Narratives About American Art

Narratives About American Art

An International Conference organized by the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Berlin and the Terra Foundation for American Art

John F. Kennedy Institute & American Academy
May 24-26, 2007



American Academy in Berlin

8.00 PM Plenary Lecture: Hans Belting (Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe): "When was Modern Art?"



John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität

9.00 AM: Introduction by Winfried Fluck Freie Universität Berlin)


Session 1: American Art and American Exceptionalism

Chair: Winfried Fluck (Freie Universität Berlin)

9.15 AM: John Davis (Smith College): "Exceptionalism, Nationalism, Provincialism: Some Thoughts on Historiography and Present Practices"

10.15 AM: Alan Wallach (College of William and Mary): "The History of American Art and the End of American Exceptionalism"

11.15 AM: Coffee Break

11.45 AM: Jochen Wierich (Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art):"The Quest for Essence in American Art: A German-American Collaboration"

12.45 AM: Lunch


Session 2: American Art and Visual Culture / “Bildwissenschaft”

Chair: Ulla Haselstein (Freie Universität Berlin)

2.00 PM: Michele Bogart (Stony Brook): "Down with the 'Low'!: Unexceptionalism as American Art"

3.00 PM: Michael Leja (University of Pennsylvania): "A Narrative of Paradox: American Art and the Visual Cultures of Populism and Commerce"

4.00 PM: Coffee Break

4.30 PM: W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago), "Dinosaurs, Deserts, and Terror: A Few American Stories"

Workshop I:

Chair: Bettina Friedl (Universität Hamburg)

5.30 PM: Laura Bieger (Freie Universität Berlin), "Both site and sight, image and location: The mediality, corporeality and the American landscape"

6.00 PM: Edyta Frelik (University of Lublin, Poland): "How American Is It? Thomas Hart Benton's Social History of the United States"

6.30 PM: Harald Klinke (Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe): "The Notion of Mimesis in American Art"



John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität

Session 3: American Art and Social/Cultural History

Chair: Heinz Ickstadt (Freie Universität Berlin)

9.00 AM: Sarah Burns (Indiana University): "Shifting Sands: Context in Context"

10.00 AM: Ursula Frohne (Universität Köln): "'Homes for America' Revisited: Typologies of Domestic Architecture and Consumer Culture in American Art"

11.00 AM: Coffee Break

11.30 AM: Andrew Hemingway (University College London): "Resources of Critique: Marxist Histories of American Art"

12.30 AM: Lunch


Session 4: Transnational Perspectives

Chair: Cynthia Mills (Smithsonian Washington)

2.00 PM: Angela Miller (Washington University): "Writing Across Borders: American Arts After Multiculturalism"


Workshop II:

3.00 PM: Sieglinde Lemke (Universität Freiburg): "Diaspora Aesthetics"

3.30 PM: Susanne Scharf (Universität Frankfurt): "In Favor of Contextualizing: Looking at Gertrude Fiske's Revere Beach"

4.00 PM: Coffee Break

4.30 PM: Jennifer Raab (Yale University): "Frederic Church and the Culture of Detail"

5.00 PM: Bart Keeton (Duke University): "Selling the American (?) Landscape Sublime: Western Aesthetics in Transnational Markets"

5.30 PM: Peter Schneck (Universität München): "Just Show and Tell?: Black Faces, White Masks, and the Complexities of Iconographic Revision"

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz, Plenarsaal

7.00 PM: Curating American Art in a transnational context.  A Public Debate

Chair: Veerle Thielemans (Terra Foundation)

Kathleen Adler (National Gallery London)

Stephan Koja (Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Wien)

Pamela Kort (Freie Kuratorin, Berlin)

Ortrud Westheider (Bucerius Kunst- Forum, Hamburg)