PDF: 9.1 Editors’ Welcome
Welcome to our spring 2023 issue. We are grateful to the Wyeth Foundation for American Art for its generous support of Panorama’s operating costs over the next calendar year, as well as its belief in our mission of publishing emerging scholars and new voices in American art.
To this end, this issue offers an array of timely new scholarship and dialogues. As always, Panorama is mobile- and desktop-friendly, with each article assigned both a DOI and available as a downloadable pdf, so whether you are assembling a course pack, building a new module in your university’s learning management system, or just looking for something to read while waiting in line at the DMV, Panorama has you covered.
Issue 9.1 opens with “Framing Silver’s Void in Timothy H. O’Sullivan’s Photographs of the Gould & Curry Mine” by Christine Garnier. This insightful feature article explores the conditions of settler colonialism in what Garnier calls “subterranean photography”: a subset of mid-nineteenth-century photography that sought to document extractive mining processes in the Western United States, when California, Utah, and Nevada were still territories, rather than states. In asking the question, “What other social and ecological networks are represented in O’Sullivan’s photographs of the silver mine beyond ore and the miner?,” her work argues for a revisionist history of environmental degradation and ecological injustice toward the Namu and Washoe populations in the region of the Comstock Lode in Nevada. This scholarship is especially relevant today in light of the battle over mining at Thacker Pass in Humboldt County, Nevada between the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe versus the Lithium Nevada Corporation.
Similarly interested in “mining” new ideas, this issue’s In the Round, “Producing and Consuming the Image of the Female Artist,” explores the visual culture of female self-portraiture across a swath of distinctive situations, histories, and chronologies, focused on women artists both as cultural producers and agents of change. Guest edited by Ellery Foutch, the essays cover topics including Black self-representation by professional photographers (by Emily Brady); ideas surrounding online consumption of Hannah Wilke’s feminist self-portraiture (by Marissa Vigneault); the copy and the performative self in Anita Steckel’s collage works (by Rachel Middleman); and a portfolio of self-portraiture by Alison J Carr, who is strongly influenced by both pre–World War II “pinup girl” culture and the artist’s own personal engagement with Laura Mulvey’s conception of scopophilia.
Research Notes on compelling topics, including reinterpreting settler colonialism at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, exploring new interpretations of the Penn Treaty Belt, and a new digital art history project, the Black Artists of Oklahoma Project, ask important questions, such as: What is the role of the university art museum? Who tells whose story and how? And what should we do with absences in the archive?
This issue’s Colloquium, guest edited by Wendy Katz and Lauren van Haaften-Schick, engages with the intriguing intersection of art and law. Arguments and legal precedents concerned with copyright (and discussed here by Katherine de Vos Devine) tend to dominate headlines, but Katz and Van Haaften-Schick were interested in how this Colloquium might also offer a broader view of the many types of legal mechanisms that have shaped artistic production in the United States and North America. In addition to providing their own thorough introduction, which includes a helpful literature review of this interdisciplinary field, they invited wide-ranging contributions on how artists, designers, and architects have responded to federal income tax deductions (Monica Steinberg), insurance (Matthew Hunter), industrial design patents (Carma Gorman), imperialist land-use resolutions (Kelema Moses), and NAFTA (Amy Sara Carroll).
Digital Dialogues offers a robust roundtable discussion on the catalogue raisonné in digital form. Bringing together a variety of viewpoints, this section asks how the digital format challenges traditional notions of art historical scholarship. Contributors, including Pat Hills, Marci Kwon, Adam Duncan Harris, Susanna Temkin and Cecilia de Torres, Lisa Weiß, Christina Weyl, and Emily Voelker, engage with issues of funding and logistics, as well as the distinctions between the traditional printed catalogue raisonné and the possibilities presented by digital technologies in a changing field.
In this issue, five book reviews cover a wide range of topics: an entwined history of fruit imagery and its frenzied consumption due to empire expansion and new technologies in shipping and cold storage in the late nineteenth-century; a scholarly exhibition catalogue on scrimshaw, decorated whale ivory, and the appetite for luxury as a by-product of the New England whaling industry; a survey of the professional lives of nearly eighty women photographers working across Canada from 1840 to 1940 as documentarians, journalists, portraitists, and chroniclers of travel, everyday life, and the world around them; a clear and incisive analysis of midcentury modern design reappraised through the lens of social mobility, racial identity, and self-fashioning; and a careful consideration of Winslow Homer’s time on the Northeastern coast of England in 1881.
As always, Panorama is committed to reviewing those exhibitions that do not always get the attention they deserve. Is there an interesting but undercovered exhibition near you? We’d love for you to pitch it—and perhaps even encourage an emerging scholar you work with to pitch it—to our Exhibition Review editors. This issue, exhibition reviewers traveled the globe to visit “Maya Lin: A Study of Water” at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, “Will Wilson: Conversations” at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, “The Consultant: Paik‘s Papers 1968–1979” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan in South Korea, “Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California Berkeley, and “Souls Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South” at the Royal Academy in London. As this section went through the final stages of our editorial process, section editor Frances K. Holmes raised an important issue regarding the way that Panorama inconsistently pluralized and capitalized Indigenous Peoples. Moving forward, we are adapting our style guide to better reflect what Holmes terms as ”the political/sovereign status of Native nations and the diversity of the nations” by always capitalizing Native or Indigenous and capitalizing and pluralizing Peoples when referring broadly to multiple tribal nations, in keeping with the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).
With this issue, we are pleased to welcome several new editors, including Jenni Sorkin, who joins us as an Executive Editor. Jenni is Professor in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she specializes in contemporary art history with an emphasis on histories of gender and craft. She has published two books: Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and Art in California (Thames & Hudson, 2021). She has also published widely as an art critic. We have also added new Section Editors: Oliver O’Donnell, the Bilderfahrzeuge Research Associate at the Warburg Institute, and Elizabeth McGoey, the Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff Curator, Arts of the Americas, at the Art Institute of Chicago, joined Research Notes; and Elizabeth Kim, a lecturer in the Art, Communication, and Theatre Arts Department at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, joined Exhibition Reviews. Welcome to the team!
This issue marks the last for Research Notes Editor Katelyn Crawford. We have greatly valued her contributions to the journal as well as her generosity, professionalism, and collegiality. Thank you, Kate! The production of Panorama is only made possible through the efforts of our volunteer editorial team, Managing Editor, Project Manager, and Copy Editor, and via financial support from readers like you. Panorama is an open-access digital journal, and we are dedicated to publishing engaging content on diverse subjects from authors at various points in their careers. We do not run ads, charge fees, or hide content behind paywalls, and we offer image subventions in order to facilitate early-career publishing. But open-access publishing is not free, and we are grateful to the Terra Foundation and Wyeth Foundation for American Art for their support. Would you like to support Panorama, too? Consider joining the Association of Historians of American Art today!
Finally, this issue concludes with a Talk Back responding to Allison K. Young’s article on the panoramas of Regina Agu in Issue 8.1. We hope you enjoy this fresh take and encourage you to engage with Panorama by writing to us, too. We look forward to seeing responses to this issue on social media, as well. Please use the hashtag #journalpanorama on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Cite this article: Keri Watson, Katherine Jentleson, and Jenni Sorkin, “Editors’ Welcome,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 9, no. 1 (Spring 2023), https://doi.org/10.24926/24716839.17556.
About the Author(s): Keri Watson, Katherine Jentleson, and Jenni Sorkin are the Executive Editors of Panorama.