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2023-2024 Goldberg Lectures:

A. Victor Coonin, Professor, Rhodes College - "Michelangelo's David: Censorship and Responses from the Renaissance to Today"

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Thursday, September 14, 2023, 4:10p.m.; reception to follow

Michelangelo’s David is frequently in the news, most recently for various acts of censorship. Historically, the statue has a long tradition of evoking censorship and other controversies.  Professor Coonin will discuss this history and highlight some of the constructive responses the statue offers audiences to today’s most pressing issues.

Peggy Wang, Associate Professor, Bowdoin College - "Pop and the People: Re-thinking Wang Guangyi's Great Criticism Series

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 4:10p.m.

As Wang Guangyi's Great Criticism series shot to global fame during the 1990s, its popularity both emerged from and contributed to tired tropes of political dissidence. By uncovering new meanings for these works, this talk considers the broader stakes of interpretation in a Western-centered global art world.

Gail Fenske, Professor, Roger Williams University - "New Perceptual Experiences: Architects, Artists, and the Skyscrapers of New York"

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 4:10p.m.

That New York’s skyscrapers projected such a powerful identity for the city that can be ascribed to the perpetual imaging of the city’s skyline, but also to famed designs such as the highly-publicized World, Flatiron, Woolworth, Chrysler, and Empire State Buildings.  But by 1910, the Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery had exhibited the skyscraper photographs of Alvin Langdon Coburn and paintings of John Marin, and during the 1920s the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe—making the city the center of the first transatlantic avant-garde.  The photographs of Margaret Bourke-White and Berenice Abbott, the lithographs of Louis Lozowick, and the colorful prints of Winold Reiss, the latter of which explored the night life of Harlem, comprised a cauldron of experimentation in which these artists forged and documented new ways of seeing.  Coburn, Charles Sheeler, and Paul Strand positioned their cameras on skyscraper rooftops and observation balconies.  O’Keeffe set up a studio in the 30th story of the Shelton Hotel and Bourke-White near the top of the Chrysler Building, inviting others to share their views of the city.  All found in the skyscraper’s new spatiality an inspiration for a 20th century American art.

2023-2024 Events:

Symposium on Universities, Cities, and Communities

Where: Vanderbilt University Faculty Commons, 1109 19th Avenue South, Second Floor

When: September 21-22, 2023

Urbanization is a global phenomenon with deep roots and wide-ranging, contemporary effects. Cities have grown at unprecedented velocities, resulting in expansive urban environments, intense climate-induced crises, and deepening economic inequalities.

The Symposium on Universities, Cities, and Communities will explore several fundamental questions: What makes a successful city? How might universities and scholars introduce fresh ways of understanding cities, their problems, their solutions? From transportation to housing, and from economics to urban cultures, universities are rich in intellectual and other resources while also serving as integral components of the cities in which they reside. 

The symposium presents an opportunity for the Vanderbilt community to engage with three distinguished scholars who lead nationally recognized centers for urban studies based in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. 

Through two days of plenaries, panels, conversations, and an engaging "Transportainment" trolley tour of Nashville on a route created by Vanderbilt faculty, participants will investigate ways in which universities can engage with cities thorough both scholarship and active involvement. 

The symposium is sponsored by the College of Arts and Science  Grand Challenge Initiative on Cities

VU.Arch x Department of History of Art and Architecture - Architecture Info Session

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m.

Youn-mi Kim, Associate Professor, Ewha Womens University - “Talismans for Rebirth in Chosŏn Buddhist Rituals and Their Earlier Traces in China"

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Monday, October 9, 2023, 4:30p.m.

This lecture explores the role of talismans in Korean Buddhism of the Chosŏn period (1392-1897), emphasizing those for rebirth in the Pure Land. Using uncharted talismans from graves and statues, it sheds light on their presence in various Chosŏn rituals and traces their prototypes in medieval Dunhuang manuscripts, unveiling interconnected Buddhist practices across western China and Korea.

Art for Lunch - Lee Ann Custer, NEH Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University - "Land and Belonging in Emily Arthur's Contemporary Indigenous Printmaking Practice"

Where: Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery/Visual Resources Center

When: Tuesday, October 31, 2023, 12:30p.m.

NEH Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Scholar Lee Ann Custer will provide an up-close look at themes of land and belonging in Emily Arthur's contemporary Indigenous printmaking practice.

Carrie Cushman, Director and Curator, Edith Dale Monson Gallery, Hartford Art School - "China in the Japanese Imaginary: Miyamoto Ryuji's Photographs of Kowloon Walled City"

Where: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall

When: Thursday, November 2, 2023, 4:10p.m.-5:30p.m.; reception to follow

In this lecture, Dr. Cushman explores the legacy and impact of Miyamoto Ryuji's photography of the notorious Kowloon Walled City in the final years before its demolition.

Calligraphy in East Asia Symposium

Symposium - Keynote Speaker Yusuke Kusatsu:
Thursday, February 15, 2024: 1:00p.m.-3:30p.m.
Central Library Community Room

Calligraphy Demonstration - Yusuke Kusatsu:
Thursday, February 15, 2024: 4:30p.m.-5:30p.m.
Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Cohen Memorial Hall

Thursday, February 15, 2024: 5:30p.m.
Cohen Memorial Hall Atrium

Art for Lunch - Peter Chesney, NEH Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University - "Interact with Art: Contemporary Sculpture"

Where: Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

When: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 12:30p.m.

Dr. Peter Chesney is teaching urbanism and art/architecture history for Vanderbilt. He is a postdoc housed in the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. For the first Art for Lunch after Spring Break 2024, he will lead visitors to the Fine Arts Gallery in a discussion and filmic sensing exercise involving Maz, an assemblage piece by sculptor John Chamberlain. Chesney has a background in the arts, including working in the development of a narrative series at Netflix and collaborating in staging a couple guerrilla site-specific performance pieces in Los Angeles. So, the exercise that he has planned will prompt visitors to create a collaborative art piece, cinematic and/or performative, that draws inspiration from Maz or even makes use of it.