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News from the Center

View updates from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, including upcoming and recent programs, fellowship deadlines, recordings, and publications.

John Marin, Middle of Atlantic, 19091909

Upcoming symposium

Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art: 53rd Annual Sessions
Saturday, March 4, 10:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall and Virtual

Along with the University of Maryland (UMD), the Center will cohost presentations by graduate students of the region. Registration is required and will open at noon on Friday, February 24.

On the previous evening, Friday, March 3, at 6:00 p.m., Paul Chaat Smith, citizen of the Comanche Nation and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, will deliver this year’s George Levitine Lecture in Art History, “Weaponizing Nostalgia: Notes on the Absence and Presence of Indians in American Life,” at UMD. This event is organized by UMD and registration is required. 

Learn more

Mary Lee Bendolph, Blocks and Strips, 20022002

Upcoming program

The Work in the World: Thinking through Called to Create
Friday, March 10
2:00–4:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium and Virtual

Join us for an afternoon of presentations, conversations, and performances featuring artists and scholars whose practice is in dialogue with the exhibition Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South

Presenters include Sanford Biggers, Lisa Gail Collins, vanessa german, Lonnie Holley, Tau Lewis, Christopher Myers, and Renée Stout.

Registration is required and opens at noon on Friday, March 3.
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Details announced

The 72nd A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
Vital Signs: The Visual Cultures of Maya Writing
Stephen D. Houston, Brown University

Sundays between April 16 and May 21, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium and Virtual
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Now accepting applications

Howard University Undergraduate Internship program, 2023–2025

Over the course of the two-year internship, participants will receive an introduction to art history and research methodologies and gain insights into museum work. Through seminars, mentoring, and departmental projects, interns will be exposed to various museum careers, including curating, conservation, research, archival work, and library services. There will be an emphasis on professional and transferable skills, as well as on fostering a lifelong appreciation for the arts and humanities.

Internships are available to freshman and sophomore undergraduate students currently enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at Howard University. We welcome students from all majors and disciplines to apply and do not require previous museum experience or art history coursework.

The deadline to apply is March 12, 2023.


Now accepting applications

Visiting senior fellowship program

Up to two Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowships and up to five Paul Mellon and Beinecke Visiting Senior Fellowships will be awarded for the period September 1, 2023–February 28, 2024. Qualified applicants are considered for all categories of visiting senior fellowships.

Fellowships are awarded without regard to age or nationality of applicants. Through its fellowship programs, the Center seeks a diverse pool of applicants in the visual arts and especially welcomes candidates from historically marginalized fields.

The deadline to apply is March 21, 2023.


Upcoming book discussion and signing

The Forest with Alexander Nemerov and Philip Kennicott
Friday, March 31, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall and Virtual

Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University, and Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer Prize–winning art and architecture critic of The Washington Post, will discuss Nemerov’s newest book The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Nemerov’s 2017 Mellon Lectures formed the basis for The Forest.

Registration is required and opens at noon on Friday, March 24.

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New publication

Beauty Born of Struggle: The Art of Black Washington
Edited by Jeffrey C. Stewart

In a 20th century during which modern art largely abandoned beauty as its imperative, a group of Black artists from Washington, DC, made beauty the center of their art making. This book highlights these influential artists, including David C. Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Lois Mailou Jones, and Alma Thomas, in the context of what Jeffrey C. Stewart describes as the Washington Black Renaissance.


New appointment

The Center announces new associate dean Kaira M. Cabañas

Kaira M. Cabañas has been appointed associate dean of academic programs and publications. As associate dean, Cabañas will manage the Center’s many annual symposia, lectures, meetings, and other academic gatherings as well as oversee academic and commissioned research publications. She will direct various long-term research projects within the Center and serve as an academic administrator. Cabañas begins her tenure on March 27, 2023.
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New publication

Studies in the History of Art, 84
Boundary Trouble in American Vanguard Art, 1920–2020
Edited by Lynne Cooke

The artists in Boundary Trouble in American Vanguard Art defy binary constructs of insider and outsider. Some are credentialed professionals, others are self-identified amateurs, and yet others are indifferent to categorical classification systems. These shifting identifications and concepts are examined in 16 essays, challenging established narratives of American and modernist art histories.

A woman and two children, all with pale skin and flushed cheeks, sit together in a landscape in this round painting. The woman takes up most of the composition as she sits with her right leg, to our left, tucked under her body. Her other leg, on our right, is bent so the foot rests on the ground, and that knee angles up and out to the side. She wears a rose-pink dress under a topaz-blue robe, and a finger between the pages of a closed book holds her place. Her brown hair is twisted away from her face. She has delicate features and her pink lips are closed. She looks and leans to our left around a nude young boy who half-sits and half-stands against her bent leg. The boy has blond hair and pudgy, toddler-like cheeks and body. The boy reaches his right hand, on our left, to grasp the tall, thin cross held by the second young boy, who sits on the ground next to the pair. This second boy has darker brown hair and wears a garment resembling animal fur. The boy kneels facing the woman and looks up at her and the blond boy. The trio sits on a flat, grassy area in front of a body of water painted light turquoise. Mountains in the deep distance are pale azure blue beneath a nearly clear blue sky.

Lecture recording

Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
Michelangelo, Raphael, and the Genius Paradox
Cammy Brothers, Northeastern University
Presented on Sunday, November 6, 2022

Our annual report

Center 42: Record of Activities and Research Reports, June 2021–May 2022

We’re pleased to share our annual report, which includes members’ reports on their research completed at the Center along with a record of events and programs throughout the academic year.

Press release

2022–2023 Academic Year Appointments
“One of our largest classes on record, this year’s members represent the future of art history scholarship,” said Steven Nelson, dean of the Center. “Their research will further our collective understanding of artistic histories that have been traditionally underexplored.”