Dear Alumni and Friends,
Greetings from the William & Mary Department of Art & Art History! The fall semester is well underway. This is a semester like no other. William & Mary started the year with a few weeks of fully remote teaching and learning, and we are now teaching courses both in person and remotely. Our faculty and staff have reinvented our course delivery, and our students are fully engaged and committed to their studio and academic coursework. Some of our students are here in Williamsburg, and some are attending classes virtually, but we are all together in spirit, working through this unprecedented period and stretching ourselves in ways we never previously imagined. While we are saddened that we cannot gather for Homecoming this year, we look forward to resuming our annual Homecoming Brunch next fall! And at last I have a chance to catch you up on some exciting departmental news and alert you to a few current and upcoming events.
In the spring, our Art History course, The Curatorial Project, was unable to install their exhibition, but we are very excited that the exhibition SCALES OF CHAOS: The Dance of Art & Contemporary Science is now open both virtually for everyone, and in person for faculty, staff, and students at the Muscarelle Museum of Art.
This last academic year wrapped up with our virtual departmental commencement. Congratulations to our students on their many and varied achievements. Our undergraduate class of 2020 included three Phi Beta Kappa recipients and seven Senior Honors Theses as well as awardees of the Catron Scholarship, Monroe Scholarship, and the Woody Internship.
As you will see from our website, this past year has seen a flurry of exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and events, many of which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our alumni and friends. In particular, I would like to recognize another generous gift made this year in honor of our late alumnus, Dr. William H. Sterling ’59. We now house a large library of art and art history books donated by the Sterling family. We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Sterling for this valued addition that will significantly expand our ability to support our students and enhance our academic mission.
Last year Art & Art History again benefited from The Class of 1939 Artist-in-Residence program, which rotates to our department every fourth year. In the fall we hosted Christina Z. Anderson (photography), Catherine Kehoe (painting), and Ken Kewley (painting)—each of whom delivered wonderful lectures on their own work, and ran weekend workshops for our students.
In early spring we hosted Art Historian Dr. Steven Nelson (UCLA and CASVA) as our Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Nelson delivered an exceptional lecture titled, “Mark Bradford: Counterfeit Abstraction.” We are most appreciative to the family of our late anonymous donor for their continued support of our Annual Distinguished Speaker Series.
We continue to enhance our students’ educational experience through field trips and expanded hands-on and professional opportunities. While some of these field activities are currently on pause, we were able to make our annual departmental field trip to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., thanks to the Tack Fund for the Visual Arts. Faculty and students visited several museums, including special collections visits to the Freer Gallery’s ceramics collection and the National Gallery of Art’s print collection.
Brian Kreydatus (Professor of Art, Printmaking), along with several of our majors, worked with Steve Prince from the Muscarelle Museum of Art to complete the Links Steamroller Project. The resulting print was included in the Muscarelle’s exhibition “1619/2019," marking the four-hundred-year anniversary of the arrival of the first captive Africans in Virginia.
William & Mary’s campus closed in the spring semester, just as students were preparing to return from spring break. After a brief extension of spring break, we launched into fully remote teaching and learning. While extremely challenging, our faculty, staff, and students rose to the challenge. We held remote Honors Theses defenses, launched a virtual Studio Senior Exhibition, “Joining Apart”, and the Art History Seniors’ Research Colloquium held their symposium over Zoom.
Finally, we are so pleased to announce our new faculty member, Liz Morán. Liz joins us as the Jane Williams Mahoney Associate Professor of Art History. Welcome Liz! Also, check our most recent faculty news about new publications, awards, and exhibitions.
Please stay in touch and continue to send in your latest news and whereabouts. We are always delighted to hear from our community of alumni and friends. Our current students are especially eager to learn about your stories and the variety of careers many of you have embarked on, continued with, or retired from. Your enthusiasm and support are part of what makes this an exciting department for our faculty and students.
With all best wishes,
Chair, Department of Art & Art History