Friday, October 1, 2010, 2:00 - 5:00PM
Commentator: Patricia Smith Scanlan, Indiana University
Portraits of Noteworthy Character
Amy M. Mooney, Columbia College Chicago
My paper draws from an ongoing project titled Portraits of Noteworthy Character that examines ways in which portraiture was utilized by individuals and social institutions in the United States to affect social change. In this chapter, I consider how the politics of racial uplift were aestheticized into a visual language that affected the representation of African Americans from the 1890s into the 1930s. Looking to diverse sources such as John Henry Adams’ honorific drawings for The Voice of the Negro and the “before and after” photographs in Silas Floyd’s text, Duty and Beauty, I argue that the portrait became the ultimate means of self-determination.
Picturing Things: Collage and the Composition of American Artists
Lauren Kroiz, University of Wisconsin-Madison
In 1925, Arthur Dove arranged a denim shirt, bamboo poles, and oil paint into a composition he shockingly entitled using a well-known racial epithet for African Americans. This chapter examines the work, now known as Goin’ Fishin’, closely and contextually, locating it both within the series of assemblages Dove termed his “things” and in period discourses of cultural regionalism. Comparing this “thing” with Dove’s forgotten 1920s commercial illustrations of dialect stories and jokes, and with Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous paintings of her New York collection of Southwestern bones and calico roses, this chapter considers the way American art’s “thingness” as imagined in the 1920s and 1930s might function to interrogate otherness in racial, cultural, and material terms.
The seminar conversation may continue informally at a nearby restaurant if the group is interested -- all participants and presenters are welcome to attend this post-seminar gathering.
Papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org,or call (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Seminar in American Art and Visual Culture
Co-sponsored by the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago, the Department of Art History at Indiana University, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago IL 60610
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