City, River, Mountain: Wayne Thiebaud’s California

    Margaretta M. Lovell, Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art, University of California, Berkeley

    This essay touches on continuities between Thiebaud’s food paintings and his landscape paintings, and on the ways his landscapes broach the seemingly irreconcilable differences between abstraction and representation. Centrally, it engages the ways in which his landscape paintings, focusing on the ecologies of California, engage major human concerns about place, space, and habitation.

    Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Cold Butter: Discourses of Hygiene and Health in the Panama Canal Zone in the Early Twentieth Century

    Sarah J. Moore, Professor of Art History, School of Art, University of Arizona

    Discourses of health, hygiene, and progress—visual and textual—provide the primary metric with which to recalibrate thinking about the Panama Canal enterprise and zone as an ecology located at the nexus of intersecting discourses.

    Florine Stettheimer, the Department Store, and the Spaces of Display, New York 1916–1926

    Heather Hole, Simmons College

    Tracing the movement of Stettheimer’s works brings into view a variety of previously unexamined venues in which art and commerce converged. . . . This essay reveals the previously overlooked diversity of Stettheimer’s exhibition practices and argues that the period’s lack of rigid boundaries between art and commercial culture resulted in nuanced class and gender-based mingling and sorting, not democratic equivalence, within the spaces of early twentieth-century American modernism.

    The Gustatory Turn in American Art

    Shana Klein, Postdoctoral Fellow in Global and Trans-Regional History, German Historical Institute and Georgetown University
    Guy Jordan, Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art, Western Kentucky University

    These papers, drawn from our cochaired session, The Gustatory Turn in American Art, at the College Art Association 2017 Annual Conference, illustrate how artists and viewers have used the platform of food to investigate connections between aesthetics and social politics. Contributors include Katherine Manthorne, Aileen Tsui, Lauren Freese, and Margaretta Lovell.

Bully Pulpit

What Is the Role of Patriotism in the Study of American Art?

M. Elizabeth (Betsy) Boone and Lauren Lessing, Executive Editors

Do we have a responsibility to the nation in our teaching and writing on American art? How would this responsibility be enacted and can it be done without seeming to be jingoistic? Does a new understanding of our nation impact our teaching and study of American art? How do you feel about the idea of a national narrative? Have you been challenged to rethink the relationship between American art, the nation, and its citizenry at any time in the last year?

Research Notes

“Kicked About”: Native Culture at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Kristine K. Ronan, Independent Scholar

Two of the most prominent Native-made objects in Jefferson’s original hall were a pair of male and female figures that Jefferson had received several years prior to Lewis and Clark’s shipments. Curiously, the figures had disappeared from the historical record with Jefferson’s death in 1826. It came as quite a surprise, then, that during my internship I reidentified two stone heads that today sit in the hall display cases and are what remain of Jefferson’s original statues.