Ceramics Panel

On Friday, April 17 the Center Art Gallery will host a ceramics panel
discussion at 6pm in the CFAC Recital Hall. Professor Anna Greidanus will
moderate a discussion with panelists Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah
Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University, Joseph
Becherer, Chief Curator at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and
Daleene Menning, Ceramic Artist and Professor of Art Emeritus, GVSU. A
reception will follow in the West Lobby.

This event is held in conjunction with “EARTHWORK: Collected Clay from
East to West,” an exhibition curated by Anna Greidanus, professor of art
at Calvin College.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the enthusiastic
interest and support of Nicholas and Claire Wolterstorff, Aleicia and Bob
Woodrick, and Steve and Alice Zawojski.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 3.24.50 PMImage credit: (detail) Ray Vallo, Native American – Acoma, Black Stain Hand Drawn Geometric Surface Design Vessel, ca. 1998, slip cast white clay

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Julia LaPlaca Wins Calvin’s 2014–15 Honors Contract Competition

Julia LaPlaca’s essay “The Historiography of Savonarola and the Arts: From Iconoclast to Savior” was selected as the winner of the 2014–15 Honors Contract Competition. Julia is a third-year student at Calvin majoring in English and Art History.
Abstract: The historiography of Fra Girolamo Savonarola’s relationship to the arts presents perennial complexity. As the director of San Marco, Savonarola served as the de facto ruler of Florence from 1494 to 1498, after the Medici had fled from the French invasion. His dramatic career and sermons leave room for both an iconoclastic and ‘pro-image’ vision of Savonarola. Early biographers, such as Vasari, labeled Savonarola as an iconoclast citing his infamous ‘Burning of the Vanities’. However, nineteenth-century scholars such as Fra Vincenzo Marchese, Alexis Rio, and Pasquale Villari reinterpreted the friar as a pious force—the savior of Italian art from impending paganism. Savonarola’s sermons are filled with positive art-making metaphors that nicely paralleled nineteenth-century cultural interests in ‘purifying’ art. More recent views of Savonarola take a less polarized and more contextualized view of the troublesome friar. Ronald Steinberg argues Savonarola, though connected to art, should not be read as an art critic: instead, for Savonarola, art always served a theological (rather than an aesthetic) end. Likewise, Paul Barlosky posits that Savonarola’s art rhetoric makes sense in the context of Florence—a city full of art-aficionados. Thus the historiographical narrative of Savonarola comes full circle from iconoclast, to savior, to a reinvestigation of Savonarola’s complexities within his own time.
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The Grand Rapids Undergraduate Art History Symposium, 2015

This year, Calvin College has three students presenting papers at the annual Grand Rapids Undergraduate Art History Symposium. The event takes place at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, on Friday, 10 April 2015. All three papers are scheduled for the morning session, running from 9:30 until 11:30. The event is free and open to the public.

Tim Marco, “Constantine and Christianity”

The eventful reign of Emperor Constantine (306–37) included the public introduction of Christianity into the Roman Empire and the transitional process by which it became the dominant religion of the ancient Mediterranean world. Theologians and historians have debated the reasons for Constantine’s interest in the Christian faith. Drawing on these sources, this paper considers the life of the emperor, specifically his conversion, his relationship to the Christian faith, and the art historical implications.

Madeline Koppendrayer, “Thomas Becket’s Bones: Late Twelfth-Century
Limoges Reliquaries of Thomas Becket”

The dramatic murder of Thomas Becket near the quire of Canterbury Cathedral, carried out by knights from the court of King Henry II in 1170, sparked international interest from religious pilgrims. Demand for relics skyrocketed and so did the demand for beautiful vessels to hold the venerated items associated with the archbishop’s body. The Limoges chasse, now in the collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, depicts the murder and allows us to consider the role of images in the veneration of the bodies of medieval saints.

Julia Bouwkamp, “Observed Absences: Approaches to Holocaust Representation”

The late twentieth century witnessed a dramatic change in modes of artistic Holocaust representation, particularly in memorialization efforts. Faced with the difficulties of representing Holocaust victims and ques-tioning the appropriateness of triumphant monumental forms in light of Germany’s fascist past, artists initiated a new form of memorialization—namely, the counter-monument. Crucially, the counter-monument takes as a subject matter the absence of a Jewish presence in Germany. This paper explores how the counter-monument developed and how observations of absence are important for the struggle within contemporary art and architecture to represent the Holocaust.

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Art Downtown

On Friday, April 10th from 6-11pm, ARTISTS TAKE OVER downtown Grand Rapids. Visitors will hop aboard 3 trolleys to explore 38 different locations full of art, culture and ideas.With over 50 shows you won’t want to miss a thing during Art.Downtown. Here are some tips and tricks to plan a great night featuring friends, conversation, and art.

Here is a Sneak Peak.

Art Downtown. is helping to celebrate the launch of the DisArt Festival andUICAGRAM and The Fed Gallery will host Art of the Lived Experiment Exhibitions. Additional locations featuring DisArtexhibitionsincluding: Access is a Civil RightDisArt Local ShowIceBreaker, and Robert Andy Coombs: New Portraits 


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For Career Success, Major in Art History

W. Barksdale Maynard, “OpEd: For Career Success, Major in Art History,” The Daily Princetonian (5 April 2015).

The humanities in general, and art history in particular, can be a powerful ticket to career success. Art history plunges you deep into critical thinking about the world’s cultures, about the nature of creativity and genius, about the ineffable sources of greatness in human endeavor — and if it’s a good fit for you personally, the long-term results can be extraordinary. . . .

Don’t blow your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fall in love with a major. Remember: the humanities just might supercharge your career. They certainly won’t hurt it: even those ultra-rigorous medical schools show no preference in admissions for Princeton science majors over Princeton majors in humanities and social sciences.And if your parents still don’t believe you, tell them that The Telegraph reported a few days ago in “What Degree Should You Study to Become a Billionaire?” that 9 percent of the 100 richest people on the Forbes list studied arts in college — more than those who majored in economics (8 percent) and finance (3 percent).

The full article is available herekeep-calm-and-study-art-history

Posted in Art History | Tagged

Frame Sale this Week!!

Have a bit of pocket change? Head on down to the art department office this Thursday and Friday for the frame sale, the perfect place to pick up a few used bargain frames! We have all shapes, materials, and sizes, just come and browse our collection.

Cash only please

Frame Sale Hours: Thursday 2-4PM, Friday 9-3PM

frame image

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Calvin College Frame Sale: April 9-10.

Have you finished any pieces lately? Does it need that perfect frame to complete it? All shapes, sizes, and materials are available for excellent prices in the art department office, come and check it out!!


Bargain prices!
Cash only, please.
Frame Sale Hours: Thursday 2-4PM, Friday 9-3PM

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