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Recent Publications

A Generous Vision II: Samuel H. Kress Professors, 1995–2016 (PDF 15MB)
Edited by Therese O'Malley, with an introduction by Elizabeth Cropper, 2016

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Published on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, this volume updates A Generous Vision: Samuel H. Kress Professors, 1965–1995. This new record of achievement for the years 1995–2016 is intended to reflect the previous volume in spirit and structure, with a short reminiscence about each Kress Professor by someone who was in residence as a young scholar at CASVA during the professor's term.

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This year, in which the National Gallery of Art celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows from China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from gold disks of Chichen Itza in the reign of K'ak'upcal to Italian Renaissance fountain sculpture, from the relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt to fashion and costume in Yuan dynasty China, and from American modernist photography and the Mexican cultural renaissance to the prints of Jan van de Velde II. Read more

The Civil War in Art and Memory
Studies in the History of Art, Volume 81
Edited by Kirk Savage, 2016

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Reflecting on the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, this book brings together a range of media and perspectives that show how the conflict has been recorded and remembered over time. Fifteen essays by scholars in a variety of disciplines explore visual representations of the war and its remembrance from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The text is organized in four sections on the themes of home, the battlefield, public space, and heroism. Within these, famous images such as Antietam battlefield photography are presented in a new light, and discussions of lesser-known works—ranging from newspaper illustrations to stained glass windows to public sculpture—underscore their contemporary relevance to the war’s most problematic legacies. Four of the essays focus on one of the central commemorations of the war, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s memorial to Robert Gould Shaw in Boston, and its multiple meanings and interpretations.

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This year the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows from Australia, Austria, China, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from the architectural revolution of circa 1500 to painting and place in China during the mid-Ming period, from amatory tenderness in the early Roman Empire to fashion and costume in nineteenth-century art, from the art of Jusepe de Ribera to that of Albert Pinkham Ryder, and from visual culture in socialist Ethiopia to the origin and function of mirrors in ancient Greece. Read more

Modernism and Landscape Architecture, 1890–1940
Studies in the History of Art, Volume 78
Edited by Therese O'Malley and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, 2015

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The study of modernism in landscape architecture was long centered on well-known works of a few master designers and architects following War World II. This latest volume in Studies in the History of Art documents the broader cultural contribution of landscape architecture in the crucial period from 1890 to 1940. During these decades landscape architects organized as a profession distinct from art and architecture and brought a variety of theories and aspirations to designing for new lifestyles, urban growth, reinforcement of national identity, natural conservation, land use planning, and other challenges posed by rapid change. Twelve essays seek to identify the definition and significance of landscape modernism in examples from Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Argentina, and the United States.

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The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professorship was created in 2002 to bring to the National Gallery of Art and CASVA for a period of months a colleague of international reputation whose presence inspires collaboration in research efforts across the Gallery, forging new relationships. Each of these distinguished visitors contributes to the passing on of knowledge and experience to an emerging generation of scholars, curators, and conservation scientists through meetings, both formal and informal, designed by the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor and CASVA in collaboration with Gallery staff. This publication celebrates the first twelve years of the professorship and profiles the professors in residence from 2003–2014.

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This year the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from effects of the electric illumination of Paris in the nineteenth century to gardens in the early Qing Dynasty, from plastic surgery after World War I to outsider art in New Orleans, from Persian gardens to the architecture of India’s Deccan region, and from medieval manuscripts to outliers in contemporary art.

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters (PDF 845KB) 
Volume 13, Lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi
Critical edition by Lorenzo Pericolo; translation by Anne Summerscale; essay by Elizabeth Cropper; historical notes by Anne Summerscale, Alexandra Hoare, Lorenzo Pericolo, and Elizabeth Cropper, 2013

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This critical edition and English translation of Malvasia’s lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi from his Felsina pittrice offer access to the life and work of two great masters of seventeenth-century Bologna. Domenichino’s life plays a seminal role in Malvasia’s definition of the "fourth age" of painting in Italy. From the very beginning, Malvasia pits against each other Guido Reni and Domenichino, the two champions of the vanguard style that emerged from the Carracci reform of painting. If Guido becomes the idol of the Lombard and Bolognese school, "more attuned to tenderness and audacity," Domenichino embodies an ideal of perfection more in keeping with the Florentine and Roman school, "fond of finish and diligence."

Malvasia reports that he did not know Domenichino, and his reconstruction of the career of the master as he moved among Rome, Naples, and Bologna stands in stark contrast to Giovan Pietro Bellori’s more sympathetic account, published in 1672. If, to redeem the supremacy of the Bolognese school, Malvasia downplays the problem of Domenichino’s "erudition" and "fertility" of invention, he does so with hesitation and among unresolvable contradictions. His assimilation of Domenichino’s art to the Roman and Tuscan canon is, then, profoundly polemical. In this light, Malvasia’s life of Domenichino can be defined as the most tormented and ultimately unsuccessful eulogy in the Felsina pittrice: a great piece of art-historical criticism about an artist whose greatness Malvasia could not deny.

Malvasia’s assessment of the artistic personality of Francesco Gessi turns upon the painter’s rivalry with his master, Guido Reni, whose perfection in painting nevertheless remains unmatchable. In relating how Domenichino snatched away the highly talented Giovan Battista Ruggeri from his previous master, Francesco Gessi, Malvasia turns the conflicts inherent in Domenichino’s life into a generational struggle between artistic factions. In the process, Malvasia provides important biographical information about Giovan Giacomo Sementi, another of Guido’s disciples and Gessi’s lifelong rival. Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and Harvey Miller Publishers.