Opening Address: Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

Toward a Geography of Art - Thomas DaCosta KaufmannIn many ways, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann provided the inspiration for this conference. His 2004 book Toward a Geography of Art considers how to move away from the traditional region-based studies of art that divide our field into Asianists, Africanists, Europeanists and the like, and how to move towards an art history that acknowledges the true complexities of global borders and contact. His fall 2011 graduate seminar on the topic brought globally-based conversations into Princeton’s classrooms, sparking lively conversations and connections between students with seemingly disparate interests, and more than a few paper and dissertation ideas.

We are proud to welcome this truly global art historian as our conference’s opening speaker. Prof. Kaufmann will be speaking at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 30, 2012, in McCormick Hall, room TBA.

About Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann…

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann is the Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, where he teaches courses on art and architecture of the sixteenth to the eighteenth century in Europe and its relations with other parts of the world. In addition to his many other interests, his research into the idea of a global art history includes his publication of Towards a Geography of Art History (2004). More recently he has lectured in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, and Coimbra, Portugal and participated in various symposia in Amsterdam, Paris, Davis, California, Barcelona, and elsewhere devoted to these questions. In addition, during the academic year 2010–2011 he co-organized and chaired a session on “Voices from Around the World” for the National Committee of the History of Art and the International Committee of the College Art Association at CAA’s Annual Meeting in New York; he was also invited by CAA to chair an extraordinary centennial session on globalization at the Annual Meeting. The Historians of Netherlandish Art invited him to co-chair and organize a session on the global aspects of Netherlandish art that was held at the Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America held in Montreal. A volume on the Dutch impact on art in Africa and Asia co-edited with Michael North, and containing a paper on the Dutch in China and Taiwan (where he lectured in November) is forthcoming. He also contributed a paper on a global view of art in the Spanish empire to the essay volumes for an exhibition of painting of the Spanish viceroyalties held in Madrid and Mexico City in 2010 and 2011.

As vice-president of the National Committee of the History of Art and membre titulaire of the International Congress of the History of Art he is regularly involved with multinational relations among art historians throughout the world. The diploma presented to him when he received an honorary doctorate in Dresden in May 2011 cited among other things the application of his scholarship as a basis in the effort to establish a more global history of art, and his services for international collaboration and mutual understanding among nations.

His departmental profile and complete CV are available here.

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