Art, Art History and Visual Studies Magazine Articles




September 29, 2020

Writer:

Phil Tinari

He appeared on East Campus one tobacco-scented September morning in 1998, his reportorial concentration rendering him as inconspicuous as a man in a bright white suit and spats can be. At the front of the sun-drenched, wood-floored classroom, history professor Ronald Witt (1932-2017) taught Petrarch and Bruni to a few dozen rapt undergraduates. At the back sat Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), scribbling away in a steno pad.

Two images by Fati Abubakar

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Fati Abubakar

From the minute I arrived in the United States from Nigeria as an international student, my instinct was to look for an African community—a restaurant, a mosque, an association. And in the African diasporic community, I found happiness, a sense of belonging. However, as a photojournalist, I wondered why so many of us Africans leave home. What was the pull to the United States or to Europe?

Power Plant Gallery director Caitlin Kelly helps an artist install her work

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Janine Latus

Caitlin Margaret Kelly M.F.A. ’14 studies a photo of a back-to-the-lander teaching a younger woman how to aim a rifle, then slides it along the floor toward the center of a wall. Placed there, though, the gun appears to threaten the boy in the photo next to it, standing in his patch of poison ivy. She moves it again, but here it targets a decaying church, its steeple slumping into its sanctuary.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Kyle Harvey

AS A MAJOR in both computer science and visual arts, I had been eager to design a project that merged these two fields through the use of machine learning. I quickly gravitated toward doing a black-and-white relief print and then experimenting using other mediums in combination.

A headshot of NCMA director and Duke alumnae Valerie Hillings

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

When her phone rang last fall, France Family Professor of art, art history, and visual studies Kristine Stiles recognized the voice on the other end of the line. “Do you know who you’re talking to?” the voice asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Valerie.” Valerie Hillings ’93: student, research assistant, protégé, then friend and ultimately colleague, curator at the Guggenheim. A voice Stiles would never mistake.

Nasher exhibition examines pop art

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

It’s a little scary to talk to an academic about the first time they have an idea,” says Esther Gabara, “because we kind of muddle things. You look at something in an archive; you have a spark here. You start working on other projects. It’s not this sort of straightforward process.”

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

May 15, 2019

Writing in this magazine five years ago, Caroline Bruzelius, now a professor emerita of art and art history, called herself “essentially a detective for the places and spaces of the past, for the way the world as we know it was shaped.” When, earlier this spring, a fire engulfed Notre- Dame, Bruzelius found a new role— an expert source for media, ranging from NPR to Foreign Policy.

August 18, 2017

Writer:

Scott Huler

Jimmie Banks’ first job as an electrician at Duke involved changing lightbulbs in the chapel—lowering the chandeliers weekly to replace any that had burned out. It came naturally, since he had spent a few years before that working for a Raleigh company that changed factory light bulbs.

He’d been a cook, too, and he’d wired up mobile homes and laid down underground wires and fiber-optic cables.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Despite a broken air-conditioner in her classroom and spending ten hours (and counting) on her feet, Laurel Burk ’13, M.A.T. ’14 is feeling pretty good about the first day of school at Durham’s Northern High School.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 29, 2014

Warm… Safe… Home. To be ripped away from it and endure a near-death illness at only nine months old, and still be alive to make it back home in the end — was a miracle.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

July 29, 2014

Music can bring us back not only to where we once lived, but to places in which we’ve thrived, felt comfortable, and had a niche. Laura journeys to several homes using audio and imagination.

Don Byrne enters the garden through one of four gates.

July 18, 2014

ON A MORNING in early 2006, Don Byrne walked through an overgrown field of grass. Alongside trudged his father, who, despite the early hour, carried a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey. At the highest point on the land, the two men paused. It was here that they wanted to drill the well. In a makeshift christening, they sprinkled the land with liquor.

July 18, 2014

The willow oak has written in it
an ink of time-underlayment.
I say the word emeritus
and the wind-rubbed coppery surface
touches my eyes like a worn rug.
Corded by limbs to a base in soil
it recovers those years of toil
that layered other leaves in another place.
The library’s vellum and coffee still drug
my memory, like Gothic walls and trees above.
There I and my gnarled masters strove,

April 29, 2014

Kara Medoff Barnett ’00 began taking ballet classes at the age of three and entertained the idea of becoming a professional dancer before she was sidelined with an injury in high school. By the time she arrived at Duke, she had switched her sights from arts to medicine, taking pre-med courses and volunteering with the student-run Emergency Medical Services group.

April 29, 2014

The study of the human body was intimately connected with art during the Renaissance era. From this visual culture emerged fugitive sheets, three-dimensional illustrations of human internal organs. Although widely disseminated from the 1530s until the late seventeenth century, fugitive sheets were typically printed as a single broad sheet rather than as part of a bound volume, explaining why so few exist today (hence the “fugitive” designation).

April 29, 2014

A Duke researcher has developed a 3D imaging technique for peering into the layering of a painting. Warren Warren, a chemist and biomedical engineer at Duke, develops laser systems to image human tissues. But he thought his work might be useful for art historians as well.

April 28, 2014

One of the most joyous highlights of this past fall was the reopening of Baldwin Auditorium. Just as Duke Chapel is the focal point of West Campus, so Baldwin, with its graceful Georgian Revival dome, is the focal point of East Campus. Over the last two years, Baldwin has undergone a $15 million renovation in line with Duke’s philosophy of architectural renewal on campus: Preserve the historic exterior while creating state-of-the-art interior spaces to meet key campus needs.

Phil Watson performs An Iliad

April 28, 2014

“Nine years,” the Poet begins intensely, in media res. “Fighting on and off, fighting to the wall and back. Greeks win one day, Trojans win the next, like a game of tug-of-war.” He pulls at a black rope hung ominously from a scaffold. “And nothing to show for it but exhaustion, poverty, and loneliness,” he says, articulating each word with a maniacal kick to the air.

Nausicaa

April 28, 2014

Japanese filmmaker and artist Hayao Miyazaki has won international acclaim for such visually stunning animated films as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle. In the early 1980s, Miyazaki wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which he later adapted for a film of the same name.

Duke Coffeehouse

February 11, 2014

On stage, a woman taps at synthesizers and drum boxes, creating alien noises with her fingertips. Across the room, behind the soundboard, senior Jack Tarpey listens with earphones askew. He tweaks dials that correspond to synths, drums, and vocals, transforming a tangled racket into a starry, liquid melody.

November 12, 2013

In her first documentary, The Lottery, director-producer Madeleine Sackler ’05 explored the controversy surrounding the role of charter schools in America’s public-education system. Now she’s turned her lens to protest art and political tyranny in Eastern Europe.

Scroth: Nasher leader. Photo by Chris Hildreth

July 25, 2013

Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art, is the museum’s new director. Schroth has been serving as its interim director since November. She succeeds Kimerly Rorschach as the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the museum.

An expert on Spanish art of the seventeenth century, Schroth joined the Duke University Museum of Art—as it was then known—in 1995.

(Courtesy: Nasher Museum of Art)

May 24, 2013

Marriage of Jupiter and Juno (c. 1720-30), by Nicola Maria Rossi, is in the Nasher Museum’s permanent collection. Floating in the clouds at the center of a swirling entourage of winged attendants, the Roman gods Jupiter and Juno are joined in marriage by the young torch-carrying Hymenaus, god of weddings.

Photos by Alex Maness.

May 21, 2013

How do Americans come together - and fall apart? That question fuels the works produced by Hoi Polloi, an Obie-winning New York-based theater collaborative.

Mayer retraced his grandfather's life, including his escape from a Nazi labor camp during World War II

February 13, 2013

David Mayer never knew much about his grandfather, Paul. He knew his grandfather had escaped a Nazi labor camp in eastern Germany during World War II and emigrated to the U.S. in 1949. But Paul Mayer died in 1985, before David was born. The reality of that experience remained distant for David—until he found a translation of his grandfather’s journal.

February 13, 2013

1891: Students of Trinity College in Randolph County put on The Womanless Wedding—an appropriate production for the all-male student body.

1922: Female students in the Dramatic Club played all the roles in a production of Monsieur Beaucaire in March 1922. The Dramatic Club was coached by Gladys Gross, wife of chemistry professor Paul Gross.

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Kimberly Sims

One of the most notorious pieces of Duke’s theatrical history—an anonymously written play titled The Vision of King Paucus—never actually appeared on a campus stage. But when 300 copies of the three-page script showed up mysteriously in student and faculty mailboxes in late 1933, it caused a stir felt across the university.

(All photos: Les Todd)

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Chris Vitiello

Ingrid Daubechies’ eyes dart down at her plate of mixed salad greens. She stabs a hefty chunk of endive hiding beneath an arugula leaf and chews it quickly. The words are coming fast now.

“We don’t get a three-dimensional map,” she says. “We have a much higherdimensional map. More like eighty. But I can only explain it in three dimensions.”

Illustrations by Arlen Schumer

February 13, 2013

One morning last semester, a Duke undergrad peeled off from a busy day on campus to hustle to a basement office in the Sociology- Psychology Building, where scientists were waiting to peer into her brain. Within minutes the slim first-year student, chic in a black-and-white shorts set, was sitting before a computer screen in a narrow, beige room. For more than an hour, her fingers clicked answers to hundreds of questions about her tastes, behaviors, quirks, and feelings.

November 29, 2012

Opera singer: not the first career choice of your average Blue Devil. The typical opera singer, if there is such a thing, goes to conservatory, followed by a master's in singing, then a preprofessional program at an opera house, and finally, a career. But Talya Lieberman '07 has been forging her own path, one that will take her to Latvia on a Fulbright Scholarship to study her craft in a country with a little-known penchant for the musical form.

Epps and Saunders (Courtesy Jami Saunders)

November 7, 2012

Family Weekend stars Matthew Modine and Kristin Chenowith as workaholic parents whose sixteen year-old daughter (Olesya Rulin) holds them hostage in order to gain their attention and bring the family back together. The quirky comedy, which opens in February, is in the tradition of such offbeat auteurs as Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore), but in fact it’s the first feature-length film by a group of Duke friends.

Modern master: Matisse in his apartment at the Place Charles-Felix in Nice, 1934. Photo courtesy of the Henri Matisse Archive.

November 5, 2012

In the early years of the twentieth century, the Parisian cognoscenti sniffed at avant-garde artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. But Claribel and Etta Cone, sisters from Baltimore, bought their works anyway, assembling what would become known as one of the world’s greatest art collections.

Chain-link canvas: Attendees at the Arts Annex opening reception create a living mural by decorating a fence with materials provided by Durham's Scrap Exchange. Credit: Jared Lazarus

November 5, 2012

Inspiring is hardly the word most alumni would assign to the old Duke Linen Service Center, a nondescript warehouse off Campus Drive near East Campus. Gray and spare, the building befits its utilitarian roots as the site where massive quantities of campus bedding were laundered.

August 8, 2012

 

Carla Antonaccio may not seem like a bullwhip-brandishing, Indiana Jones-type adventurer, but the classical studies professor nonetheless wound up in the middle of an international detective story.

August 8, 2012

As the son of contemporary art collectors, Jason Rubell spent a fair amount of his childhood at gallery openings and museum exhibitions. By the time he was a teenager, Rubell started buying artwork that caught his eye, using money he’d made stringing tennis rackets. But he never thought of himself as a collector until his senior year at Duke.

June 6, 2012

Christopher Sims ’95 goes to the imaginary front to document an unseen side of combat.

When we think of war, our mind’s eye sees scenes of destruction and suffering. The war-related images captured by photographer Christopher Sims ’95 contain no battle scenes or wounded civilians, yet they provide intimate access to combat’s countless ancillary activities.

April 1, 2012

Born in Charlotte in 1911, Romare Bearden moved with his family in 1914 to Harlem, where he spent much of his adult life. He studied at the Art Students League of New York under George Grosz in the 1930s, and for much of the next three decades, he worked full time at the New York Department of Social Services, leaving only nights and weekends to paint.

January 31, 2012

Photo above: Marble Chair,2008.
Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China. Purchased with funds provided by the Estate of Wallace Fowlie, 2011.15.1.Peter Paul Geoffrion

January 31, 2012

 

Nasher exhibition explores a master's influence on contemporary artists.

January 31, 2012

Pastoral Art
Divinity explores theology in creative expression.