Tag Archive for Art and Art History Department

Budding Architects Design Wildlife Viewing Station Under Huge’s Wing

Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art

Assistant Professor of Art Elijah Huge and 11 of his students have designed four proposals for a bird-viewing observatory for a 700-acre nature preserve in Southbury, Conn., and plan to build one by the end of April.

It is the third major design-build project for North Studio, the faculty-student design collaborative Huge established in 2006. The students are all members of his Architecture II class.

Previous North Studio projects have included a bird-viewing platform for an Audubon Society sanctuary in Portland, Conn., and a Sukkah, or temporary Jewish ritual structure, at Wesleyan.

Audubon wildlife sanctuary Bent of the River is expected to pick one of the four designs by the end of March to allow for April construction.

“Everyone involved in the studio – the students, the teaching apprentice, the instructor, the clients – are all working together to leverage individual talents and creativity,” says Huge, who returned to Wesleyan this semester from a sabbatical at The University of California-Berkeley. “The studio offers students an opportunity to engage a ‘real-world’ architectural project.”

Schiff Featured on “Where We Live”

A discussion with Jeffrey Schiff, professor of art, on his new art installation, “Double Vision: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,” was recently featured on WNPR’s ‘Where We Live.‘ “Double Vision” is on view in Wesleyan’s Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, Feb. 27.

Schiff speaks about his exhibit, inspired by the writings of the American Philosophical Society -a group which included Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and other early American luminaries.

5 Questions With . . . Elijah Huge on Architecture

Assistant Professor of Art Elijah Huge is teaching architecture design studios, which are part of the Studio Arts Program curriculum.

This issue, we ask “5 Questions” of Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art. Huge returned to Wesleyan this fall after a sabbatical spent at the University of California-Berkeley. He teaches architecture.

Q: What’s your favorite building, or group of buildings, at Wesleyan, and why?

A: There are a number of outstanding buildings on campus, but my favorite group of buildings is the Center for the Arts, without question. The CFA is invested with a highly refined and clearly articulated architectural identity and reflects an amazing level of cultural ambition on the part of the university.  On the one hand, the buildings are of their moment within American 20th architectural history, but their unusual, even primitive use of solid, monolithic limestone blocks – a decidedly un-modern building material – is simply amazing.  

Student-Created ‘SplitFrame’ Wins AIA National Award

Split Frame was designed and built by Elijah Huge's students.

Wesleyan’s architecture design class and its Research-Design-Build Studio have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2010 Small Projects Practitioners Awards. They were recognized for the observation platform “SplitFrame” they created for the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn., in 2008. The studio and class are overseen by Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art, assistant professor of environmental studies.

Last year the class and studio created the Sukkah on campus as one of their projects.

Shapiro Translates, Schorr Illustrates French Book of Poems

Book by Shapiro and Schorr

Book translated by Norman Shapiro and illustratd by David Schorr.

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literature, translated Jean de La Fontaine’s poems in La Fontaine’s Bawdy, Revised Edition: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers. The 273-page book was published by Black Widow Press/Commonwealth Books, Inc. in Boston, Mass. on Jan. 16.

David Schorr, professor of art, illustrated the book.

The Contes et nouvelles en vers of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) were published at various times throughout his life, often these works threatened to get him in trouble with both Church and Academie. This translation covers the entire corpus in all their variety. The mildly suggestive mingle with the frankly bawdy rendered in the spirit they were written in and scrupulously faithful to one of France’s greatest poets.

Art by Schorr, Shinohara at New York Gallery

Artwork by David Schorr.

Artwork by David Schorr.

David Schorr, professor of art, and Keiji Shinohara, artist-in-residence of art and East Asian studies, are showing their artwork at the DFN Gallery, 64 East 79th Street in New York, N.Y.

Their work is featured in an exhibit titled “Looks Good on Paper,” which runs through March 6.

Schorr has been a faculty member at Wesleyan since 1971 where he has taught printmaking, drawing, typography, book design, graphic design and calligraphy. Fifteen years ago he turned to canvas for a series of paintings about AIDS and early death so he could layer the backgrounds, dissolving the figures in the ether of space to suggest loss and memory.

He is represented by Mary Ryan Gallery in New York City where he shows regularly. In addition has had solo shows in Chicago, Milan, Rome, Naples, Paris, Athens, Toronto, Montreal and Copenhagen. His work has been reproduced extensively in the New York Times, The New Yorker and most significantly The New Republic, for which he has done more than 300 portraits.

His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Fogg Museum (Harvard), The New York Public Library, The Israel Museum (Jerusalem), and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Artwork by Keiji Shinohara.

Artwork by Keiji Shinohara.

Shinohara began studying traditional Ukiyo-e techniques at Uesugi Studio, Kyoto, Japan in 1975, and in 1981, he became a Master Printmaker of woodblock printing. He’s had solo shows at the Art Zone, Kaguaoka Gallery in Kyoto, Japan in 2008,  the Tremaine Gallery at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. and Wesleyan’s Davison Art Center in 2008.

Shinohara’s natural abstractions are printed on rice paper with water-based inks from woodblocks in the Ukiyo-e style – the traditional Japanese printmaking method dating to 600 CE. Keiji Shinohara has been a visiting artist at over 100 venues.

He has received grants from the Japan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and his work is in many public collections, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and the Library of Congress.

Service Learning Class Studies Local Cemetery

Elizabeth Milroy, director of the Art History Program and professor of art history and American studies, and Anne Calder '11 use a scanning tool to survey grave markers in the Washington/Vine Street Cemetery Oct. 2.

Elizabeth Milroy, director of the Art History Program and professor of art history and American studies, and Anne Calder '11 use a scanning tool to survey grave markers in the Washington/Vine Street Cemetery Oct. 2.

On Oct. 10, 1741, Mr. William Bartlit was laid to rest in the Vine/Washington Street Cemetery near Wesleyan University. According to his gravestone, Bartlit was “aged about 70 years” and was “the first interred in this yard.”

“Mr. Bartlit has the oldest marker in this cemetery,” says Elizabeth Milroy, director of the Art History Program and professor of art history and American studies at Wesleyan University. “We would like to find out more about him.”

Milroy, who is teaching the Service Learning Course AMST 205 “The Study
of Material Culture: Marking the Past in Middletown,” is assigning each of her eight students particular grave markers in the cemetery. Students will conduct research on a deceased person, while studying how artifacts can mark the history of space and place within the urban environment of Middletown.

John Hinchman, a lecturer and research specialist in the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania, teaches Anne Calder '11 how to conduct a digital site survey using a total station. The equipment records the 3-D location of the corner of each stone on the site, and results in an accurate representation of the cemetery. Calder is enrolled in the class, "The Study of Material Culture: Marking the Past in Middletown."

John Hinchman, a lecturer and research specialist in the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania, teaches Anne Calder '11 how to conduct a digital site survey using a total station. The equipment records the 3-D location of the corner of each stone on the site, and results in an accurate representation of the cemetery. Calder is enrolled in the class, "The Study of Material Culture: Marking the Past in Middletown."

In addition, students will gain a working knowledge of the theoretical approaches that have been applied to material culture studies, as well as practical experience in the physical and contextual analysis of artifacts and cultural landscapes.

On Oct. 2-3, John Hinchman, a lecturer and research specialist in the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania, taught Milroy’s students how to use a “total station” and scanner tool to map the cemetery’s terrain and grave markers. The collected data is imported into engineering software AutoCAD, and as a result, the class will have a detailed and accurate map of the entire cemetery’s physical layout.

“There’s no paper work on this cemetery, so we know no more about who is buried here than what their headstones say,” says Augie DeFrance, president of the Middletown Old Burial Ground Association.

At the end of the semester,

Jewish Community Celebrates Holiday in Student-Designed WesSukkah

WesSukkah, designed and built by Wesleyan's Architecture II research-design-build studio, is constructed with 1,600 culms of bamboo, measuring a combined 19,200 linear feet. The Wesleyan community is invited to the WesSukkah dedication at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on Foss Hill.

WesSukkah, designed and built by Wesleyan's Architecture II research-design-build studio, is constructed with 1,600 culms of bamboo, measuring a combined 19,200 linear feet. The Wesleyan community is invited to the WesSukkah dedication at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on Foss Hill.

Every October, Wesleyan’s Jewish community dwells in a temporary structure built for the festival of Sukkot. For eight days, students study, socialize, mediate, eat, host events and occasionally sleep in the religious building.

This holiday, the Jewish students will celebrate the Israelites 40-year journey to the Holy Land inside an airy, five-mound curving structure of carbon-steel clad in bamboo. Designed by 15 students enrolled in Architecture II, a research-design-build studio, the “WesSukkah” provides a sacred space that adheres to a complex, medieval Rabbinic building code.

“The students have crafted something which is both compelling and meaningful for Wesleyan’s campus,” explains the studio’s instructor, Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art. “The structure maintains its symbolic and literal connection to the broader landscape through its materiality and permeability.”

WesSukkah was honored with a 2009 "Faith and Form" Award for art and architecture from the American Institute of Architects. (Photo by Gideon Finck '11)

WesSukkah was honored with a 2009 "Faith and Form" Award for art and architecture from the American Institute of Architects. (Photo by Gideon Finck '11)

The students designed WesSukkah with 1,600 culms of bamboo, 46 high carbon steel pipes, six steel rods, five spools of monofilament test line and steel rebar. The structure will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on the top of Foss Hill.

The final design is a result of an intensive sequence of research, design, fabrication phases and client presentations.

Initially, the project clients,

Kress Awards Aksamija for Studies on Sala Bologna

Nadja Aksamija, assistant professor of art history, received a grant for $13,500 from the Kress Foundation for her research on “Sala Bologna at the Vatican.” Her grant, which was awarded May 1, spans for one and a half years.

Paoletti Honored at Art History in Renaissance Symposium

John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, will retire from Wesleyan in May.

John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, will retire from Wesleyan in May.

Dante, Bolognese poetry, Leonardo and Quattrocento were among the topics addressed at the Art and History in Renaissance Italy Symposium May 1-2 on campus.

The event was held in honor of John Paoletti, Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, who is retiring in May. Paoletti is an internationally-prominent scholar in art history with much of his work focused on the Italian Renaissance.

“This symposium is a unique one that honors John’s 37 years of service to Wesleyan, and his foundational role in developing the university’s program in Art History,” says Joseph Siry, professor of art history. “The symposium consisted of papers given by scholars in this field, who came to Wesleyan from around the United States, each of whom has had a special professional connection to John’s career.”

Art and Literature was the subject of talks on May 1. Judith Brown, professor of history, was the moderator. Debra Pincus, from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., spoke on “When Did Dante Get to Look like Dante?”

Daniel Zolli ‘07 discussed “The ‘Hypnerotmachia Poliphili’ (1499) and Aldus Manutius’ Humanist Literary Enterprise.”

Nadja Aksamija, assistant professor of art history, lectured on “Sacralizing the Bolognese Landscape: Architecture, Poetry, and the Counter-Reformation Villa.”

Quattrocento Art and Patronage was the subject of talks on May 2. Clark Maines, Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, professor of medieval studies, was the moderator. Presenters and their topics included:

Shelley Zuraw, from the University of Georgia, spoke on “What Brunelleschi Learned in Pistoia: The Competition Panel Again.”

Sharon Strocchia, of Emory University, discussed “Abbess Piera de’ Medici and Artistic Patronage at S. Verdiana, Florence, c. 1450.″

David Drogin, of the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, spoke on “Sculpture, Patronage, Emulation and the Bentivoglio of Bologna.”

Cinquecento and Sculpture Art and Literature was the subject of talks for the third session on May 2. Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history, professor of letters, served as the moderator. Presenters and their topics included:

William Wallace, of Washington University, St. Louis, discussed “On Location…or why go? Reflections on Conducting Research in Italy.”

Gary Radke, of Syracuse University spoke on  “Leonardo, Student of Sculpture.”

Roger Crum, of the University of Dayton, discussed “Pieces, and, Yes, Masterpieces: The Use of Crying over Spilled Marble in Renaissance Florence.”

And Michael Cole, of the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on “Clothed Men in Piazza.”

All three sessions will concluded with questions and discussion. A reception for all symposium participants and attendees was held in the Russell House.

A private dinner at the Inn at Middletown following the symposium honored Paoletti, who came to Wesleyan in 1972, with the idea that he would work to build a program in art history. Gradually, over the course of the next 27 years and under his leadership, the program grew to a faculty of eight full-time appointments, a size larger than many Ph.D programs.

At the dinner, David Drogin ’94, assistant chair of the History of Art Department at the State University of New York, announced that a book is being published in Paoletti’s honor.

Its title is Patronage and Italian Renaissance Sculpture and it is under contract with Ashgate Press, with an expected publication date in 2010. The book is edited by Drogin and Kathleen Christian ’94. Both Drogin and Christian are former students of Paoletti.

“The project had been kept a secret from John, until we announced the book and presented him with a table-of-contents at the symposium dinner,” Drogin says. “It includes chapters by several of the symposium participants, as well as by several other leading Renaissance scholars from around the world.”

During his time at Wesleyan, Paoletti has set standards for teaching and scholarly excellence. While publishing on his first love, the Italian Renaissance, he also produced a series of distinguished exhibitions of 20th century art and accompanying catalogues, making him one of the few scholars active today who publish in two different periods of art history.

“As John’s career at Wesleyan comes to a close, his colleagues will miss the knowledge that he has shared freely, the advice about pedagogy that he has given freely, but most of all his leadership and unfailing goodwill,” Maines says.

Paoletti to Retire After Nearly 4 Decades at Wesleyan

John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, will retire from Wesleyan in May.

John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, will retire from Wesleyan in May. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

For 37 years, John Paoletti has explored the ideas and histories that produced both well-known and not so well-known works of Renaissance and modern art with thousands of Wesleyan students.

This May, Paoletti will retire from Wesleyan’s Art and Art History Department, ending a longtime career of teaching artists such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donatello, and Michelangelo as well as the patronage of the Medici family.

“I will really miss working with the Wesleyan students and faculty colleagues across the curriculum,” Paoletti says from his office in the Davison Art Center. “Both have always been keenly critical of the issues at hand and have asked tough questions aimed at arriving at clearer understanding of whatever matter was being discussed.”

Paoletti joined Wesleyan in 1972 as an associate professor of art history. At the time, he was one of two art historians on campus;