posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 19, 2013
The December 2013 issue of The Art Bulletin, the leading publication of international art-historical scholarship, leads off with “Regarding Art and Art History,” in which Zainab Bahrani highlights the indispensable role of ancient Near Eastern art in Western art history. For “Notes from the Field,” twelve artists, scholars, curators, anthropologists, and thinkers—Obiora Udechukwu, John Brewer, Jay Clarke, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Hans Hayden, Gregg Horowitz, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Susanne Küchler, Maria Loh, Ruth Phillips, Regine Prange, and Alessandra Russo—ruminate on tradition in art. Next, Stephen Bann and Karen Lang consider the sense of the past and the writing of art history in the December “Interview.”
The first essay, by Gerd Blum, closely examines Vasari’s alleged account of Roman Jews pilgrimaging every Sabbath to venerate Michelangelo’s Moses, revealing that Vasari’s Lives is underpinned by a Christian theology of history and the theological topos of the “eschatological Jew.” In an article titled “‘Precisely These Objects,’” Jennifer Raab explores Frederic Edwin Church’s use of detail in relation to nineteenth-century American debates concerning the aims of landscape painting, scientific and artistic representation, and the detail as a cultural object.
In “Awa Tsireh and the Art of Subtle Resistance,” Sascha Scott studies silence, misdirection, coding, and masking in Tsireh’s paintings of the 1920s to show how these visual strategies controlled the flow of information about Pueblo Indian culture at a time when the Pueblos were being besieged by anthropologists and persecuted by the Office of Indian Affairs. Finally, Natasha Eaton’s essay analyzes the contested status of color in the art of Indian nationalism—with particular attention to the speeches, manifestoes, and works of art by M. K. Gandhi, Abanindranath and Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, and Jamini Roy—to demonstrate the role of color in establishing a new Bengali aesthetic.
The Reviews section features scholarly assessments written by former Art Bulletin editors: Marc Gotlieb considers Edward Snow’s monograph A Study of Vermeer, and David Roxburgh analyzes Laurence Binyon, J. V. S. Wilkinson, and Basil Gray’s book Persian Miniature Painting. Richard J. Powell takes on Freeman Henry Morris Murray’s Emancipation and the Freed in American Sculpture, and Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer reviews Daniel Arasse’s Le détail: Pour une histoire rapprochée de la peinture. In a jointly authored review, Michael W. Cole and Christopher S. Wood assess L’antirinascimento by Eugenio Battisti.
CAA sends The Art Bulletin to all institutional members and to those individuals who choose to receive the journal as a benefit of their membership. The next issue of the quarterly publication, to appear in March 2014, will feature Griselda Pollock’s critical engagement with interpretative and institutional trends in an essay titled “Whither Art History?” The March issue will also publish essays on Michelangelo’s drawing Children’s Bacchanal, Pedro Teixeira’s monumental 1656 map of Madrid, olfactory traditions in Ottoman incense burners, and the twentieth-century Brazilian artist Vicente do Rego Monteiro, as well as reviews of books on art and science in the United States and Japan, Mexican modernism, the genealogy of new-media art, and the golden age of Dutch art.