Assistant Professor of Art Heidi Cook completed her Ph.D. this year in the history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh with advisor Barbara McCloskey. Her dissertation was titled “Picturing Peasants: Maksimilijan Vanka’s Folkloric Paintings and the ‘Croatian Question’ from Habsburg Empire to Croatian Nation-State.” Using the work of Croatian-American artist Vanka as a linking thread, her project explored how the production, circulation, and reception of objects and images related to Croatian folk culture played an active role in imagining a spectrum of competing national and imperial identities in early twentieth-century Yugoslavia. She received an American Councils Title VIII Fellowship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Academic-year Fellowships, and a Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh among other grants to fund her research and writing. Her research will continue to focus on visual constructions of nationalisms and other competing political identities in the modern art, architecture, design, and cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe.
Each year we ask students and faculty to send us pictures of themselves on their midterm break travels. Amanda Matteucci sent us this marvelous picture of herself at Graffiti Park in Austin, Texas:
Over spring break, Emma Shouse (senior Art History major) sent us the following message:
“I will be working towards a Masters of Arts in Fashion Studies at The New School: Parsons Paris in Paris, France. It is a two year program that looks at fashion through an interdisciplinary lens (art history, anthropology, sociology, film studies, design, fashion theory, etc.), which allows for students to find their niche while still having to push themselves to analyze fashion in new ways. Students get access to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris Fashion Week, and numerous other design houses and museums around Paris. Each student is required to complete an internship, and many find placements in design houses, museums, fashion magazines, and retail headquarters… I could not be more thrilled with this program!”
Congratulations, Emma! We look forward to hearing from you next year (send pictures)!
Several Art faculty attended the annual meeting of the College Art Association in New York this past week. Professor Aaron Fine had the launch of his book on color theory (Dialogues on Color), while Dr. Heidi Cook (Truman alumna and now a faculty member here) gave a paper on Croatian art. Dr. Julia DeLancey hosted a reception for art faculty from institutions that are members of the Consortium of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and Dr. Sara Orel co-chaired a workshop on undergraduate research in Art History with Dr. Alexa Sand of Utah State University. Dr. Cole Woodcox also attended the conference, taking advantage of the wide range of sessions and museums available in New York.
In addition to the Art faculty, several alumnae attended the conference or otherwise participated in the week’s events. Dr. Jasmine Cloud (now a professor at the University of Central Missouri) gave a paper, and we saw Emily Nickel (now an MFA student at the University of Iowa), Lori Nix (an artist working in New York), and Emily Hagen (a graduate student at Penn State). Some of the alumnae and faculty got together for lunch at the conference. Although not shown in the photograph, we have Aaron Fine to thank for the record of the event.
From left to right: Dr. Julia DeLancey, Dr. Cole Woodcox, Dr. Jasmine Cloud, Emily Hagen, Dr. Heidi Cook. Photo courtesy of Professor Aaron Fine.
Last week the Art Department was pleased to welcome back Dr. Jasmine (Fry) Cloud, who completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History at Truman in 2005. After Truman, she earned her Master’s in Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her PhD from Temple University in 2014. Currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Missouri, Dr. Cloud has published her research in Reflections on Renaissance Venice, Perspectives on Public Space in Rome, from Antiquity to the Present Days, and Venice in the Renaissance: Essays in Honor of Patricia Fortini Brown. Dr. Cloud was the recipient of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation’s Institutional Fellowship which included a residency at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. While at Truman, Dr. Cloud gave a public talk on her research in Early Modern Rome, as well as meeting with members of the Art History Society (of which she was an active member during her undergraduate years) and the juniors in our Historical Methods seminar class. Her visit was funded by an Alumni Visit Grant from the School of Arts and Letters.
In commemoration of the centennial anniversary of World War I, the Truman State University Art Gallery and Pickler Memorial Library’s Special Collections have collaborated on two interrelated exhibitions about art produced during the Great War. Join, Save, Buy: WWI Posters on the Homefront consists of a selection of never-before-exhibited World War I posters from the E.M. Violette Museum which reveal experiences on the American home front. Arts Against the Great War looks at creative responses to the Great War which explore the war’s complications, violence, and human cost.
Truman State University undergraduates contributed and are contributing significantly to the exhibitions, including in research, writing, installation, serving as docents and designers, and other activities.
The University Gallery during installation of Join, Save, Buy: WWI Posters on the Homefront. Photo courtesy of Sara Orel.
And here is a 3D view of the side gallery during installation of Arts against the Great War.
As part of their Art History program, majors do a significant activity that takes them outside of the classroom. We have students who do internships and excavations and study abroad. Emma Shouse traveled to Iran last summer. Here is a short report from her on what she experienced:
This summer, I went on a two week trip with Intrepid Tours to Iran. I was the youngest out of 11 people on the tour, not including our fabulous tour guide Nadia, and was the only American. We traveled around the center of the country, hitting a lot of the more historical cities, and also spent one night in a mountain village with a nomad family. While this was not an academic trip, my goal was to visit as many mosques as possible and use my experience to enhance my research of Persian mosaics. Some of the famous sights we visited include: the Tehran Bazaar, Imam Khomeini’s Shrine, the Necropolis, Persepolis, the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence and Chak Chak Temple, Sheikh Lotfollah and Shah mosques of Esfahan, the tomb of Hafez, and Nasir ol Molk Mosque in Shiraz. As their tourism industry is still in its infancy, there were some moments where we were the only tourists in sight.
I was aware that the version of Iran shown by the American media is not an accurate portrayal of the thoughts and feelings of average Iranians, but I was absolutely blown away by the hospitality and kindness shown to me. Almost every day I had girls around my age ask to take selfies with me, and some were kind enough to give me their phone numbers just in case I had any emergencies while in Iran. It was quite the celebrity treatment. We were offered food and gifts, and almost everyone had something to say about the upcoming presidential election once they found out I was American. There was not a single moment where I felt unsafe, and being American, the Iranian government was more worried about my safety than I was (one problem including an American would have the potential to destroy their entire tourism industry). If given the chance, I would go back in a heartbeat.
April Johnston (Art History 2014) works in St. Louis as a curator for a private art collector, and she sent us the following message this spring:
I wanted to share with you that I’ve had my first piece of art-writing published! I was invited by the editors of All the Art, St. Louis’s new visual arts quarterly, to contribute to their Art + Money issue. The piece is a short interview with my boss, John Horseman. It’s been a little over a year since he hired me and managing the collection continues to be extremely fun, rewarding, and educational! The entire issue can be read with this link; my piece is on page 12-13 of the print edition, and on page 15-16 in the digital edition.
Congratulations, April! And if you are an alumna/alumnus of our program and have some news to report we would love to hear from you. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Dr. Sara Orel’s spring Greek and Roman class, students photographed themselves in poses taken from sculpture and vase paintings of the Archaic and Classical Periods (roughly 600 BCE to 330 BCE). This gave them a chance to study the poses, objects, and relationships of the figures. Here are some of the photos they submitted for the assignment:
Stay tuned for images from their replication of Greek painted vases.
We are always happy to get news from alumni of our Art and Art History programs, some of whom are involved with Art careers and others who have really exciting careers in other fields. Here are some of our latest updates from Art History majors:
From Bryna Campbell:
In May 2015, I graduated with my PhD in Art History & Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis, with a dissertation titled “The Comic Grotesque: Troubling the Body Politic in American Graphic Satire from World War I to the Great Depression.” I also received a graduate certificate in American Culture Studies. Since graduating I have been teaching as an art history instructor at Portland State University in Portland, OR. I am also the co-creator and founding editor of The Art and Place Blog (theartandplaceblog.wordpress.com) and the co-creator of the creative writing project Un/Settled (un-settled.org), which focuses on themes related to rural diaspora.
Brian Dale (who wrote his senior thesis the same year as Bryna):
I work in financial services as an Asst. Vice President with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. I live with my family in Webster Groves, MO, and my involvement with art does not extend beyond drawing with my daughter and the odd trip to the museum.