Summer 2017 (3.1)


The Thiele Family Monument: Vision of a Heavenly Future

The Thiele Family Monument: Vision of a Heavenly Future

For over one hundred years a granite lady-angel has stood beside a life-size seated granite businessman while gazing at a carved cherub below. For a century passers-by have pondered this unusual family, immortalized in stone on a Wisconsin cemetery plot.
image of 2 baseball players

Marmorean Ballplayer: Sheriff John McNamee of Brooklyn and His Sculptural Career in Florence

In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, both baseball and sculpture could serve as markers of and conduits for ascending class and cultural identity, and the remarkable career of John McNamee (c. 1827–1895) brings these two realms together in an unfamiliar but revealing fashion.

In the Round

State of the Field: American Sculpture

State of the Field: American Sculpture

In this suite of short essays, three specialists in the history of American sculpture consider the history of its formation and the direction of its future course: Roberta K. Tarbell, "Fifty Years of the History of American Sculpture"; Elise Madeleine Ciregna, "Cemeteries and Ideal Sculpture"; and Jennifer Wingate, "Sculpture and Lived Space."

Bully Pulpit

What are Museums For?

Long before I met an art historian and long before I trained to become one, I knew that museums were sources and resources and that they were sites of social and cultural capital. I also did not expect museums to connect with me, and I did not care much if they did.


Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York City

Tuliza Fleming, Museum Curator, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution

Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art, The Columbus Museum, Georgia

Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Blake Shell, Executive Director, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon

Research Notes

image of a man looking through a device called a skiascope

Looking through the Skiascope: Benjamin Ives Gilman and the Invention of the Modern Museum Gallery

Benjamin Ives Gilman invented the skiascope to ensure that museum visitors saw art as he thought best—without distraction. Unfortunately, as far as I was able to determine, no skiascope survives. And so I built one.
“It’s in My Mind”: William Merritt Chase and the Imagination

“It’s in My Mind”: William Merritt Chase and the Imagination

Trying to square oddball works against thoroughly convincing interpretations of the rest of the oeuvre can be a fruitless exercise. At the Huntington, there is one such painting by William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), "The Inner Studio, Tenth Street," which offers a counter narrative to prevailing interpretations of his work.
cropped image of a man with a white wig

A Portrait of Samuel Finley Attributed to John Hesselius

Through extensive primary source research, I was able to uncover evidence that strongly supports the attribution to Hesselius and assembled a more complete history of the picture and the family who owned it for almost two centuries before donating it to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1962. I have also unraveled the relationship between this portrait and an 1870

Book Reviews

Exhibition Reviews