I was invited to my first AHAA meeting in the early 1990s by one of its founding members and soon appreciated her enthusiasm and commitment to the organization. The annual meetings, scholarly sessions, biennial symposia, and online journal are essential sites for discussions of the most relevant issues in art history; the latter is particularly important in this time of isolation and reliance on online resources. I could not have written my textbook on American art without the ideas, scholarship, and camaraderie of AHAA members. It is the only organization of which I am a lifetime member; I will need its resources even more during my retirement years.
—Frances Pohl, Professor of Art History, Emerita, Pomona College
I was the first official treasurer for AHAA, taking on that responsibility in 2000. I surrendered that responsibility in 2003 and turned it over to Wendy Greenhouse. While I let my membership lapse around the time I took on the administration of the American Art Listserv, I am delighted with the successes of the organization and the quality of Panorama. Congratulations on the 40th anniversary!
—Karen A. Bearor, Associate Professor, Florida State University
As a doctoral candidate, I received an AHAA grant to travel to New York and present at CAA, which endeared me to the association, as that trip also allowed me to conduct vital dissertation research. Since that time, I have attended AHAA’s CAA panels, participated in their biannual symposium, and published in Panorama. In each instance, I’ve been impressed by the care and consideration of the organization’s leadership. AHAA’s recent emergency relief grant program, which provided assistance to scholars most in need, is another great example of that care that I’d love to see expanded in the future.
—Miriam Kienle, Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky
AHAA’s first newsletter from 1979 states that the organization “embraces the art produced in the Americas, North, South, and Central, by all peoples who have lived there.” I want to see AHAA continue to pursue this broad vision and also to be honest about the social hierarchies that have narrowed our scope. Conferences such as Latino Art Now!, the Native American Art Studies Association, and the National Black Arts Festival are models for transnational and interdisciplinary studies of American Art. How can we honor and support their work? What sorts of collaborations might be mutually beneficial, and can AHAA be a part of this sort of community building?
—Rachel Hooper, Professor, Savannah College of Art and Design
It is past time for an Association of Historians of American Visual Culture (AHAVC). I understand the reasons for the levee erected around our field: AHAA is a critical forum, for emerging scholars in particular, in which to present papers, publish articles, secure funding, and develop networks. In an ever more competitive academic market constricted still further by a pandemic, it is hard to imagine ceding even the smallest portion of disciplinary turf. But lowering these barriers will not inundate us. Rather, a rising tide of new ideas and conversations will buoy us up to explore uncharted seas.
—John Ott, Professor, James Madison University
Cite this article: Louise Siddons and Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, eds., “AHAA Members on Our Fortieth Anniversary,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 6, no. 2 (Fall 2020), https://journalpanorama.org/article/anniversary-reflections/who-will-we-be/ahaa-members.
About the Author(s): Contributors replied to an open call for reflections on what AHAA means to them