Darby Raymond-Overstreet, Woven Landscape, Window Rock (detail), from Elizabeth Hawley, review of Shaped by the Loom

Issue 9.2 (Fall 2023)


PDF: Editors’ Welcome 9.2

As we publish the Fall 2023 issue, Panorama celebrates two milestones in the realm of funding. The first is a historic grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will support the journal’s operations, provide professional development in art history and digital humanities, and underwrite the journal’s web hosting by University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. As the largest grant in Panorama’s history, the Mellon award recognizes and advances Panorama’s commitment to publishing cutting edge, born-digital forms of scholarship in the field of American art and visual culture, broadly defined.

With this issue, Panorama offers the final installment of “Toward A More Inclusive Digital Art History,” an initiative that the Terra Foundation for American Art began funding in 2019. Presented as a special section spearheaded by the journal’s Digital Art History Editor, Diana Seave Greenwald, this forum is anchored by Louis Shekhtman and Albert-László Barabási’s quantitative analysis of funding in our field, “Who Supports American Art Museums? Introducing a New Dataset and Data Sources about Museum Funding.” Shekhtman and Barabási marshall data from public tax filings and museum annual reports to consider the role of private philanthropy in museum sponsorship. In response, four art historians, critics, and curators—Jeffrey Abt, Adam Levine, Nizan Shaked, and Terence Washington—weigh in on a diverse set of issues that address generational wealth, asset revenue, undue donor influence, and the large-scale contributions accrued by institutions that specifically earmark support for American Art.

Another history of legacy in this issue comes in the form of environmental degradation and the inequalities of harmful exposures for the poor and working classes. In her feature article, “Sensing Pollution: Picturing ‘Bad Air’ in Gilded Age New York,” Vanessa Schulman examines the imagery of airborne pollution during a time of rapid industrial expansion of New York’s waterfront through not just painting but also the visual culture of the era.

This issue’s In the Round, edited by David Smucker, questions inherited notions of the open road in American art. Its contributors tackle the reception of identity inherent in car travel, where being a stranger or a visitor introduces biases, perceptions, and new forms of engagement through the American highway and roadway systems, in pockets examined across the twentieth century. This includes the Southern California roadside folk art attraction Bottle Village and the performativity of its creator, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbey (by Elizabeth Driscoll Smith); an exploration of ecstatic roadside religion in the imagery of regionalist painter John Steuart Curry (Jeffrey Richmond-Moll); the French artist Sophie Calle’s feminist enactment of “situated knowledge” as a lens for her cross-country roadtrip (Laura Elizabeth Shea); and the search for Asian American identity in the on-the-road photography of Wing Young Huie (Peter Han-Chih Wang).

With an array of methods, three research notes center themes related to art and material culture, diaspora, identity, and race. Synatra Smith and Hilary Whitham Sánchez examine digital exhibition platforms as a way to redress a lack of appropriate context surrounding the circulation of African holdings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kevin Hong reveals xenophobic sentiment around Chinese exclusion in a vernacular San Francisco photo collage, and Laura Winn addresses Jessie Tanner’s transformative artistic relationship with her better-known spouse, the painter Henry Ossawa Tanner.

We have three book reviews, all of which center on inheritance and the overturning of received ideas: Katherine Manthorne on Margaretta Lovell’s new monograph on the nineteenth-century New England painter Fitz H. Lane; Elaine Yau on Tiya Miles’s generative exploration of the history of a hand-embroidered cloth sack despite the limitations of archival material surrounding the lives of dispossessed people; and Isabel Taube on Elizabeth L. Lee’s treatment of depictions of disease, art as a therapeutic intervention, and the specter of mortality.

Lastly, this issue brings readers reviews of six exhibitions. “Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina” was curated by Adrienne Spinozzi, Ethan W. Lasser, and Jason R. Young and is currently on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor. “Celia Álvarez Muñoz: Breaking the Binding,” curated by Kate Green, Nancy E. Meinig, and Isabel Casso, is currently on view at the New Mexico State University Art Museum. “The Art of Jean LaMarr,” curated by Ann M. Wolfe and Manuela Well-Off-Man, is currently on view at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joanna Robotham curated “Pepe Mar: Myth and Magic,” on view at the Tampa Museum of Art. Laura Phipps curated a retrospective, “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map,” on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. And “Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest” was curated by Hadley Jensen and is available online. These exhibitions and their reviews—by Jill Vaum Rothschild, Alexandro Segade, Eleanor Kane and Alexander Kriesel, David Matteson, Andrea Vázquez de Arthur, and Elizabeth Hawley, respectively—offer timely interventions.

This issue marks the last for Book Reviews Editors Amy Werbel and Marissa Vigneault, Exhibition Reviews Editor Mora Beauchamp-Byrd, Digital Art History Editor Diana Seave Greenwald, and Toward a More Inclusive Digital Art History Project ManagerJohnathan Hardy. We have greatly valued their contributions to the journal as well as their generosity, professionalism, and collegiality. Thank you, Amy, Marissa, Mora, Diana and Johnathan! The production of Panorama is only made possible through the efforts of our contributors, volunteer editorial team, Managing Editor, Project Manager, and Copy Editor. Thank you!

In the spirit of exchange, we welcome you to join the conversation by reaching out to us through the Talk Back section of the journal and by responding to this issue in person and on social media. Panorama was well represented at this year’s SECAC conference in Richmond, and editors will be on hand at CAA as well. Please look for us, and come say hello, or use the hashtag #journalpanorama to ping us on social media. Finally, we hope that, as the year comes to a close, you consider making a donation to support Panorama. Your support helps ensure the long-term financial health and sustainability of the journal. Thank you for being a part of our community.

Cite this article: Keri Watson, Katherine Jentleson, and Jenni Sorkin, “Editors’ Welcome,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 9, no. 2 (Fall 2023), https://doi.org/10.24926/24716839.18446.

About the Author(s): Keri Watson, Katherine Jentleson, and Jenni Sorkin are the Executive Editors of Panorama.