In 2012-13, members of the Art & Architecture Department welcomed Liliana Leopardi, a specialist in Italian Renaissance art, to the faculty. She received her Ph.D. in art history from New York University and previously taught at Chapman University in California (continuing to serve as the East Coast Representative and Board Member at Large for the Art Historians of Southern California). She has been instrumental in the founding of the Art History Society, a new student organization at the Colleges, and serves as its advisor. She spent several days in April as a scholar in residence at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. We also prepared to bid farewell to beloved professors Elena Ciletti and Mark Jones, who are retiring. Elena Ciletti’s four decades of teaching inspired a spring exhibition at the Colleges’ Davis Gallery of Art, titled Double Vision: Woman as Image and Image-Maker; she contributed an essay to the catalogue and showed a selection of her collages. Mark Jones co-directed a study abroad program in January: “The Revolutionary Power of a Love-In with Elephants: Environmentalism, Peace and Healing in Thailand.”
The department as a whole was remarkably productive over the course of the year. Pat Mathews completed a four-year term on the College Art Association Board of Directors. Kirin Makker won prestigious fellowships for 2012-13 and 2013-14 to support her research on “Myths of Main Street.” She, Jeffrey Blankenship, Pat Mathews, and Liliana Leopardi all made good progress on their respective book manuscripts, and Lara Blanchard wrote five chapters for her forthcoming co-authored textbook on Asian art history. Kirin Makker also published a peer-reviewed article, and Liliana Leopardi and Lara Blanchard both had articles accepted to journals and edited collections. Between them, Liliana Leopardi, Elena Ciletti, Kirin Makker, and Jeffrey Blankenship gave nineteen academic presentations and invited lectures. Christine Chin, who spent the year as a Fisher Center Research Fellow, had a solo show in the Davis Gallery and was invited to participate in curated shows at Northlight Gallery in Tucson and the Rochester Contemporary in Rochester, while Nick Ruth participated in sixteen juried exhibitions (winning awards in two) and curated a themed exchange portfolio. Phillia Yi had a solo exhibition at the University of Rochester, and their library acquired some of her work for its collection. Ted Aub has been working on a commissioned piece. Of course, the faculty continued its tradition of distinguished teaching, with Nick Ruth and Pat Mathews supervising Honors students in studio art and art history. Stan and Pat Mathews co-directed the Colleges’ study abroad program in Rome in Spring 2013 – a program that members of the department will now lead annually. While in Rome, Stan Mathews sat for a proficiency diploma in advanced Italian from the Accademia della Lingua Italiana. Visual Resources Curator Kathryn Vaughn received a Plotkin Grant, which will allow the Davis Gallery to begin educational programming for area school groups; she also worked closely with students completing an art collection internship to select works of art and produce the catalogue for Double Vision. Finally, the department began to participate in the Teaching Fellows program through the Center for Teaching and Learning, allowing advanced art history and architectural studies majors to provide help to students enrolled in courses in those areas.