Amelia Jones, Robert A. Day Professor of Art and Design, University of Southern California
“Essentialism, Feminism, and Art: Spaces Where Woman ‘Oozes Away’”
Professor Lisa Gail Collins, Vassar College
"Here Lies Love: Feminism, Mourning, and a Quilt from Gee's Bend"
Mary D. Garrard
The annual Feminist Art History Conference at American University engaged with the expanding legacy of Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, two pioneering feminist art historians and professors emerita of art history at AU. The 2014 Conference included a record seventy-two presentations in nineteen sessions. Sixteen speakers traveled internationally to participate. Together the papers illustrated the diverse ways in which feminist research and interpretation continue to inform art historical analysis and scholarship.The keynote speaker was Dr. Lisa Gail Collins, Professor of Art History at Vassar College. Her presentation, "Here Lies Love: Feminism, Mourning, and a Quilt from Gee's Bend," was drawn from her current book project on history, memory, creativity, and community.
Patricia Simons, Professor in the History of Art and Women's Studies,
University of Michigan.
"Devotion and Desire: Women Viewers and the Case of the 'Lesbian Nun' in Early Seventeenth-Century Italy"
Mary D. Garrard
On Sunday, a corollary event at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C., featuring a panel discussion by Eleanor Heartney, Nancy Princenthal, Helaine Posner, and Sue Scott about their new book, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium. Conference participants viewed the exhibition American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold's Paintings of the 1960s, which featured 45 of Ringgold’s rarely-shown paintings from the 1960s
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the fourth annual Feminist Art History Conference. It was a resounding success! American University welcomed nearly two hundred participants from across the country and around the world to share views, debate issues, and network with colleagues. To our very engaged conference attendees, our fascinating keynote speaker, Patricia Simons, the many excellent scholars who presented informative papers, our very capable VRC student staff, and our helpful volunteers—it could not have happened without you.
Before the keynote lecture, which was presented on Friday evening, American University president Dr. Neil Kerwin addressed the conference attendees. Dr. Kerwin stressed the importance of feminist art history scholarship at American university, citing the significant contributions of both our active and emeritus faculty. He expressed enthusiastic support for this annual event, which is clearly meeting a need in the scholarly community.
Sixty-four papers were presented in sixteen sessions, and they covered a wide array of topics as suggested by a few paper titles: “The ‘Wild Woman’ and Female Monstrosity in Early Modern European Imagery,” “Contemporary Australian Performance Art: The Feminist Legacy,” “Latinas Under Construction: The body Modifications of Liz Cohen and Regina Jose Galindo,” and “The Woman Genius and High Modernism: Virginia Woolf, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and To The Lighthouse."
Panels featured scholars from as far away as South Africa, Australia, Israel, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Canada as well a number of independent and university scholars from U. S. institutions including California State University, Rutgers, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University, American University among many others.
Thank you again for being a part of this ground-breaking annual conference.
— The 2013 FAHC-4 Planning Committee
Mary D. Garrard
Thanks to all, including keynote speaker Whitney Chadwick, our participating scholars, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts staff, who helped make the third annual conference such a success.
Dean Peter Starr addressed the conference attendees, saying “Not only do you come from across the United States; many of you come from across the globe. This is extraordinary. We have half again as many papers this year as the first year. Three years in, the Feminist Art History Conference is only getting better and better and better.”
In 2012, sixty papers were presented in fourteen sessions, and they covered a wide array of topics as suggested by a few panel titles: “Constructing and Deconstructing Gender in the 19th Century” (modern European), “Global/Local Identities” (contemporary), “Women’s Agency: Convent and Palace” (premodern), “Identity, Resistance, Reinterpretation” (American),” and “Sexual Politics and the Politics of Sexuality” (modern European).
The panels featured scholars from as far away as China, Portugal, Israel, Germany, Serbia, the Czech Republic, England, and Canada as well a number of independent and university scholars from institutions including Rutgers, the University of Virginia, the University of Alabama–Birmingham, the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, and American University.
Mary D. Sheriff, W. R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Art History
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"The Future of Feminist Art History: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going?"
- Friday afternoon program at the National Portrait Gallery in connection with the exhibition Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories (lunch, tour of exhibition with curators, and speakers/panel)
- AU Chamber Singers: Gender Settings, music focused on women composers and writers
- 51 papers were presented in 9 sessions on Saturday and 3 sessions on Sunday morning
Dr. Anna Chave, CUNY Graduate Center
"High Tide: Deploying Fluids in Women's Art Practice"
The 2010 conference celebrated the legacy of Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, two pioneering feminist art historians and professors in the Art History Program at American University.
- "Honoring the Legacy Appreciations"
Joan Marter, Rutgers University, Editor, Woman’s Art Journal
Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, Wellesley College
- Sunday special event at the National Museum for Women in the Arts:
Mary D. Garrard discussed her most recent book, Brunelleschi’s Egg: Nature, Art, and Gender in Renaissance Italy
Through their collective scholarship, Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard pioneered and helped to define and shape the field of feminist art history. Their four co-edited volumes of feminist essays include Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany (1982), The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History (1992), The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact (1994), and Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History After Postmodernism (2005). These books have become basic texts in many art history and women’s studies courses in American universities and around the world.
Broude and Garrard were early leaders of the American feminist movement in art professions, beginning with their foundational work with the Women’s Caucus for Art; Garrard was its second national president, and Broude was its first affirmative action officer. Each has been active in the College Art Association; Garrard having served on its board of directors and Broude as a member of the CAA’s Art Bulletin Advisory Committee. In 2000, they jointly received an award from the Women’s Committee of the College Art Association for their “pioneering feminist scholarship.” Broude and Garrard’s continuing professional collaboration includes the exhibition they recently co-curated, Claiming Space: Some American Feminist Originators for the AU Art Museum (2008).
Broude and Garrard have also produced groundbreaking feminist scholarship in their separate fields of specialization. Broude, a specialist in nineteenth-century French and Italian painting, is known for critical reassessments of Impressionism, the work of Degas, Caillebotte, Cassatt, Seurat, the Italian Macchiaioli, and most recently G.B. Tiepolo. She is the author of The Macchiaioli: Italian Painters of the Nineteenth Century, and Impressionism, A Feminist Reading: The Gendering of Art, Science, and Nature in the Nineteenth Century. Among her edited books are World Impressionism: The International Movement and Gustave Caillebotte and the Fashioning of Identity in Impressionist Paris. Broude also conceived and served as General Editor of The Rizzoli Art Series.
Garrard, an Italian Renaissance-Baroque specialist, is known for her pioneering work on the 17th-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, including two books, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989), and Artemisia Gentileschi Circa 1622: The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity (2001), and several articles. Her scholarship also embraces critical studies of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sofonisba Anguissola, and other Renaissance artists. Garrard’s new book, Brunelleschi’s Egg: Nature, Art, and Gender in Renaissance Italy, which offers a feminist corrective to Renaissance art histories, will be published by the University of California Press in fall, 2010.