Change


There was a time when art history seemed to be all about grand narratives of change, with a particular attraction to dramatic episodes of naturalism emerging from backgrounds of schematic convention. The sudden capture of accurate human anatomy and movement in the Greek sculpture of the fifth century BCE provides the paradigm. There follow, to name the most prominent, the eruption of monumental Romanesque sculpture in the later eleventh century; the successive Italian Renaissances from Giotto to Michelangelo; the capture of optical sensation by the French Impressionists; and the Cubists' confounding of ingrained habits of spatial perception.

All these will strike familiar chords for those schooled in the art history of a previous generation. But such signposts have fallen into disrepair as grand narratives of progress and discovery have collapsed in the face of a withering skepticism across the humanities as a whole. And it remains demonstrably the case that the past celebration of such episodes entailed a regular invocation of questionable external causes: great men (or the cult of great men), economic and social determination, or some innate propensity of the mind toward matching any image against the evidence of perception. A theory of change in art thereby became implicitly a theory of change in some other domain. And teleological thinking haunted the whole enterprise.

As a result, scholars concerned with the visual arts now largely direct their energies toward intensified interpretations of artistic events that are circumscribed in time and localized in significance. Thus the fundamental responsibility of any historian—to account for change—has been increasingly left to one side. If change is to come back to the intellectual forefront, new models describing its logic and regularities will be required. And these will, on balance, need to be internal to the specific processes of art production. In the absence of external compulsion, why should an apparently stable set of forms give way to another? When such compulsion is evident—in conquest, migration, conversion, revolution, technological invention, economic boom or bust—how do the capacities of art absorb, constrain, and channel its impact?

Recent theoretical work in the realm of emergence and complexity across the natural and social sciences may offer some useful guidance in this pursuit. But the question remains open: can change—by definition an object of inquiry that exists between and above the physical objects of art-historical investigation—come back to its former centrality? How would that be accomplished? And is it necessary at all?



Getty Center Professor


Angus Fletcher is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School at the City University of New York. He specializes in comparative literature, allegory, Edmund Spenser, the literature of nature, and postmodernisms.
Motion, Galilean Relativity and Stylistic Changes in Late Renaissance Poetry
(September–June)



Getty Scholars


Susan Buck-Morss is professor of political philosophy and social theory in the Department of Government and a member of the graduate fields of German studies and history of art at Cornell University. She specializes in continental theory, German critical philosophy, and the Frankfurt School.
Who Owns Time?
(January–June)

Thomas Cummins is Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art and department chair at Harvard University, Department of Art History.
A Study of Three Colonial Peruvian Manuscripts
(September–June)

Leonard Folgarait is a professor at Vanderbilt University in the Department of the History of Art. He specializes in Latin American art and European and American modernism.
Picasso, Horta, 1909: The Shift to Cubism
(September–June)

Sarah E. Fraser is associate professor at Northwestern University. She teaches and researches Chinese painting and Buddhist art, with a current emphasis on questions of national identity formation, 20th-century disciplinary innovation in the study of Chinese art, and artistic enterprise.
What is Chinese About Chinese Art? Archaeology, Politics, and Identity in Republican China (1928–1947)
(September–June)

Karen Lang is associate professor of art history at the University of Southern California. She specializes in modern German art and aesthetic theory.
Max Beckmann's Inconceivable Modernism
(September–June)

Helmut Müller-Sievers is professor of German and classics at Northwestern University. He specializes in interrelations of literature, science, philosophy, and the history of philology.
The Cylinder. Kinematics of the 19th Century
(September–June)

Spyros Papapetros is assistant professor of architecture at Princeton University. He specializes in intersections between architecture, theory, and visual culture.
Animated Change: Patterns of Transition in Art, Architecture and Their Histories
(September–June)

Lorenzo Pericolo is professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Montreal. He specializes in Renaissance and Baroque European art.
Change Reaction: Caravaggio's Followers About, Beyond and Despite Caravaggio's Newness
(September–June)

Paul Smith is professor and chair in the history of art at University of Warwick. He specializes in late-nineteenth-century French painting, criticism, and literature.
The "Nature" of Style Change
(September–June)



Visiting Scholars


Ian Balfour is professor of English in the Department of English at York University in Toronto. He specializes in Romantic poetry and prose, contemporary theory and criticism, and eighteenth-century literature and philosophy.
Adapting: Filming Literature in and beyond the Culture Industry
(January–March)

Olivier Debroise is coordinating curator in the Department of Visual Arts and Department of Difusión de la Cultura at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He is the founder and first director of CURARE, an art critics' association and magazine in Mexico City.
Machines, Spacecrafts, Footsteps, Bombs and Artistic Change in Latin American Art of the 1960s
(January–March)

Anne Dunlop is assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. She specializes in intersections of image, gender, and subjectivity in late medieval and Renaissance Italy.
A Break to Make the Modern: Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Artistic Change in the Early Renaissance
(April–June)

Uwe Fleckner is professor of art history at the University of Universität Hamburg in Germany. He is the co-editor of the collected works of Carl Einstein and Aby Warburg and has written extensively on art of the eighteenth century to the present.
(April–June)

Michael Hutter is professor of economics and chair for Theory of the Economy and Its Social Environment at Universität Witten/Herdecke in Germany. He specializes in economic aspects of art, culture, and media.
The Co-evolution of Art and Economy. Cases from European History
(September–December)

Frida Kahlo is a visual artist, art historian, and founding member of the anonymous feminist art activist group the Guerrilla Girls.
Guerrilla Girls Do Hollywood: A Behind the Scenes Look at Girls in the "Wood"
(January–June)

David Maisel is a photographer and visual artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Library of Dust
(September–November)

Juan Ossio is professor of social sciences at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He specializes in cosmological systems and social structures.
Andean and European Traces in the Construction of the Manuscripts of Fray Martin de Murúa
(September–December)

Brandon Taylor is professor of the history of art at the University of Southampton and research fellow in contemporary art at Solent University Southampton. He specializes in twentieth-century art and its theory, east European art, and the history of art institutions.
Relief Space and the Transition to Abstraction 1910–30
(September–December)

Nancy J. Troy is professor at the University of Southern California in the Department of Art History. She specializes in visual culture of modernism, fashion, and the avant-garde.
The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian
(January–March)



Predoctoral Fellows


Chelsea Foxwell is a Ph.D. candidate in art history and archaeology at Columbia University.
Kano Hōgai (1828–1888) and the Making of Modern Japanese Painting: "Japanese-Style" Exhibition Painting and the Creation of Nihonga
(September–June)

Kristina Luce is a Ph.D. candidate in architecture at the University of Michigan.
Revolutions in Parallel: The Rise and Fall of Drawing within Architectural Design
(September–June)

Irene Small is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at Yale University.
Hélio Oiticica and the Morphology of Things
(September–June)

Gloria Sutton is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek and Immersive Subjectivity in Expanded Cinema Practices of the 1960s
(September–June)



Postdoctoral Fellows


Riccardo Marchi received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is assistant professor and Stuart S. Golding Endowed Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of South Florida, Tampa. He specializes in early-20th-century European art and in the history of 20th-century art history and art criticism.
Learning to Look at Pure Painting: Boccioni, Kandinsky and Delaunay in Berlin, 1912–1913
(September–June)

Nicolas Tackett received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He specializes in medieval China and funerary culture.
The Tang-Song Transition and the Revolution in Funerary Art and Architecture in Medieval China
(September–June)



Museum Guest Scholars


Mark Haworth-Booth is visiting professor of photography at the University of the Arts in London.
(April–June)

Adam S. Cohen is an associate professor in the department of fine art at the University of Toronto.
(July–September)

Detlef Heikamp is an associated academic at the Kunsthistoriches Institut in Florence, Italy.
(July–September)

Andreas Henning is curator of Italian paintings at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany.
(April–June)

Catherine A. Metzger is senior conservator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
(January–March)

Andrea Pataki is head of conservation at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Känste, Stuttgart , Germany.
(April–June)

Flavia Perugini is a conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
(January–March)

Françoise Viatte is retired head of the Cabinet des Dessins at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
(October–December)