City, River, Mountain: Wayne Thiebaud’s California

Margaretta M. Lovell, Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art, University of California, Berkeley

This essay touches on continuities between Thiebaud’s food paintings and his landscape paintings, and on the ways his landscapes broach the seemingly irreconcilable differences between abstraction and representation. Centrally, it engages the ways in which his landscape paintings, focusing on the ecologies of California, engage major human concerns about place, space, and habitation.

Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Cold Butter: Discourses of Hygiene and Health in the Panama Canal Zone in the Early Twentieth Century

Sarah J. Moore, Professor of Art History, School of Art, University of Arizona

Discourses of health, hygiene, and progress—visual and textual—provide the primary metric with which to recalibrate thinking about the Panama Canal enterprise and zone as an ecology located at the nexus of intersecting discourses.

Florine Stettheimer, the Department Store, and the Spaces of Display, New York 1916–1926

Heather Hole, Simmons College

Tracing the movement of Stettheimer’s works brings into view a variety of previously unexamined venues in which art and commerce converged. . . . This essay reveals the previously overlooked diversity of Stettheimer’s exhibition practices and argues that the period’s lack of rigid boundaries between art and commercial culture resulted in nuanced class and gender-based mingling and sorting, not democratic equivalence, within the spaces of early twentieth-century American modernism.

The Gustatory Turn in American Art

Shana Klein, Postdoctoral Fellow in Global and Trans-Regional History, German Historical Institute and Georgetown University
Guy Jordan, Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art, Western Kentucky University

These papers, drawn from our cochaired session, The Gustatory Turn in American Art, at the College Art Association 2017 Annual Conference, illustrate how artists and viewers have used the platform of food to investigate connections between aesthetics and social politics. Contributors include Katherine Manthorne, Aileen Tsui, Lauren Freese, and Margaretta Lovell.