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Current Issue: May 9, 2016 (PDF)

General News


Sugata Ray

Dr. Sugata Ray will be joining the department in Fall 2016 as the new specialist in South Asian art history. Trained in both history (Presidency College; Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) and art history (Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda; University of Minnesota), Dr. Ray's research focuses on the intersections among early modern and colonial artistic cultures, transterritorial ecologies, and the natural environment.



Christina Michelon is a doctoral candidate in Art History with a specialization in American art, visual and material culture. Christina is the recipient of a Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Predoctoral Fellowship with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Her appointment is shared between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of American History. This twelve-month appointment will enable her to continue work on her dissertation "Interior Impressions: Printed Material in the Nineteenth-Century American Home."


Sinem Casale

Sinem Arcak Casale has been awarded an ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Fellowship for AY2016-17. This is for work on her book project: Courtly Encounters in War and Peace: Ottoman-Safavid Gift Exchange, 1501-1660.


Melvin Waldfogel, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Minnesota, died on February 8, 2016 in Palo Alto, California at the age of 93.

He was born in Boston on February 17, 1922, to Isaac and Annie Waldfogel, both Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Isaac Waldfogel was a successful small businessman, running a garment factory and later a grocery store, but his son aspired to other things. He attended the Boston Latin School and was the first in his family to attend college. Anti-Jewish quotas closed the universities of Boston and New York to him, but in 1940, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which welcomed students regardless of their religious background.

Full of zeal to fight Nazism, he interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army. He was assigned to the Army Signal Corps in 1942. He learned radio operation at the Sioux Falls Air Base in South Dakota, trained fighter pilots in radio operation at Muroc Air Base in California, and late in 1945, came to Germany with the Army of Occupation to Germany. Stationed in Munich, he saw first-hand the suffering of the displaced persons who had survived the concentration camps, and took the occasional potshot from the “dead-end” Nazis who had not given up the fight. He rose to the rank of First Lieutenant by the time he was discharged in 1946.

His stint in the Army introduced him to European art and he returned to Chapel Hill with a new interest in art history, graduating in 1947 as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He returned to Boston, where he met Gertrude Ann Flaxer, also from Boston, and they were married in 1949. He was accepted at Harvard University the following year and earned his doctorate in Art History in 1961.

He joined the University of Minnesota’s Art History faculty in 1955 and taught there for three decades. He introduced thousands of Minnesota students to the beauty of art and mentored the careers of scores of graduate students who became teachers, art critics, curators, archivists and museum directors.

When he retired, he returned to Massachusetts, and following the death of his wife Gertrude in 2001, he moved to Palo Alto, where he spent the remainder of his life.

He is survived by children Sabra (Clark Miller), Asher (Helyn MacLean) and Joel Waldfogel (Mary Benner); by grandchildren Emma, Hannah, and Sarah Waldfogel; by friend and companion, Dorothy Burkhart.

A memorial service will be held later this year at the Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, Massachusetts.


Parisa Atighi Moghadam

Parisa Atighi Moghadam is a PhD student in art history who studies art and architecture of Sasanian Iran. She has recently been awarded the William W. Stout Graduate Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year, during which she will be working on her doctoral dissertation, "Eastern Sasanian Architecture: Sacred and Secular Interface." Her research project investigates the sacred and secular architecture of eastern Iran between the 5th and 7th centuries. Exploring not only art and architecture of the period, but also primary historical and religious documents, she focuses on the religious and social structure of eastern Iran before the arrival of Islam and its possible impacts on later medieval art and literature of these lands.


Gabriel P. Weisberg, University of Minnesota (Editor-in-Chief)

journal of japonisme

The Journal of Japonisme is a multi-disciplinary, global publication and dedicated to all aspects of the Japonisme movement from the first appearance of the name in France in the 1870s until the 21st century. While Japonisme has long been seen as a significant influence on Western culture, there has never been an international journal that would specifically examine all aspects of this cultural phenomenon from a variety of disciplines and angles, and in a global perspective. For subscription and article submission information click here.


Erica Warren, Ph.D. 2014, is joining the staff of the Art Institute of Chicago as Assistant Curator, in the Textiles Department. Erica has worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art the past few years but the AIC position is a permanent one.


Undergraduate students Sarah Brewer and Monika Hetzler have been awarded Puffer Scholarships for International Travel.

Sarah Brewer is from Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb just outside of Chicago. When she was little, her family put an emphasis on art and they always visited art museums when they traveled. When she got to the University of Minnesota she decided to make Art History one of her majors because she wanted to keep art in her life. She is very excited to be studying at the University of Glasgow this spring. She chose this program because the University of Glasgow has the top art history program in the UK, and because the city of Glasgow itself looks like a great place to live (and they pretty much have fall weather year-round there). She is an Honors student at the University of Minnesota studying English as well as Art History, and she also works at the James Bell Library.

Monika Hetzler is a junior from Madison, Wisconsin. She loves learning about the continuing affect art has on culture and society, which is why she is an Art History major. During her free time she co-hosts the international music show for Radio K and curates art and music shows with her friends. She is very excited and honored to be a recipient of the Puffer Scholarship. She hopes through her travels in Florence to experience hands-on how the classical art of Italy has influenced modern art movements locally in Florence as well as in America.

DeAnn Dankowski

The Art History Department is saddened by the news of DeAnn Dankowski’s recent death at the age of 51. A former student in the graduate program, Dankowski was an advisee of Professor Weisberg’s and wrote her Masters paper on “Social Reform Through Art: Victor Horta and the Maison du Peuple.” After receiving her MA in 1990, she worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Art for 23 years. Her museum career began with work as a Production Coordinator in the Design and Editorial Services Department. She went on to serve as a Permissions Coordinator in the Curatorial division and as a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Photography and New Media Department. Our sincere condolences go out to her loving family and many dear friends. Read the Star Tribune Obituary


Parisa Atighi Moghadam, graduate student in Art History, is the recipient of an award from the Carol E. Machpherson Memorial Scholarship. She will be recognized at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program.


Jessica Plant, who received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History in May 2015, has been accepted to the Master of Arts program in Archaeology at Cornell University. She plans to study art and archaeology of the late antique Mediterranean.


Andrea Truitt, PhD student in Art History, has been awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University for the 2015-2016 academic year. Her proposed dissertation is titled "Experiencing the Otherworldly: Magazine Reading and Illustrations of Orientalist Domestic Space in the United States, 1800-1920."

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship gives the University's most accomplished PhD candidates the opportunity to devote full-time effort to research and writing during the fellowship year. The selection committee evaluates the student's accomplishments including progress in their program, publications, presentations, research and potential for impact on their field.


McKenzie Stupica, a 2014 graduate from New Prague who majored in Art History and German in the College of Liberal Arts, has been awarded an English teaching assistantship in Germany. She is currently a teaching assistant at the Germanic-American Institute in St. Paul and has served an an educational intern and student guide at the Weisman Art Museum.

Stupica was excited by the variety and accessibility of art while studying for a year in Berlin and applied for a WorkART fellowship that allowed her to return to Germany as an intern at a Kunstverein. She plans to reconnect wtih German artists and arts organizations in the next year.

The Fulbright Program was created and funded by Congress in 1946 to promote international good will through the exchange of students and scholars in all areas of education, culture, and science. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

MATTHEW P. CANEPA Receives john simoN guggenheim memorial foundation fellowship

Associate Professor of Art History, Matthew P. Canepa, has been named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in support of a multi-volume research project on the development of the visual cultures and spatial environments of power in Persia and the ancient Iranian world. The Guggenheim fellowship will allow Professor Canepa to spend academic year 2015-2016 finishing his second book, entitled "The Iranian Expanse," which explores the interrelation and transformation of ancient Iranian landscapes, architecture and identities. During the fellowship period he also plans to continue work on a long-term project, "Royal Glory, Divine Fortune," which examines the contested image of Iranian sovereignty between Alexander and Islam.

Jennifer Marshall receives National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship

Jennifer Marshall has been awarded an NEH Fellowship for 2015, for her current book project, William Edmondson: Life and Work: a critical monograph on the African-American folk artist, William Edmondson (ca. 1874-1951).

Active in Nashville, Tennessee during the tumultuous period of the 1930s and '40s, Edmondson was a self-taught stone carver who began his artistic career making tombstones, but quickly expanded his practice to include stand-alone works of art: angels, preachers, seated women, architectural abstractions, and allegorical figures of animals and birds. Over the course of four thematic chapters--relating to (1) biography and representation, (2) empathy and interracial experience, (3) Southern poetry and politics, and (4) the role of the artist as a figure for creative personal agency during the American Machine Age--the project operates both centripetally and centrifugally in relation to its subject. Using a mix of archival and oral histories, William Edmondson moves inwardly toward the sculptor himself, in order to develop a more intimate, three-dimensional portrait of this "outsider" artist than has previously been offered. Simultaneously, the project moves outwardly, so as to explore the many different historical contexts in which Edmondson and his work circulated: regional, racial, religious, civic-governmental, economic, literary, and artistic.

For a complete list of the 2014 NEH Fellowship recipients, see: research/grant-news/ fellowships-2014

Frederick Asher receives Distinguished Contribution to Asian Studies award

The Department of Art History is pleased to announce that Professor Frederick Asher has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Contributions to Asian Studies award from the Association for Asian Studies.


Sheila J. McNally, Professor Emerita of Art History, passed away in Minneapolis on September 24, 2014, at the age of eighty-one. Professor McNally graduated with a B.A. from Vassar College in 1953 and, following studies at the University of Kiel, University of Munich, and the Radcliffe Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1965, writing a dissertation on “The Role of Ornament in Protocorinthian Vase Painting.” After serving as a lecturer and instructor at Ohio State University and Mount Holyoke College, she joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1965. Until 1987 she was a member of the Art History Department; between 1987 and 2004 she was affiliated with the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies; and then from 2004 until her retirement in 2010 she was again a faculty member in the Department of Art History.

Over the course of her long career Sheila was widely recognized as a dynamic educator and accomplished scholar. In addition to numerous publications on Diocletian’s Palace in Split (including The Architectural Ornament of Diocletian’s Palace at Split [1996]), her work engaged Coptic Egypt, the art and archaeology of monasticism, as well as Greek and Roman sculpture, mosaics, and pottery. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the College Art Association and Mid-America Art History Society, and as a member of the advisory board of the Women’s Caucus for Art, the board of governors and other committees of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Rome Prize jury of the American Academy in Rome.

Professor McNally was a pathbreaking scholar and archaeologist—among the earliest women to make a name for herself in a field long dominated by men—and was an inspiring role model to young women in the field of Classical archaeology. She will be remembered as a passionate individual who lived her life in an utterly unique fashion, and will be missed by all who knew her.

Contributions in her honor can be made to the Sheila McNally Fellowship Fund (c/o the Department of Art History), which supports graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. in the art and archaeology of the late Antique.

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