Turning Point:
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Art History
Graduate Student Newsletter

Issue 4 - Fall 2005


Philip Johnson, Turning Point, 1996

Welcome to the Fall 2005 issue of the Turning Point newsletter. Many changes have occurred since our last issue. First and foremost, we are thrilled to welcome Charles Burroughs, the new Chair of the Department of Art History to Case. You can find out more about Dr. Burroughs and his interests in the article below by Becky Utech, who interviewed him for the newsletter. Secondly, the Cleveland Museum of Art is closed for renovation and expansion. Though the permanent collection will be in storage, the museum will continue to launch special exhibitions such as The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920: Design for the Modern World which opens on October 16, 2005. The museum’s closing also proves an opportunity for students to become more familiar with Cleveland’s other cultural institutions, museums and galleries (you can link to some of these here.) You can find out more about the expansion project here and in Megan Lykins’ article included in this newsletter.

Finally, join me in congratulating the Graduate Art History Association co-chairs for the 2005-2006 academic year: Rachel Bressman, Tony Morris and Becky Utech; and Rachel Bressman, Rachel Geschwind and Becky Utech, the 2006 Cleveland Symposium co-chairs.

Have a great year!

Jenni Drozdek

Faculty news
compiled by Jenni Drozdek

For 2006-7 Dr. David Carrier will be a senior fellow at the National Humanities Center.

Dr. Ellen Landau was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome in July researching Philip Guston’s residency there in 1949 and 1971. She was also awarded a foreign travel grant by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Dr. Landau is currently on full-time leave and will be on partial leave in spring 2006 in order to serve as curator for an international exhibition titled Pollock Matters (info about this exhibition is available here), which will include Pollock’s works recently discovered. She serves as the primary author for a book that will accompany the exhibition (which opens in August 2006), which is being published by Harry N. Abrams, NY. Her newest book, Reading Abstract Expressionism: Context and Critique, a methodological study of the movement with 50 readings appended, was published by Yale University Press in spring 2005. In August, she lectured on the topic and conducted a reading and book signing at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, NY. Dr. Landau’s monograph on Pollock is coming out in a slightly revised paperback version this fall.

Dr. Jenifer Neils edited The Parthenon: From Antiquity to the Present, which was published by Cambridge this year. Her exhibition catalogue, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (Yale University Press 2003) was a finalist for the Alfred Barr Award of the College Art Association. She also presented papers at conferences on the Panathenaia in Athens (May 2004), on Athenian vase-painting in Cincinnati (October 2004), and on images of Spartan women at Emory University (April 2005). In February she participated in a museum panel at the annual meeting of the College Art Association. This year she published several Festschrift articles, two book reviews and two chapters in an edited book on the Parthenon sculptures. For the fall of 2005, she will be a Senior Research Fellow at the Baker Nord Center for the Humanities and is currently serving on the newly formed Research Council of the University. She is also researching a book tentatively entitled War and Remembrance in Classical Athens, which was the topic of her graduate seminar in the spring.

Dr. Costa Petridis spent the months of July and August in residence at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. as a Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. He worked on a traveling exhibition and catalogue tentatively entitled “The Sharp and the Shiny: Objects and Power in Central Africa.” In the past year, Dr. Petridis successfully proposed two new acquisitions for the African collection at the Cleveland Museum: a reliquary guardian figure from the Kota people of Gabon, and an ivory figurine from the Lega people of Congo-Kinshasa. Finally, also in 2005, Dr. Petridis published two articles: one on a mask genre of the little known Luntu people of Congo-Kinshasa (in the journal African Arts of the University of California, Los Angeles), the other on a group of Luba works that were field-collected by a Belgian missionary in the 1930s (in the journal Anthropos of the homonymous institute in Sankt-Augustin, Germany).

Dr. Catherine Scallen served as the faculty study leader for a Princeton alumni trip to Belgium and the Netherlands in May 2005, and she will be leading a similar trip for Case in May 2006. Dr. Scallen gave lectures at the Cleveland Museum of Art and at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She also served as part of the curriculum committee overseeing the new SAGES undergraduate curriculum and reviewed proposals for future SAGES courses.

Student news
compiled by Jenni Drozdek

Nicole Bahl spent the summer in Greece at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, made possible by a Pancoast Fellowship.

Christine Corretti has been conducting dissertation research in Boston, where she also taught a course titled “Art, Literature, and Music II” at Suffolk University.

Matthew Dodd will be presenting “Tannhauser’s Ghost: Cézanne, Fantin-Latour and the Evolution of the French Wagnerite” at SECAC in October.

Jenni Drozdek is still working hard on the departmental website and editing its newsletter. She is currently teaching Art History courses at Duquesne University, working as a museum educator at the Mattress Factory, and serving as Art Editor for The Front weekly, all in Pittsburgh. In the last year, Jenni received two travel grants to undergo research in Poland and presented “‘Detrimental to the Interests of the United States’: Cuban Artists (Not) in Residence” (which was nominated for best student presentation) and “Under the Gaslight: Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge” at the Midwest Art History Society Annual Meeting.

After completing her MA at Case, Rachel Duszynski is now working on her PhD. She spent the last year coordinating the NEO Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and is working in the museum’s Archives Department. Last fall, she was the Assistant Curator for GLUB (Hearts), a mixed media installation by Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi. The exhibition was sponsored by the Baker Nord Center for the Humanities at Case.

Rachel Geschwind will be presenting “The Colors of Seduction: New Thoughts on Color Symbolism in Michelangelo's Temptation and Expulsion” at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in Atlanta, and “The Case of the Multiplying Madonnas: Murillo's Immaculate Conception” at the Association of Midwest Museums Conference, both in October.

Megan Lykins completed her MA in Art History and Museum Studies this past May 2005. That same month the exhibition, Alicia Basinger: Shiver and Craze, which Lykins curated, opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Starting this fall, she will begin her studies towards a doctoral degree from Case under advisor Dr. Ellen Landau. She will also continue serving as the Emily Hall Tremaine Curatorial Fellow at MOCA Cleveland where she will be organizing the Summer 2006 Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Exhibition featuring the work of artist Sarah Kabot.

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Ph.D. candidate (under advisor Dr. Anne Helmreich) will travel to London this fall through the generosity of the Baker-Nord Center Dissertation Fellowship to conduct primary research on her dissertation “Dangerous Beauty: Painted Canvases and Painted Faces in Eighteenth-Century Britain”. She also received fellowships to continue her research at the Huntington Library and Art Collections in San Marino, California (Robert R. Wark Fellow), and she will be a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art this spring.

Shannon Masterson was recently promoted to the Assistant Director of the Teacher Resource Center and Educational Programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She will be taking her PhD exams in October.

Lori Ann Martin will be presenting her paper “My Life as a Superhero: Prevailing Themes of Autobiography, Iconography, and Rites of Passage in Kiki Smith's Born (2002)” at the 2006 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu in January.

Michael Morford is currently completing dissertation research in Florence as a Butkin Fellow and recipient of the Baker-Nord Dissertation Completion Fellowship. His dissertation is titled, “Carving for a future: Baccio Bandinelli securing Medici patronage through his mutually fulfilling, propagandistic ‘Hercules and Cacus.’” He has recently taught art history courses at Baldwin-Wallace College, John Carroll University, Kent State/Geauga, and a summer course at CWRU. He has presented papers at the Ohio Graduate Symposium, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, and the New College Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference. Michael has also written several catalogue entries and biographies for Dr. Edward Olszewski's upcoming corpus, Drawings in Midwestern Collections. II. 1500-1600, as well as assisting in its organization. He has also served as a member of the conservation/restoration crew at The Sculpture Center since the summer of 2000.

Frank Spicer is currently working on his dissertation proposal. Over the summer, he transcribed taped artist interviews compiled by Dr. Ellen Landau (primarily dealing with Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock), whom he’ll be working for as both research and teaching assistant in the next year.

Becky Utech presented, “Modigliani, Unmasking the Myth” at the Midwest Art History Society Conference in Cincinnati this past April. Since then she has been elected to work as a co-chair for the Cleveland Symposium and as co-president of GAHA. In addition to her own TA duties, she'll be trying to fill Nicole Bahl's shoes as a Mentor TA. When she's not organizing, teaching or studying, Becky will probably be found honing her road biking skills and volunteering at the Ohio City Bike Co-op, or perhaps throwing a party at her new apartment in Tremont.

Alumni news

Alicia East (MA, 2005) worked as a freelance English tutor for Japanese adults and K-12 kids over the summer, as well as maintaining E-bay auctions for a Columbus motorcycle shop called the Rice Paddy. She is now a doctoral student at Ohio State University, where she will be working on Himalayan Buddhist art. She also has a GA position in the John C. and Susan L. Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art, and is taking classes in Sanskrit. In January 2006, she will present her Case qualifying paper titled “Goddess and Guru: An Examination of Astamahabhaya Iconology in Tibetan Art” at the Hawaii Conference on Arts and Humanities.

Alison Caplan (MA, 2002) is Associate Educator at the Akron Museum of Art. She recently completed a Masters in Education at the University of Akron along with licensure to teach K-12 Art. Previous to working at the art museum, She taught art in the Akron Public Schools as well as teaching Visual Arts Awareness at the University of Akron.

Siobhan Conaty (PhD, 2002) is Assistant Professor of Art History at La Salle University in Philadelphia. In summer 2005, she was selected for the NEH Summer Seminar in Rome, under the title “Italian Fascism, History and Interpretations.”

Heather Ferrell (MA, 1997) is the Executive Director for the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas.

Andy Findley (MA, 2004) continues to volunteer in Azerbaijan for the Peace Corps.

After defending her dissertation, Amy Gilman (PhD, 2005) began her new position as Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Sara Hallberg was recently appointed Director of Education at The Hyde Collection in New York.

Kate Hartwyk (MA, 2005) presented a paper in American Art at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Art History Society in New York. In July, she began working as the Assistant to the Director (Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D.) at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York City. That month she also married Douglas Pepe and traveled to Aruba for a two week honeymoon.

Sarita Heer will be co-chairing the session “Contemporary Asian Art: Strategies, Negotiations, Renegotiations” at CAA Annual Conference in 2006.

Claire Kovacs (MA, 2005) is now a doctoral student at the University of Iowa, where she will be working under Dr. Dorothy Johnson. She plans to focus on 19th century Italian art. Her article, "Puppetry of the Penis: A Demonstration of the Phallus as a Weapon," will be published in Athanor 24 (2006), 73-79 (Florida State University Press).

Mattie McLaughlin Schloetzer (MA, 2004) married last year and has been working at the Heinz Architectural Center in the Carnegie Museum of Art since August 2004, where she assists the curators with exhibition planning and caring for the permanent collection.

Alex Nicholis (MA 2004) is Curator of the Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio. She recently curated the exhibition Rediscovering William T. Mathews: Painter of Presidents. An article she wrote on the exhibition was published in the August 2005 issue of American Art Review.

Tiara Paris (MA 2005) was recently selected to be the new Exhibitions Coordinator at the North Carolina Museum of Art. She begins in January.

Deborah Schwartz (MA, 1997) has been working as the Public Art Coordinator for the City of Palm Desert, CA for two and a half years. Previously, she was with New Langton Arts in San Francisco, CA and the City of Sacramento. She was also accepted into the Southern California chapter of ArtTable this year.

Julia Vienhage (MA, 2000) serves as the Manager of Docent Programs in the Education Division of the Cincinnati Art Museum. She is also an adjunct instructor at Northern Kentucky University, where she teaches art history.

Meet Charles Burroughs
by Becky Utech

After months of searching last year, Charles Burroughs was finally selected as the new Chair of the Department of Art History and Art. Burroughs, the Elsie B. Smith Professor of Liberal Arts, comes to Case from an impressive list of schools, including Binghamton University of SUNY, University of Berkeley and Northwestern University. While he has arrived at a time of great change in the department, particularly due to the closing of the Cleveland Museum of Art, he brings with him a great enthusiasm for the possibilities that this situation can afford us.

As one could probably guess from his accent, Burroughs is British. He was born and raised in a rural village halfway between Bristol and Bath. He was educated at Balliol College of Oxford University and the Warburg Institute of London University. His early studies in the Classics instilled in him the basis for his interest in interdisciplinary studies and projects.

While the major area of interest for this art and architectural historian has been Italy between the 13th and 16th centuries, some of his recent interests have expanded. In addition to studies into the idea of origin in relation to Botticelli’s Primavera, Burroughs is also working on a collaborative exploration of plantation landscapes and houses in the Atlantic world from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Burroughs became interested in the importance of rural and urban landscapes at young age. The coal mining industry had failed generations before in the village where he grew up, leaving behind an interesting landscape. Beautiful manmade landscapes brought by the retreating mining industry and planted with gardens were juxtaposed with a 15th century manor house and a Romanesque church (whose doorway was riddled with bullet holes from Cromwell’s civil war). When he moved to the urban environment of Bristol, he was immensely disappointed in the post-war reconstruction and its lack of architectural personality.

Burroughs sees the importance of the city as a “core,” a center that should be vibrant and full of energy. As such, he is excited to be in Cleveland, a city not only with a strong base in the visual and other arts, but that is also in the midst of redefining itself.

Similarly, Burroughs finds Case a stimulating place to work, as traditional pedagogical practices are being rethought and reworked. Burroughs envisions changes in our department relating to his cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural interests, including de-emphasizing a Western-Centered approach by promoting more interactions between Art History and the other departments such as Music, Ethnic Studies and the Studio Art programs at both Case and the CIA. He also hopes to bridge the traditionally strong boundaries that exist between humanities and sciences.

We are lucky to have such an accomplished scholar and an enthusiastic personality leading our department. He welcomes any student to drop by his office. When asked for any final words of wisdom, he encouraged students to be open to all kinds of possibilities and options – one could end up anywhere.

Cleveland Museum of Art Expanding
by Megan Lykins

When the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees’ voted on March 7, 2005 to approve the $258 million renovation and expansion design package presented by architect Rafael Viñoly, major changes began to occur immediately at the institution. Within weeks, many of the galleries were emptied and closed. By the end of the summer, the only art works on view were a few scattered sculptures and the 80 works chosen by for the juried Northeast Ohio Show (NEO) of contemporary regional art. With nearly all the collection in storage and a majority of the staff relocated to a building in downtown Cleveland, many are now wondering what comes next.

In a recent decision, the CMA’s Board approved a construction contract for the first “milestone” of the project, one that has been budgeted for $159.5 million. Though the entire project is slated for completion in 2010, the work will be executed in two stages. The first step consists of repairing and renovating the 1916 Beaux-Arts building and the 1971 Breuer Education wing; the second part will be the construction of two new buildings and a large piazza with a soaring glass canopy. By breaking ground this October 2005 and closing the entire museum from January to July 2006, museum officials hope to reinstall and reopen the European galleries (1600-1850) and select American galleries by fall 2007, and to have all Western art galleries reopened by spring 2009. The second milestone stage will consist of building the two new additions that will hold the CMA’s renowned collection of Asian art along with its impressive collections of African art, Islamic art and art from Central and South America. These second stage is slated for completion by fall 2010.

Once the project is complete, the new museum will increase in overall size by 588,000 feet, with approximately 36,000 feet of additional gallery space, renovated education rooms and lecture halls, a Lifetime Learning Center, new restaurant and café, 650 additional parking spaces in the covered lot and an interior passageway to the museum. In addition, a larger library with state-of-the-art technology will serve as a valuable asset for museum staff and Case students alike. Although the CMA cannot accommodate Case’s art history classes during this initial phase of renovation, the Ingalls Library will remain open to students throughout most of the expansion project and remodeled classroom facilities are scheduled to reopen by fall 2006.

In addition, though the collection is mostly in storage, the museum will continue to feature special exhibitions, including, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920: Design for the Modern World (opening October 16, 2005; organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art); the much-anticipated Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudi to Dali (opening October 15, 2006; organized by the William Robinson, Curator of Modern European Art at the CMA along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Monet and Normandy (opening February 18). The CMA is also exploring various collaborations with regional, national and international institutions in order to keep certain parts of its collection on view, such as its recent temporary installation of The Sand Mandala Painting of Tibet at the Cleveland City Hall.

Though the project is extensive and presents many challenges to the CMA in terms of community outreach and visibility, Board Chairman Michael J. Horvitz is confident about the ultimate goal, stating, “Our priority and key focus in this first phase of the construction is the art and providing a visitor experience on par with other great museums of the world. An enhanced Cleveland Museum of Art will provide the community with a 21st-century museum, one that both safeguards our Collection and allows it to be seen in the best possible environment.”

Fall 2005 contributing writers
Jenni Drozdek, Editor
Megan Lykins
Becky Utech