History of Art and Visual Studies Faculty Books

Book

Destroy the Copy – Plaster Cast Collections in the 19th–20th Centuries

Title:

Destroy the Copy – Plaster Cast Collections in the 19th–20th Centuries: Demolition, Defacement, Disposal in Europe and Beyond

Editor:

Edited by: Annetta Alexandridis and Lorenz Winkler-Horaček

Publisher:

De Gruyter

Year:

2022

Based on two international conferences held at Cornell University and the Freie Universität of Berlin in 2010 and 2015, this volume is the first ever to explicitly address the destruction of plaster cast collections of ancient Mediterranean and Western sculpture. Focusing on Europe, the Americas, and Japan, art historians, archaeologists and a literary scholar discuss how different museum and academic traditions – national as well as disciplinary –, notions of value and authenticity, or colonialism impacted the fate of collections. The texts offer detailed documentation of degrees of destruction by spectacular acts of defacement, demolition, discarding, or neglect. They also shed light on the accompanying discourses regarding aesthetic ideals, political ideologies, educational and scholarly practices, or race. With destruction being understood as a critical part of reception, the histories of cast collections defy the traditional, homogenous narrative of rise and decline. Their diverse histories provide critical evidence for rethinking the use and display of plaster cast collections in the contemporary moment.

Book

Art History Special Issue: The Embodied Object in Classical Antiquity

Title:

Special Issue: The Embodied Object in Classical Antiquity

Art History Volume 41, Issue 3

Introduction Title:

From Grecian Urn to Embodied Object

Author:

Milette Gaifman, Verity Platt

Essay Title:

Orphaned Objects: The Phenomenology of the Incomplete in Pliny's Natural History

Author:

Verity Platt

Year Published:

2018

 

The Frame in Classical Art

Title:

The Frame in Classical Art: A Cultural History

Edited by:

Verity Platt and Michael Squire

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Year:

2020

The frames of classical art are often seen as marginal to the images that they surround. Traditional art history has tended to view framing devices as supplementary 'ornaments'. Likewise, classical archaeologists have often treated them as tools for taxonomic analysis. This book not only argues for the integral role of framing within Graeco-Roman art, but also explores the relationship between the frames of classical antiquity and those of more modern art and aesthetics. Contributors combine close formal analysis with more theoretical approaches: chapters examine framing devices across multiple media (including vase and fresco painting, relief and free-standing sculpture, mosaics, manuscripts and inscriptions), structuring analysis around the themes of 'framing pictorial space', 'framing bodies', 'framing the sacred' and 'framing texts'. The result is a new cultural history of framing - one that probes the sophisticated and playful ways in which frames could support, delimit, shape and even interrogate the images contained within.

The Ruins of Palmyra and Baalbek

Title:

The Ruins of Palmyra and Baalbek

Author/ Editor:

Robert Wood (Author), Benjamin Anderson (Anthology Editor)

Publisher:

Bloomsbury Visual Arts

Year:

2021

 

First published in the 1750s, The Ruins of Palmyra and The Ruins of Baalbek are a remarkable record of an expedition to the Levant by three antiquarians - Robert Wood, John Bouverie and James Dawkins - along with a draftsman, Giovanni Battista Borra. With over 100 engravings of the classical architecture of the two ancient cities of Palmyra and Baalbek, the volumes represent the earliest-known examples of monographs on archaeological sites. They were unique in providing systematic discussion of the sites' physical and human geography alongside two kinds of pictorial evidence: views of the ancient sites in their then-present state and detailed plans, with measurements, of architectural features. This new approach was immediately copied by antiquarians in the later 18th century and also had great influence upon Neoclassical architecture in Britain, Europe and North America.

This new edition features reproductions of all the engravings from the original publications and includes a new introduction by noted scholar, Benjamin Anderson (Cornell University, USA).

 

Table of Contents

Volume I: The Ruins of Palmyra
Introduction by Benjamin Anderson
The Publisher to the Reader
An Enquiry into the Ancient State of Palmyra
The Inscriptions
A Journey Through the Desert
Plates 1-57

Volume II: The Ruins of Baalbek
Journey from Palmyra to Baalbek
Ancient State of Baalbek
Explanation of the Plates
Plates 1-46
Book

The Byzantine Neighbourhood

Title:

The Byzantine Neighbourhood: Urban Space and Political Action

Author/Editor:

Edited by Ftini Kondyli, Benjamin Anderson

Publisher:

Routledge

Year:

2022

 

The Byzantine Neighbourhood contributes to a new narrative regarding Byzantine cities through the adoption of a neighbourhood perspective. It offers a multi-disciplinary investigation of the spatial and social practices that produced Byzantine concepts of neighbourhood and afforded dynamic interactions between different actors, elite and non-elite. Authors further consider neighbourhoods as political entities, examining how varieties of collectivity formed in Byzantine neighbourhoods translated into political action. By both acknowledging the unique position of Constantinople, and giving serious attention to the varieties of provincial experience, the contributors consider regional factors (social, economic, and political) that formed the ties of local communities to the state and illuminate the mechanisms of empire. Beyond its Byzantine focus, this volume contributes to broader discussions of premodern urbanism by drawing attention to the spatial dimension of social life and highlighting the involvement of multiple agents in city-making.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Neighborhood Perspective on Byzantine Cities

Benjamin Anderson and Fotini Kondyli

Part I: Defining Byzantine Neighborhoods

1. The View from Byzantine Texts

Albrecht Berger

2. The View from Byzantine Archaeology

Fotini Kondyli

Part II: Byzantine Neighborhoods as Social Spaces

3. Who is the Person Living Next Door? Neighborly Relations in Early Byzantine Assos

Beate Böhlendorf-Arslan

Book

Antiquarianism: Contact, Conflict, Comparison

Title:

Antiquarianism: Contact, Conflict, Comparison

Author/ Editor:

Benjamin Anderson, Felipe Rojas

Publisher:

Oxbow Books

Year:

2017
 
Antiquarianism and collecting have been associated intimately with European imperial and colonial enterprises, although both existed long before the early modern period and both were (and continue to be) practiced in places other than Europe. Scholars have made significant progress in the documentation and analysis of indigenous antiquarian traditions, but the clear-cut distinction between “indigenous” and “colonial” archaeologies has obscured the intense and dynamic interaction between these seemingly different endeavours. This book concerns the divide between local and foreign antiquarianisms focusing on case studies drawn primarily from the Mediterranean and the Americas. Both regions host robust pre-modern antiquarian traditions that have continued to develop during periods of colonialism. In both regions, moreover, colonial encounters have been mediated by the antiquarian practices and preferences of European elites. The two regions also exhibit salient differences. For example, Europeans claimed the “antiquities” of the eastern Mediterranean as part of their own, “classical,” heritage, whereas they perceived those of the Americas as essentially alien, even as they attempted to understand them by analogy to the classical world. These basic points of comparison and contrast provide a framework for conjoint analysis of the emergence of hybrid or cross-bred antiquarianisms. Rather than assuming that interest in antiquity is a human universal, this book explores the circumstances under which the past itself is produced and transformed through encounters between antiquarian traditions over common objects of interpretation.

Reviews & Quotes

"...a demonstration of the historical dynamism within two discrete locales of antiquarian endeavour is very welcome, particularly as it underscores an important truth: that antiquarianism can provide a more conducive space to explore, in concert with people who are not specialists, the diverse connections between past and present."
Tim Murray
European Journal of Archaeology (19/11/2018)

"[…] a collection of ten papers that approach the complex question of antiquarianism in a variety of ways."
Claire Nesbitt
Antiquity (20/02/2020)

"Antiquarianisms is a significant contribution to current scholarship on antiquarian traditions. Not only does the volume add to Schnapp’s blueprint for comparing varying antiquarian practices, it also challenges its own goals and asks the reader to do the same in existing and future scholarship."
Katherine A. P. Iselin
Bryn Mawr Classical Review (13/06/2018)

Book

Race and Vision in the Nineteenth-Century United States

Title:

Race and Vision in the Nineteenth-Century United States

Author/ Editor:

Shirley Samuels

Publisher:

Lexington Books

Year:

2019
 
Race and Vision in the Nineteenth-Century United States is a collection of twelve essays by cultural critics that exposes how fraught relations of identity and race appear through imaging technologies in architecture, scientific discourse, sculpture, photography, painting, music, theater, and, finally, the twenty-first century visual commentary of Kara Walker. Throughout these essays, the racial practices of the nineteenth century are juxtaposed with literary practices involving some of the most prominent writers about race and identity, such as Herman Melville and Harriet Beecher Stowe, as well as the technologies of performance including theater and music. Recent work in critical theories of vision, technology, and the production of ideas about racial discourse has emphasized the inextricability of photography with notions of race and American identity. The collected essays provide a vivid sense of how imagery about race appears in the formative period of the nineteenth-century United States.
Book

Latin American Modernisms and Technology

Title:

Latin American Modernisms and Technology

Author/ Editor:

Maria Fernandez

Publisher:

African World Press, Inc.

Year:

2018

 

This collection of essays documents the creative involvement of Latin American artists and intellectuals with modern technologies (mechanical, electronic, digital, and imaginary) from the nineteenth-century to the present. Acknowledging the extensiveness of the histories of both modern technologies and modernism, the essays cover a diversity of media, technologies, and conceptual aspects of techno-culture that Latin American artists and intellectuals have engaged with to depict individual and collective visions of sociocultural progress. These visualizations always had the potential to affect the development of visual culture regionally and internationally. To study these works in relation to the existing histories of art and media arts can lead scholars to rethink notions of artistic innovation and to generate new chronologies and theories for these histories. The contributors to this volume examine works of literature, art, and design from a variety of perspectives including art, art history, literary criticism, and media studies. The collection provides what could be thought of as building blocks of information to construct and integrate with future histories of modernisms, art, and media. We seek to stimulate new ways of thinking about histories of art and media art that challenge the conceptual separation of developed and underdeveloped countries that perpetuates the marginalization of the Global South from modernity.

My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South

Title:

My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South

Author/ Editor:

Cheryl Finley, Randall R. Griffey, Amelia Peck, and Darryl Pinckney

Publisher:

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Year:

2018

 

My Soul Has Grown Deep considers the art-historical significance of contemporary Black artists working throughout the southeastern United States. These paintings, drawings, mixed-media compositions, sculptures, and textiles include pieces ranging from the profound assemblages of Thornton Dial to the renowned quilts of Gee's Bend. Nearly 60 remarkable examples are illustrated alongside insightful texts that situate them in the history of modernism and the context of African American experience in the 20th-century South. This remarkable study simultaneously considers these works on their own merits while also making connections to mainstream contemporary art.

Art historians Cheryl Finley, Randall R. Griffey, and Amelia Peck illuminate shared artistic practices, including the novel use of found or salvaged materials and the artists' interest in improvisational approaches across media. Novelist and essayist Darryl Pinckney provides a thoughtful consideration of the cultural and political history of the American South, during and after the Civil Rights era. These diverse works, described and beautifully illustrated, tell the compelling stories of artists who overcame enormous obstacles to create distinctive and culturally resonant works of art.

Cheryl Finley is Associate Professor and Director of Visual Studies in the Department of the History of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Randall R. Griffey is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Amelia Peck is Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts, and Manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, both at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Darryl Pinckney is a novelist and essayist.

Book

Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon

Title:

Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon

Author/ Editor:

Cheryl Finley

Publisher:

Princeton University Press

Year:

2022

 

How an eighteenth-century engraving of a slave ship became a cultural icon of black resistance, identity, and remembrance

One of the most iconic images of slavery is a schematic wood engraving depicting the human cargo hold of a slave ship. First published by British abolitionists in 1788, it exposed this widespread commercial practice for what it really was--shocking, immoral, barbaric, unimaginable. Printed as handbills and broadsides, the image Cheryl Finley has termed the "slave ship icon" was easily reproduced, and by the end of the eighteenth century it was circulating by the tens of thousands around the Atlantic rim. Committed to Memory provides the first in-depth look at how this artifact of the fight against slavery became an enduring symbol of black resistance, identity, and remembrance.

Finley traces how the slave ship icon became a powerful tool in the hands of British and American abolitionists, and how its radical potential was rediscovered in the twentieth century by black artists, activists, writers, filmmakers, and curators. Finley offers provocative new insights into the works of Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and many others. She demonstrates how the icon was transformed into poetry, literature, visual art, sculpture, performance, and film—and became a medium through which diasporic Africans have reasserted their common identity and memorialized their ancestors.

Beautifully illustrated, Committed to Memory features works from around the world, taking readers from the United States and England to West Africa and the Caribbean. It shows how contemporary black artists and their allies have used this iconic eighteenth-century engraving to reflect on the trauma of slavery and come to terms with its legacy.

Cheryl Finley is associate professor of art history at Cornell University. She is the coauthor of Harlem: A Century in Images and the coeditor of Diaspora, Memory, Place: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z.

Book

Mensch und Tier in der Antike

Title:

Mensch und Tier in der Antike. Grenzziehung und Grenzüberschreitung.

Humans and Animals in Antiquity. Boundaries and Transgressions.

Author/ Editor:

Annetta Alexandridis

Publisher:

Reihert Verlag

Year:

2009

 

What distinguishes humans from animals? Greco-Roman Antiquity was very much concerned with the question of the “anthropological difference” – or so it seems. Against the assumption of a monolithic attitude towards animals this multilingual volume (contributions are in English, French, German and Italian) explores some of the rich and diverse evidence from the ancient world. The result of an international conference held at Rostock/Germany in 2005, it looks at representations of animals in literary, historical, religious, ‘scientific’ and philosophical texts as well as in art.

Die Frauen des römischen Kaiserhauses

Title:

Die Frauen des römischen Kaiserhauses

(The Women of the Roman Imperial House)

Author/ Editor:

Annetta Alexandridis

Publisher:

‎Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern

Year:

2004

 

Based on a systematic study of all relevant coins, statues, inscriptions, honorary titles and funerary orations from the Julio-Claudian to the beginning of the Severan dynasties, the book investigates how female members of the Roman Imperial house were represented in public.

Although effectually installing a monarchy (the principate), Octavian/Augustus promulgated his accession to power and rule as a restoration of the republic (res publica restituta) after the civil wars. In such a context, framing the prominent position of the imperial family’s female members proved to be a difficult task. Any evocation of a monarchic dynasty such as the one the Greco-Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII, Augustus’ major opponent, descended from, had to be avoided. Yet, the beginning of a new age asked for new forms of representation, including that of the imperial women. No political office could fully grasp the latter’s role. But the images defined their authority as role models of fecundity, chastity, piety, and/or beauty.

The study pays particular attention to the iconography and semantics of apparel, of divine or metaphoric attributes, of statues and statue types, and to the various media of representation including their different audiences. Comparison between representations of imperial and non-imperial women reveals a complex web of responses, rather than a simple trickle-down effect exerted by the former. During Augustus’ and Tiberius’ reign, the emperors’ female relatives appear in republican tradition, yet with subtle hints at exclusivity. With the principate becoming progressively institutionalized, assimilations to deities in Hellenistic fashion find their way into portraits of rulers and their female relatives. In the second century, under the Antonines, the visual representation of imperial and non-imperial elite women can barely be told apart. The images vigorously promote concordia between imperial husband and wife. Effigies of Iulia Domna, finally, show her in realms that were connoted male: she appears at sacrifice next to the emperor or in the garb of military deities.

The various visual and verbal sources thus attest to how traditional Roman republican and Hellenized appearance (especially the assimilation to deities) were balanced in different ways under each dynasty. In addition, all of the representations harked back in some way to the example set for Livia, wife of the first emperor. Despite all their differences, the images convey the same key concept: As parent of the emperor (parens Augusti, honorary title for Livia), an imperial woman is also a mother of the fatherland (mater patriae, honorary title for Iulia Domna).

Book

Archäologie der Photographie

Title:

Archäologie der Photographie

Author/Editor:

Annetta Alexandridis

Publisher:

Zabern Philipp Von

Year:

2004

Since its inception photography has been considered a key documentary source for archaeological research. Although the consecutive claim to ‘objectivity’ has been deemed an illusion, it is their often inextricable combination of documentary and aesthetic value that constitutes such photographs’ particular appeal. Drawing on the substantial photographic archive of the Collection of Antiquities at Berlin (Antikensammlung Berlin), this richly illustrated volume explores some of the resulting tensions and delights.

 

Book

Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art

Title:

Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art

Author/ Editor:

Benjamin Anderson

Publisher:

Yale University Press

Year:

2017

 

In the rapidly changing world of the early Middle Ages, depictions of the cosmos represented a consistent point of reference across the three dominant states—the Frankish, Byzantine, and Islamic Empires. As these empires diverged from their Greco-Roman roots between 700 and 1000 A.D. and established distinctive medieval artistic traditions, cosmic imagery created a web of visual continuity, though local meanings of these images varied greatly. Benjamin Anderson uses thrones, tables, mantles, frescoes, and manuscripts to show how cosmological motifs informed relationships between individuals, especially the ruling elite, and communities, demonstrating how domestic and global politics informed the production and reception of these depictions. The first book to consider such imagery across the dramatically diverse cultures of Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic Middle East, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art illuminates the distinctions between the cosmological art of these three cultural spheres, and reasserts the centrality of astronomical imagery to the study of art history.

Book

Palmyra 1885: The Wolfe Expedition and the Photographs of John Henry Haynes

Title:

Palmyra 1885: The Wolfe Expedition and the Photographs of John Henry Haynes

Author/Editor:

Benjamin Anderson

Publisher:

Cornucopia Books

Year:

2016

 

The new Cornucopia book, published in October 2016, is a sequel to Robert G. Ousterhout’s landmark study on the photographer John Henry Haynes in 2011, which is also now reprinted in a new edition with additional unpublished photographs. Lavishly illustrated with 85 colour plates, including some 80 images that have never before been published, this extraordinary portrait of Palmyra is introduced by Ousterhout and Benjamin Anderson of Cornell University (pictured left). The two other photoghraphs here show the Temple of Baalshamin, where Haynes and his friends camped, and one of the many panormas he took capturing the scale of this magnificent Roman desert city (both courtesy of Cornell University Library). On the cover is a view of the Greet Colonnade.

Book

Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes

Title:

Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas)

Author/ Editor:

Ananda Cohen-Aponte (Suarez)

Publisher:

University of Texas Press

Year:

2016

 

Examining vivid, often apocalyptic church murals, “Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between” explores the sociopolitical situation represented by the artists who generated these murals for rural parishes. Arguing that the murals were embedded in complex networks of trade, commerce and the exchange of ideas between the Andes and Europe, Cohen Aponte also considers the ways in which artists and viewers worked through difficult questions of envisioning sacredness.

This study brings to light the fact that, unlike the murals of New Spain, the murals of the Andes possess few direct visual connections to a pre-Columbian painting tradition; the Incas’ preference for abstracted motifs created a problem for visually translating Catholic doctrine to indigenous congregations, as the Spaniards were unable to read Inca visual culture. Nevertheless, as Cohen Suarez demonstrates, colonial murals of the Andes can be seen as a reformulation of a long-standing artistic practice of adorning architectural spaces with images that command power and contemplation. Drawing on extensive secondary and archival sources, including account books from the churches, as well as on colonial Spanish texts, Cohen Suarez urges us to see the murals not merely as decoration or as tools of missionaries but as visual archives of the complex negotiations among empire, communities, and individuals.

Book

Anwar Jalal Shemza

Title:

Anwar Jalal Shemza

Author/Editor:

Iftikhar Dadi, Shezad Dawood, Rachel Garfield, Courtney J Martin and Hammad Nasar

Publisher:

Ridinghouse

Year:

2015

Layering postwar geometric abstraction with Arabic calligraphic forms, Anwar Jalal Shemza’s rich and imaginative body of work is surveyed for the first time in this comprehensive volume.

Born in India in 1928, Shemza attended art school in Lahore, Pakistan, and was soon recognised as a leading artist and literary figure. He then moved to London in the mid 1950s to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, where his art underwent a fundamental transformation. His subsequent work in painting, drawing and printmaking rigorously deploys geometric and calligraphic forms to engage with dilemmas of identity, culture and place in the modern and contemporary era.

Accompanying over 130 illustrations of works and rare archival material, a text by Iftikhar Dadi provides an overview of his career alongside essays by Shezad Dawood, Rachel Garfield, Courtney J Martin and Hammad Nasar that offer perspectives on his work, contemporary reception and influence on a younger generation.

Book

Pintura colonial cusqueña: el esplendor del arte en los andes/Paintings of Colonial Cusco: Artistic Splendor in the Andes

Title:

Pintura colonial cusqueña: el esplendor del arte en los andes/Paintings of Colonial Cusco: Artistic Splendor in the Andes

Author/ Editor:

Ananda Cohen-Aponte

with contributions by Raul Montero Quispe, Maya Stanfield-Mazzi, Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank, and others

Publisher:

Haynanka Ediciones

Year:

2015

 

This book presents high-quality photographs of 158 Spanish colonial paintings produced in the Cusco region of Peru, spanning the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, featuring descriptions and critical commentary by specialists.  This book also includes special sections that offer an unparalleled glimpse into the splendor of two of the most famous series of paintings produced in colonial Cusco: the fifteen surviving canvases depicting Corpus Christi processions in the late seventeenth century and the Zodiac Series completed by the renowned indigenous painter Diego Quispe Tito.  This book also features some of the lesser-known canvases by the famous Italian émigré artist Bernardo Bitti, who worked in Peru in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.

Book

Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture

Title:

Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture

Author/ Editor:

Maria Fernandez

Publisher:

University of Texas

Year:

2014

Since the colonial era, Mexican art has emerged from an ongoing process of negotiation between the local and the global, which frequently involves invention, synthesis, and transformation of diverse discursive and artistic traditions. In this pathfinding book, Mar?a Fern?ndez uses the concept of cosmopolitanism to explore this important aspect of Mexican art, in which visual culture and power relations unite the local and the global, the national and the international, the universal and the particular. She argues that in Mexico, as in other colonized regions, colonization constructed power dynamics and forms of violence that persisted in the independent nation-state. Accordingly, Fern?ndez presents not only the visual qualities of objects, but also the discourses, ideas, desires, and practices that are fundamental to the very existence of visual objects.

Book

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Title:

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Author/ Editor:

Salah Hassan

Publisher:

Museum for African Art

Year:

2012

 

Ibrahim El-Salahi is one of the most influential figures in Sudanese modern art. Through his extraordinary artwork and remarkable writing and art criticism, he has made foundational contributions to the modernist movements in Africa and the Arab world. In his paintings, drawings, and illustrations, he engages with an array of traditional African, Arab, and Islamic visual sources as well as European art movements. His unique style transcends geographic and cultural boundaries and has inspired artists in Sudan and elsewhere in Africa for generations.

El-Salahi's art offers profound possibilities for understanding African and Arab modernisms and repositioning them within the context of a broader, global modernity. This book brings together more than five decades of his work, tracing a personal journey that originates in Sudan and leads to the artist's international schooling, his detention as a political prisoner in his home country, his self-imposed exile in Qatar, and his current life in the United Kingdom.

 

Ibrahim book cover
Book

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space

Title:

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space

Author/ Editor:

Iftikhar Dadi, Hammad Nasar

Publisher:

Green Cardamom

Year:

2012

 

A major critical reader and catalog (240 pages) associated with the exhibition Lines of Control. Featuring scholarly contributions by Salah Hassan, Naeem Mohaiemen, Aamir Mufti, Jolene Rickard, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Hyejong Yoo, and Nicole Wolf, and the work of 33 international contemporary artists and groups.

Lines of Control has been an ambitious undertaking that has effectively expanded discussions of partitions, borders, and lines of control beyond singular geographical locations. This is a crucial move that inaugurates new questions and lines of thought in the study of cultural, technological, and political phenomena and experiences in our times. The exhibition’s catalogue is a vital text that weaves together scholarly and artistic thought on borders and modern nations from varied locations and contexts.

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space explores the creation and maintenance of borders, both physical as well as psychological, through the works of artists primarily from South Asia. These artists focus on the idea of partition as a productive space-where nations are made through forging new identities and relationships; reconfiguring memory and creative forgetting; re-writing history and the making of myths; and through the creation and patrolling of borders. Developed by the nonprofit arts organization Green Cardamom, Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space originated in London in 2009 as an exhibition focused on South Asian artists and the division of India in 1947. The project later expanded to a larger exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, incorporating works by artists from countries such as Mexico, Lebanon, and Ireland.

 

Book

Imagining the Passion in a Multiconfessional Castile

Title:

Imagining the Passion in a Multiconfessional Castile

Author/ Editor:

Cynthia Robinson

Publisher:

Penn State University Press

Year:

2013

 

The Virgin, Christ, Devotions and Images in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Recent research into the texts, practices, and visual culture of late medieval devotional life in western Europe has clearly demonstrated the centrality of devotions to Christ’s Passion. The situation in Castile, however, could not have been more different. Prior to the final decades of the fifteenth century, individual relationships to Christ established through the use of “personalized” Passion imagery simply do not appear to have been a component of Castilian devotional culture.

In Imagining the Passion in a Multiconfessional Castile, Cynthia Robinson argues that it is necessary to reorient discussions of late medieval religious art produced and used in Castile, placing Iberian devotional art in the context of Iberian devotional practice. Instead of focusing on the segregation of the religious lives of members of late medieval Iberia’s much-discussed “Three Confessions” (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), Robinson offers concrete evidence of the profound impact of each sect on the other two.

Imagining the Passion in a Multiconfessional Castile ranges across traditional disciplinary and cultural divides. Robinson considers altarpieces that differ radically from their European contemporaries; architectural ornament; a rare series of narratives of Christ’s life; indulgenced prayers; Muslim and Jewish mystical texts; lives, hours, devotions, and Psalters of and to the Virgin which appear to be uniquely Iberian and find resonances in both Hebrew and Arabic mystical literature; sacred gardens and trees in both textual and visual culture from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish contexts; and preaching manuals written by converted Jews. Together, these texts and images offer striking evidence of the plurality of late medieval Iberian religious life, both within the supposed boundaries of a specific religion and in terms of each culture’s relationship with the other.

Book

Facing the Gods: Epiphany and Representation in Graeco-Roman Art, Literature and Religion

Title:

Facing the Gods: Epiphany and Representation in Graeco-Roman Art, Literature and Religion

Author/Editor:

Verity Platt

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Year:

2011

 

This is the first history of epiphany as both a phenomenon and as a cultural discourse within the Graeco-Roman world, exploring divine manifestations and their representations, in visual terms as well as in literary, historical and epigraphic accounts. Verity Platt sets the cultural analysis of epiphany within a historical framework that explores its development from the archaic period into the Roman empire. In particular, a surprisingly large number of the images that have survived from antiquity are not only religious, but epiphanically charged. Verity Platt argues that the enduring potential for divine incursions into mortal experience provides a structure of cognitive reliability that supports both ancient religion and mythology. At the same time, Graeco-Roman culture exhibits a sophisticated awareness of the difficulties of the apprehension of deity, the representation of divine presence, and the potential for the manmade sign to lead the worshipper back to an unmediated epiphanic encounter.

Book

Handbook to Life in the Inca World

Title:

Handbook to Life in the Inca World

Author/Editor:

Ananda Cohen-Aponte (Suarez)

Jeremy James George

Publisher:

Infobase Publishing

Year:

2011

 

Although it only lasted a few centuries, the Inca Empire quickly became one of the world's most famous pre-Columbian centers of power. Handbook to Life in the Inca World is a comprehensive and accessible examination of the Inca Empire, which stretched across the Andes Mountains in Peru from the 13th century until the invasion of the Spanish in the 16th century. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, art history, ethnography, and 16th-century Spanish chronicles, this handbook offers a readable, informative, and easy-to-navigate format that explains how the Inca Empire became such an influential and powerful civilization.

Organized thematically, this new book includes an extensive list of further readings with each chapter, a comprehensive bibliography, as well as original line drawings from the conquistadors. Handbook to Life in the Inca World is a necessary addition to any pre-Columbian collection, as well as a useful resource for anyone interested in the Inca world.

 

Book

Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia

Title:

Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia

Author/ Editor:

Iftikhar Dadi

Publisher:

University of North Carolina Press

Year:

2010

 

This pioneering work traces the emergence of the modern and contemporary art of Muslim South Asia in relation to transnational modernism and in light of the region's intellectual, cultural, and political developments.

Art historian Iftikhar Dadi here explores the art and writings of major artists, men and women, ranging from the late colonial period to the era of independence and beyond. He looks at the stunningly diverse artistic production of key artists associated with Pakistan, including Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Zainul Abedin, Shakir Ali, Zubeida Agha, Sadequain, Rasheed Araeen, and Naiza Khan. Dadi shows how, beginning in the 1920s, these artists addressed the challenges of modernity by translating historical and contemporary intellectual conceptions into their work, reworking traditional approaches to the classical Islamic arts, and engaging the modernist approach towards subjective individuality in artistic expression. In the process, they dramatically reconfigured the visual arts of the region. By the 1930s, these artists had embarked on a sustained engagement with international modernism in a context of dizzying social and political change that included decolonization, the rise of mass media, and developments following the national independence of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Bringing new insights to such concepts as nationalism, modernism, cosmopolitanism, and tradition, Dadi underscores the powerful impact of transnationalism during this period and highlights the artists' growing embrace of modernist and contemporary artistic practice in order to address the challenges of the present era.

2010 American Institute of Pakistan Studies Junior Book Prize

Book

Painting Faith

Title:

 Painting Faith: Li Gonglin and Northern Song Buddhist Culture

Author/ Editor:

An-yi Pan

Publisher:

Brill

Year:

2007

 

Despite Li Gonglin’s (ca. 1049-1106) deep faith in Buddhism and the large number of recorded and extant Buddhist paintings associated with or ascribed to this great painter, twentieth century scholarship on Li Gonglin has focused primarily on his literatus identity and Confucian art oeuvres. This book departs from this traditional view to establish Li Gonglin’s importance in Chinese Buddhist art history through both the local Longmian Chan and the larger Northern Song religious contexts. It offers a fresh understanding of the impact the intermingling of Tiantai, Pure Land, Huayan and Chan philosophies and practices had on Li Gonglin’s faith and art. Painting Buddhist subjects to Li Gonglin was an expression of faith.

Book

Medieval Andalusian Courtly Culture in the Mediterranean Hadîth Bayâd wa Riyâd

Title:

Medieval Andalusian Courtly Culture in the Mediterranean
Hadîth Bayâd wa Riyâd

Author/ Editor:

Cynthia Robinson

Publisher:

Routledge

Year:

2010

 

Three Ladies and A Lover: Mediterranean Courtly Culture through the Text and Images of the “Hadîth Bayâd wa Riyâd,” an Andalusî Manuscript

Medieval Andalusian Courtly Culture discusses the unicum manuscript of the Hadîth Bayâd wa Riyâd, the only illustrated manuscript known to have survived for more than eight centuries of Muslim and Arabic-speaking presence in present-day Spain. The manuscript is of paramount importance as it contains the only known surviving version, both in terms of text and of image, of the love story of Bayâd wa Riyâd.

This study will place this manuscript within the context of late medieval Mediterranean courtly culture, offering:

  • an annotated translation into English of the entire text
  • reproductions of its images
  • an analysis of both text and images in a series of progressively broader contexts including that of al-Andalus(Arabic-speaking); of "reconquista" Iberia; and the larger Mediterranean world.

Cynthia Robinson broadens understanding of the Mediterranean region during the Middle Ages, making this text an invaluable resource for scholars with interests in Medieval Spain, art and Mediterranean courtly culture.

Book

Donatello among the Blackshirts

Title:

Donatello among the Blackshirts: History and Modernity in the Visual Culture of Fascist Italy

Author/ Editor:

Claudia Lazzaro, Rodger J. Crum

Publisher:

Cornell University Press

Year:

2004

 

This ambitious collection treating the Italian Fascists' appropriation of the past for political purposes focuses on the role of the visual in the aim of fusing the past and the modern world in Mussolini's Italy. With contributions by art historians and classicists, literary and intellectual historians, Donatello among the Blackshirts demonstrates that the Fascist regime appropriated not only Italy's ancient Roman past but also the medieval, Renaissance, and even baroque eras, as well as its own recent history, in constructing a new myth of the nation.

Book

Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War

Title:

Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War

Author/ Editor:

Shirley Samuels

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Year:

2004

 

Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War investigates and explains the changing face of America during the Civil War. To conjure a face for the nation, author Shirley Samuels also explores the body of the nation imagined both physically and metaphorically, arguing that the Civil War marks a dramatic shift from identifying the American nation as feminine to identifying it as masculine. Expressions of such a change appear in the allegorical configurations of nineteenth-century American novels, poetry, cartoons, and political rhetoric. Because of the visibility of war's assaults on the male body, masculine vulnerability became such a dominant facet of national life that it practically obliterated the visibility of other vulnerable bodies. The simultaneous advent of photography and the Civil War in the nineteenth century may be as influential as the conjoined rise of the novel and the middle class in the eighteenth century. Both advents herald a changed understanding of how a transformative media can promote new cultural and national identities. Bodies immobilized because of war's practices of wounding and death are also bodies made static for the camera's gaze. The look of shock on the faces of soldiers photographed in order to display their wounds emphasizes the new technology of war literally embodied in the impact of new imploding bullets on vulnerable flesh. Such images mark both the context for and a counterpoint to the "look" of Walt Whitman as he bends over soldiers in their hospital beds. They also provide a way to interpret the languishing male heroes of novels such as August Evans's Macaria (1864), a southern elegy for the sundering of the nation. This book crucially shows how visual iconography affects the shift in postbellum gendered and racialized identifications of the nation.

Book

In Praise of Song: the Making of Courtly Culture in al-Andalus and Provence, 1065-1135 A.D.

Title:

In Praise of Song: the Making of Courtly Culture in al-Andalus and Provence, 1065-1135 A.D.

Author/ Editor:

Cynthia Robinson

Publisher:

Brill Academy Publishing

Year:

2002

 

This volume offers a reconstruction of the court culture of the taifa kings of al-Andalus (11th century A.D.), using both visual and textual evidence. A focus of particular attention is the court of the Banū Hūd at Zaragoza, and that dynasty's palace, the Aljafería. Principle written sources are not histories and chronicles, but the untranslated poetic anthologies of al-ḥimyarī and al-Fatḥ ibn Khāqān.
The first part of the book addresses taifa visual and literary languages, with especial emphasis on connections between the literary and visual aspects of taifa aesthetics. The sections on the Aljafería's ornamental program will be of particular interest, not only to historians of Islamic art, but to students of all visual traditions with strong non-figural components.
In addition, Part One also proposes that taifa court culture has been considered as a culture of "courtly love," and this argument also forms the point of departure for Part Two. The second part of the study uses luxury objects of Islamic and Limousine production as a point of departure for a detailed comparison of the thematics of taifa poetry in classical Arabic on the themes of courtly love and pleasures with those of the better-known Provençal tradition.

Book

Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading

Title:

Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading

Edited by:

Salah Hassan and Iftikhar Dadi

Publisher:

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Year:

2001

 
Unpacking Europe is an exciting collection of scholarly essays and artists' projects which interrogate the historical and contemporary meanings of Europe. Examining the construction of "Europeanness," this volume focuses on the contradictions between homogenizing official narratives and everyday realities of urban life, where heterogeneity and hybridity have long been the living norms. The theme is timely, given the political climate in Europe, its shifting demographics, and the rising xenophobia and hardening of immigration policies.
 
Published in conjunction with the exhibition Unpacking Europe, this volume is composed of two parts: Part one includes essays by scholars from around the world rethinking various philosophical, historical, and cultural facets of Europe. Contributors include Ali A. Mazrui, Apinan Poshyananda, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Fatima El-Tayeb, Fredric Jameson, Gilane Tawadros, Irit Rogoff, Jimmy Durham, Leslie A. Adelson, Martin Bernal, Naoki Sakai, Natalie Melas, Okwui Enwezor, Rey Chow, Rustom Bharucha, Slavoj Zizek, Susan Buck-Morss, Ted Swedenburg.
 
Part two focuses on the artists' projects and includes essays on each of the artists by art critics as well as images of artists' works.
Book Cover, Unpacking, woman's body with wild cats on leashes
Book

The Italian Renaissance Garden: From the Conventions of Planting, Design, and Ornament to the Grand Gardens of the Sixteenth-Century Central Italy

Title:

The Italian Renaissance Garden: From the Conventions of Planting, Design, and Ornament to the Grand Gardens of the Sixteenth-Century Central Italy

Author/ Editor:

Claudia Lazzaro

Publisher:

Yale University Press

Year:

1990

 
The splendid architectural gardens of sixteenth-century Italy--with their lavish sculpture,  fountains, and terraces--were the culmination of Renaissance garden art. In this beautiful book, Claudia Lazzaro returns the gardens to their original appearance, recreating the sights, sounds, and smells that contemporaries experienced. Using an abundance of literary and visual sources, Lazzaro establishes the conventions of planting, design, and ornamentation in well-known gardens, including Caprarola, Pratolino, and Bomarzo, and in many lesser-known ones. She goes on to discuss in detail the four best-preserved grand gardens--the Medici garden at Castello, the Boboli garden in Florence, the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, and the Villa Lante at Bagnaia.
 
Gardens in Italy in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries reflected contemporary ideas about the interaction of art and nature. The essence of a Renaissance garden included the plants selected and their arrangement as well as ornaments of natural materials such as topiary, tree houses, grottoes, and labyrinths, which represented nature as both ordered and wild. The grand gardens were distinguished from more modest one not only by their sculpture, fountains, and terraces but also by extensive architecture, abundant water, costly exotic plants, and water-powered automata.
 
Lavishly illustrated with contemporary paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as with many specially commissioned photographs by the architectural historian and photographer Ralph Lieberman, this book reconstructs the former appearance of Renaissance gardens and conveys the beauty of the surviving ones. It will be intriguing to all those interested in Italy, gardens, art, or any of the literary or scientific aspects of the Renaissance.
The Italian Renaissance Garden Book Cover Image
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