Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

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In the fall of 2013, scholars, artists, collectors, and art aficionados gathered in Washington, DC, for a two-day symposium to consider the role of Africa and its diaspora in the development of art in the United States (available as a webcast). Welcomed by Elizabeth Broun of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Johnnetta Cole of the National Museum of African Art, the event consisted of two days of panels... Full Review
May 15, 2014
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, April 20, 2013
The publication of Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell’s The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000) marked the rebirth of the Mediterranean, both as an object of study and as the space characterizing a given object of study. Since then, the sea and its many corruptions, from antiquity to early modernity, has fallen under the lens of historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists, as well as art and architectural historians. Mediterranean... Full Review
November 29, 2013
Tanya Sheehan
Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections, caa.reviews. College Art Association
Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections caa.reviews On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of caa.reviews, it is my great pleasure to introduce a new series of review essays authored by members of the journal’s Council of Field Editors under the rubric “Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections.” For some time, members of the caa.reviews editorial board have expressed their desire to increase the number of essays we publish. At the CAA Publications Committee... Full Review
October 1, 2013
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Online workshop. Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 9:00–10:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT); Thursday, November 3, 2011, 10:00–11:30 AM Japan Time (JST)
In 2009, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, acquired an important tea storage jar at auction. The deep brown stoneware jar has an asymmetric glaze and stands 41.6 centimeters tall. Named “Chigusa,” the jar is believed to have been made in China during the thirteenth or fourteenth century before it was imported to Japan, where it became a prized object for practitioners of the Japanese tea culture (chanoyu). At purchase, the jar was accompanied by extensive documentary... Full Review
September 19, 2012
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The Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC), organized by the CABC committee of art library professionals, was held free of charge and open to the public on September 30 and October 1, 2011, during Printed Matter’s sixth annual NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (http://nyartbookfair.com/conference). The conference consisted of six panel sessions lasting ninety minutes each, along with an hour-long lightning round of ten presenters discussing... Full Review
The disciplinary diversity of this conference, including contributions from scholars of art, archaeology, literature, history, and others, proved to be more than just a veneer. Organizers Andrew Marsham and Alain George (both from the University Edinburgh), together with fourteen other scholars, applied their wide-ranging expertise to various dimensions of the Umayyad period. The work of these scholars was divided into eight panels of two papers each: “Rulership in the Late Antique Context,”... Full Review
May 24, 2012
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The 2009 American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) conference on “New Darshans: Seeing Southern Asian Religiosity and Visuality Across Disciplines” was wide in scope and interest: it featured thirty-five papers; covered periods from the second century B.C.E. to today; and focused on geographic areas from Rajasthan to Bengal, from Tibet and Himachal Pradesh to Tamilnad, and included Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Chattisgarh, and even areas outside the subcontinent like Thailand,... Full Review
March 10, 2011
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb “emerge” as: “to come forth into view . . . from an enclosed space.” This definition has implications for the study of landscapes, especially those of the productive English countryside. Tidy patchwork fields and hedgerows have come to be regarded as quintessentially—and innately—English. However, what is not necessarily part of this perception (even though it has long been studied by historians, geographers, and archaeologists) is how such a... Full Review
January 11, 2011
In October 2009, the Toronto Photography Seminar and the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of the United States co-sponsored Feeling Photography, an international, interdisciplinary conference convened to investigate photography’s relationship to affect, emotion, and feeling. Conference presentations engaged and extended recent critical discussions of affect, which address aspects of human experience that have been largely under-theorized, ignored, or excluded from... Full Review
September 9, 2010
The museum marks a place where rule-based ethics and a reliance on principles, codes, laws, and mission statements actively intersect with situational ethics and the invocation of consequentialist arguments. While it may not be news that, in theory, the ethical dimensions of museum practice involve every area of the profession and all genres of museums, the manifold ways in which theory might confront those practices are sometimes less clear. At New Directions in Museum Ethics:... Full Review
August 18, 2010