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The Department of the History of Art Has Unanimously Approved the Following Statement in Response to the Presidential Election of 2016


The Department of the History of Art is committed to the intellectual inquiry and rigorous analysis of artistic practices from across the globe and across time. It is our belief that a socially and politically responsible art history produces encounters with and the study of diverse cultures, which inspires both tolerance and ethical conduct, reminding us of our shared humanity.  The repeated instances of xenophobic, racist, and misogynist language that characterized the recent presidential election is antithetical to the principles of this department which stands for the inclusion of a plurality of views. This rhetoric and the actions it engenders threaten the core values of our department, our university, and the UC system as a whole. Echoing the words of UC President Janet Napolitano, we “remain absolutely committed to supporting all members of our community and adhering to UC’s Principles Against Intolerance.“ We are concerned that some now face  heightened risk of harassment and as a department we condemn discrimination, marginalization, and violence against any member of our community. We affirm our commitment to the diverse student population of UCR and offer our support and protection to students who feel vulnerable, due to their immigration status, gender or nationality.   The current political climate has only sharpened our convictions about the imperatives of studying histories and diverse visual cultures.  Critical thinking, factual argumentation, and lucid debate are even more vital in a climate of derisive language, images, symbols, and behaviors.  One cannot underestimate the value of understanding history in shaping our collective future.

Jason Weems has won the Fred B. Kniffen Book Award for Best Authored Publication, and the John Gjerde Prize for the Best Book on Midwestern History awards for his book, “Barnstorming the Prairies: How Aerial Vision Shaped the Midwest.”

Barnstorming the PrairiesWriting a book is an all-encompassing commitment,” Weems said. “As scholars, we do it because of a belief that we can bring about a better understanding of the world. When trusted colleagues suggest that you might be succeeding in that effort, it is very special.”

The book offers a panoramic view of the transformative nature and power of aerial vision that remade the Midwest in the wake of the airplane. It addresses how fight led to a new view of the Midwest, and how aerial vision helped to recast the Midwestern landscape amid the technological change and social uncertainty of the early 20th century.

The Fred B. Kniffen Book Award for Best Authored Publication is awarded by the International Society for Landscape, Place and Material Culture Studies (ISLPMC). The ISLPMC encourages and recognizes books by authors regarding North American material culture, which is the physical evidence of culture, such as objects and architecture. Named for the renowned geographer, Fred Kniffen, the prize in his honor is granted annually for the best book in the field published within two years of the award.
The Jon Gjerde Prize for the Best Book on Midwestern History is awarded by the Midwestern History Association to the best book authored on a Midwestern history topic during a calendar year. In the award announcement, it was noted that “Weems directs our attention to bird’s-eye-view maps, historic atlases, the paintings of Grant Wood, Frank Lloyd Wright plans, Farm Service Administration photos, as well as aerial photographs, to explore both the physical and the imaginative landscape of the Midwest.”




Conrad Rudolph Awarded the CHASS Distinguished Research Lecturer Award

The College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences presents the 2015-2016 CHASS Distinguished Research Lecturer Award to Professor of Art History, Conrad Rudolph.

CRudolphDr. Rudolph is an art historian whose research focuses on the art of Medieval Europe, with special attention to the role of visual expression in the articulation of intellectual and theological concepts, and their dissemination into the broader culture. As a medievalist, Rudolph’s work is lauded not only for its historical rigor, but also for its conceptual daring and theoretical sophistication. Rudolph is known to be a scholar who fearlessly asks the big questions. He also possesses the rare gift of being able to make complex and historically distant imagery clear and compelling to a twenty-first century audiences.

His record of publication and scholarly activity (six books; countless articles and chapters, fellowships, and academic presentations) demonstrates a remarkably high and consistent level of production. Especially noteworthy, however, is his string of recent achievements: publication of an award winning book, his 626-page The Mystic Ark: Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century, election as a fellow of the elite Medieval Academy of American, and perhaps most strikingly, his National Endowment for the Humanities-funded FACES (Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems) project. This last project which mixes traditional humanistic scholarship with cutting edge digital facial recognition software to provide a new tool for identifying unknown sitters in artistic portraits. He is currently at work on a second and equally inventive project that uses spatial modeling technology to investigate the famous dome of the Florence Cathedral. Here, as in FACES, Rudolph enacts a rare and high-level integration of art history and the digital humanities.

Rudolph’s scholarship has had a profound effect on the study of medieval art and history at the highest levels. Yet, he has also committed himself to bringing this rigor and inventiveness to the classroom. Fueled by his passion and erudition as scholar, Rudolph is a demanding and inspiring teacher who has guided numerous UCR students into Medieval art.

Jason Weems Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

UCR Anthropologist and Art Historian Awarded Fulbright Fellowships
Yolanda Moses will study new model of inclusiveness in Australia; Jason Weems will explore the intertwining of art and archaeology in the Americas
UCR Today
by on June 2, 2016

WeemsBig“Jason Weems, associate professor of art history, will pursue research at the Instituto Franklin of the Universidad de Alcala in Madrid, Spain, to develop an intellectual and historical framework for understanding American art through the lens of the Americas.

Weems, who joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2008, will spend the winter and spring quarters of 2016-17 conducting research and teaching at The University of Alcala’s Franklin Institute in a project that he hopes will foster a more globalized approach to American art history both at home and abroad. Research conducted in colonial archives and at various art museums also will support a book-length project, “Inventing the Americas: Art, Archaeology and the Modern Making of a Pre-Columbian Past.”

“While American art has traditionally been understood as the study of ‘art of the United States,’ recently efforts have begun to understand the deep entanglement of national art within a more expansive network of indigenous, cross-cultural and international exchange,” he explained. “One result of this shift has been the expansion of American art to encompass the many places and peoples, across both the Western hemisphere and the globe, which played formative roles in the synthesis of American artistic and representational practices. This more diversified appreciation is often referred to as the ‘arts of the Americas.’”

Refocusing American art scholarship away from narratives of European colonial domination toward a more balanced approach to the Americas offers new and better opportunities to understand the rich cultural networks that shape the history and future of the hemisphere and the place of artistic expression within it, Weems said.”

Read more…

Career Opportunity at UCR Department of the History of Art


The department of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside expects to have various temporary, part-time openings for lecturers during the 2016-2017 academic year, pending final budgetary approval. The salary for each course is approximately $5788. M.A. and one year of teaching experience at the college or university level is required for each position. Review of applications will begin July 16, 2016 and continue until positions are filled.

Submit letter of application, CV, two letters of recommendation, teaching evaluations, and diversity statement electronically via url:

Applicants who use Interfolio may utilize a feature provided by the Interfolio Service to allow Interfolio to upload their letters directly into AP Recruit. Applicants can input an Interfolio-generated email address in place of their letter writer’s email address. Interfolio refers to this as Online Application Deliveries. The following link on the Interfolio website shows how to set this up. -Uploading-Letters-to-an-Online-Application-System

Spring Quarter 2017 (start date – March 29, 2017)
Art History 181, Modern Art II: Art in Europe, 1870-1945

For further information contact the Lecturer Search Committee at

UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body. Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification.  The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

A Case of MistSan-Simonino-full--768x1105aken Identity Solved
UC Riverside art history professor corrects Getty Museum on misidentified Renaissance sculpture

She felt like a detective. Digging through notes and photos, asking for curatorial files, and doing research on child martyrs. She did all of this because as she gazed at the marble bust of a little boy at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles something just didn’t fit for Jeanette Kohl, chair of the art history department at the University of California, Riverside.

Turns out, Kohl’s instincts were correct, and the 15th century bust titled “Saint Cyricus” does not depict the child martyr, but rather a different child, Simon of Trent, who disappeared on Easter of 1475 and was soon found dead. Given Kohl’s thorough research, the Getty plans to change the label and identification of the important sculpture by the end of 2016.

Read more…


maa_symbol_smallConrad Rudolph, professor of medieval art history at UCR, was named a Fellow of The Medieval Academy of America.

In medieval studies (history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, art history, etc.) this is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a medievalist in the United States. Founded in 1925, The Medieval Academy of America is the largest organization in the U.S. promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies.

Rudolph has recently completed a book-length study (and digital reconstruction, of Hugh of Saint Victor’s Mystic Ark (c. 1125-1130), a forty-two page description of the most complex individual work of figural art of the Middle Ages, a painting also known as The Mystic Ark. The purpose of the painting was to serve as the basis of a series of brilliant lectures undertaken by Hugh at Saint Victor, a Parisian abbey of Augustinian canons. The purpose of the text was to enable others outside of Saint Victor–teachers, students, scholars, monks, canons–to undertake similar weeks-long discussions themselves by providing the information necessary to produce the image, something that was repeated again and again over the centuries. Depicting all time, all space, all matter, all human history, and all spiritual striving, this highly polemical image deals with a series of cultural issues crucial in the education of society’s elite during one of the great periods of intellectual change in Western history.


Congratulations to JP Park on his article “The Anxiety of Influence: (Mis)reading Chinese Art in Late Choson Korea (1700-1850)” in the
ab_sep2015Art Bulletin.

Woodblock printed painting albums and manuals from early modern China sparked changes in the way some forms of art were produced in late Chosŏn Korea (1700–1800). Although such art books were firmly rooted in the middle-class public in China, most pictorial and literary evidence tells us that these same books were used exclusively by highly positioned artists and critics in early modern Korea. This disparity of readership points to inequalities in cultural exchange and communication between early modern China and Korea, in which misinformation gave rise to a new source of artistic inspiration.






The Mystic Ark- Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century Preview

Conrad Rudolph’s recent book, The Mystic Ark: Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2014), has won the 2014-2015 Emory Elliott Book Award from the UCR Center for Ideas and Society.

In medieval written sources, works of art are not often referred to, let alone described in any detail. When they are mentioned, it is seldom with more than a word or phrase, at the most a sentence. Almost completely ignored by art historians because of the immense difficulty of its text, Hugh of Saint Victor’s Mystic Ark (c.1125-1130) is a forty-two page description of the most complex individual work of figural art of the Middle Ages, a painting also known as The Mystic Ark. Depicting all time, all space, all matter, all human history, and all spiritual striving, this highly polemical image deals with a series of cultural issues crucial in the education of society’s elite during one of the great periods of intellectual change in Western history. Meant to be copied by others, it is among the most unusual sources we have for an understanding of medieval artistic culture.




soldier_facial_woundArt History and Medical Education

Small Moments of Change: Medical Humanitieses
An interview conducted with Art History Chair Jeanette Kohl by Katherine Miller

With the introduction of consistent and effective medical practices in the 1900s patients lived longer, healthier lives. But with the onset of WWI, medical staff encountered a new challenge: patients who survived the trauma of face mutilation but were unable to look at themselves in a mirror. Doctor and academy trained artist Henry Tonks found a solution in using watercolors to paint new representations of his patients. Through his art he was able to create beautiful, touching renditions of their disfigurements, and his patients were able to look at themselves for the first time.

Dr. Jeanette Kohl uses this historic example to show how the humanities can foster human connection. Professor Kohl—Chair of the Art History Department at UCR, and passionate art historian with an interest in the history of the body as well as Renaissance portraiture and sculpture—supports creating more inclusive programs linking the humanities and sciences. Last December she organized “Vesalius and His Worlds: Medical Illustrations during the Renaissances” at The Huntington. She explains how this conference brought together people who were interested in the subject from a collecting point of view, a visual point of view, and an academic point of view. Read More


Career Opportunity at UCR Department of the History of Art, Visual Resource Collection

The Visual Resource Collection is seeking to hire a Digital Specialist
The Digital Specialist works under the direction of the VRC’s Curator to support a wide range of technical and consultative services related to the production, integration, dissemination and preservation of the VRC’s analog and digital image collections. The Digital Specialist has primary responsibility for completeness and accuracy of all digital imaging processes: scanning, photographing, image correction, manipulation and storage in support of instruction, research and publication. The Digital Specialist is responsible for the execution of design, implementation, and ongoing production support of the department of Art History’s online image databases and end-user delivery systems. The Digital Specialist advises on the assessment of workflows and web delivery effectiveness for the Visual Resource Center. The position provides ongoing analysis, documentation, and feedback and will inform on improvements in software management for digitization capture, quality control, derivative creation, metadata extraction, metadata transformation, uploads, and web access workflows. The Digitization Specialist identifies opportunities for improvements, researches alternatives, writes or modifies existing software, and then tests and implements workflow improvements. The Digital Specialist acts as the department’s web administrator providing design, development and maintenance of the Art History and VRC websites. The Digital Specialist provides instruction to faculty in technical aspects related to digital instruction. This position provides routine maintenance of hardware, software and cross-platform network systems as appropriate. The Digital Specialist performs other duties related to the operation of the VRC as specified by the Curator.

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, analytical, and capable of providing excellent customer service. The position requires that the candidate possess a wide understanding of a variety of technologies related to digitization and digital libraries and be able to effectively communicate technical issues. The ideal candidate should be comfortable working independently and in a collaborative setting. Excellent organizational skills and the ability to balance multiple priorities while achieving long-terms goals is essential to the position.

For more information, visit:!Controller?action=jobs_webui.show_page&page=jobs_detail&requisition_id=201510300481&profile_id=&module=jobs



Career Opportunity at UCR in Partnership with The Huntington Library

Huntington-University of California Program for the Advancement of Humanities
The College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, in partnership with The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, announces a search for two beginning Assistant Professors to be appointed in the departments of Art History, English or History. The College is searching for scholars whose research will engage deeply with The Huntington’s extraordinary collections, which contain extensive and diverse materials that encourage approaches from a rich variety of perspectives. Scholars whose research investigates the Long Eighteenth-Century or the History and/or Cultures of Science, are particularly encouraged to apply in these areas of great strength in The Huntington Collections.

During their first five years of employment, the appointees to these positions will receive two years of full-time research fellowship in residence at The Huntington, with approval of the second year contingent on adequate research and publication progress by the appointee. Appointment will begin June 30, 2016, with salary commensurate with education and experience.

UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate body. Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college and graduate students. A demonstrable commitment to this mission in research and teaching is a preferred qualification. Advancement through the faculty ranks at the University of California is through a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, occurring every 2-3 years, each of which includes substantial peer input.

Required qualifications include: PhD degree, evidence of excellence in teaching commensurate with experience, and publications appropriate to the candidate’s discipline and experience; and a research agenda that integrates The Huntington collections. Must have degree by time of appointment, June 30, 2016.

To apply: Applicants must use UCR’s online portal at to submit the following material: cover letter; curriculum vitae; evidence of teaching experience and excellence; the names of three referees familiar with the candidate’s academic qualifications; a three-page statement articulating their interest in Huntington collections; and a writing sample or publication. Inquiries should be addressed to: Professor Steven Hackel, Chair, Huntington/UCR Search Committee, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, University of California, Riverside, at

Review of applications will begin on November 30, 2015.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Jeanette-FAUJeanette Kohl, chair of the Department of the History of Art, gave the commencement speech at UCR’s partner university in Germany, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Kohl was invited by FAU’s chair of the art history department, Professor Christina Strunck. The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between the two universities. The partnership began in 2013, after a graduate student workshop with faculty and students from FAU in Riverside. Kohl and another UCR art history professor, Kris Neville, took a group of seven graduate students on a summer study trip abroad to the German university in 2014. Read more





EvaWattolikEva Wattolik will be teaching as a Visiting Professor for the Winter 2015/16

Wattolik is a researcher and lecturer at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nüremberg. Her research focuses on artistic and media-based strategies of image generation and its theory in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on photography, experimental film and video art. She completed her habilitation (postdoctoral studies) in 2014. Her manuscript on “Time and Form: Modes of Reflection in Film and Video Art” was named one of the best habilitation theses by her home university. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2005, reflected on parody as a term and its application to early comic paintings by Roy Lichtenstein.