Issue 5.1


Greetings and welcome to issue 5.1 of Panorama, which features an essay by Elizabeth Carlson on Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, one of the many talented women who studied with William Merritt Chase. It will fascinate those of you interested in the controversial and complex position of working women in turn-of-the-twentieth century society. We also think you will enjoy reading the many book and exhibition reviews commissioned by our editors. Here you will find a wide range of content related to subjects from eighteenth-century material culture to radical eroticism in the 1960s. Ever wonder about Georgia O’Keeffe’s sister Ida? Georgia and Ida O’Keeffe are both featured in museum exhibitions this spring, and we are thrilled to include reviews about these two very different presentations.

Karl Kusserow is guest editor for the Bully Pulpit in this issue, in which he and his contributors take on the pressing issue of the environment in their discussion of ecocriticism and the arts. Karl, who is the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, co-curated the exhibition Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment with Alan Braddock, of William & Mary. The highly acclaimed exhibition opened in Princeton before traveling to the Peabody Essex Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Rebecca Bedell builds upon this theme in her research note on Asher B. Durand’s iconic painting Progress, which only reappeared from its sequestered home in 2018, when it was generously donated to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. New information about the artist’s patron, combined with close study of the actual painting, helps us to rethink interpretations of unremitting optimism that have been traditionally ascribed to this monumental work.

We are also very proud of our In the Round selection of essays on the topic of Amateurism and American Visual Culture, guest edited by Justin Wolff of the University of Maine. Justin issued a call for papers that yielded a large number of proposals, and he worked with us to choose a fascinating range of topics covering art and visual culture of the twentieth century. Several of these essays make particularly good use of our online format, which allows us to feature music and video clips that would be impossible to host in a paper-based journal. These submissions prompted a review of our image and multimedia policy and resulted in working through some of the finer points of copyright and fair use with the lawyer from the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. Depending on such variables as file size and copyright holder preferences, Panorama has now identified a series of different ways in which such content can be made available to its readers, many of which we use in the essays on amateurism.

We are pleased to announce some new members of the Panorama editorial team. Executive Editor Lauren Lessing stepped down due to her new position as director of the Stanley Museum of Art at the University of Iowa, and we are very pleased to share that Austen Barron Bailly, George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, has now joined the team of executive editors for a three-year term. Panorama seeks to ensure that the executive editors represent the academic and museum worlds, and some of Austen’s curatorial credits include American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood (2015), American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals (2016), and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (2020). In July, she becomes chief curator at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. We are also welcoming three new section editors: Rebecca Bedell of Wellesley College began working on exhibition reviews and Erin Pauwels of Temple University on Research Notes in January, while Katelyn Crawford of the Birmingham Museum of Art will join the Research Notes team in June. In this new issue, you will see the early fruits of the work of these excellent scholars.

Panorama continues to reach a consistently expanding audience. In 2018, visits to the site were up 58.9 percent to 25,142 total visits and the number of unique visitors to the site increased 64.3 percent to 19,076. To help us assess our readership, we encourage you to link directly to articles on our site whenever you share them or assign them to a class. As evidence of the quality of the scholarship published in Panorama, three recent articles are being republished in other forums. In addition, Tara Kohn received an honorary mention from the National Portrait Gallery Director’s Essay Prize for her essay “Elevated: Along the Fringes of 291 Fifth Avenue,” which was published in our last issue. Sharing Panorama articles and the journal hashtag #journalpanorama on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram does increase our readership, so we encourage you to keep spreading the word!

Cite this article: M. Elizabeth Boone, John Bowles, Austen Barron Bailly, “Editors’ Welcome,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 5, no. 1 (Spring 2019),

PDF: Editors’ Welcome 5.1

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