Fourth-year PhD candidate Reed O’Mara and first-year PhD student Luke Hester participated in the Humanities in Leadership Learning Series (HILLS) Graduate Symposium this past weekend along with six other CWRU graduate students from across the humanities and humanities-adjacent fields. Together, the group discussed pathways to academic and administrative leadership and how to implement positive change at the department and university levels. The symposium was coordinated and facilitated by Dr. Timothy Beal and Dr. Joy Bostic and featured a discussion led by the interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Lee Anne Thompson. Congrats to Reed and Luke for being selected to participate!
Our Favorite Thing for today is Convolvulus and Metamorphosis of the Convolvulus Hawk Moth by Maria Sibylla Merian (2019.9, not on view)! Rebekah Utian is a Master’s student studying Early Modern Art history with Dr. Erin Benay.
“My favorite object in the CMA collection is Maria Sibylla Merian’s Convolvulus and Metamorphosis of the Convolvulus Hawk Moth (c. 1670–83), which portrays the carefully observed life cycle of the European pink-spotted hawkmoth. I particularly love the languid, grayish-brown caterpillar in the center, who is clearly the protagonist of this naturalist narrative, sprawling across his favorite food, the flowering bindweed.”
Our Favorite Thing for today is Jared French’s Evasion! 🪞 Emme Page just presented her qualifying paper today! She is an art history M.A. student in her final semester studying American art.
“Jared French’s Evasion stands out to me as a work in which the meaning is both clear and ambiguous, creating an interpretative tension parallel to his understanding of the inner self. As a bisexual man married to a woman in 1940s New York City, French explores themes of shame and ostracism through this image.”
Congratulations to Jillian Kruse and Reed O’Mara on successfully defending their dissertation prospectuses! Jillian’s dissertation, “Printing Utopia: Experimentation, Collaboration, and Anarchy in the Prints of Camille Pissarro,” will explore the intersections of Pissarro’s experimental and collaborative printmaking practice with his anarchist subject matter and philosophy. Through her research, Jillian plans to demonstrate that the artist’s prints served as sites in which he combined process, technique, and motif to create his own anarchist utopia founded in artistic freedom, collaboration, and a love of the earth. Reed’s dissertation, “Materializing Sacred Language: Picturing and Performing Hebrew in Late Medieval Art,” will consider text and image relationships in Jewish illuminated manuscripts and Christian prints from Ashkenaz and Italy, ca. 1200-1500. In particular, Reed will examine how word play, visual punning, pseudo-texts, and other visual-verbal mechanics contributed to the complicated status of Hebrew in the Middle Ages both within and beyond Jewish communities.
This year’s Mellon Collections Seminar, taught by Prof. Elina Gertsman (CWRU) and Dr. Gerhard Lutz (CMA), has been featured in the Case Western Reserve University College Bulletin! The profile highlighted the visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where students toured the museum’s medieval art galleries and were treated to a visit from the DIA’s curator of medieval arts, Chassica Kirchhoff. The course is keyed to the installation Elina and Gerhard are co-curating, scheduled to open at the CMA in Aug. 2024. Students are producing a robust gallery guide and a series of labels for the show, which will comprise a broad range of objects from the global Middle Ages. Click below for more info and photos!