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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)