International Perspectives on American Art
Symposium hosted by the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and the Art History Department, Johannes Gutenberg University
February 7, 2019
Helmholtz Institute Mainz
Conference Room 1395-00-133/135 (Ground Floor)
In November of 2018, an ambitious exhibition on American art opened at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum & Foundation Corboud in Cologne, Once Upon a Time in America: Three Centuries of American Art. On display in the galleries are over 100 loans of paintings, works on paper, and sculpture from American collections, the majority of which have never been on view in a German museum. It introduces to a primarily German audience important and well-known art objects from the 1700s to the mid-twentieth century, focusing on select periods that influenced and shaped art in America.
This exhibition, in addition to a number of other more focused thematic exhibits held recently in Germany, such as Constructing the World: Art and Economy (Mannheim Kunsthalle, 2018-2019) and From Hopper to Rothko: America’s Road to Modernism (Museum Barberini, 2017), highlights the strong interest found outside of the United States in understanding and interpreting past and modern American culture through visual material.
The symposium, International Perspectives on American Art, brings together scholars from the United States and Europe, from university departments of American Studies, Art History, Literature, and from museum curatorial positions, that are presently engaged in exploring American art within a broad context. Seeking to stimulate interdisciplinary exchange, the symposium is an opportunity to explore the reception and perception of American art outside of the United States in museum exhibitions, research, and in the academic classroom.
10:00 Registration and coffee
10:30 Welcome Remarks
Prof. Dr. Winfried Fluck (Freie Universität Berlin)
“Es war einmal in Amerika: Changing Narratives About American Art”
Dr. Anna O. Marley (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia)
“Making History: The challenges of Curating American Art in a Hemispheric Context”
12:00 Lunch, provided for all attendees
Dr. Eleanor Harvey (Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.)
“A Mammoth Undertaking: Alexander von Humboldt’s Influence on American Cultural Identity.”
Susanne Scharf (Frankfurt am Main)
“I congratulate you heartily: The 1910 Exhibitions of American Art in Berlin and Munich”
Dr. Christian Berger (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)
“Dematerialized Art in a Transnational Context”
Prof. Dr. Ursula Frohne (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
“Radio as ‘Minor’ Art Practice — Intermedia Experiments in American Art”
16:30 Discussion Panel/ Closing Remarks
18:30 Dinner (speakers only)
Through the generosity of the Terra Foundation for American Art, stipends are available for early career scholars and students at all stages of academic study enrolled in German universities to help offset travel costs to and from the symposium. Only early career scholars and university students living outside of Mainz and Wiesbaden are eligible. To be considered, please submit a statement of 500 words explaining your interest in American art and the symposium. Email the application by 18 January to email@example.com; successful applicants will be notified by 22 January.
Header image: George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811–1879; The Wood-Boat, 1850; oil on canvas mounted on board; 25 1/8 in. × 30 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 14:1951
This symposium is made possible through support from the