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Palaces of Art: Whistler and the Art Worlds of Aestheticism


Speaker Bios

Caroline Arscott
Head of Research and Professor of Nineteenth-Century British Art
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Caroline Arscott has lectured at the Courtauld Institute of Art since 1988, during which time she has extended her study of the Victorian art world from an initial focus on modern life painting in the 1840s and 1850s into work on the pre-Victorian period (in relation to urban topography) and on the late Victorian period (in relation to the Aesthetic movement). She was a member of the editorial board of the Oxford Art Journal from 1998 to 2008 and continues to serve as advisory editor. She is also a UK editor of the international RIHA Journal (Research Institutes in the History of Art). She has been a visiting scholar at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven in 1994 and 2002 and at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1995 and again in 2008. In 2011 she was the Sarah Cutts Frerichs Lecturer in Victorian Studies at Brown University. Her publications include articles on William Holman Hunt, Millais, Leighton, Poynter, Sickert, Tissot, Fildes, Frith, and others. She has published on the abbreviated style of Whistler’s etchings and the commercial adoption of shorthand in the Oxford Art Journal. She collaborated with Katie Scott on Manifestations of Venus, a collection of essays on art and sexuality (2000). Her most recent publication is William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings (2008), which addresses topics such as body building, the armaments industry, horticulture, angling, and Victorian tattooing.


Susan Casteras
Professor and Chair of Art History
University of Washington, Seattle

Susan P. Casteras received her undergraduate degrees from Vassar College and her doctorate from Yale University. She is the author of more than seventy-five books, articles, essays, and reviews on Victorian art, especially Pre-Raphaelitism and its main artists and issues. For many years she served as curator of paintings at the Yale Center for British Art, where she organized numerous exhibitions on Victorian painting. Currently she is working on a long-term project on Victorian religious painting and another on the commodification of Pre-Raphaelitism from 1975 to the present. A past Fulbright Distinguished American Scholars Program fellowship enabled her to study and speak in New Zealand, and she has lectured extensively in numerous academic symposia and conferences as well as at the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.


Julie Codell
Professor of Art History
Arizona State University, Tempe

Julie F. Codell has published widely on Victorian art and literature, on colonial India, especially Indian craft production, and on film. She wrote The Victorian Artist (2003) and Images of an Idyllic Past: Edward Curtis’s Photographs (1988); edited Transculturation in British Art, 1770–1930 (forthcoming), Photography and the Delhi Coronation Durbars of British India (2011), The Political Economy of Art (2008), Genre, Gender, Race, World Cinema (2007), and Imperial Co-Histories (2003); and co-edited Encounters in the Victorian Press with Laurel Brake (2004) and Orientalism Transposed with Dianne Macleod (1998), which is now being translated into Japanese.


David Peters Corbett
Professor of Art History and American Studies
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of East Anglia, Norwich

David Peters Corbett has written widely on English and American painting of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including The Modernity of English Art, 1914–30 (1998), The World in Paint: Modern Art and Visuality in England 1848–1914 (2004), and The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and National Identity in English Art, 1880–1940 (co-editor, 2002). He recently wrote the catalogue and curated the exhibition An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters on view at the National Gallery of Art, London (2011) and contributed an essay on the past in the work of Charles Sheeler (Journal of American Studies, 2011). He has been a visiting professor at Yale, a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and has held fellowships at a number of universities and institutes in the United States. He is editor of Art History (2007–12).


Melody Barnett Deusner
Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art
Northwestern University, Evanston

Melody Barnett Deusner specializes in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art, with particular emphasis on the study of American painting and mass culture in an international context. She received her doctorate from the University of Delaware and is currently transforming her dissertation, “A Network of Associations: Aesthetic Painting and its Patrons, 1870–1914,” into a book. Her broader research interests include the visual culture of communities in the nineteenth century, the international reception of American art, and the evolution (and intersection) of private, corporate, and museum collections in the United States. Her scholarship has been sponsored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Luce Foundation/ACLS, the Kress Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with ongoing support from the Terra Foundation.


Ruth Fine
Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Ruth Fine is the lead author at the National Gallery of Art for the catalogue raisonné of works on paper by Mark Rothko. Her research on Whistler dates to the 1970s when she was curator of Alverthorpe Gallery, which housed Lessing J. Rosenwald’s prints and drawings that are now at the National Gallery. She wrote the catalogue documenting the etchings by Whistler that were assembled by Julius and Anita Zelman, contributed to the catalogue for the 1995 Whistler exhibition in London and Washington, and advised on the online catalogue of Whistler’s etchings. Among her other monographic exhibitions and catalogues are those that address the art of John Marin (one of Whistler’s early enthusiasts), as well as Romare Bearden, Mel Bochner, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and Georgia O’Keeffe. She serves on the boards of the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.


Susan Grace Galassi
Senior Curator
The Frick Collection, New York

Susan Grace Galassi received her doctorate in 1991 from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She was co-curator with Jonathan Brown of El Greco: Themes and Variations in 2001 and Goya’s Last Works in 2006. In 2003 she organized with Margaret MacDonald and Aileen Ribeiro the exhibition Whistler, Women, and Fashion. A specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, she is the author of Picasso’s Variations on the Masters: Confrontations with the Past (1996) and a contributor to several publications on the artist. She has also contributed to numerous Frick publications on the permanent collection and special exhibitions. The upcoming exhibition Picasso’s Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition, which she is co-curating with Marilyn McCully and with the collaboration of Andrew Robison, opens at the Frick in October and travels to the National Gallery of Art in January 2012.


Imogen Hart
Assistant Curator, Department of Exhibitions and Publications
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

Imogen Hart has taught courses in the history of art departments at the University of Bristol, the University of Birmingham, and Yale University. At the Yale Center for British Art she co-curated the exhibition Paintings from the Reign of Victoria: The Royal Holloway Collection, London (2009) and organized four of the Center’s annual graduate student symposia. She is the author of Arts and Crafts Objects (2010) and co-editor, with Jason Edwards, of Rethinking the Interior, c. 1867–1896: Aestheticism and Arts and Crafts (2010). Other publications include chapters on William Morris in The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites (forthcoming) and William Morris and the Art of Everyday Life (2010), and on Arts and Crafts magazines in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines (2009).


Erica Hirshler
Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Erica Hirshler is an expert in American painting of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She is particularly interested in issues of national identity and in the artistic exchange between the United States and Europe during that time. She also studies and lectures on patronage and collecting, women artists, and Boston art and history. Hirshler holds a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Boston University. Her most recent book is Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting, which reveals the facets of Sargent’s greatest masterpiece The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. Hirshler organized and wrote the accompanying books for the popular exhibitions A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870–1940 (2001) and Dennis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist (1995), and she has contributed to several other important shows, among them, The Lure of Italy (1992), John Singleton Copley (1995), Mary Cassatt (1998), John Singer Sargent (1998), Edmund Tarbell (2001), Childe Hassam (2004), Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting (2005), Americans in Paris, 1860–1900 (2006), and Sargent and the Sea (2009).


Sally-Anne Huxtable
Lecturer in Design History, Department of Arts
University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne

Sally-Anne Huxtable previously worked as the research associate for the 2010 exhibition and catalogue Gustav Stickley and American Arts and Crafts at the Dallas Museum of Art. She recently received her doctorate from the University of Bristol, where she also lectured in the history of art. Her publications include contributions to exhibition catalogues for the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Museo Nacional del Prado, Dallas Museum of Art, and Yale University Press. She also co-authored (with Alison Smith) the British catalogue for the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico (2011).


Linda Merrill
Instructor, Department of Art History
Emory University, Atlanta

Linda Merrill was the curator of American art at the Freer Gallery of Art from 1986 through 1998. More recently, she served as the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and currently she teaches art history at Emory University. She has published several books on Whistler and his contemporaries, including The Peacock Room: A Cultural Biography (1998), A Pot of Paint: Aestheticism on Trial in Whistler v. Ruskin (1993), and An Ideal Country: Paintings by Dwight William Tryon in the Freer Gallery of Art (1990). In 2003 she organized the exhibition After Whistler: The Artist and His Influence on American Painting for the High Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts. She received her BA in English from Smith College and PhD in the history of art from the University of London, where she studied on a Marshall Scholarship.


Morna O’Neill
Assistant Professor, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century European Art
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem

Morna O'Neill teaches courses in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art and the history of photography. She taught in the history of art department at Vanderbilt University and served as a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for British Art. Her work addresses the conjunction of art, design, and politics at the end of the nineteenth century. She is the author of Walter Crane: The Arts and Crafts, Painting, and Politics (2011), and she was curator of the 2008 exhibition “Art and Labour’s Cause is One”: Walter Crane and Manchester, 1880–1915, which was on view at the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester. Other research projects include the display of decorative arts at international exhibitions (1889–1911) and the place of Hugh Lane (1875–1915) in the global art market. She is the co-editor (with Michael Hatt) of The Edwardian Sense: Art, Design, and Performance in Britain, 1901–1910 (2010).


Ayako Ono
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Shinshu University, Nagano

Ayako Ono teaches art history at Shinshu University and serves as a visiting lecturer at Nagano Prefectural College. She has received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Glasgow. Her interests include cross-cultural exchange between the West and Japan, especially concerning Japanese influence on Western art in the nineteenth century. Her current research focuses on Whistler and his introduction in Japan. She is the author of Japonisme in Britain: Whistler, Menpes, Henry, Hornel and Nineteenth-Century Japan (2003). She is involved in the online project “The Story of the Beautiful: Whistler, Freer and Their Points of Contact” as a member of the International Scholarly Advisory Board.


Anna Gruetzner Robins
Professor of History of Art
University of Reading, Reading

Anna Gruetzner Robins has published widely on late nineteenth-century art, including an edition of Walter Sickert’s complete writings on art (2000) and A Fragile Modernism: Whistler and His Impressionist Followers (2007). In 2005 she was co-curator (with Richard Thomson) of the exhibition Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec. She is currently completing a book on the London art world in the 1890s.


John Siewert
Associate Professor of Art History
College of Wooster, Wooster

John Siewert teaches courses in modern and contemporary art. After graduating with highest honors from the University of Minnesota, Siewert went on to earn his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan. A former Fulbright, Smithsonian (affiliated with the Freer Gallery of Art), and Luce Foundation Fellow, he held an appointment as research fellow at the Centre for Whistler Studies, University of Glasgow, from 1996 to 2006. His publications on Whistler include an essay and entries in the catalogue for Turner Whistler Monet, an exhibition seen in Toronto, Paris, and London in 2005. At present he is completing a book manuscript titled James McNeill Whistler and the Aesthetic Landscape of London. Other current projects include research on the intersections of urbanism, gender, and domesticity in the emergence of Anglo-American pop art of the 1950s.

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