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Skidmore College
Art History Department


Spring 2018 - Lecture

Image Power: The Life of a Photograph

Location: Tang Teaching Museum - Payne Room
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Time: 5:30 pm
Speaker: Holly Edwards
"When [photographs] are taken, they capture the present, but when we look at them, they show us the past.  After that, a single beautiful photo may be contemplated again and again, serving different purposes and generating community through shared experience.  The same image may also be viewed by people elsewhere, viewed from other perspectives.  Clearly, photographs wield morphing power in global visual culture.  This talk will follow one photograph through various stages of its unfolding life.  Be warned, we may never actually pin it down!" - Holly Edwards

Holly Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Art at Williams College.


Spring 2017 - Lectures

Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault's Algeria

Location: Tang Teaching Museum - Somers (Classroom)
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Time: 5:30 pm
Speaker: Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe
Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe earned her PhD in Art History in 2014 from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.  Her dissertation traces the impact of 17th century Spanish painting in the work of Théodule Augustin Ribot and analyses the trends in collecting Spanish paintings during the second half of the 19th century in France.  She has curated exhibitions at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery (2008), collaborated with the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa for the  exhibitions Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome and Drawn to Art: French Artists and Art Lovers in 18th-Century Rome (2010), with the Musée du Louvre in Paris in the publication of Dessins bolonais du XVIIe siècle (2013), with the Brooklyn Museum for the exhibition Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World (2015), and is curating Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault's Algeria at the Tang Museum.  She has taught at colleges and universities in Canada, France, and the United States.  Dr. Falcón-Wiebe is currently working on a publication that delineates the role of Ribot in Fantin-Latour's Hommage à Delacroix.  She is interested in the development of transnational cultural networks and cross-cultural exchange during the nineteenth-century.  

This lecture series talk is based on the exhibition Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault's Algeria coming to the Tang Teaching Museum and Art gallery on February 18, 2017.  It focuses on Alexandre Bougault's late 19th- and early 20th-century panoramic photographs of Algerian landscape as a platform for a vast array of interactions and as a stage for the enactment of concepts of loss, identity, desire, change, and power in the context of tourism, which frames the creation and circulation of the photographs.  By weaving French-Algerian music and poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries this exhibition creates an immersive, experiential and compelling exploration of the power of inter-cultural exchange and identity in times of uneasy contact between peoples. 

Demands and Dialogue: Re-engaging African Objects and Communities at the Royal Ontario Museum

Location: Palamountain Hall - Davis Auditorium
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm
Speaker: Dr. Silvia Forni, Curator of Anthropology in Department of World Cultures at Royal Ontario Musuem and Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Dr. Silvia Forni is Curator of Anthropology in the ROM's Department of World Cultures.  She is the curator of the African collection, and responsible for the permanent and rotating display of African artworks in the Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and the Asia Pacific.  She is also Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, where she teachers Anthropology of Material Culture, Ethnography of Africa and Anthropology of Art.

Since joining the ROM in 2008, she curated the partial gallery reinstallation and has worked on a number of exhibition projects focusing on African and African Canadian themes.  Her research focuses on the significance of art objects and material culture in both local contexts and as part pf exchange networks.  She is interested in the tensions, dynamics, and feedback that inspire the contemporary creators in Africa and the way art challenges the way Africa has been constructed in the Western imagination.  In Cameroon, Dr. Forni has been researching the production and marketing of "traditional" African artworks produced since the second half of the 20th century and focusing on the important role of African dealers in the international trade of African art and their contributions to the shaping of collections and knowledge.  In Ghana, she has been investigating the production, meaning, performance and circulation of the insignia of the Asafo companies of the Fante people.

This lecture will focus on the contentious history surrounding the exhibition, "Into the Heart of Africa", a moment that polarized Canadian communities when it debuted in 1989.  Just recently, the museum formally apologized for the anti-African racisim the exhibition brought to its community.  Dr. Forni will discuss the role of museum curators in negotiating between art objects, difficult histories and modern publics.

Spring 2015

Gallery Tour

Realms of Earth and Sky: Indian Painting from the 15th to the 19th Century with Krista Gulbransen, Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies at Whitman College, and exhibition contributor
Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.

Lectures and Workshops

Shahzia Sikander
Internationally acclaimed Pakistani-born artist and MacArthur Fellow Shahzia Sikander will discuss her artistic practice of experimentation and disruption of historical Indo-Persian  painting styles. Presented by the Department of Art History and the Tang Teaching Museum and supported by the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency Fund.
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Molly Aitken and Dipti Khera
Two leading scholars of Rajput painting — Molly Aitken, Associate Professor of Art History at The City College of New York, and Dipti Khera, Assistant Professor of Art History at New York University — will lecture on pleasure in South Asian paintings. Made possible by the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency Fund.
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz
Artists Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz will speak about the traditional techniques in Realms of Earth and Sky and the ways in which each has modernized and personalized the miniature tradition in their practice. Made possible by the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency Fund.
Date and Time - Public conversation: Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.
Date and Time - Miniature Painting Workshops: Friday, April 17, 12:00-2:00 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Free. Reservations required. Call 518-580-8080.

Gallery Tour

Realms of Earth and Sky with Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Saleema Waraich, Assistant Professor of Art History at Skidmore College
Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Time: Noon

Spring 2013

Trajectories of Tradition: A Rajput Intervention

Location:  Palamountain Hall: Davis Auditorium
Date: 03/27/2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Speaker: Molly Aitken, Associate Professor of Art History, CUNY
In early 20th-century India, Abanindranath Tagore undertook to rejuvenate India's painting traditions in order to create a national alternative to European-style oil painting. He and his followers came to be called the Bengal School. Histories of India's modern art inevitably recount this episode, following a now familiar trajectory that starts with the establishment of British art institutions in India and the subsequent demise of the Subcontinent's artistic traditions. This talk questions the premise of artistic demise by taking a closer look at how India's court artists answered colonial-era challenges to their traditions. It focuses on the project of a father and son, Rahim and Chotu, to reformulate royal portraiture at the Rajput court of Bikaner in the 1860s and 70s. Strategically traditional and not-traditional, the prototype the two Rajput court artists devised was realized in several versions, including a superb portrayal of Bikaner's Maharaja Sardar Singh at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A close reading of their prototype and the drawings that led up to it, will not only highlight how they viewed the place of their tradition in India's rapidly changing visual culture, but will also bring to the fore the kinds of art historical elisions that were essential to the Bengal School's success. In doing so, the talk will disorder the established art historical narrative to reopen its assumptions for discussion.