2009 Annual Conference

2009 Annual Conference

Apr 2 – 4, 2009

The Midwest Art History Society's 36th annual meeting was held on April 2–4, 2009, in Kansas City, Missouri. The conference was co–hosted by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Conference sessions and activities took place primarily at The Nelson–Atkins Museum.

Also participating in the MAHS conference were the H&R Bloch Art Space, the Spencer Museum of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

At The Nelson–Atkins Museum, the conference took place both in the original 1933 William Rockhill Nelson Building and the new, award–winning Bloch Building designed by Steven Holl. In addition to 16 conference sessions, roundtable discussions and museum tours (in the galleries and behind the scenes) were scheduled. Also planned was a panel discussion In the Street: Photographers Look at America, 1945-1968, offered in connection with the photography exhibition, Homer Page: The Guggenheim Year. Thursday evening a gala reception was held in Rozzelle Court at the Nelson-Atkins. On Friday the member luncheon took place in Kirkwood Hall, and at the end of the day, the H&R Block Art Space hosted a special reception for MAHS participants. Friday evening, shuttle service was provided to the Cross Roads art district with its lively gallery scene.

The conference overlapped with First Fridays, a festive evening on the first Friday of each month when the galleries in the Cross Roads art district open their doors and the streets fill with crowds of art enthusiasts. The Cross Roads is adjacent to the historic Union Station, Crown Center, and all of the activity that takes place in downtown Kansas City and the new Power and Light District.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 4, an optional trip was planned to Lawrence, Kansas, to view the extensive collections of the Spencer Art Museum (University of Kansas) and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Johnson County Community College) in south Kansas City.

Local Museums

Short distance from the conference location.

Local Museums

The Nelson–Atkins Museum is across the street from the Kansas City Art Institute and in close proximity to both the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the H&R Block Art Space, the UMKC campus, and the Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology. Other Kansas City venues, a short distance away, are the Liberty Memorial (a fabulous Art Deco structure and the only WWI memorial and museum in the country), the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the American Jazz Museum.

Raphael Hotel

Located fifteen minutes from the Nelson-Atkins museum.

Raphael Hotel

The conference hotel was the Raphael Hotel - a charming, historic, European-style hotel on the Country Club Plaza, located just a 15 minute walk from The Nelson-Atkins Museum. One of Kansas City’s most popular destinations, the Plaza offers a wide selection of restaurants and shopping, as well as several venues featuring Kansas City jazz.

Conference Program

Conference Program

Midwest Art History Society Program
Annual Conference, Kansas City, April 2–4, 2009


Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Visitors Desk, Bloch Building, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Rockhill Room

Rockhill Room
The Handmade Effect/Affect: Craft and Contemporary Art
Session Chair: Maria Buszek, Kansas City Art Institute

The scholars and artists in this roundtable will address the phenomenon of contemporary artists’ return to the handmade associations of craft media. Have artists grown interested in pointedly countering the tyrannical pressure of technology with handicraft? Or are craft media simply another in the toolbox of today’s eclectic, conceptually–driven contemporary artists?

Michele Fricke
Kansas City Art Institute

Lauren McEntire
Independent artist, Kansas City

Paula Owen
Southwest School of Art and Craft

Karin E. Peterson
University of North Carolina at Asheville

Karen Reimer
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Lens 2 Meeting Room
Negotiated Images: Art in Culture
Session Chair: Rachel Perry, Indiana State Museum

  • “Kitsch’s Codes”
    Monica Kjellman–Chapin, Emporia State University
  • “The Norton Gifts in Context: An exploration of interrelated issues of exchange and patronage in the context of contemporary art today”
    Diane Mullin, Washington University, St. Louis
  • “Habeas Corpus: The Resistant Body in American Advertising, 1930–41”
    George Speer, Northern Arizona University Art Museum
  • “Remedies for Cultural Iconoclasm”
    Rozmeri Basic, Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts, University of Oklahoma

12:00 pm – 12:10 pm
Quick Take: Walking Tour of the American Galleries

(Newly installed and not yet open to the public)
Meet at Visitors Desk

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Lens 2 Meeting Room
The Spiritual in Contemporary Art
Session Chair: Leesa Fanning, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

  • “Wolfgang Laib’s Without Time–Without Body–Without Place: Transcendence in Art Today”
    Leesa Fanning, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • “Die Before You Die: Buddhism in the Art of Hiroshi Sugimoto”
    Elisabeth Kirsch, The University of Missouri–Kansas City
  • “Buddhist–Inspired Spirituality in Contemporary Japanese Art”
    Patricia J. Graham, Independent Scholar, Lawrence, KS
  • “Methodologies of Religious Studies in Analysis of Contemporary Art: The Sacred and Profane in Art by African American Sculptor Renée Stout”
    Andrea K. Lee, The University of Missouri–Kansas City

Rockhill Room
Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art
Session Chair: Judith Mann, Saint Louis Art Museum

  • “Magdalene for the Masses: Italian Chapbooks and Prostitution Reform in Early Modern Venice and Rome”
    Rachel L. Geschwind, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Antonio Federighi and Antiquarianism in Quattrocento Siena”
    Gustav Medicus, Kent State University
  • “Susanna and the Elders: Constructing Jewish and Jewess Identities in Art”
    Angela Bullard, Texas Christian University

2:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Lens 2 Meeting Room
Repetition and Seriality in 19th-Century European Art
Session Chair: Simon Kelly, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

  • “Victorine as Diana: Manet and the French Renaissance”
    Bradley Fratello, St. Louis Community College–Meramec
  • “Gérôme’s self portraits: Iterations of the masculine artist”
    Susan Waller, University of Missouri–Saint Louis
  • “Löie Fuller: Cinema, Seriality and Embodied Time”
    Suzanne Singletary, Philadelphia University
  • “The Louisville Thinker: A Masterpiece Among Us”
    Christopher Fulton, University of Louisville

Rockhill Room
European Art and Architecture, 1600–1900
Session Chair: Burton Dunbar, The University of Missouri–Kansas City

  • “Artemisia Gentileschi’s Heavenly Body: An Astronomical Analysis of Her Inclination
    Connie Meyer, Texas Christian University
  • “Francisco de Zurbaran: Nazareth in the New World”
    Lourdes A. Ramirez, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Made for the Mode Market: Reading Class in Jean–Baptiste Peter’s Dancers in a Pavilion
    Rebecca A. Szantyr, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Anticipating Leisure: An Eighteenth–Century ‘Entertainment Center’”
    Gil Smith, Eastern Kentucky University

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Atkins Auditorium
In the Street: Photographers Look at America, 1945–1968
Session Moderator: April M. Watson, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

Keith F. Davis, Curator of Photography at The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art, is joined by Lisa Hostetler of the Milwaukee Museum of Art and Julian Cox of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for an in–depth look at American street photography, from the tumultuous decades following WWII through the apex of the Civil Rights Movement.

Visitor’s Desk
Connoisseurship in Context. A Walking Tour of The Nelson–Atkins collections of Dutch, Flemish, French and Italian paintings and sculpture of the Baroque Era.
Session Chair: Ian Kennedy, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Reception in Rozzelle Court

Music by Nick Baker, Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri–Kansas City


Friday, April 3, 2009
The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Visitor’s Desk, Bloch Building

8:30 am – 10:00 am

Tour of Rare Book Rooms, Linda Hall Science Library
Shuttle from Raphael Hotel (325 Ward Parkway)

Lenas 2 Meeting Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Open Session: Photography
Session Chair: M. Watson, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

  • “Post–mortem Photography of Children in Victorian Britain”
    Brittany Hudak, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Repetition and Remembrance: The Rephotographic Survey Project”
    Navjotika Kumar, Kent State University
  • “Modern Time: Photography and Temporality”
    Kris Belden–Adams, CUNY Graduate Center, Kansas City Art Institute
  • “Ad–dressing and Re–dressing Rrose: Performative Gender Bending in Postmodern Photography”
    Jennifer Friess, Case Western Reserve University

Rockhill Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
African Art Studies Today
Session Chair: Costa Petridis, The Cleveland Museum of Art

  • “Urban Masquerade and Performances: The Case of Mgbe among the Qua-Ejagham of Calabar, Nigeria”
    Jordan Fenton, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • “The Claiming of Space: Namibian Landscape Painting”
    Meredith Palumbo, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Rapids
  • “Performed Bodies, Lived Bodies, Watched Bodies: The Works of Beni Searle and Zineb Sedira”
    Erin M. Schwartz, Ohio University
  • “African Art/Visual Culture: The State of the Field and the Legacy of Roy Sieber”
    Fred T. Smith, Kent State University

10:10 am
Quick take: Tour of the new Spencer Art Reference Library
Highlights of the Photography collection

Visitor’s Desk, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

10:30 am – 12:00 am

Rockhill Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
New Art / New Spaces
Session Chair: Jan Schall, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

  • “Valerio Belli and the Adaptation of the Antique”
    Jon L. Seydl, The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • “Dutch Treats: New “Old” Acquisitions for the Kresge Art Museum”
    Susan J. Bandes, The Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University
  • “A Model of Womanly Virtue: François-André Vincent’s Arria and Poetus”
    Judith W. Mann, The Saint Louis Art Museum
  • “Pas de Deux: The Nelson–Atkins’ Bloch Building and William T. Kemper Collecting Initiative”
    Jan Schall, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
  • Discussion: “The Blanton Museum of Art and the Landmarks Program at the University of Texas, Austin”

Lens 2 Meeting Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
20th – Century Art: Part One
Session Chair: David Cateforis, University of Kansas

  • “An Unlikely Exhibition: Cubism Comes to in Milwaukee in 1913”
    Elizabeth Carlson, Lawrence University
  • “Loïs Mailou Jones and the Market Women of Haiti”
    Lindsay J. Twa, Augustana College
  • “Open City/Open Season: Hitchcock, di Sica and the Problem with Neorealism”
    Allison Sauls, Missouri Western State University
  • “Look Back in Anger: The Queer Filmic Biography of Kenneth Anger”
    Lauren DeLand, University of Minnesota


12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
MAHS annual meeting and luncheon

Kirkwood Hall, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

1:45 pm
Quick take: Tour of the new Spencer Art Reference Library
Highlights of the Photography collection

Visitors Desk

2:00 – 3:30 pm

Rockhill Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Prints and Drawings
Session Chair: Stephen Goddard, University of Kansas

  • “Pilgrimage in late fifteenth and early sixteenth–century prints”
    James Wehn, University of St. Thomas
  • “An Equation for Conflict: Micromanaging Creativity in Rubens’ Printmaking Workshop”
    Nathan Popp, University of Iowa
  • Les amulettes juifs en Allemagne du XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles
    Waldemar Deluga, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw
  • “Collecting Recollections (The multivalence of memory and memorialization in the work of two contemporary printmakers, Ann Resnick and Adriane Herman)”
    Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel College

Lens 2 Meeting Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
20th – Century Art: Part Two
Session Chair: David Cateforis, University of Kansas

  • “Surviving Hell on Earth: The Apocalyptic Vision of George Grosz”
    Heather Ann Kauten, University of Texas
  • “The New York Avant-Garde and the Dis–ordering of the Mass Visual Culture of World War II”
    Gregory Gilbert, Knox College
  • “Willem de Kooning: Some Considerations of Popular Visual Sources and their Significance”
    Michael Klein, Western Kentucky University
  • “Art and the Atom: British Art in the Nuclear Age”
    Catherine Jolivette, Missouri State University

Spencer Art Reference Library, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Through a Glass Brightly: Library Collections and Art Research
Session Chair: Marilyn Carbonell, The Spencer Art Reference Library

  • Kasia Leousis, Subject Librarian for Art and Architecture, Washington University,
    St. Louis
  • Marilyn Carbonell, Head, Library Services, Spencer Art Reference Library,
    The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

3:40 pm
Quick take: 48 Pieces: The Conservation of a Greek Sculpture of
a Lion in the Nelson–Atkins Collection

Robert Cohon, Curator of Ancient Art
Visitors Desk, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Lens 2 Meeting Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Decorative Arts and the Five Senses
Session Chair: Catherine Futter, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

  • “The Primacy of Taste: Apostle Spoons and Domestic Ritual in Tudor England”
    Dr. Annette LeZotte, Wichita State University
  • “Motherhood as Object Lesson: Dutch Dollhouses for Women”
    Michelle Moseley–Christian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • “Stop and Smell, Touch, Taste, and Listen to the Flowers: The Organic Synaesthesia of Émile Gallé”
    Jane Vahlkamp Andrus, University of Kentucky
  • “Appealing to the Senses in English Tableware Patterns, 1950–70”
    Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi, University of Missouri–St. Louis

Rockhill Room, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Asian Art
Session Chair: Amy McNair, University of Kansas

  • “Reconstructing Meng Haoran: New Discourse in Song Dynasty’s Political Culture”
    Bo Liu, University of Michigan
  • “Disallowed Sentiments through Female Voice in Mou Yi’s Preparing Clothes”
    Ai–lian Liu, University of Kansas
  • “Ni Zan (1301–1374) in the Ming and Qing Painters' Artistic and Social Life”
    Ling–en Lu, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
  • “From Unfilial Daughter to Goddess of Compassion: The Re-Identification of Miaoshan Guanyin”
    Sooa Im, University of Kansas
  • “Jamini Roy: Father of Indian modernism, juxtaposed 20th century European art with native village traditions”
    Marcella Sirhandi, Oklahoma State University

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Special Reception at the H&R Block Artspace

Join us at the MAHS Café for a brief walk over to the gallery, or take
the shuttle.

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
First Friday, Crossroads Art District

Shuttle service to and from Crossroads Art District until 9:00 pm


Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art

10:00 am – 11:30 am

Rockhill Room
New Research in Ancient Art
Session Chair: Robert Cohon, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art and the University of Missouri–Kansas City

  • “On Contrapposto”
    Theresa Huntsman, Washington University in St. Louis
  • “The Odd Couple? Male–Female Couples on the Praenstine Cistae”
    Bridget Sandhoff, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • “Populist Allusions in the Primaporta Augustus
    Virginia Poston, University of Southern Indiana,
  • “Rome Subdued and Stilled: The Severan Marble Plan”
    Elisha Ann Dumser, Ursuline College

Lens 2 Meeting Room
The Art of the Joke
Session Chair: Frances Connelly, University of Missouri, Kansas City

  • “Commentary on a Double Life: Self–portraiture in Jan Steen’s Esther, Ahasuerus, and Haman
    Rachael DiFransico, Case Western Reserve University
  • “The Darkest Jokes: The Element of Humor in Francisco Goya’s Graphic Works”
    Michael R. Freeman, Fort Lewis College
  • “Paul Gauguin and the Prurient Pun”
    Kurt Rahmlow, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • “The GRAV’s Jokes: Game and Humor as Revolutionary Strategies”
    Catherine Dossin, Purdue University

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Optional Trip: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas and
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College

Meet at MAHS Café. Departure at noon sharp. Box lunch provided on the bus.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

2:00 pm
Franklin D. Murphy Lecture: Christopher M.S. Johns

Atkins Auditorium, The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art
Johns is the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of Art History and
Chair of the Department of Art History, Vanderbilt University