The Champs Elyseés: A Definitive Work of Political Propoganda

April 27th, 2013

Political propaganda in the age of Napoleon Bonapart has long been of interest to historians; however, the investigation largely has been limited in scope to the two dimensional works of art commissioned by this notorious figure. In this discussion, I will extend the examination to include some of the critical architectural works built and commissioned by Napoleon, particularly those lining the Champs Elyseés. Read More…

The Villa Farnesina: A Painted Panegyric of Agostino Chigi

April 27th, 2013

Whereas most prominent scholars, such as Fabio Benzi, Paolo D’Ancona, and Julian Kliemann have indicated that the decorations of Rome’s Villa Farnesina were painted in honor of banker Agostino Chigi’s passionate love for his wife and in celebration of their wedding, I will prove otherwise. By looking in depth at the frescoes decorating two rooms, the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche and the Hall of the Perspective Views, we may find a new interpretation or explanation for the subject matter that links the two spaces and celebrates the rising social status of the banker instead of matrimonial bliss. Read More…

Insight and Oversight: Hermathena at Rubens’s Antwerp Academy of Art

April 27th, 2013

The diplomat and painter Rubens identified with the allegorical figure Hermathena, a figure formed from a synthesis of Hermes and Athena. Sculptures of the two Greco-Roman gods stood above the tripartite entryway to his home in Antwerp and their prominent locations call for a cohesive explanation.  Read More…

The Discourse on Gender in Guitar Drag

April 14th, 2012

Christian Marclay filmed and recorded Guitar Drag in 1999 and released the video installation in 2000. Most critics focus on the work as a response to the racially-charged 1998 murder of African-American James Byrd, Jr., but Guitar Drag is more than a frightening commentary on racism and abuse. Three Anglo men tied Byrd to the back of their pick-up truck and dragged him through several miles of rural Texas. Read More…

The Etruscan Athena and the Afterlife

April 14th, 2012

Figures of the Etruscan underworld and the afterlife appear on funerary mirrors and already have been addressed by Alexandra Carpino and others like Nancy Thompson de Grummond.  These characters include Mercury, the Dioscuri, and Eos. Scholars identify these by the attributes associated with Greek mythology, whose myths often are further mirrored in the Etruscan pantheon. Read More…

Fascism on the Fence: Stazione della Santa Maria Novella and Modern Architecture

April 14th, 2012

The earliest material on Italian fascist architecture was concerned only with defining a Fascist aesthetic.  The same can be said of the research on architect Giovanni Michelucci and Gruppo Toscano’s Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, Italy.  Only in the last 30 to 40 years, can we find materials in English that try to place the modern aesthetic within a cultural or political context.  Read More…

Tania Bruguera and Relational Aesthetics

April 14th, 2012

Tania Bruguera is a contemporary Cuban-born performance artist who attempts to provide an audience with an experience that is politically and socially enlightening. Her work over time has shifted from solo performances which present themes of Cuban political struggle to work which clearly blurs the lines between art and reality. Read More…

Ecce Homo: James Ensor’s The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889 as Personal Manifesto

April 11th, 2011

Hidden behind the masked figures of James Ensor’s The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889, from the years 1888-89, lies a spectacle waiting to be uncovered. In a 1932 speech for his exhibition at the Musée National du Jue de Paume in Paris, Ensor eloquently stated, “Witness The Entry of Christ into Brussels which teems with all the hard and soft creatures spewed out by the sea.  Won over by irony, touched by splendors, my vision becomes more refined, I purify my colors, they are whole and personal.” Read More…

George Grosz’s Dedication to Oskar Panizza: World War One’s “Dance of Death”

April 11th, 2011

George Grosz’s painting Dedication to Oskar Panizza (1917-1918) is part of German political history, but this work also has its own place in the longer history of the iconographical theme “Dance of Death.” The significance of the “Dance of Death” to the meaning of Grosz’s Dedication to Oskar Panizza is often mentioned in descriptions of this painting. Yet, a close analysis of the “Dance of Death” theme in this work is rarely addressed. In this thesis I discuss the socially and politically important uses of the “Dance of Death” theme in German history. Read More…

The Divine Shepherdess in the Andes: Syncretism in the New World

April 11th, 2011

The devotion to the Virgin Mary as the Divine Shepherdess emerged in 1703 in Seville, Spain, and quickly gained a significant following. Missionaries carried this devotion to the Spanish American colonies, where they easily adapted the image of the Divine Shepherdess to various communities by conflating it with other Marian images. The statue of La Divina Pastora Hilandera, from the workshop of quiteño artist Bernardo de Legarda, combines the theme of the Divine Shepherdess with the European iconography of the Spinning Virgin, an image drawn from apocryphal stories of the Virgin’s childhood. Read More…

Salvador Dalí and the Nuclear Cross: Liturgical Art of the 20th Century

April 8th, 2011

Religious or devotional art is not usually associated with the Surrealist Salvador Dalí; however, there is a place for the genre in his oeuvre. There is a gap in his artistic styles between his infamous Surrealism and his Nuclear Mysticism. His fascination with the developing field of psychoanalytic theory consumed his attention until the late 1930s. After the late 1950s, Dalí devoted his artistic expression to subject matter exploring contemporary scientific theories that he deemed “Nuclear Mysticism” or “Nuclear Age.” Read More…

Where’s Jules? The Disappearance of Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage

April 8th, 2011

Jules Bastien-Lepage was an Academic Realist painter whose life coincided with the Realist movement in France. The epitome of the avant-garde at this time was Gustave Courbet with his strict interpretation of Realism. Although Bastien-Lepage viewed himself as a Realist, the pictorial elements of his work aligned him much more soundly with the English Pre-Raphaelites than with the French Realists. Read More…

Reframing Alison Saar: Obtaining a New Locus

April 6th, 2011

The artwork of Alison Saar is deeply spiritual and personal.  Saar is an Los Angelian artist who works with iconography based in her own heritage, European and African-American, as well as learned icons related to Buddhism or urban street culture, for example.  While the multitude of influences are readily apparent in her works, there are issues with the way Saar’s work is received and considered. Read More…

Brick by Brick: Building a Catenary Arch

April 8th, 2010

Firing ceramics is an enormous aspect of clay art.  The glazing and marking of a piece transforms a raw-looking form into a work of art.  Kilns of all shapes, sizes, and types can be built in order to accomplish the finishing touches on a ceramicist’s work. Read More…

Rape and Artemisia Gentileschi: An Examination of the Saint Louis Danaë

April 8th, 2010

A small, seventeenth-century oil on copper painting of Danaë appears on the walls of the Saint Louis Museum of Art.  In 1999, Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi brought this 16″ X 20.5″ work to the attention to the larger feminist community with her Women’s Art Journal article “The Gentileschi Danaë: A Narrative of Rape,” where she argues that Artemisia Gentileschi’s unusual presentation of the conception of Perseus is the product of the artist’s experience with rape as a teenager. Read More…

Pillars of Society: George Grosz’s Possible Resignation from the Communist Party of Germany

April 8th, 2010

George Grosz is described as the saddest man in all Europe.  As Uwe Schneede argued in George Grosz: The Artist in His Society, Grosz’s work cannot be placed into any clear category. Read More…

Marie de Medici as Astraea

April 7th, 2010

Astraea is the virgin goddess of justice. Prophesized by Virgil to return with the new golden age, her image became one of rebirth, prosperity, and peace. Modern spectators may find the figure of Astraea; however, during the seventeenth century, it was even more obscure to find a painting cycle based on the life of a female. Read More…

The Spiritual Transformation of Ana Mendieta

April 6th, 2010

With her Earth-body Art, Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta created a language that escaped the common narrative of her time.  During the sixties and seventies, the postmodern narrative influenced artists to find a sense of meaning within a larger global context. Read More…

The Evolving Nature of Art History: Character Identifications in Raphael’s School of Athens

April 6th, 2010

One would imagine that a work as famous as Raphael’s School of Athens would have every figure established. Nevertheless, Daniel Orth Bell’s article entitled “New Identifications in Raphael’s School of Athens” of 1995 proposed a radical reinterpretation of two figures. Read More…

Shepard Fairey’s Commentary on Commercialism and Capitalism in America’s Public Space

April 5th, 2010

In a day and age where each individual seems to be constantly bombarded by attention grabbing images trying to sell us one product or another, people have begun to notice with particular attention those few images that are not related to consumerism or some political campaign.  Despite our familiarity with images such as the artist Shepard Fairey’s “Obama Hope” posters, there are other works that comment on commercialism that deserve our attention. Read More…

Functions of an Ecomuseum in San Vicente de Nicoya: Seeking Cultural Preservation and Economic Stability

April 18th, 2009

This presentation is based on two months of ethnographic field research in the village of San Vicente de Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, during which the current state of the community based museum called the Ecomuseum de la Cerámica Chorotega that opened in May of 2007 was studied. Read More…

Picking Identity: The Banjo During the Harlem Renaissance

April 18th, 2009

Depictions of the banjo in the visual arts and literature of the Harlem Renaissance are reflective of both the banjo’s painful associations with black-face minstrelsy and its importance as a source of reclaimed heritage for Afro-Americans of the time. Read More…

Debunking the Debunkers: A Closer Look at The Sistine Secrets

April 18th, 2009

The stories told through the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel have been long debated. Read More…

The Fanatical Fascination with Race and Pride: Casta Paintings of 18th Century Colonial Mexico

April 18th, 2009

The copious amount of racial mixing in Colonial Mexico first became corporeal to Colonial Powers with the emergence of casta paintings during the 18th century. These paintings, which represented scenes from everyday life, documented the different racial mixtures found in Colonial Mexico at this time, and began a system of race classification and designation based on arbitrary characteristics commonly associated with certain lineages. Read More…

Obelisks, Imperialism and the Papacy

April 18th, 2009

The popes of the 17th century faced one of the worst crises since the Great Schism divided the church between East and West. Read More…

Confronting the Mirror: Leibovitz, Goldin, and Sherman

April 29th, 2008

In confronting the mirror in their photographs, contemporary women artists have addressed the boundaries that have historically limited women to over-sexualization or objectification. These artists have not only confronted the mirror but also the male gaze. Read More…

The Saint and the Sinner: The Ideology of Jean, duc de Berry as Understood by the Limbourg Brothers

April 29th, 2008

The work of the early fifteenth-century artists collectively called “the Limbourg Brothers” is neither unknown to scholars of medieval history nor fully understood by them. Read More…

Self-inflicted Freedoms: Elisabetta Sirani and the Image of the Empowered Woman

April 29th, 2008

The image of the female heroine in early modern art is one that varies greatly depending upon the artist portraying her. However, some of these works move beyond simple variation and into the exception. Read More…

Van Gogh’s Irises: Entering Into the Spirit of Nature

April 14th, 2007

Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Irises of 1889 has gained international attention for its beauty. Often described simply as a study, Irises seems to capture the essence of life through vivid colors and a mysterious sense of movement. Read More…

The Penis, the Paintbrush, and the Pen: Dotty Attie’s Mixed Metaphors

April 14th, 2007

The tendency of postmodernism to redefine art historical works is evident through the work of contemporary artist Dotty Attie. Read More…

Three Friends: Feminist Possibility in John Currin’s Work

April 14th, 2007

John Currin’ s works have inspired outrage. Kim Levin, art critic for the Village Voice, encouraged readers to “ boycott” John Currin’ s “ awful paintings” roughly a decade ago; however, the New York art world did the exact opposite. Read More…

Giotto’s Arena Chapel and Scrovegni Patronage

April 29th, 2006

In 1306, the renowned Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone was called to Padua by Enrico Scrovegni to paint the interior of the Capella dell’Arena in expiation of the crimes of Enrico’ s father, the infamous usurer Reginaldo Scrovegni. Read More…

Paragone: Bernini’s Sculptures in the Villa Borghese

April 29th, 2006

There is certainly no shortage of information on Gianlorenzo Bernini. Rightly considered to be the most gifted sculptor of the Italian Baroque, Bernini’ s lyrical, animated style set the precedent for more than a century’ s worth of sculpture. Read More…

The Triumph of Christianity: Constantine, Sixtus V, and the Renovation of Rome

April 29th, 2006

Scholars often discuss the persuasive iconography that decorates the walls of the Vatican’ s Room of Constantine as well as the patronage, but most neglect the unusual ceiling program. Read More…

Clean Water for Economically Disadvantaged Countries: The Potters for Peace Answer

April 29th, 2006

Potters for Peace (PFP) is a U.S. based NGO consisting of potters, educators, technicians and supporters who work intimately with potters in Nicaragua to alleviate difficult social conditions related to the country’ s political and economical instability. Read More…

Grant Wood’s Concept of Regionalism: The Use of Decorative Arts as “Native Material”

April 29th, 2006

Scholarship on Grant Wood has, for the most part, described an artist submersed in a cultural resurrection of national identity. The overwhelming consensus is that Wood based his art on a Regionalism that is defined as a Midwestern movement seeking a truly American art. Read More…

Woodrow Wilson Crumbo’s Land of Enchantment: Satire and the Euro-American Consumer

April 29th, 2006

Multiple publications include illustrations of Woodrow Wilson Crumbo’ s Land of Enchantment (c. 1946), but few go into depth about its satirical commentary. Read More…

Labeling the Tension: Historiography and Degas’ Interior (The Rape)

April 17th, 2004

Edgar Degas was a painter during the nineteenth and early twentieth century who created works of art that intrigued a great many of his generation and those to follow. Interior is one such piece; surrounded as it is by mystery, it remains topic of discussion to this day. Read More…

Painting as a Weapon of War: Picasso’s Guernica

April 17th, 2004

Crafted by the painter and wielded by the affected viewer, painting is a weapon of war. Read More…

Cultural Politics and Frida Kahlo’s Moses

April 17th, 2004

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who liberated herself and her beliefs though her paintings. Her works are often discussed in terms of the pain and anguish she suffered throughout her short life-from her birth in 1907 to her death in 1954. Read More…

The Divine Right of Queens: Female Patronage and the Medici

April 12th, 2003

In 1621 Marie de’Medici commissioned Peter Paul Rubens to complete a series of paintings celebrating her life for Luxembourg Palace, known as the Medici cycle. Read More…

Becoming an Artist: Norman Rockwell’s Self-Portrait of 1960

April 12th, 2003

There have been mixed views on whether Norman Rockwell should be considered an artist or illustrator. Rockwell’s autobiography was entitled My Adventures As An Illustrator. However, this is not consistent with the view he expresses in a later interview, where he states that he is no longer an illustrator, but that he is a painter of genre. His later works, especially the Triple Self-Portrait, clearly reflect this comment.

Through an examination of Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait, we can gain a better understanding of how he perceived his role. I will talk about how he comments on his status through references to the great artists of the past in this work. If we look at the negative criticism directed at Rockwell and study a few additional works in greater detail, we can discover how even this criticism is unfounded. In fact, a careful discussion of these works also will reveal where his self-portrait should be placed in light of his artistic career. The Triple Self-Portrait is characteristic of his later work, where he is demonstrating that he is more than a commercial artist. It is my hope that through this paper, I can convince others of the immense talent of Norman Rockwell as a truly remarkable artist.

Kelly Ciociola, ’05 Richland Center, WI
Major: Art

Sponsor: Christina McOmber

Photographing the Oak Hill Neighborhood with Grant Wood Fifth Graders: Perspectives From an Internship

April 12th, 2003

As a photography intern assisting artist-in-residence Bob Campagna, I worked for three weeks with Grant Wood fifth graders to teach them about photography and how they could make excellent photographs. Read More…

Orientalism and the Myth of Cleopatra

April 13th, 2002

Images of Cleopatra often emphasize elements of sexuality, decadence, and the cool, calculating nature of the ancient Egyptian queen. Read More…

Nudity and Chastity: Jan Van Hemessen’s Judith

April 13th, 2002

Jan Sanders Van Hemessen presents a muscular, nude figure wielding a sword as the chaste widow of Judith with the Head of Holofernes of 1540. Read More…

Misogyny in Surrealism: Research on Hans Bellmer

April 13th, 2002

The New Art History has begun to examine an aspect of Surrealism rarely discussed by art historians under Modernism-the overall misogyny of the movement. Read More…

The Enigma of Virgin Martyrs: Icon, Pin-Up, Muse

April 13th, 2002

Virgin martyrs are an interesting and puzzling part of the Catholic church’s history. Read More…

Gender and Asian American Experience: The Work of Lynne Yamamoto

April 21st, 2001

Lynne Yamamoto and Yong Soon Min incorporate their experiences as Asian-American women into their work in order to express their cultural, sexual, and political struggles. Read More…

Momento Mori: Themes of Death in Baroque Painting

April 21st, 2001

The idea of comics generally evokes one of two images in the mind of the general populace: silly cartoons in the newspaper, or juvenile super-hero cartoons in the store. Read More…

The Peril of L’Art modern: Picasso, Cubist Myth, and Anticolonialism

April 21st, 2001

Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon of 1907 has long been seen as the work of art that defines the beginning of modern art. Read More…