Dr. Lucy Curzon, associate professor of art history, was named to a three-year term as a College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board Faculty Fellow. The Leadership Board of the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes its most promising or most accomplished teacher/scholars, individuals early in their careers who demonstrate exceptional promise or faculty members who have brought distinction to the College and University throughout their careers. Curzon will receive a $5,000/year stipend for three years.
Curzon teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on modern and contemporary art, and contemporary practice and community engagement. Her current research focuses on national identity and visual culture, particularly relating to the interwar, wartime and early postwar periods in Great Britain. She has also published on contemporary portrait painting. In 2018, Curzon received the Historians of British Artist Book Award for Exemplary Scholarship on the Period after 1800 for her book, “Mass-Observation and Visual Culture: Depicting Everyday Lives in Britain” (Routledge, 2017).
For more information about UA Department of Art and Art History programs, click here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
In medieval art, it is rare to know the name of an artist, but the names of the clergy who managed payment for construction projects are often in the records. Thanks to a UA College Academy of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (CARSCA) grant, this past June, Assistant Professor Dr. Jennifer Feltman traveled to Paris and Amiens, France, to study the books read and written by the clergy of the Cathedral of Amiens for a new project that proposes a way to understand how sculptural programs were designed.
“I primarily consulted twelfth- and early-thirteenth century biblical manuscripts, but also some sermons and commentary—all of these manuscripts are unillustrated, which may seem a strange source for an art historian. But I was studying them not only for their textual context, but also for the layout of text and commentary on each folio. Bibles of the twelfth century were often organized into columns with a main text and commentary in the margins. It is my supposition that the façade of Amiens preserves a pattern of thought, shaped by the layout of texts; it also brings together a variety of texts available in the cathedral library. So, while sculptures certainly aren’t the same as a manuscript of the Bible, they might be called a stone Biblia, using the original sense of the word for Bible—a collection of texts.”
Dr. Feltman is currently completing a book manuscript, Moral Theology and the Cathedral: Sculptures of the Last Judgment in Thirteenth-Century France. The book illuminates the ways in which Parisian moral theology was disseminated through clerical networks across the dioceses of France and made visible in sculptural programs at the cathedrals of Chartres, Paris, Reims and Amiens. With the support of the NEH, she has developed a companion website: Portals of the Last Judgment - Chartres, Paris, Reims, Amiens.
Dr. Feltman teaches courses in medieval, Early Christian, Byzantine, and ancient art history.
For more information about UA Department of Art and Art History programs, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
UA art instructor Wade Folger MacDonald received the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 2018 Emerging Artist Award. The award recognizes exceptional early career artists and helps promote their work internationally for the year. As part of the award, MacDonald participated in an exhibition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburg, Penn., during this year's NCECA conference and addressed the conference with an artist talk. A generous monetary prize is also granted to the award recipients. In addition, an exhibition titled Parallel/Collision that MacDonald proposed and is co-organizing has been accepted for this year's NCECA conference. Here is a video of MacDonald's talk:
He also wrote a post, titled "Becoming an Artist and Advice for the Future" for the NCECA Blog. MacDonald teaches courses in ceramics and art foundations in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
When President Trump hung a portrait of President Andrew Jackson in a prominent spot in the Oval Office, in hopes that Americans would associate Trump with the controversial president who fought for the “common man,” it helped put Jackson back in the public discourse. Jackson – unusually for his day – carefully crafted his public image – one thing the two presidents have in common. And UA assistant professor of art history Dr. Rachel Stephens is helping to clarify that conversation.
Stephens’ monograph – the first book-length study of Andrew Jackson's personal portrait artist – has recently hit the bookshelves. Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture, from the University of South Carolina Press was published in June 2018. In it, Dr. Stephens examines the role of Earl, Jackson’s “Court Painter,” in Jackson’s inner circle and the influence of his portraits on Jackson’s political career and historical legacy.
We asked Dr. Stephens a few questions about what she hopes her book will bring to readers. Here are her answers:
What will we learn about Andrew Jackson by reading your book that we didn’t know before?
RS: Andrew Jackson's reputation precedes him, but few realize that he actually hired a full-time artist. Artists were always clamoring to paint the early presidents, and dozens of artists painted Jackson, but in order to control his own visual message, he hired Earl's services full time, and Earl even lived at Jackson's plantation and at the White House. I believe that Earl and Jackson collaborated on the portraits, and that each one was intended to respond to the current events of Jackson's life. Earl and Jackson became very close friends over the course of their 21-year friendship, and Earl is buried in the Jackson family cemetery at the Hermitage.
How many paintings total did Earl paint of Andrew Jackson?
RS: Earl painted untold numbers of portraits of Jackson. He painted him almost daily for fifteen or more years. An unfinished portrait of Jackson was on his easel when he died. The exact number is impossible to calculate because Earl didn't sign his works and records for them do not exist, but there are dozens of them!
How many times a day did Earl paint images of AJ?
RS: Seemingly, Earl was employed full time in painting Jackson. Visitors to Jackson's White House regularly mention Earl at his easel in the background or in his studio. Depending on the nature of the portrait, it might take Earl anywhere from a few days, to over a year to complete a portrait.
What’s the most important thing you hope to communicate to readers with this book?
RS: I'm so happy to see the book in print! I hope it will educate readers about the significant impact that Ralph E. W. Earl had on Jackson's career and also the importance of his contribution to American Art.
Rachel Stephens is an assistant professor of art history in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. Her research investigates the art and visual culture of the antebellum era, particularly in the South. For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/graduate-programs/art-requirements/.
A book by Dr. Lucy Curzon, associate professor of art history, has received the Historians of British Artist Book Award for Exemplary Scholarship on the Period after 1800. The book is “Mass-Observation and Visual Culture: Depicting Everyday Lives in Britain” (Routledge, 2017). The book critically analyzes the role that visual culture played in the early development of the innovative British anthropological research group founded in 1937.
Assistant Professor of art history Dr. Jennifer M. Feltman published an article, “The Last Judgement Porch at Lincoln Cathedral Over the Longue Durée: Iconography, Interaction, and Religious Thought,” in Devotional Interaction in Medieval Britain and its Afterlives, edited by Elisa A. Foster, Julia Perratorre, and Steven Rosenski. Leiden: Brill, 2018, pp.103-126.
Assistant Professor of art Matt Mitros was invited to show his art work in the exhibition, A Southern Table, Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, Demorest, GA.
Mitros' work, along with a work by Instructor Wade MacDonald, was accepted into the juried exhibition, Small Favors XIII, at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Associate Professor of art Chris Jordan received the juror’s award for his image, Emptying, in the exhibition Myths, Legends and Dreams at the Vermont Photoplace Gallery in Middlebury, Vt. in March 2018. https://art.ua.edu/loupe/art-professors-work-receives-jurors-award/
Associate Professor of art Pete Schulte's artwork was included in Spring/Break Art Show: Frontiers, part of the annual Armory Art Show in New York City in early March. His graphite, gouache and ink drawing on paper titled, "A Letter Edged In Black," (2017, 15 x 15 inches) was mentioned in the preview article in ArtNews.
For more information about the UA Department of Art and Art History and its programs, visit this link: https://art.ua.edu/academics/ or contact the department at (205) 348-5967.
Atlanta’s Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre commissioned UA assistant professor Jane Cassidy (Art and Art History, digital media) with Dashboard Projects’ sculptor Kelly O’Brien, and dance and performance collective Fly On A Wall to create a space-themed installation for newborns to 2-year-olds and their caregivers as part of Alliance’s “Theatre for the Very Young Series.” Cassidy and O’Brien created video installations and sculptural elements for "Babies in Space," an interactive outer-space playscape and performance that was described as “a touchable, jumpable, mesmerizing space with a Brian Eno-like soundtrack” by Creative Loafing. More than 1,200 babies and caregivers took part in the interactive performance from May to September, 2016.
Two works by Assistant Professor Pete Schulte’s were included in Atlanta’s Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia critically acclaimed exhibition, Abstraction Today. One was singled out in Burnaway’s comprehensive review of the show:
“At its best, Abstraction Today shows us what the future of abstraction might look like as well…The stunning Dark Day, (Revelator pt. 2), Pete Schulte’s best-of-show large-scale wall drawing in white, grays and black, has it all. At once equal parts impenetrable monolith of solid form and shape-shifting portal into an unknowable future, it is 100-percent seductive.” – Donna Mintz
Schulte also has two recent solo exhibitions. No More Snake Oil Blues opened on September 17, at Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, New York, and A Letter Edged In Black 5: The Black Object opened at the Biggin Gallery at Auburn University on October 5. Both exhibitions feature large scale wall drawings, works on paper, and aluminum sculptures. Schulte has been assistant professor of drawing at UA since 2011.
For more information about programs in The University of Alabama's Department of Art and Art History, go here.