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Art History News

Nadya Bair challenges the notion of the “great artist photographer” with her research, instead emphasizing the collaborative role of the network. Photo courtesy of Nadya Bair.

Rewriting Photographic History

August 7, 2015

Nadya Bair has long been entranced by photography. As a child in Moscow, she can remember her grandfather — an aerial photographer during World War II — developing photos in his kitchen. The materiality and…

Ella Watson, a government cleaner, is pictured in her Washington, D.C., home with three grandchildren and her adopted daughter in this 1942 photograph by Gordon Parks.  Photo courtesy of Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration archives.

From Wonder to Detestation

August 3, 2015

Her quiet dignity captured for all time, an elderly African American woman is pictured in her simply furnished but spotless home. Taken by photographer Gordon Parks in 1942, the black and white photograph shows Ella Watson, a…

Alumna Petra Flannery was named Hollywood’s top stylist in 2015 by <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>. Photos courtesy of Petra Flannery.

Calculating Fashion Risks

July 10, 2015

Always on the edge of glamour and intense pressure, creativity and fastidious organization, risk and discipline, Petra Flannery ’95 is the stylist for celebrities such as Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana and Amy Adams — to…

Suzanne Hudson, associate professor of art history at USC Dornsife, examines the staying power of painting as an art form in her new book, <em>Painting Now</em>. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Hudson.

Living Art

July 1, 2015

Art historian Suzanne Hudson can’t keep up with the tally, the number of invested observers — critics, curators and even artists themselves — who have come forward to whisper last rites. Sifting through…

Living the California Dream

Living the California Dream

July 1, 2015

When the USC Dornsife undergraduates picked their way across the stepping stones spanning the koi-filled pool and walked through the glass doors of John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein Residence, there was a collective intake…

Pieces such as this untitled pebble sculpture helped build Dadaist Kurt Schwitters’ reputation as the  “father of installation art.” Assistant Professor Megan Luke of art history chronicles the artist’s struggles under Nazism and in later exile.

Portrait of an Artist in Exile

June 19, 2015

A fresh look at a celebrated artist’s life and place in history has received the Robert Motherwell Book Prize — a $10,000 award from the Dedalus Foundation for the author of “an outstanding publication in the…

Lynn Matteson served as an associate professor of art history from 1980 to 2003. Photo by Lynn P. Kirst.

In Memoriam: Lynn Matteson, 75

May 1, 2015

Lynn Matteson, professor emeritus of art history at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 75. Matteson died peacefully on April 21 in Santa Barbara, California, 17 years after receiving a successful liver transplant. An expert in…

Japan, Spies and the Roman Empire

Japan, Spies and the Roman Empire

February 17, 2015

Research into a Hollywood-based Jewish spy ring is one of three USC Dornsife faculty research projects that have been honored with a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for the academic year 2015-16. Steven…

Founded in 1971, Pacific Asia Museum has a collection of more than 17,000 items from across Asia and the Pacific Islands. Photo courtesy of the USC Pacific Asia Museum.

Exhibiting Asia

January 26, 2015

In the first major event since USC joined forces with the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California, a two-day international symposium took place exploring a range of topics related to Asian art collections worldwide. The…

This is how a mural in the Palace of the Jaguars would have appeared at the height of the ancient Mexican city, Teotihuacan. Illustration by artist Felipe Davalos, courtesy of Justin Underhill.

Art’s Digital Revolution

December 16, 2014

Faded murals line the walls of the Palace of the Jaguars in Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico. But centuries ago, the jaguars glistened — illuminated only by natural sunlight — steeped in vibrant reds, blues,…