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Recovering Alice Neel As a Social Realist

Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened Alice Neel: People Come First, which is the first New York retrospective of Alice Neel’s (1900-1984) work in almost twenty years. In the virtual opening accompanying the show (which is well worth the watch), Curator of Contemporary Art Kelly Baum states that Neel “lived her life as a […]

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Blog Post Movie Review

Who’s Afraid of the Art Critics? The Last Vermeer and Popular Art Skepticism

In Dan Friedkin’s 2020 historical drama The Last Vermeer, the protagonist Han van Meegeren (played by Guy Pearce) takes the stand to defend himself in court. Van Meegeren stood accused of selling paintings by Johannes Vermeer to Nazi officers, a crime of collaboration that carried the death penalty. In the film’s climax, Van Meegeren reveals […]

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Wicked, Witchy, and Wayward Women in Early Modern European Prints

Beginning in the 1400s, images of depravity and devil worship in Northern Europe became synonymous with witchcraft and, subsequently, wayward women. Through the dissemination of print media and literature, more specifically, demonological texts such as the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) of 1486–87 by the Dominican friars Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, entire subsects of […]

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From Faktura to Fascism

In his 1984 article “From Faktura to Factography,” art historian Benjamin Buchloh explores the influential power of art and the responsibility of the artist. Is the artist culpable in the effects of their art, and should academics attempt to “rehabilitate” the artist’s image? These questions may not be the actual thesis of Buchloh’s essay, but […]

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Blog Post Interview

Interview with SU Alumna: Discussion on Research, the Future of Art History, and the Fear of More Options

In snowy Syracuse, GFCS co-editor Tyler Valera met (following all safety precautions) with Art History alumna Emily L. Dugan (G ’20) to discuss all manner of topics, ranging from Dugan’s research at SU, stigmas in studying the liberal arts, and graduate student mental health. In part, this interview celebrates the hard work of one of […]

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Blog Post Exhibition Review

Online Exhibition Review: 1.8 Renwick in the Time of Covid

After nearly a year of safety precautions and social distancing, it feels redundant to describe the coronavirus and how this massive pandemic has reshaped life across the globe. Countless emails and website updates mention the “unprecedented” or “difficult times” as necessary background for changes or disruptions. Here, too, I cannot avoid beginning my review with […]

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Blog Post Book Review

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom: A Book Review

Archivists, historians, librarians, and researchers all confront ethical concerns in the course of research. Yet among the ethical questions that researchers can ask themselves, one of the most troubling might be “should this object have been made at all? And what do I do about that now?” Librarian Megan Rosenbloom’s research tackles these kinds of […]

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A Peek into Special Collections: International Painting Traditions in Rico Lebrun’s Crucifixion

Painter and sculptor Rico Lebrun was born to French and Spanish parents on December 10, 1900 in Naples. Lebrun studied banking and journalism while attending night classes at the Accademia di Belle Arti from 1919 to 1921, trained at a stained-glass factory in Naples, and worked for local fresco artists. Afterwards, he worked in Florence […]

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Swords Above the Silverware: Colonization and Domesticity in Jean Charlot’s Village Fiesta Mural

Beginning in the late 1950s, Syracuse University hired notable contemporary artists to create public works as part of their university mural project. In 1960, French muralist painter Jean Charlot (1898-1979) began work on Village Fiesta, a tempera fresco mural for Shaw dormitory’s dining hall. Charlot’s Village Fiesta uses the optimistic, charming folk-art figures of women […]

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American Impressionism

American Impressionism was an art movement that emphasized thick brushstrokes, light, color, and atmospheric effects. In the United States, this movement and style was prevalent between 1890 and 1920. Impressionist movements existed prior to the American version. Scholars typically associate this style with the French Impressionism from 1860 to 1900, such as the work of […]