Retired CHASS History of Art Professor Funds New Student Research Travel Grant

The Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award will help students with art research in other countries
By Mina Shiratsuchi, Student Writer/CHASS Marketing and Communications | 

Studio and archive of Paul Bruscky, Brazil

Studio and archive of Paul Bruscky, Brazil

UCR’s Department of the History of Art has created a new student research travel grant. Started in 2021, the Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award will allow students to extend their research experience outside of campus and fund their trips to research to any country.

The grant is sponsored by a former UCR History of Art professor, Françoise Forster-Hahn, who retired after 35 years of instruction and research. Forster-Hahn taught 19th and 20th century European art history and helped establish the UCR/California Museum of Photography in Riverside. In the past, Forster-Hahn also made contributions to the Richard G. Carrott Travel Award, which supports one History of Art graduate or undergraduate student to travel.

Françoise Forster-Hahn

Françoise Forster-Hahn

“I always felt that it was essential if you do study the visual arts, that you go and actually look at what you study,” Forster-Hahn said. “I encourage students to study culture in general and become knowledgeable about other countries, cultures, and languages.

The $1800 Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award will be presented each spring quarter used to fund independent research traveling during the summer. Although it is primarily for graduate students, undergraduate students who demonstrate an interest in historical art and commitment to research through an honors thesis or research project are also encouraged to apply.

The inaugural award has been awarded to Homer Charles Arnold, a History of Art Ph.D. student researching new media, and emergent globalism of the 1960s and 1970s. Arnold is planning on using the research funds for archival research at the Smithsonian.

UCR students can be awarded one of three travel awards in the History of Art department. Award recipients are able to use the funds to go to any country and connect with established professions from the region.

 

 

 
 

(Art)iculations of Proximity and Mobility
10Th Annual UCR History of Art Graduate Student Conference

Held virtually via Zoom
May 14 and 15, 2021

Register at: https://ucr.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3EaZPB7vSZyEsThVUoDuew

Utagawa Yoshitora, Vehicles on the Streets of Tokyo, 1870. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Utagawa Yoshitora, Vehicles on the Streets of Tokyo, 1870. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has separated and grounded people across the globe to varying degrees over time. It has introduced new notions like the “essential worker”—defined by their closeness to the crisis—and “6 feet” as a safe amount of nearness. It has illuminated mobility and immobility as both privilege and inequality—when some, for example, have the means to flee high-risk environments, while others don’t, and some have the option to stay home, while others must continue to move and engage person-to-person for their livelihood. 

The significance of proximity–understood as nearness in space, time, or relation–and mobility–the ability to move or be moved freely and easily–as both conditions and concepts is perhaps more apparent than before. In fact, art history as a discipline is impacted by certain ideas of proximity and mobility: from early historians’ belief in “distanced” or “objective” narratives; to the methodology of “close-looking”; to the “aura” of the site-specific object; to the importance placed on travel in research. This conference asks: how have “the arts”—defined broadly and including visual and material culture—been shaped by proximity or mobility, and how have they articulated their own vision of closeness and movement as conditions or concepts? What can they tell us about how proximity and mobility have been valued, ignored, related, defined, interrogated, or challenged across time, places, and peoples? Why do these (art)iculations matter? This conference seeks papers that speak to these and related questions, and encourages submissions from across the disciplines and with an expansive notion of the arts.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Finley, Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art, Cornell University

Visit the AHGSA conference website for more information:  https://ahgsaconference.ucr.edu/

Jason Weems Wins the John E. Miller Prize for Best Article with Holding the Soil: A Note on the Conservation of Midwesternness.

 

Middle West Review Cover ArtWith great pleasure, the John E. Miller Prize Committee announces the winner of the 2020 prize for best article or essay to appear in the journal Middle West Review during the 2020 calendar year. Narrowing down the field of contenders to one top choice was daunting, given the high quality of scholarship and intriguing arguments present in all the articles under consideration. Jason Weems’ contribution, “Holding the Soil: A Note on the Conservation of Midwesternness,” went beyond those parameters, however. Weems, an art historian, employs innovative sources to arrive at a nuanced analysis about the widespread notion of midwestern identity as being rooted in the soil. Weems employs the most common depictions of midwestern landscapes in the 19th century, plat books, to identify midwestern identity of the time as resting on widespread availability of land rather than on the soil itself. Weems posits this as an economic relationship in which short-term exploitation of the soil was a far more typical experience of Midwesterners than long-term attachment. This “frontier mentality,” as Weems describes it, lasted only as long as the frontier itself. Subsequent generations of Midwesterners looked upon the landscape with different eyes. Weems argues that “it is probably no coincidence that Midwesterners became aware of the eroding status of their landscape in the same moment that they also saw the need to reorient regional identity.” (p. 132) The signature Midwestern trait of rootedness to the soil, Weems explains, came from second-generation residents who abandoned their frontier mentality – a horizontal orientation – for a deeper, vertical rootedness in place. Weems contrasts the horizontal plat book images, which appeal to the eye but also to the economic value of the land, with vertical photographs of the soil taken in the 1930s, showing soil depth and health, agricultural potential, but also fragility.  The John E. Miller Prize Committee deemed Weems’ analysis a substantial contribution to the historical understanding of midwestern identity formation and proudly bestows the 2020 Prize on Jason Weems’ Fall 2020 article, “Holding the Soil.” 

 

The Miller prize is named for the long-time South Dakota State University history professor John E. Miller, who died unexpectedly in May 2020. Miller was always a strong supporter of Middle West Review and the Midwestern History Association. Miller, a Midwesterner with roots in Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, and Missouri, Miller was the author of several books and many articles on Midwestern history.

 

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Inauguration of The Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award

Francoise Foster-Hahn

The UCR History of Art Department is proud to inaugurate a new graduate student research travel grant, The Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award, which will be presented annually beginning in 2021. The award is sponsored by Emeritus Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Teaching Françoise Forster-Hahn, who retired from UCR in 2013 after 35 years of teaching and research in the History of Art Department. Forster-Hahn is an internationally lauded scholar of German art from the 18th-20th centuries. She was a foundational contributor to graduate studies in the department and a gracious mentor of students. The department is indebted to Françoise for her guiding intellect and her continuing, generous support of our program and students.

Department of the History of Art & the Asian Studies Program present:
Northeast Asia Council Distinguished Speaker Lecture

King Sejong the Great and the Cultural History of Weather, Religion, and Wealth in Early Chosŏn Korea

Join us on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 3:00pm (PST) — via Zoom
Register at http://tinyurl.com/3cm8wtkq

JunhAhnTalkJuhn Ahn Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Buddhist and Korean Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

King Sejong (r. 1418-1450), whose much adored image is prominently displayed on Korea’s green-colored banknote and in the middle of Gwanghwamun Square, is often, if not always, remembered and celebrated for his role in the creation of the Korean alphabet, his passion for science, and his love for the common people. This image of the much beloved king, which developed under unique historical circumstances, obscures more than it reveals. Nationalistic efforts to paint King Sejong as an ideal Confucian monarch germinated during the colonial period and later gained steam after the fall of Korea’s first president Syngman Rhee in 1960. But, needless to say, King Sejong was more than just a caring benevolent Confucian monarch. Like many others who occupied the Chosŏn throne, Sejong was a complex figure who sought creative and politically expedient ways to address concerns that continued to trouble the relatively young Chosŏn dynasty. Extreme weather conditions, sharp population growth, shifting geopolitical winds, radical environmental transformations, and resistance to the state’s encroachment on private enterprise proved to be the greatest sources of concern. As Sejong and his predecessors knew well, these concerns could not be addressed without first addressing the so-called Buddhist problem. This talk will take a close look at the growing concerns about weather, religion, and wealth in Early Chosŏn Korea and shed new light on this oft-neglected aspect of Sejong and his reign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department of the History of Art – 2021 Work in Progress Series

GOOD TO THINK WITH: Rembrandt’s Aristotle with a Bust of Homer

Join us on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 5:15 pm (PST) — via Zoom
Register at https://tinyurl.com/y4vgprbz

Dr. Jeanette Kohl
Professor of Art History, UC Riverside

In this work-in-progress talk, art historian Jeanette Kohl will discuss the historical and ‘phenomenological’ significance of bust portraits as powerful objects of individual remembrance and intimate dialogue. She will do this through the lens of a painting: Rembrandt’s “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer,” one of the most celebrated works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An introductory chapter from her upcoming book “The Life of Busts. Sculpted Portraits in Fifteenth-Century Italy,” the study also presents a novel interpretation of Rembrandt’s enigmatic painting.