Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award
The Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award, established in 1977, is presented to an individual who has been actively engaged in teaching art history for most of his or her career. Among the range of criteria that may be applied in evaluating candidates are: inspiration to a broad range of students in the pursuit of humanistic studies; rigorous intellectual standards and outstanding success in both scholarly and class presentation; contribution to the advancement of knowledge and methodology in the discipline, including integration of art-historical knowledge with other disciplines; and aid to students in the development of their careers.
Margaretta M. Lovell is the Jay D. McEvoy Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has worked since 1981. In addition to her great accomplishments as a scholar of American art, Lovell has taught and mentored generations of students who are full of praise for her extraordinary selflessness, generosity, and dedication. Her creativity and imagination as a teacher and scholar are well matched by her open-minded approach to intellectual and professional issues, free of the binding orthodoxies of theory and political cant, which is regarded as a most welcome breath of fresh air. Lovell deals with students and colleagues with a sense of humanity and idealism, but her approach to mentoring is guided equally by firm grasp of the realities that young people face when moving forward in the field, which she has addressed through myriad imaginative solutions, including an innovative pedagogy seminar that has become her trademark.
W. J. T. Mitchell is not only a distinguished voice in contemporary discourse on the history and theory of art, but he is also a beloved teacher at the University of Chicago, where he is Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History. His students praise him for the openness of intellectual inquiry that he nurtures both in and outside the classroom. Many speak of the lasting impact that a simple teaching device of his had on them, called a “show and tell” (a short critical analysis of a manmade object from our daily life), in which the forms of critical thinking come alive as exploratory and experimental process. Mitchell’s classes transcend disciplinary singularity, shining forth with an ecumenical approach to learning that makes the study of images accessible to students in many fields. Unpretentious and deeply humane, Mitchell has carried forward his genuine and inspirational spirit of inquiry and love of knowledge to his students across the spectrum of art history and visual culture.
In the past, the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award has gone to well-respected teachers and scholars such as Jules Prown (1996), Anne Coffin Hanson (1990), Meyer Shapiro (1981), and Phoebe B. Stanton (1980). Recent recipients include Wu Hung (2008), Richard Shiff (2010), and Patricia Hills (2011). Exemplifying the important connection between scholarship and teaching, Robert Herbert, Oleg Grabar, and James Cahill have received both the teaching award and the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art.
Read a list of all winners of the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from 1977 to the present.
CAA will begin accepting nominations for the 2015 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award later this spring.