Introduced with a brief essay below, the Art Bulletin’s online anthology was compiled in 2010 by the members of the journal’s editorial board: Michael Cole, Paul Duro, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Linda Komaroff, Karen Lang, Ikem Okoye, Joanne Pillsbury, Richard J. Powell, Thelma K. Thomas, and Eugene Wang. Each member selected several texts for inclusion; all thirty-nine are available as PDFs.
Centennial Anthology of The Art Bulletin
Natalie Boymel Kampen, professor emerita of Barnard College, Columbia University, is currently a visiting professor of Roman art and archaeology at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University. Among her books are Fictions of Family in Roman Art (2009) and What Is a Man? Masculinity in Late Antique Art (2002). She served as chair of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board in 2009–10.
To mark the 2011 Centennial of the College Art Association, the CAA Centennial Task Force asked the Art Bulletin Editorial Board to create an online anthology of important articles and reviews from past issues—the “greatest hits” of the journal, which has been published since 1913.1 As could have been predicted, we came up with a list of the favorite articles of the individual members of the editorial board. These texts represent us rather than some abstract notion of greatness or scholarly magnificence, although some articles are indeed magnificent by any standard.
There are huge lacunae in our selections, such as the entire decade of the 1950s. (One would love to know what, besides the Korean War, McCarthyism, and the military-industrial complex, was going on to have left that moment so devoid of excitement for us.) Other gaps are simply revealing of the state of the field: there are very few pieces by women for the early years because few women were publishing in The Art Bulletin at the time. There are also few works by scholars of color and Jewish scholars because there were few in the field at the time; academe and museums were seldom hospitable, and Meyer Schapiro remains an exception for the 1920s and ’30s. However, the fact that African American scholars remain few despite their presence on and at the head of the journal’s editorial board is still significant in what it says about the state of American and European cultural institutions. The gaps are filled in interesting ways that also speak to the state of the field, as when, from the early 1970s, feminist work appears and, from the early 1980s work on race appears alongside articles about the arts of Africa and of African Americans.
Our choices inevitably mark us as of our time, and we clearly find especially interesting those essays that deal with theoretical issues as well as those on art outside the European canon. Thus, the list is unrepresentative, especially because it has relatively little from the enormous numbers of articles on European medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early modern art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We clearly wanted to draw the attention of readers to the variety of topics and fields to be found in The Art Bulletin. The early paper of Robert E. Smith Jr. on Latin American colonial architecture, Mehmet Aga-Oglu’s essay on Islamic art, and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s text on attitudes toward ornament from Greek and Sanskrit to the teaching of art appreciation—all reveal an interest in the entire world of art and in a diversity of objects of study. To this we add the remarkable diversity of approaches, from Schapiro’s contextualizing study of the relationship of form and content to Rensselaer W. Lee’s fundamental study of theories of painting in the Renaissance in Italy.
The diversity proliferates by the 1970s, as does the subject matter, and more politically engaged essays appear along with more papers revealing the exposure of art historians to the works and theories of anthropologists, literary theorists, psychoanalysts, and cultural critics. Editors have much to do with this diversity, and the openness of Art Bulletin editors has meant that the journal has seen papers on questions of subjectivity, identity, and sexuality; on the nature and historiography of specific subfields; and on the ways art historians conceive of history-writing as a practice. From its earliest years as a small club with a limited number of often patrician, American-born practitioners, art history, even in this small and particular sample, has expanded both its participants and its points of view.
The essays and reviews here are our favorites, the ones that made a difference to us as art historians and as people, and we apologize for all that which is left out. There were other ways to make the selection than simply to ask everyone to send along favorites: Porter Prize winners, one essay per editorial regime, one essay for every subfield, and so on … all would have been just as invalid or valid.
1. The journal suspended publication during most of World War I, which is why the current volume number is 93.
1. Meyer Schapiro, “The Romanesque Sculpture of Moissac,” pt. 1, Art Bulletin 13, no. 3 (September 1931): 249–351.
2. Meyer Schapiro, “The Romanesque Sculpture of Moissac,” pt. 2, Art Bulletin 13, no. 4 (December 1931): 464–531.
3. Robert C. Smith Jr., “The Colonial Architecture of Minas Gerais in Brazil,” Art Bulletin 21, no. 2 (June 1939): 110–59.
4. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, “Ornament,” Art Bulletin 21, no. 4 (December 1939): 375–82.
5. Rensselaer W. Lee, “Ut Pictura Poesis: The Humanistic Theory of Painting,” Art Bulletin 22, no. 4 (December 1940): 197–269.
6. Mehmet Aga-Oglu, “About a Type of Islamic Incense Burner,” Art Bulletin 27, no. 1 (March 1945): 28–45.
7. Ramsay MacMullen, “Some Pictures in Ammianus Marcellinus,” Art Bulletin 46, no. 4 (December 1964): 435–56.
8. Linda Nochlin, “Gustave Courbet’s Meeting: A Portrait of the Artist as a Wandering Jew,” Art Bulletin 49, no. 3 (September 1967): 209–22.
9. Leo Steinberg, “Michelangelo’s Florentine Pietà: The Missing Leg,” Art Bulletin 50, no. 4 (December 1968): 343–53.
10. Carol Duncan, “Happy Mothers and Other New Ideas in French Art,” Art Bulletin 55, no. 4 (December 1973): 570–83.
11. Leo Steinberg, “Pontormo’s Capponi Chapel,” Art Bulletin 56, no. 3 (September 1974): 385–99.
12. Elizabeth Cropper, “On Beautiful Women, Parmigianino, Petrarchismo, and the Vernacular Style,” Art Bulletin 58, no. 3 (September 1976): 374–94.
13. Wayne E. Begley, “The Myth of the Taj Mahal and a New Theory of Its Symbolic Meaning,” Art Bulletin 61, no. 1 (March 1979): 7–37.
14. Frederick J. Lamp, “House of Stones: Memorial Art of Fifteenth-Century Sierra Leone,” Art Bulletin 65, no. 2 (June 1983): 219–37.
15. Suzanne Preston Blier, “Kings, Crowns, and Rights of Succession: Obalufon Arts at Ife and Other Yoruba Centers,” Art Bulletin 67, no. 3 (September 1985): 383–401.
16. Annabel Jane Wharton, “Ritual and Reconstructed Meaning: The Neonian Baptistery in Ravenna,” Art Bulletin 69, no. 3 (September 1987): 358–75.
17. Henry Maguire, “The Art of Comparing in Byzantium,” Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (March 1988): 88–103.
18. Margaret Olin, “Forms of Respect: Alois Riegl’s Concept of Attentiveness,” Art Bulletin 71, no. 2 (June 1989): 285–99.
19. Patricia Leighten, “The White Peril and L’Art nègre: Picasso, Primitivism, and Anticolonialism,” Art Bulletin 72, no. 4 (December 1990): 609–30.
20. Suzanne Preston Blier, “Imaging Otherness in Ivory: African Portrayals of the Portuguese ca. 1492,” Art Bulletin 75, no. 3 (September 1993): 375–96.
21. Donald Posner, “Concerning the ‘Mechanical’ Parts of Painting and the Artistic Culture of Seventeenth-Century France,” Art Bulletin 75, no. 4 (December 1993): 583–98.
22. Bettina Bergmann, “The Roman House as Memory Theater: The House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii,” Art Bulletin 76, no. 2 (June 1994): 225–56.
23. Lee Stephens Glazer, “Signifying Identity: Art and Race in Romare Bearden’s Projections,” Art Bulletin 76, no. 3 (September 1994): 411–26.
24. Ladislav Kesner, “Likeness of No One: (Re)presenting the First Emperor’s Army,” Art Bulletin 77, no. 1 (March 1995):115–32.
25. Keith Moxey, “Motivating History,” Art Bulletin 77, no. 3 (September 1995): 392–401.
26. Kathleen Pyne, “Portrait of a Collector as an Agnostic: Charles Lang Freer and Connoisseurship,” Art Bulletin 78, no. 1 (March 1996): 75–97.
27. Karen Lang, “The Dialectics of Decay: Rereading the Kantian Subject,” Art Bulletin 79, no. 3 (September 1997): 413–39.
28. Genevieve Warwick, “Gift Exchange and Art Collecting: Padre Sebastiano Resta’s Drawing Albums,” Art Bulletin 79, no. 4 (December 1997): 630–46.
29. John Davis, "Eastman Johnson’s Negro Life at the South and Urban Slavery in Washington, D.C." Art Bulletin 80, no. 1 (March 1998): 67–92.
30. Thomas F. Hedin, “The Petite Commande of 1664: Burlesque in the Gardens of Versailles,” Art Bulletin 83, no. 4 (December 2001): 651–85.
31. Finbarr Barry Flood, “Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm, and the Museum,” Art Bulletin 84, no. 4 (December 2002): 641–59.
32. Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom, “The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field,” Art Bulletin 85, no. 1 (March 2003): 152–84.
33. Stella Nair, “Localizing Sacredness, Difference, and Yachacuscamcani in a Colonial Andean Painting,” Art Bulletin 89, no. 2 (June 2007): 211–38.
34. Meyer Schapiro, “The New Viennese School,” review of Kunstwissenschaftliche Forschungen, II, ed.by Otto Pächt, Art Bulletin 18, no. 2 (June 1936): 258–66.
35. James S. Ackerman, review of Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, by Rudolf Wittkower, Art Bulletin 33, no. 3 (September 1951): 195–200.
36. Mieke Bal, review of Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market, by Svetlana Alpers, Art Bulletin 72, no. 1 (March 1990): 138–43.
37. Griselda Pollock, review of Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art, by Mary D. Garrard, Art Bulletin 72, no. 3 (September 1990): 499–505.
38. Christopher S. Wood, review of Bild-Anthropologie: Entwürfe für eine Bildwissenschaft, by Hans Belting, Art Bulletin 86, no. 2 (June 2004): 370–73.
39. Irene J. Winter, review of Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage, by James Cuno, Art Bulletin 91, no. 4 (December 2009): 522–26.
Published on February 8, 2011; revised on November 23, 2011.