WAI Lecture Series on Renaissance Art & Culture
Shanghai Sep 15, 2023 – Sep 20, 2024

Jeanette Kohl will present on Friday, June 21, 2024 (see below)

Established in 2020, the World Art History Institute (WAI) at Shanghai International Studies University has firmly established itself as a leading research institution closely affiliated with the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA). Its primary mission is to promote World Art Studies in China and foster collaboration within the global network of art history institutions, museums, archives, and libraries. In commemoration of its founding, WAI Shanghai will inaugurate the Distinguished WAI Lecture Series in September 2023.

The annual program for the 2023-24 academic year will focus on Renaissance art and culture, featuring twelve world-leading scholars who have made significant contributions to various fields of Renaissance studies. These contributions will be presented through a variety of academic activities, including public lectures, roundtable discussions, collaborative workshops, book launch events, translation initiatives, and publication projects. The lecture series will take place in multiple Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shenyang.

Individuals residing outside mainland China are cordially invited to register for virtual participation in the lecture series: https://forms.gle/LAj5SkGCuy7Pgu1x9
Registered attendees will receive timely email notifications containing Zoom links before each scheduled event.

7.30 to 9.30 pm (incl. reception) UTC+8 Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, on each scheduled date.
12.30 to 2.30 pm UTC+1, London
1.30 to 3.30 pm, UTC+2, Berlin
7.30 to 9.30 am, UTC-4, New York, Washington D.C.
* The above-mentioned times are given in summer daylight saving time (DST). When DST ends, please adjust your time according to your time zone.

Where? The lecture series will be held on-site at various locations in Shanghai and will also be accessible through live streaming or via Zoom.

Friday, 15. September 2023
Frank Fehrenbach, University of Hamburg
Enlivening Eyes in Early Modern European Art [hybrid]

Friday, 27 October 2023
Caroline van Eck, University of Cambridge
Groaning Statues and Weeping Paintings: How to Understand the Attribution of Emotions and Life to Artworks [online]

Friday, 15 December 2023
Marzia Faietti, Università di Bologna & Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Leonardo 1473, 1481 circa. La natura e la storia in punta di penna [hybrid]

Friday, 26 January 2024
Johannes Grave, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena
Wandering Contemplation. A New Venetian Pictorial Concept and Its Roots in Late Medieval Piety [online]

Friday, 23 February 2024
Ulrich Pfisterer, Ludwig-Maximilians-University and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich
Raphael’s Gift: Friendship and Painted Art Theory in the Renaissance [hybrid]

Friday, 26 April 2024
Maryan Ainsworth, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Jan van Eyck’s Crucifixion and Last Judgment: Solving a Conundrum [hybrid]

Friday, 24 May 2024
Alison Wright, University College of London
Praised to the Skies: Elevation, Framing and Sacred Space in the Renaissance Pala [hybrid]

Friday, 21 June, 2024
Jeanette Kohl, University of California, Riverside
A Murder, a Mummy, and a Bust – Forensics of a Portrait Sculpture [hybrid]

Friday, 26 July 2024
Damian Dombrowski, University of Würzburg & Martin von Wagner Museum
“Intellligenter amare”: Botticelli’s Saint Augustine [hybrid]

Friday, 23 August 2024
Maria Loh, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Titian’s Touch [online]

Friday, 6 September 2024
Caspar Pearson, The Warburg Institute, University of London
Building and Thinking: Leon Battista Alberti on Architecture and Urbanism [hybrid]

Friday, 20 September 2024
Andreas Beyer, University of Basel
Donatello. And What We Know About Him [online or hybrid]


Two Art History Doctoral Candidates Receive Fellowships

Story by: Jessica Ruiz Vega, CHASS student writer for Inside UCR


Lily Allen (UCR)
Lily Allen (UCR)

Lily Allen, a UC Riverside fifth-year history of art student, was one of eight doctor of philosophy students from across the country who were awarded a Tyson Predoctoral Fellowship at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  

“When I received the award I was overjoyed, followed by feelings of gratitude for my advisor, my letter writers, my peers in the program, and everyone in the Department of the History of Art at UCR who has supported me and my work over the years,” Allen said of receiving the full academic year opportunity. 

The Tyson Predoctoral Fellowship was established by the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc in 2012. It serves to support “post-doctoral researchers, and senior scholars from any field who are researching American art to apply.” The fellows selected can access the art and library collections of Crystal Bridges and have their full time writing fully funded. Stipends range from $17,000 to $34,000 per semester.

This kind of accomplishment is not new to Allen, who has received many awards, including the 2022-23 Center for Ideas and Society Humanities Graduate Student Research Award; 2022-23 Barbara B. Brink Travel Award; 2021-22 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award; and the 2019 UCR California Museum of Photography Curatorial Fellowship. Allen’s concentration is American art and she expects to graduate in spring 2025. Allen’s career goal is to work as a college or university professor in art history.  

Cambra Sklarz (UCR)
Cambra Sklarz (UCR)

Cambra Sklarz, an art history doctoral student with a concentration in American art, has been awarded the Diane and Michael Maher Curatorial Fellowship in American Art at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her two-year fellowship begins in September 2023.  

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with such a fantastic collection and learn about museum work from wonderful leaders in the field,” Sklarz said. “The fellowship is an ideal way for me to draw upon so many of the interests I’ve pursued at UCR while continuing to develop new skills and perspectives on American art.”



Monumental mistakes? The Statue and Its Discontents

Lecture and panel discussion with Jeanette Kohl and Malcolm Baker, Universität Hamburg, June 8, 2023.

HIAS Monumental MistakesFor those concerned with the history of sculpture Robert Musil’s remark that “There is nothing in this world as invisible as a monument” has, alas, always rung very true.

But suddenly over the past three years, everyone is talking about statues. Except they are not. Instead, they are talking about the subjects these statues represent and the culpability of these historical figures for involvement in the slave trade and other crimes of various colonial pasts.

But in this talk four art historians will focus on an aspect of the current debate about statues that has received much less attention.  This is the question about how statues work as representations and the roles played by the conventions and visual rhetoric they employ. How might the terms of the debate shift if more attention was paid to the aesthetics of the statue? Is there an opportunity to think about the aesthetics and politics of the monument together?


  • Malcolm Baker, Art Historian, University of California, Riverside
  • Frank Fehrenbach, Art Historian, Universität Hamburg
  • Jeanette Kohl, Art Historian, University of California, Riverside
  • Iris Wenderholm, Art Historian, Universität Hamburg

Universität Hamburg
Lecture Hall H, Main Building
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1




Join Us for the 2023 Undergraduate Paths Series!

Undergraduate Paths SeriesDemystifying Graduate School in Art History
Tuesday, May 9 at Noon via Zoom

Register at https://tinyurl.com/yedd69dx

This panel brings together current graduate students and faculty in art history. Panelists will discuss graduate school, applications, including how to put together and application and how to choose which programs are appropriate for you. Panelists will discuss their own experiences as graduate students of art history, what it entails, managing expectations and workloads, and strategies for successfully navigating graduate school.

Lily Allen, PhD candidate, UCR
Alan Carillo, PhD student, University of Iowa
Yong Cho, Assistant Professor, UCR
Rebekkah Hart, PhD student, Case Western Reserve University

Putting Your Art History Degree to Work

Tuesday, May 16 at Noon via Zoom

Register at https://tinyurl.com/yckz52tm

This panel brings together working professionals with undergraduate and advanced degrees in art history who have gone on to have a broad range of careers. Panelists will discuss their positions and their career paths, including how their art history degrees prepared them for their positions.

Cosette Bruhns Alonso, Contemporary Publishing Fellow, Penn Libraries, University of Pennsylvania
Maite Alvarez, Project Specialist, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Karen Gudino-Flores, Riverside Public Library, Main Library
Diego Roberto Irigoyen, Digital Resource Specialist, Department of Art History, UCR




2023 Brink Carrott Forster-Hahn Lecture Series

Join Us on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 5pm in ARTS 333

Brink Carrott Forster-Hahn Lecture Series 2023Lily Allen, 2022 Barbara B. Brink Travel Award
Mabel Alvarez’s Portraits in Hawaii, 1939-40
Mabel Alvarez (1891-1985) is one of four artists in my dissertation, which reevaluates the social and creative dynamics of one of L.A.’s first modern art groups — the Art Students League of Los Angeles — through intertwining analyses of the lives and works of Alvarez, Hideo Date, Benji Okubo, and Stanton Macdonald- Wright. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Alvarez returned to the island in 1939 where she produced portraits of children of mixed Hawaiian, Asian, and Iberian heritage. My initial thoughts on this series was that the images’ modernity, sensitivity, and subjectivity made them prime evidence of an argument central to my dissertation: that Alvarez and her fellow artists painted pictures exploring concepts and sentiments that would later resonate with the Asian American Movement. However, what I saw in the various archives I visited in Honolulu has caused me to re-evaluate my hypothesis about this series, revealing connections to dark histories that clash with the portrayals’ apparent progressive potential and make them, in my mind, fraught objects both historically and currently.

Molly Bond, 2022 Françoise Forster-Hahn Travel Award
The Spaces of Relief: A Research Itinerary Across Italy
Relief sculpture flickers between the real and the virtual, mediating between tangible form and illusionistic space — in Renaissance terms, partaking of both “sculptural” and “painterly” effects. My dissertation takes this artform as its focus, broadly seeking to illuminate the complex and dynamic legacy of relief sculpture during the late 16th century in Italy. Primarily I concentrate on a group of bronze casters working in the Marche region during the late Cinquecento, who produced a number of bronze reliefs in and around the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto — home to the Virgin Mary’s miraculous flying house! In this presentation I will speak about
my time as a doctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, especially my travel throughout the Marche as supported by the Forster-Hahn Award. This travel has been crucial for advancing my project: from completing archival and library research, to conducting an extensive photographic campaign of late Cinquecento relief, to exchanging ideas with a diverse, international group of experts in the field of Renaissance studies.

Becky Luo, 2022 Richard G. Carrott Travel Award
Articulating Sociality: Martin Wong Papers at the Fales Library and Special Collections
In a 1991 lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute, Martin Wong announced, “Everyone thinks all I paint are Puerto Ricans, but secretly I paint Chinatown. For about the last ten years I’ve been accumulating a secret stash.” The following photograph documents an underpainting that would become the back of Iglesia Pentecostal, one of nine in a series of storefront paintings. The painting on the verso reveals inklings of secrecy throughout the artist’s interplay of language, visual motifs, and faces, signaling an ambiguous position within the communities he represented. Such ambiguities destabilize belonging as a constant; his acceptance into various social spheres is conditional and mutable. The research trip to NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collections critically contributed to my understanding of Wong’s artworks as occupying a social function. In the fragmented phrases and unfinished sketches of his papers, Wong reflects on, interrogates, and utilizes art to navigate community.



Laura / Aura. Tête-à-tête with a Renaissance Bust

Lecture by Jeanette Kohl at Freie Universität Berlin, April 25, 2023.

Tête-à-tête with a Renaissance bustThe lecture is dedicated to an attempt at a “phenomenology” of female bust portraits of the Quattrocento. The focus is on the enigmatic bust of an unknown woman by Francesco Laurana in the Viennese Kunstkammer, which is characterized by its unusual polychrome. In the context of a comparative object analysis and against the cultural-historical background of a Petrarchan topic, the question of how this and other female busts ‘communicate’ with the viewer and what significance their fragmentary object character has will be pursued. Although not primarily motivated by the art-historical “passion for identifying” (Didi-Huberman), the considerations ultimately lead to a proposed new identification.

Read more (in German) at https://tinyurl.com/ydakhk66
Dr. Kohl’s presentation will be streamed live via WebEx. To register, email italzen@zedat.fu-berlin.de