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Upcoming Symposium

Wyeth Foundation for American Art Symposium
Feminism in American Art History
December 4–11, 2020

This annual program supported by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art is a two-part symposium consisting of eight prerecorded lectures and a live panel discussion.

Presentations by Kirsten Pai Buick, Aruna D’Souza, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Lisa Farrington, Jessica Horton, Jenny Lin, Helen Molesworth, and Jennifer Van Horn will be released on December 4.

Visit the symposium's page for more information on the lectures and to register for the panel discussion.

Program (PDF 610KB)


New 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.

Download (PDF 269KB)


Upcoming Lectures

The Seventieth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
Contact: Art and the Pull of Print
Jennifer Roberts, Harvard University

Lecture 1: Pressure
Lecture 2: Reversal
Lecture 3: Separation
Lecture 4: Strain
Lecture 5: Interference
Lecture 6: Alienation

The series will premiere virtually in spring 2021. Previously announced dates have been removed due to logistical pressures resulting from the Gallery's closure on November 21.


Forthcoming Publication

Bollingen Series
The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855‒1280
Vidya 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 Sixty-Fifth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, presented by Dehejia in the spring of 2016. Watch or listen to the six-part series.

Lorenzo Monaco, Madonna and Child, 14131413

New 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
CASVA announces 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.

Read the press release

Edouard Manet, The Railway, 18731873

New Presentation

Reflections on the Collection: The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors at the National Gallery of Art
David Bomford on Édouard Manet’s
The Railway (1873)

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, 2018

David Bomford (former conservation chair, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and 2018 Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses the importance of  Édouard Manet’s The Railway (1873), painted at a pivotal moment both in the artist’s  life and for the city of Paris.  Identifying the setting and the sitters in the painting as well as Manet’s innovations in painting technique, Professor Bomford shares what makes this painting one he most admires in the collection.


New Publication

Center 40: Record of Activities and Research Reports, June 2019–May 2020 (PDF 10.7MB)

This year the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows in residence from Canada, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from the response to industrially produced metals in mid-nineteenth-century France to the emergence and reception of Michelangelo’s non finito, from Japanese export lacquer for an Iberian clientele at the turn of the seventeenth century to work of the Italian artist Jacopo Bassano in the context of agricultural transformation on the Venetian mainland, and from sensory perceptions among the Yorùbá people to conceptual and performance art and social commentary in Chile from 1977 to 1983. Read more


2020–2021 Members Announced

CASVA announces new academic year appointments. For the safety of members and staff, the academic year will begin in a remote environment. Members will benefit from the digital resources, database subscriptions, and interlibrary loan services of the National Gallery of Art Library, and fellows and professors will present and discuss their research virtually.

Read the press release
Learn more about CASVA Fellowships


New Publication

The Global Reception of Heinrich Wölfflin's Principles of Art History
Studies in the History of Art, Volume 82
Edited by Evonne Levy and Tristan Weddigen, summer 2020

Can the reception of a single, widely disseminated book offer a historical road map for a global art history? This is the question posed by the editors of this volume of essays, which charts the enduring response to the Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin’s Principles of Art History, first published in German in 1915. Translated into 22 languages and still in print in many of them, Wölfflin’s book inaugurated an art history based entirely on “forms of seeing” and employing a comparative method. Many of the translators and transmitters of the text are represented in essays on the book’s readership in Europe, North and South America, and South and East Asia. From its reception, positive and negative, the first genealogy of a global art history emerges.


New Visiting Senior Fellowships

Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowships
The creation of the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowships will support scholars researching historically underrepresented areas of art-historical study. The first cycle of fellowships will support those focusing on the arts of African Americans, Africa, and the African diaspora.

Read the press release
Learn more about CASVA Fellowships



The Sixty-Ninth 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.


New Dean Announcement

Professor Steven Nelson Announced as New Dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

The National Gallery of Art announced the appointment of Steven Nelson as dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). Nelson is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at CASVA (2018–2020), on leave from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he is professor of African and African American art history and director of the UCLA African Studies Center. Nelson will become CASVA's third dean since its founding in 1979 and will succeed Elizabeth Cropper, who will retire in late May 2020. Nelson will begin his tenure in July.