CAA News Today

IN MEMORIAM: Samella Lewis

posted by May 31, 2022

Samella Lewis, an artist, curator, and historian whose writings shaped African American art history, has died at 98. She died on Friday, according to the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles, which Lewis founded. In 2021, the College Art Association, where Lewis had once been on the publications committee, gave her its esteemed lifetime achievement award.

Learn more about Samella life and work here.

Filed under: Obituaries

IN MEMORIAM: Christopher M. S. Johns

posted by May 24, 2022

Christopher M.S. Johns, the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of Fine Arts and professor of history of art and architecture, died at his home on May 8 after a long illness. He was 67.

Read more about Christopher’s life and work here.

Filed under: Obituaries

IN MEMORIAM: Wilbur Niewald

posted by May 11, 2022

Wilbur Niewald, a longtime CAA member and artist, recently passed away at the age of 97. He was professor emeritus at the Kansas City Art Institute and a recipient of CAA’s Distinguished Teaching of Art Award in 1988.

Read more about Wilbur’s life and work here.

Filed under: Obituaries

In Memoriam: Dr. Margaret Rose Vendryes

posted by May 11, 2022

Dr. Margaret Rose Vendryes unexpectedly passed away on March 30, 2022. A former member of CAA, Dr. Vendryes was most recently appointed as the incoming Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Dr. Vendryes Professor was in the Department of Performing and Fine Arts and Director of the Fine Arts Gallery at York College at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Professor of Art History for more than two decades. Additional information on the life and work of Dr. Vendryes can be found in the announcement Tufts University issues upon her appointment as Dean. That announcement can be found here.

Filed under: Obituaries

IN MEMORIAM: CHARLES DEMPSEY

posted by March 03, 2022

Longtime CAA member and renowned art historian, Charles Dempsey, passed away on February 22, 2022. Professor emeritus in the Department of the History of Art in Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Dempsey’s specialized in Renaissance and Baroque art. In his long career, Dempsey mentored hundreds of students and shaped his field, publishing widely, including in CAA’s The Art Bulletin. He also received CAA’s A. Kingsley Porter Prize. To read more about his life and career, please visit this page.

Filed under: Obituaries

IN MEMORIAM: CARMEN HERRERA

posted by February 15, 2022

Image source: The New York Times by Todd Heisler

CAA mourns the loss of artist Carmen Herrera who died February 12, 2022 at the age of 106. Recognized by CAA in 2016 as the Distinguished Artist for Lifetime Achievement, Herrera’s career received attention in the last few decades of her life. Born in Cuba in 1915, she originally studied architecture but switched her focus to painting when she moved to New York City in the 1930s. At the age of 89 in 2004, she had her first major show and review at Manhattan’s Latin Collector Gallery. Now her minimalist and hard-edged paintings, with a focus on line, form, and color, are widely celebrated in the collections of major museums around the world. In a 2009 interview she said, “It’s a compulsion that also gives me pleasure. I never in my life had any idea of money and I thought fame was a very vulgar thing. . . . And at the end of my life, I’m getting a lot of recognition, to my amazement and my pleasure.”

Filed under: Obituaries

In Memoriam: Jonathan Brown

posted by January 19, 2022

Image source: Institute of Fine Arts, New York University


CAA mourns the loss of Jonathan Brown, an art historian and curator who has had an immense impact on the study of art in the Hispanic world. With over fifty-one years of teaching, eight at Princeton and forty-three at the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), Brown’s influence was far-reaching. As he put it, “Without modesty, I believe I have made a mark in my field—Hispanic art—and in the wider world of art history.”

As a student at the beginning of his career, Brown studied Spanish literature at Dartmouth College and studied abroad in Madrid, where he discovered and cultivated his lifelong interest in Velázquez and Spanish Baroque art. After finishing his doctorate at Princeton in 1964, he joined the Princeton Department of Art and Archeology from 1965–73 and then ultimately decided to pursue scholarship and teaching, publishing his first book in 1973 based on his dissertation, Images and Ideas in Seventeenth-Century Spanish Painting. He said that he was told “that it fell like a bombshell in the ranks of Spanish art historians. Implicitly, the book created a bridge between the iconographical approach of Panofsky and a contextual reading . . . ” This was just the start of a long career that included exhibitions at major museums, scholarly publications, awards, and other accomplishments. In his tenure, his work shaped the study of Spanish Baroque art and defined the practice of Velázquez, producing texts and surveys that have become standard references for the field. In the last decades of his life, as the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the IFA, he expanded his practice to include Hispanic and colonial art in the Americas.

In 2011, Brown served as the Distinguished Scholar for CAA’s Annual Conference. This honor invites preeminent scholars in the field to participate in a session at the conference along colleagues and former students. The session can therefore be viewed as the equivalent of a living Festschrift: an occasion for applauding, examining, and extending a distinguished career in art history and an opportunity for encouraging dialogue between and among several generations of scholars. In recognizing the significance of this moment, he said that he had “received many awards for my contributions to the field, of which the most important is the Distinguished Scholar by the College Art Association . . .”

Read more about the remarkable career of Jonathan Brown here.

Filed under: Obituaries

IN MEMORIAM: Amy Kirschke

posted by December 14, 2021

Longtime CAA member, Amy Kirschke, passed away on November 27, 2021. Kirschke was a UNCW faculty member, a recent department chair, and a Professor Emerita in Art and Art History.  Her family has established the UNCW Dr. Amy Kirschke Scholarship in Art and Art History in her memory.

Amy Kirschke specialized in modern art, including the art of the African Diaspora and African contemporary art and was a prolific scholar and professor. She published, edited, and contributed to several books including Aaron Douglas: Art, Race and the Harlem Renaissance (1995, University Press of Mississippi), Art in Crisis: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Art of African American Identity and Memory (2007, Indiana University Press), Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance. (2014, Mississippi University Press), and Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist (Yale University Press, 2007).

Image source.

Filed under: Obituaries

In Memoriam: Robert Farris Thompson

posted by December 10, 2021

Robert Farris Thompson

Robert Farris Thompson, an eminent art historian recognized for his field-leading research and writing on the art, history, culture, dance, and music of Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world, and who was the longest serving head of college in Yale’s history, died on Nov. 29. He was 88.

Thompson was professor emeritus of African American studies and the former Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art at Yale. For more than a half-century on Yale’s faculty, and during his 32 years as “Master T” at the helm of Timothy Dwight College, he secured his place in the pantheon of beloved professors and university leaders.

In recognizing Thompson with its inaugural Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art in 2003, the College Art Association described him as a “towering figure in the history of art, whose voice for diversity and cultural openness has made him a public intellectual of resounding importance.” In May 2021 he was honored with an honorary degree from Yale celebrating his lifetime of academic achievement.

Above excerpts and image from, “Robert Farris Thompson, pioneer in study of African and Afro-Atlantic art,” YaleNews (December 1, 2021). Please click this link to read the full article.

 

Filed under: Obituaries

In Memoriam: Julie L. Green

posted by November 04, 2021

Artist Julie Green in front of one of their pieces in The Armory Show 2020, which included a salon-style presentation of Fashion Plate works, painted on Chinet plates and platters. (Photo by Theo Downes-Le Guin/Upfor Gallery)

Artist and educator Julie Green died at home on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Green (who preferred gender neutral pronouns) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer nearly two years ago.

Julie Lynn Green was born in 1961 in Yokosuka, Japan to Frederick William (Bill) Green and Jane Green. Green’s birth wasn’t without excitement: their father was airlifted by helicopter off a Navy ship to support Jane during pregnancy complications. Both mother and child were fine. As a child, Green lived in Washington State, Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, and Iowa, where they attended Des Moines Roosevelt High School, graduating in 1979. From an early age, Green shared their mother’s passion for creative projects, thriving as an artist and performing with a high school mime group. One of Green’s favorite pastimes was to play Scrabble with grandmother “GrandMary.” In 1995, Green married longtime partner Clay Lohmann, who encouraged a lifelong interest in yoga and expanded Green’s artistic pursuits.

Green wrote that they wanted to be a stewardess until age four, but became a painter instead. Green received a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from The University of Kansas, studying with noted artist Roger Shimomura, who remained a lifelong mentor and friend. Green joined the faculty at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in 2000 as a professor in the Art and Art History Department. While garnering admiration and affection from a generation of students, Green also maintained an active studio practice. Green started their best-known work, a series of paintings on second-hand plates depicting the last meal requests of death row prisoners titled The Last Supper, in 2000. A few weeks before their death, Green decided to end the project at 1,000 plates. The first 800 plates are currently on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington.

Green worked in a variety of mediums but identified primarily as a painter, often combining humble materials and techniques with art historical traditions. Green painted on linens, Tyvek, and Chinet-brand paper plates as well as paper and canvas, with pigments from sources as diverse as industrial waste byproducts, rare earth elements and 7UP. Awarded a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts from The Ford Family Foundation, Green’s accolades also included grants and fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the ArtPrize 3-D Juried Award, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Green’s work was featured in a variety of publications and programs including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and PBS, and was exhibited widely in museums and galleries throughout the United States. Green’s final public exhibition in their lifetime, at The Armory Show in New York in 2020, garnered the Presents Award.

Green was preceded in death by their father Frederick WIlliam Green. Green is survived by their husband, artist Clay Lohmann, brother Scott Green, and mother Jane Hamilton.

–Theo Downes-Le Guin and Scott Green

Filed under: Obituaries