be Andrew Cappetta, and the Admissions and Awards Committee Representative will be Abigail Lapin.

Congratulations to all!

Kerry Greaves Curates Exhibition on Danish Avant-Garde Art During World War II

Kerry Greaves

On May 17th, recent alum Kerry Greaves opens the exhibition War Horses: Helhesten and the Danish Avant-Garde During World War II at NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale.

Based on Greaves’ dissertation project, this is the first museum exhibition to focus on the Danish avant-garde group, Helhesten (The Hell-Horse). The group was established in Copenhagen in 1941 by leading modernists of the period who courageously created expressive abstract art and exhibited and published a journal together throughout the German occupation of Denmark from 1940 – 1945. The exhibition, which examines the significance of Helhesten by exploring how and why European modern art was made during the rise of Fascism, includes 120 paintings, works on paper and sculptures by artists such as Ejler Bille (1910-2004), Henry Herrup (1907-1983), Asger Jorn (1914-1973), Carl-Henning Pedersen (1913-2007) and others.

Among the exhibition’s highlights are:

  • Ejler Bille’s bronze sculpture, Store maske (Large Mask), 1944, in which the artist experiments with the dynamic interplay of geometric and two- and three-dimensional forms in creating a comical, human-like figure with stubby, flat arms and feet.
  • Asger Jorn’s Untitled, c. 1941. The ideas of European Surrealists fascinated Jorn, and the lively colorful, abstract forms in this work, transform an ordinary barrel into a thing of beauty. In its fusion of the ordinary with high art, the work aspects of later twentieth-century art movements, such as Pop art.

The exhibition will be on view through September 27, and is accompanied by a substantial illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Kerry Greaves, Michael Leja and Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen. More information on the exhibition and related public programming can be found on the NSU Museum’s website.

In other news, Greaves was recently awarded a Novo Nordisk Foundation post-doctorate fellowship at the University of Coopenhagen, where she will study the tradition of the artists’ collective in Denmark. Visit the Novo Nordisk website to learn more about the Foundation’s activities and Greaves’ research project. Congratulations!

Today – Political Printmaking: Favianna Rodriguez and Lincoln Cushing in Conversation

Nadiah Fellah

What role has printmaking had in political activism and revolutionary moments in U.S. history, and how have artists responded to social injustice through poster designs? Today, at 6:30 pm in the Martin E. Segal Theatre, Favianna Rodriguez, whose prints are featured in the Graduate Center’s James Gallery exhibition Left Coast: California Political Art, will present her work, and archivist and librarian Lincoln Cushing will speak on the history of political prints in California.

Their talks will be followed by a discussion moderated by the exhibition’s curator, Nadiah Fellah, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow and student in the PhD Program in Art History.

A reminder to visit Left Coast: California Political Art before it closes on May 29th! The exhibition includes artworks from the 1980s to the present that focus on the spirit of protest and resistance, which has come to be synonymous with the West Coast in recent years.

More information on the Center for Humanities website.

Cosponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; PhD Program in Art History; Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

The Shapes of Sense: A Conversation with Molly Nesbit and Joan Richardson

Molly Nesbit

Join Joan Richardson (Graduate Center, English) and Molly Nesbit (Vassar College, Art) at 6:30 pm in the William P. Kelly Skylight Room as they discuss their recently published book-length studies that approach the history and potential that Pragmatism promises for thinking about literature, philosophy, and aesthetics into our present day.

In The Principles of Psychology, William James wrote, “Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses from the object before us, another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our own mind.” Along with the work of James, Charles Sanders Peirce, John Dewey and others, Pragmatism emerged as an American philosophy in the nineteenth century that has continued to shape the patterns of American thinking.

Molly Nesbit is Professor in the Department of Art at Vassar College and a contributing editor of Artforum. Since 2002, together with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija, she has curated Utopia Station, a collective and ongoing book, exhibition, seminar, website and street project ( in Poughkeepsie, Frankfurt, Venice, Munich, Porto Alegre, and, next, Buenos Aires).  She has received many awards for her work, notably from the Guggenheim Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.  In 2008 she gave the J. Kirk T. Varnedoe Memorial lectures at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her books include Atget’s Seven Albums (Yale University Press, 1992) and Their Common Sense (Black Dog, 2000).  The Pragmatism in the History of Art (Periscope, 2013), is the first volume of Pre-Occupations, a series collecting her essays.

Joan Richardson is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and American Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Author of a two-volume biography of the poet Wallace Stevens, she co-edited, with Frank Kermode, Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose (Library of America, 1997). Her essays on Stevens, on Ralph Waldo Emerson, on Jonathan Edwards have been published in the Wallace Stevens Journal, in Raritan, and elsewhere, and essays on Alfred North Whitehead, William James, and pragmatism have appeared in the journals Configurations and The Hopkins Review. Review essays have appeared in Bookforum and other journals. Her study A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007, and was nominated for the 2011 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Another volume for Cambridge, Pragmatism and American Experience was published in June 2014. Among other current writing engagements, she is preparing for press Images, Shadows of Divine Things, the project for which she was awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship; inspired in part by Jonathan Edwards, it is a secular spiritual autobiography in hybrid, experimental form. Joan Richardson has also been the recipient of several other awards, including a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work reflects an abiding interest in the way that philosophy, natural history, and science intersect with literature. She is particularly preoccupied with the complex relation between language and perception.

Co-sponsored by the PhD Program in Art History and Center for Humanities

Patricia Falguières, Politics for the White Cube: The Italian Way

Patricia Falguières

This evening at 6:00 pm, the Art History Program welcomes Patricia Falguières, Professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, who will deliver our second of two Spring Rewald Research-in-Progress Lectures, “Politics for the White Cube: The Italian Way.”

Patricia Falguières is Professor at the EHESS (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences). Her research focuses on both the cultural history of the Renaissance and the analysis of contemporary art. She has written many publications on the topic of art, including Mannerism: The story of an Avant-Garde in the 16th century and Wunderkammern (Les chambres des merveilles).

Note that today’s Rewald lecture will begin at 6:00 p.m. rather than 5:30 p.m. and is only open to students and faculty in the Art History Program.