• Lecture: Holy Icons of Medieval Russia, by Dr. Scott Ruby (Smithsonian Associates, Washington, D.C., August 12, 2014)

    Co-organized by the Hillwood Museum

    For detailed information, see here.

    One of the greatest art “discoveries” of the 20th century was the icon. For some it represents the precious inheritance of a distant past, for others it is an object of aesthetic delight, and still others perceive its spiritual light. Icons are considered an integral part of the spiritual fabric of old Russia, and they have long adorned monasteries, churches, and homes.

    However, interest in medieval icons is a relatively recent development. In the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, many ancient icons were cleaned of layers of over-painting, and the process re-introduced the world to the startling beauty of Russia’s medieval era.

    Dr. Scott Ruby, curator of Russian and Eastern European art, examines how the appreciation and understanding of medieval icons developed, as well as some of the aspects of medieval iconography that differentiate it from the work of later centuries. Focusing on the great treasures of the period, Ruby looks at some of the superlative icons of Andre Rublev, a Russian monk who some consider the greatest icon painter. He also discusses how icons function in the context of public and private devotions.

  • Conference: Crossing Borders: Marianne Werefkin and the Cosmopolitan Women Artists in her Circle (Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen, September 11-12, 2014)

    An international conference held on the occasion of the special exhibition Marianne Werefkin: Vom Blauen Reiter zum Großen Bären (Marianne Werefkin: From the Blue Rider to the Great Bear), Städtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen, April 12 – July 6, 2014 and Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen, July 20 – October 6, 2014.
    Organized in cooperation with the Humanities Research Center at Jacobs University, Bremen.

    The full program of the conference is available on-line.

  • Apply for the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians

    Deadline: October 1, 2014

    The Society of Architectural Historians is accepting applications for the 2014 H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship. The prestigious fellowship of $50,000 will allow a recent graduate or emerging scholar to study by travel for one year. The fellowship is not for the purpose of doing research for an advanced degree. Instead, it is intended to allow the recipient to see and experience architecture and landscapes firsthand, to think about his/her profession deeply, and to acquire knowledge useful for his/her future work and contribution to society.

    Visit to apply.

  • Exhibition: Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia (The Photographers' Gallery, London; August 1 - October 19, 2014)

    Exhibition: Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia  (The Photographers' Gallery, London; August 1 - October 19, 2014)

    The exhibition includes work by Pyotr Pavlov, Pyotr Vedenisov, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Ivan Shagin, Georgy Petrusov, Dmitry Baltermants, Boris Mikhailov and other classics of Russian photography.

    Curated by Olga Sviblova, Director of Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow / Moscow House of Photography Museum. The exhibition is part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014.


  • CFP: Infiltrating the Pedagogical Canon (SHERA at CAA 2015, New York, 11-14 Feb 2015)

    Extended Deadline: August 1, 2014

    The Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA, invites submission of proposals for the following sponsored panel:

    Infiltrating the Pedagogical Canon

    As researcher-educators in specialized fields, how do we effectively incorporate the content of our scholarly work into our everyday teaching? In many art and art history departments, rare is the opportunity to teach upper-division courses focused on our field of research. Art history surveys generally include, at best, a handful of significant objects from the entire history of Eurasian, Eastern European, and Russian art, only a few amongst many global perspectives that traditionally lie beyond the scope of standard art history curricula. Contextualization of such works within a culturally specific framework, distinct from yet connected to the metanarratives of “Western” and “Non-Western” art, remains challenging. How do we incorporate the question of the work addressing local concerns versus international art audiences into teaching? How does this kind of problem open up new perspectives on how our students do art history? Teaching a mixed population of students who may range from recent immigrants and heritage speakers to students for whom the name “Lenin” lacks signification, how do we spark an interest in globally diverse art in students of all levels, from novices to more advanced?

    This panel invites submissions of theoretical discussions about the importance of incorporating culturally specific art into standard art history curricula, practical examples of curricular innovations involving global and transnational perspectives on art, as well as specific case studies focused on non-canonical objects or contexts that encourage discussions of both local and global perspectives. Submissions may deal with any chronological period. Papers that explore questions regarding the infiltration of Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European objects and narratives into the standard teaching canon—as well as transnational projects—are preferred, but we also welcome projects that can provide a broader network of global perspectives to the conversation.

    This panel seeks to engage questions on both practical and theoretical levels, providing attendees with take-away material to immediately employ in the classroom, rationale for how and why to focus on culturally specific, globally diverse art within a broader art-historical context, and inspiration for bridging the gap between scholarly inquiry and pedagogy in these fields.

    Submit proposal abstracts of 500 words or less, along with a current CV of 1-2 pages, to Marie Gasper-Hulvat, Kent State University at Stark, Submissions must be received by email by August 1, 2014.

    This session will be free and open to the public. Accepted panelists must become members of SHERA, but need not be members of the College Art Association (CAA), nor register for the CAA conference.

  • Conference: Locating Expressionism (Los Angeles, 6-7 September, 2014)

    Bing Auditorium, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 6 - 7, 2014


    Symposium sponsored by HGCEA (Historians of German and Central European Art and Architecture), the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies at USC, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

    Organizers: Timothy Benson, Jay A. Clarke, Rose-Carol Washton Long, and Marsha Morton


  • CFP: Dumpster Diving and Sustainability: Managing the Limited Resources of Culture (Princeton University, October 17-18, 2014

    Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University

    Submissions deadline: August 5, 2014.

    Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

    Keynote Speaker: Catriona Kelly (University of Oxford)

    “You can’t imagine how stupid the whole world has grown nowadays. The things that scribblers write.” ― Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

    “Dumpster Diving and Sustainability: Managing the Limited Resources of Culture” is an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to marginal and outmoded art in all of its manifestations and returns in Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian cultures. The conference aims at exploring our repeated turn to the afterlives of ‘bad’ or exhausted cultural forms as a way to cope with and interpret artistic and social changes.

    In his literary studies, Iurii Tynianov famously pointed out a particular tendency of literary evolution: a literary or artistic fact that appears worthless at one historical moment may, at another, become a productive element of an aesthetic order. Taking Tynianov’s observation as a point of our departure, we want to understand the overall function and impact of ‘bad art’ on contemporary artists and societies, as well as on our own disciplines, both as a fetishized avant-garde commodity and as a recontextualization of historical forms/norms.

    Our contention is that ‘bad art’ is a ubiquitous feature of artistic production with its own intrinsic laws. With this in mind, this conference proposes a critical interrogation of the ‘bad.’ The goal is not so much to deconstruct or vindicate ‘bad art’ but rather to acknowledge the ‘bad’ as an inalienable value that continues to sustain itself through various means of cultural recycling.

    We invite submissions from humanities and social science scholars. A short selection of sample topics below indicates some potential areas of inquiry:

    • On the Invention of Bad Writing (Vasilii Rozanov, Valentin Kataev)

    • Art as Commodity: Lubok, Feuilleton, Pulp

    • The Aesthetic Education of Men: The Prostitute as Guardian in Literature and Film (Crime and Punishment, Resurrection, Interdevochka, Wiktor Grodecki’s Czech Films)

    • Gastronomical Phenomenology (Mikhail Bakhtin, Soldier Chonkin, Soldier Švejk)

    • Author as ‘Holy Fool’ from Venedikt Erofeev to Kirill Medvedev

    • Authorship and Pastiche (Dmitry Prigov, Ilia Kabakov)

    • The Importance of Being Earnest: Gogol’s “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends”

    • Serialized Novels, TV Series, and the Epic

    • Eurovision, Balkan Beats, and the Construction of National Identity in Post-Socialist Europe


  • CFP: Propose a SHERA-sponsored session for CAA 2016 in Washington, D.C.

    Deadline: Friday, August 15, 2014

    SHERA’s officers are seeking proposals from anyone wishing to chair or co-chair a 2.5-hour SHERA-sponsored session at the annual conference of the College Art Association (CAA) to be held in Washington, D.C., 3-6 February 2016.

    A SHERA-sponsored session must have a broadly-formulated theme that explicitly appeals to the full range of our members’ interests, both geographical and chronological. Successful SHERA-sponsored themes have included “Decentering Art of the Former East” (2014) and “Reconsidering Art and Politics” (2015).

    Please send your session proposal to by Friday, August 15, 2014.

    Once SHERA has selected the proposal it would like to sponsor, the chair or co-chairs will then submit it to CAA’s Annual Conference Committee by Friday 12 September.

    For more information on the proposal process, see
    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

    You do not need to be a member to submit a session proposal to SHERA, but if your proposal is chosen by SHERA, then you must join both SHERA and CAA before you submit it to CAA’s Conference Committee in September, and remain a member of both organizations through the 2016 conference.

  • CFP: Hanseatic Identities (Greifswald, 4-7 March 2015)

    Deadline: August 8, 2014

    Call for papers:
    International and interdisciplinary conference “Hansische Identitäten – Hanseatic Identities” at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, 04.03.-07.03. 2015

    Organizer: Prof. Dr Gerhard Weilandt, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Dr. Kerstin Petermann, Dr. Anja Rasche, Netzwerk Kunst und Kultur der Hansestädte sponsored by Stiftung Alfried Krupp Kolleg Greifswald

    Deadline: 08.08.2014

    Research concerning the Hanse has so far focused too little on questions of art and culture. In fact the Hanse is a good example for strong cultural interdependences in an economic area that over several centuries ranged from North Norway to Portugal, from London to Novgorod. Still popular today, the Hanse affects the present. The Hanse can be seen as a transnational network based on a network of merchants who at the same time functioned as delegates of cities. The interpretation of the Hanse as a cooperation of long distance merchants raises questions concerning a common awareness, a common culture. Can we even speak of a Hanseatic identity?



    Allison Levy, the series editor of Ashgate Publishing’s series Visual Culture in Early Modernity, is seeking contributions from scholars working on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia for her next volume, titled Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games.

    Please contact Allison directly with any questions or contributions.

    Contributions are sought for an interdisciplinary collection of essays to be edited by Allison Levy and published by Ashgate Publishing Co. in the new book series, Cultures of Play, 1300-1700 (see; series editor Bret Rothstein).

    Dedicated to early modern playfulness, this series serves two purposes. First, it recounts the history of wit, humor, and games, from jokes and sermons, for instance, to backgammon and blind man’s buff. Second, in addressing its topic – ludic culture – broadly, Cultures of Play also provides a forum for reconceptualizing the play elements of early modern economic, political, religious, and social life.