Mellon Research Initiative: Events

Mapping: Geography, Power, and the Imagination in the Art of the Americas

(March 7-8, 2013)

Focusing on the North and South American landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the conference explored mapping as a conceptual and artistic practice from a hemispheric perspective. While scholarship has generally used the date of 1900 and the border between the United States and Mexico to mark distinct fields, this event fostered a dialogue between disciplines traditionally separated by such temporal and geographic boundaries. How can the “map” as an intellectual model both unite diverse cultures and modes of knowledge as well as highlight their differences? Though maps are often taken as straightforward, objective configurations, they can also expose deeply subjective frameworks with social, political, and economic significance. Whether considering mapping as a traditional cartographic system representing the land or as a contemporary scientific approach to visualizing the body, maps allow for the unique diagramming of relationships between people and spaces, objects and time, vision and knowledge. The conference used the concept of map-making as “world-making” in order to examine the ways in which power, place, and cultural traditions intersect and come into conflict.

Organized by Jennifer Raab (IFA/Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011 - 2013) with Kara Fiedorek and Elizabeth Frasco (IFA PhD students)

SPEAKERS:

Keynote Lectures:
Jennifer L. Roberts (Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University)
Irene V. Small (Assistant Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University)

Curatorial Roundtable:
Richard Aste (Curator of European Art, Brooklyn Museum)
Peter John Brownlee (Associate Curator, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago)
Dennis Carr (Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Deborah Cullen (Director and Chief Curator, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery,
Columbia University)
Georgiana Uhlyarik (Assistant Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario)

Graduate Student Speakers:
Cabelle Ahn (Courtauld Institute of Art)
Layla Bermeo (Harvard University)
Lauren Jacks Gamble (Yale University)
Sean Nesselrode (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Gabriela Piñero (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City)
D. Jacob Rabinowitz (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Caroline Riley (Boston University)
Oliver Shultz (Stanford University)
Catalina Valdés Echenique (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

AGENDA

Thursday, March 7, 2013

5:30pm Registration

6pm Welcome
Patricia Rubin, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Keynote Lecture
Jennifer L. Roberts (Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University):
Actual Size: The Refusal of Cartographic Abstraction in Audubon's Birds of America

7:20pm Reception

Friday, March 8, 2013

8:30am Registration

9am Introductory Remarks
Jennifer Raab, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013), Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

9:15am Session I: Spaces of Power
moderated by Elizabeth Hutchinson (Associate Professor of Art History, Barnard College and Columbia University)

Lauren Jacks Gamble (Yale University): Art-Artillery: Military Cartography and the Environmental Art of John Trumbull

Layla Bermeo (Harvard University ): Mapping the Shadows of Santiago: Winslow Homer’s Caribbean Watercolors and the American Audience

Oliver Shultz (Stanford University): Ethereal Cartography: Francis Alÿs and The Leakiness of Empire

10:45am Break

11:15am Session II: Contested Geographies
moderated by Luis Castañeda (Assistant Professor of Art History, Syracuse University)

Catalina Valdés Echenique (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris):
Natural Frontier, Imaginary Geography, and Landscape Painting: The National Landscape Debate in the Chilean Nineteenth-Century

Gabriela Piñero (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City): Constructing the Art-Unity of a Continent: The Transition between the ‘American Art’ Project and the ‘Latin American Art’ Project

D. Jacob Rabinowitz (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University): Grit in the Machine: Robert Smithson’s First Nonsite and (Contemporary) History

12:45pm Break

2pm Session III: Fabricated Terrain
moderated by Robert Slifkin (Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

Caroline Riley (Boston University): Traversing a Vision: Harriet S. Tolman’s Views from a Trip to California, 1888-1889

Cabelle Ahn (Courtauld Institute of Art): Un-Natural Histories: Walton Ford and the Amnesia of American Natural History

Sean Nesselrode (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University): The Practice of the Company: Venezuelan Oil Camps and the Mapping of Modernity

3:30pm Break

4pm Curatorial Roundtable:
Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan (Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and Department of Art History, New York University)

Richard Aste (Curator of European Art, Brooklyn Museum)
Peter John Brownlee (Associate Curator, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago)
Dennis Carr (Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Deborah Cullen (Director and Chief Curator, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery,
Columbia University)
Georgiana Uhlyarik (Assistant Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario)

5:15pm Break

5:30pm Keynote Lecture
Irene V. Small (Assistant Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University):
The Cell and the Plan: Diagramming Oiticica’s Eden

7pm Reception

This conference is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Video of the conference


Jennifer L. Roberts, "Actual Size: The Refusal of Cartographic Abstraction in Audubon's Birds of America."

Watch the entire conference here

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