American Classics

CAA Annual Conference Session – The American Dream of the Mediterranean: Lessons from History

giovedì 16 febbraio 2017 17:30
New York Hilton Midtown
1335 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY
Stati Uniti
College Art Association Annual Conference (CAA)

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

The American Academy in Rome is pleased to host a roundtable panel session at the 2017 College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference in New York, “The American Dream of the Mediterranean: Lessons from History,” on Thursday, February 16.

Described as “the Middle Sea” or even “the Great Sea,” the Mediterranean has long been celebrated for its centrality and significance as a crossroads of everything from foodstuffs and people to religion, culture, and economic power. In the twentieth century, the Mediterranean took on a new role as a classroom of unrivaled riches for a generation of young scholars who later defined the discipline of art history in the United States. Whether working on the arts of Islam and Byzantium, Medieval France, or Early Modern Italy, the pioneers of art and architecture who took up positions at leading American universities and museums—including Shelomo Dov Goitein, Richard Krautheimer, Meyer Schapiro, Robert Venturi and Kurt Weitzmann—developed their methods and theories during formative travels along the shores of the Mediterranean.

Taking a fresh approach to the conference session format, this roundtable brings together scholars in varied fields to discuss the lessons from the Mediterranean that have informed how we see, analyze, and think about art from the origins of art history to today. As many of the art historical trailblazers considered came as refugees to the United States, where they made their careers, this panel also questions what claims can be made, if any, about an “American” style of art history. This session is organized by the American Academy in Rome as part of its 2016-17 programming series, American Classics, which investigates both the classical underpinnings of American culture and the “classic” texts, works of art and ideals that have helped define American identity.

Session Chairs

Lindsay Harris (FAAR'14), Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Charge of the School of Classical Studies, American Academy in Rome
Avinoam Shalem (RAAR'15), Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam, Columbia University

Session Participants

Dale Kinney (FAAR,'72, RAAR'97), Eugenia Chase Guild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Research Professor, Bryn Mawr College
Peter N. Miller, Dean, Professor of History of the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean, Bard Graduate Center
Martino Stierli, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art

Panel Session Information

Date and Time:
Thursday, February 16, 5:30-7:00 pm

New York Hilton Midtown
Beekman Parlor

Zoe Strauss – The Photographer and the City: Philadelphia

giovedì 13 ottobre 2016 18:00
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italia
Zoe Strauss - The Photographer and the City - Philadelphia

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

Few photographers are as closely associated with a major city as Zoe Strauss is with Philadelphia. Between 2001 and 2010, Strauss explored the complexities of contemporary urban America in a series of annual one-day outdoor photography exhibitions, set up under Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. Strauss called the project and the pictures on display “an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life.” Both the choice of venue, a disused space under a major traffic artery running through the city, and her compelling photographs shown there revived and updated the tradition of socially-engaged American street photography. In this talk, Strauss will discuss her relationship with Philadelphia and her use of photography and political outreach to engage wider audiences and revive troubled urban neighborhoods.

Strauss’ work was featured in a major mid-career exhibition, Zoe Strauss 10 Years, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2012. In 2006 she participated in the Whitney Biennial, and in 2008 she published her first book, America. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, and the Wexner Center for the Art, Columbus, among other international institutions. She is the Richard Grubman and Caroline Mortimer Photographer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the fall of 2016.

Strauss’ talk will open the exhibition A View of One’s Own - Three Women Photographers in Rome: Esther Boise Van Deman, Georgina Masson, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, which features a selection of photographs by foreign women in Rome from three successive generations, all of them connected to the American Academy. Their work confronts aspects of the Eternal City and its urban transformation over more than a century, from the Belle Époque to the present day. At the same time, it tracks the emergence of photography as an independent medium wielded by women with distinctive viewpoints, as it evolved from a documentary aid to a vehicle for subjective, even gendered expression.

The event is part of La Quadriennale in città (16° Quadriennale d’Arte) and FOTOGRAFIA, Festival Internazionale di Roma.

The lecture will be held in English.

Exhibition Opening
13 October 2016
6pm-9pm, AAR Gallery

Letizia Battaglia
The Photographer and the City - Palermo
3 November 2016
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, 4pm-7pm
until 27 November 2016
The exhibition will also be open on 26 October, 3 November and 10 November from 5pm to 8pm.

Nathaniel Mackey – Reading from His Work

martedì 4 ottobre 2016 18:30
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italia
Nathaniel Mackey - Reading from His Work

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

Nathaniel Mackey is Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University. Winner of a National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry among numerous honors, Mackey’s poetry combines African mythology, African-American musical traditions like jazz, and an open, serial form. As he says of his work, “I approach my writing as 'of a piece' in more senses than one, admittedly fractional but wanting to imply—all the more wanting to imply—the proverbial whole the parts fail to add up to."

Nathaniel Mackey is the William B. Hart Poet in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the fall of 2016.

The reading will be in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at

Ping Chong & Hou Hanru – All Islands Connect Underwater

martedì 27 settembre 2016 18:00
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italia
Ping Chong with Hou Hanru - All Islands Connect Underwater

This event is the keynote lecture for the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

Ping Chong is an internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and pioneer in the use of media in the theater. The recipient of a 2014 National Medal of Arts award, since 1972 Ping Chong has created over 100 works for the stage which have been presented at major theatres and festivals worldwide including the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the RomaEuropa Festival to name a few. His work encompasses puppetry, dance, documentary theatre and multimedia spectacle and has explored subjects ranging from the Black Lives Matter Movement to modernization in China to the experiences of Muslim youth in post -9/11 America. Throughout, the common thread is a unifying commitment to artistic innovation and social responsibility.

In this lecture with media, Ping Chong will discuss his career in relation to the evolving political and cultural movements of the last five decades. He will show excerpts from two recent works BEYOND SACRED: Voices of Muslim Identity (2015) and COLLIDESCOPE 2.0: Adventures in Pre and Post Racial America (2016) as well as take questions from the audience.

Ping Chong is the Mary Miss Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the fall 2016. Hou Hanru is the Artistic Director of the MAXXI.

The event will be held in English.

The 2016–17 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

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