Fall Research and Academic Program Lectures at the Clark

For Immediate Release

September 11, 2012

Williamstown, MA—The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has announced the fall semester schedule of academic lectures by fellows in its Research and Academic Program. The free lectures that present recent research to members of the academic community are open to the public and refreshments are served. Lectures take place in the Clark Café on Tuesday at 5:30 pm during the academic year.

Fall 2012 Fellows Lecture Series

Mignon Nixon, Professor of Art History, Courtauld Institute of Art, UK
 "Sperm Bomb: Art, Feminism, and the American War in Vietnam"
 September 18
Clark Fellow Mignon Nixon, Professor of Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and a co-editor of the journal October, borrows her lecture title from “Sperm Bomb,” by Nancy Spero, who, in 1964, in response to the escalating American war in Vietnam, abruptly abandoned painting on canvas for more immediate means: gouache and ink liberally diluted with spit. Returning to the scene of war resistance and nascent feminism in the Vietnam era, Nixon reflects upon newly pressing questions of what art concerned with subjectivity brings to a situation of war.


W. J. T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History, University of Chicago
"Seeing Madness: Insanity, Media, and Visual Culture"
October 2
Beinecke Fellow W. J. T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago, will discuss the visibility of madness and the madness of visuality, whether in graphic stereotypes, scientific classifications, theatrical spectacle, ritual performance, or cinema and new media: What is at stake in the visibility of madness? What do movies, as well as pre-cinematic media and extended cinema, bring to the subject of madness, and what does madness bring to them?


Nicola Courtright, Professor in the Department of Art and the History of Art, Amherst College
"A New Place for Queens in the Art and Political Imagination of 17th-Century France"
October 16
Clark Fellow Nicola Courtright is Professor in the Department of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College, where she teaches the art and architecture of early modern Europe. Her research focuses on how different forms of art help to formulate political expression in a rich and imaginative way that texts cannot. In this lecture, she examines ideologies of rule for early modern French queens through the art and architecture of French palaces.


Sterling Clark Visiting Professor Erika Naginski, Harvard Graduate School of Design
"Rococo Vision and the 'Sonorous Body' of Architecture"
October 23
Erika Naginski of the Harvard Graduate School of Design is Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor, Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. In this lecture, she considers particular aspects of architecture’s relation to vision in French Rococo aesthetics. The point of departure here is the challenge posed by the architect Charles-Étienne Briseux to classically derived analogies, based on numerical ratios, between architectural proportion and musical harmony. It is well known that Briseux drew directly on the musical thinking of Jean-Philippe Rameau in order to explore architecture¹s connection to the “sonorous body” (corps sonore), which could be detected by hearing, touch, and sight. In so doing, the architect’s theories registered a broader shift from Cartesian rationalism to the sensorialist philosophies of the Enlightenment (as Alberto Péréz-Gomez, among others, has pointed out). Yet how such a proposition might have worked itself out formally and architectonically remains a compelling question—especially in light of the fact that Briseux’s own claim to fame was domestic architecture, the decoration of interior spaces, and the elaboration of surfaces and thresholds (by means of mirrors, mantelpieces, ceilings, overdoors, paneling, etc.). How did the “sonorous body” come to be perceived architecturally? And what kinds of connections between interiority and the senses might have been at play?


Roger Benjamin, Professor of Art History, University of Sydney, Australia
"Monochromy, Photography and 'Oriental' Color: Kandinsky and Münter in Tunisia"
October 30
Clark Mellon Curatorial Fellow Roger Benjamin, Professor of Art History at the University of Sydney, has written widely on modern French art (Matisse in particular), the history of French Orientalist painting, and contemporary Aboriginal art. 


Jean Campbell, Professor of Art History, Emory University
"Pisanello’s Parerga: Painting and the Invention of Knowledge in the Fifteenth Century"
November 13
Clark Fellow Jean Campbell, Professor of Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, will present the lecture "Pisanello’s Parerga: Painting and the Invention of Knowledge in the Fifteenth Century." Her research focuses on vernacular poetry and the visual arts in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and involves questions of translation and art as an affective medium.


Lisa Saltzman, Professor of the History of Art, Bryn Mawr College
“Daguerreotypes: Fugitive Subjects, Contemporary Objects”
Tuesday, November 27
Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow Lisa Saltzman, Professor of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, where she teaches modern and contemporary art and theory, will present the lecture “Daguerreotypes: Fugitive Subjects, Contemporary Objects.”


Since its inception in 2000, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program has earned an international reputation as a foremost center for advancing the study of visual arts and for educating the next generation of art historians, professors, and museum directors and curators. The program engages the world’s most creative and innovative visual arts scholars including Clark Fellows who travel to Williamstown to pursue their research while in residence at the Clark.


About the Clark


Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.


The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June, (daily in July and August), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Sally Morse Majewski
The Clark
413 458 0588


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