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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.


New Annual Report

Center 41: Record of Activities and Research Reports, June 2020–May 2021

This year the Center welcomed fellows in residence affiliated with institutions in the United States and United Kingdom. Fellowships were virtual, with members offered the option to either safely relocate to housing provided in Washington, DC, or remain remote, whichever benefited their research. The fellows joined us virtually from across the United States, Europe, and Asia. 


Website Redesign

History of Early American Landscape Design (HEALD)

We invite you to explore the redesigned website for the History of Early American Landscape Design (HEALD) project. With thousands of texts and citations and around 1,700 images, HEALD is an inquiry into the language of early American landscape aesthetics and garden design. Considerable changes were made to improve the site’s navigation and exploration, including the dynamic new Image Collection. Encouraging a contextualized approach to data analysis, HEALD allows you to search, read, sort, and parse. The project is built on the open-source platform MediaWiki, with custom code freely available for re-use. 

Master of the Cypresses, Initial U (?), 1430s1430s

Upcoming Virtual Conference

Fragments and Frameworks: Illuminated Manuscripts and Illustrated Books in Digital Humanities

Friday, October 1, 2021
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. / 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Register: Morning Session Register: Afternoon Session


Upcoming Virtual Lecture

Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
“More perfect and excellent than men”: The Women Artists of Bologna
Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University

Live Lecture Premiere and Q&A
Friday, November 5, 2021, 1:00 p.m.

Early modern Bologna was exceptional for its many talented women artists. Thanks to a long-standing tradition of honoring accomplished women, several attentive artistic biographers, strong local interest in collecting women’s work, and permissive attitudes toward women studying with male artists who were not family members, Bologna was home to more women artists than any other city in early modern Italy. Bolognese women artists were unusual not only for their large numbers but also for their varied specializations and frequent public success. They painted altarpieces, nudes, mythologies, allegories, portraits, and self-portraits, creating sculptures, drawings, prints, embroidery, and paintings. This lecture challenges some common assumptions about women artists, suggesting productive approaches for future research.

This lecture will premiere at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, November 5, with closed-captioning, on both the National Gallery’s website and YouTube channel, where it will be archived. 

The event on Friday, November 5, 1:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m., with live closed-captioning, will present the prerecorded lecture in full, followed by a live Q&A with the lecturer. Registration for this event is required.


Just Announced

New Members for 2021–2022
The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (the Center) has announced its 2021–2022 academic year appointments. They include Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design (emerita), as Kress-Beinecke Professor; Huey Copeland of University of Pennsylvania as Andrew W. Mellon Professor; Aruna D'Souza of Williamstown, Massachusetts, as Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor; and Richard J. Powell of Duke University as the 71st A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts.
Press release


Photo © Chester Higgins

Upcoming Lectures

The 71st A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 2022
Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect
Richard J. Powell, Duke University

The lecture series will be held in the East Building Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, over six Sundays from March 20 to May 1, 2022.
Press release


Recent Lectures

The 70th A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
Contact: Art and the Pull of Print 
Jennifer L. Roberts, Harvard University
Watch or Listen


New Undergraduate Internship Program

The Center has established a multiyear undergraduate paid internship program in partnership with Howard University and with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This four-year pilot program aims to create pathways to careers in museums and arts-related organizations for students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other institutions that serve populations that are underrepresented in the museum field. 
Press release


New Publication

Bollingen Series
The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855‒1280Vidya Dehejia, May 2021

Leading art historian Vidya Dehejia presents the first book to put the sacred and sensuous bronze statues from India’s Chola dynasty in social context.

Part of the Bollingen Series of Princeton University Press, this publication follows The 65th A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, presented by Dehejia in the spring of 2016.


Recent Article

From the Bulletin
Gilbert Stuart and the Representation of the Nation
Bulletin 62 (Fall 2020)

Portraiture is a genre in which the subject and its context, both physical and historical, have infinite possibilities for interpretation and understanding. This article by Dean Steven Nelson reflects on the artist’s Gibbs-Coolidge paintings, the only surviving set of works depicting the first five presidents of the United States, showing how they are situated in both past and present narratives of national identity. He discusses the portraits’ relationship to changing definitions of American ideals and how the National Gallery of Art as an institution must strive to expand this representation and address the absences in its narrative.
Read (PDF 269KB)

Lorenzo Monaco, Madonna and Child, 14131413

Recent Lecture

Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
Telling the Past Differently: Italian Renaissance Art in the Hands of the Beholder
Megan Holmes, University of Michigan
Watch Listen

Margaret Burroughs, Black Venus, c. 1957c. 1957

New Fellowship

Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Center announced the creation of the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowship—a biennial appointment for two consecutive academic years. The inaugural Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowship will be awarded from September 2021–August 2023 and was made possible through the generosity of Frederick W. Beinecke and his family in response to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Endowment Challenge Grant.
Press release Apply for a fellowship



The 69th A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
Transparence and Ambiguity: The Modern Space of Axonometry

Yve-Alain Bois, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

Fall 2022 dates to be announced.