Exposed–Queer Anatomies Lecture

Queer Anatomies:
Desire, medical illustration, and the epistemology of the anatomical closet

Michael Sappol, PhD, National Library of Medicine

2:00-3:15pm, April 7, 2016
Walsh 495
All are welcome!

medical-illustrationWe’re accustomed to reading about queer spaces in cultural geography, art history, sociology, literary studies, and of course queer studies, but not in the scholarship on anatomical representation. This talk proposes that over the past four centuries anatomical illustration has been mobilized to serve as a queer space AND a closet — within the library, the anatomical atlas, and the frame of a single image. This, in turn, provides us with an opportunity to think anew about desire, queer­ness, aesthetics and the queerness of the anatomical object.

Michael Sappol is historian and scholar-in-residence in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. He is the author of A Traffic of Dead Bodies (2002) and Dream Anatomy (2006), and editor of A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Empire (2010)). His new book, How to Get Modern With Scientific Illustration, will be published by University of Minnesota Press in early 2017. For links to selected works, go to

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Lecture: Copies and Duplication in Chinese Sculpture

Detail, Gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. China, Hebei province, Fengfeng, Southern Xiangtangshan Cave Temples, Cave 2. Northern Qi dynasty, 550–577. Limestone with traces of pigment. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1921.1

Detail, Gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. China, Hebei province, Fengfeng, Southern Xiangtangshan Cave Temples, Cave 2. Northern Qi dynasty, 550–577. Limestone with traces of pigment. Freer Sackler Museum of Asian Art.

Professor Stanley Abe (Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, Duke University) will be giving a lecture Friday, April 15 from 5-6:30 on Chinese sculpture and Buddhist images. “Copies and Duplication in Chinese Sculpture” will take place on the Georgetown University campus in the Walsh Building, Room 495.*

Professor Abe’s abstract: The first Buddhists in China were understandably concerned that their images of the Buddha were correct and efficacious.  We have stories of Buddha icons which flew from India to China, or were exact duplicates of famous Indian images.  And once images were made in China, older icons served as models for the new.  Yet, copies or duplicates are usually assumed to be modern fakes.  This lecture will discuss a range of Chinese sculptures from serial images and near duplicates to ancient copies and modern reproductions.  Some were pious replications of Buddhist images in archaic styles; others were reproductions of works with ancient inscriptions.  And some were indeed modern forgeries.  Archaism and anachronism, piety and fraud all played a role in creating copies and duplicates of Buddhist sculptures.

The lecture is free and open to the public; student attendance is particularly encouraged. Sponsored by the Departments of Art, Art History, Theology, and History.

*The Walsh Building is located at 1221 36th St. NW, Washington, DC 20057.

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Art books Are Art Objects

Color rush: American color photography from Stieglitz to Sherman , a recent publication from Distributed Art Publishers. This book can be found in Lau on the lower level:  TR645.M52 M523 2013.

Color rush: American color photography from Stieglitz to Sherman , a recent publication from Distributed Art Publishers. This book can be found in Lau on the lower level: TR645.M52 M523 2013.

Yes yes, we live in a digital world and you do everything electronically and online–from taking and sharing photos to reading the newspaper to talking with your mom on Facebook. But art books really aren’t the same as digital facsimiles, and this recent New York Times article  explains why exhibition catalogs and art books are now more gorgeous and visceral than ever.

“”The amount of colors that can be used to replicate an original illustration. The extensive selection of papers available. Things have gotten very exciting,” said Elisa Leshowitz, director of publisher services at D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, the largest distributor of art books and museum exhibition catalogs.”

At Lauinger we love a beautiful, full color exhibition catalog, or a freshly-printed black and white photography book that could pass for the prints themselves. If you can’t hold the art in your hands or see it person, do find a high-quality art book to experience the aura of an object.


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Nostalgia Critic Defends Fair Use YouTube Clips

As part of Fair Use Week the Nostalgia Critic, a bespectacled and bitter film critic who reviews films and TV shows from his childhood, has created a video explaining just how predatory the Hollywood and corporate media system are towards removing independent YouTube videos that reference their productions through clips or parody. Nostalgia Critic has a lot of direct experience with this–his comedy series, which launched on YouTube in 2007 before moving  to Channel Awesome, has received hundreds of claims from studios citing that his TV and movie reviews inappropriately use their work. Why is this such a large problem and a threat to free speech? Watch and find out….



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New Issue of Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art

 Justus of Ghent: The Adoration of the Magi (Netherlandish, active by 1460–died ca. 1480). The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Justus of Ghent: The Adoration of the Magi
(Netherlandish, active by 1460–died ca. 1480). The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From friendly goldfinches to rock-eating artists and playful saints, the Winter 2016 issue of Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art offers a wide range of new scholarship on early/modern Dutch art. The publication is an open-access, refereed e-journal. Enjoy!

Table of Contents, vol. 8:1 (2016):

Kathryn M. Rudy, Sewing the Body of Christ: Eucharist Wafer Souvenirs Stitched into Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts, primarily in the Netherlands
Late medieval Christians sewed into their books of hours round metallic objects, identified here for the first time as Eucharist badges, which turned into shrines for storing the body of Christ.

John R. Decker, More Strength for Contemplation: Spiritual Play in the Amsterdam Holy Kinship
This article investigates the Amsterdam Holy Kinship (1496) in terms of the three saints playing at its center and argues that the image addressed the daily needs of its patrons as well as offering them timely encouragement.

Sophie Scully, Christine Seidel, A Tüchlein Justus van Ghentby Justus van Ghent: The Adoration of the Magi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Re-Examined
This paper examines the materials and technique of the Adoration of the Magi by Justus van Ghent and uses the results to situate the tüchlein within the group of works directly associated with the artist.

Denis Ribouillault, Regurgitating Nature: On a Celebrated Anecdote by Karel van Mander about Pieter Bruegel the Elder
This article proposes a new reading of the celebrated anecdote about Pieter Bruegel the Elder swallowing mountains and rocks during his crossing of the Alps, providing fresh insights into the role played by the digestive metaphor in Renaissance art theory.

Linda Stone-Ferrier, The Engagement of Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch of 1654 with the Dutch Window, a Significant Site of Neighborhood Social Exchange
Carel Fabritius’ illusionistic painting, The Goldfinch 1654, cleverly traded on the viewer’s experience as an inquisitive, neighborhood passerby in front of a household window where goldfinches frequently appeared.

JHNA is the electronic journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art. Founded in 2009, the journal publishes issues of peer-reviewed articles two times per year.  These articles focus on art produced in the Netherlands (north and south) during the early modern period (c. 1400-c.1750), and in other countries as they relate to Netherlandish art.  This includes studies of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, tapestry, architecture, and decoration, from the perspectives of art history, art conservation, museum studies, historiography, and collecting history.

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Don’t Miss These Lectures!

George Washington is offering several superstar art history lectures this spring to which you should make every attempt to attend. First up is photographer Anna Gaskell, whose larger-than life images of adolescent girls frequently channel Lewis Carroll, Cindy Sherman, and the notion of the uncanny.

Angela Miller’s lecture presents a rare opportunity to hear a CASVA fellow talk. The National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) sponsors an annual academic residency for a range of rising fellows and established art historians. Miller’s research topic is Countermodernism: Reason and Magic in American Art at Mid-Twentieth Century.

Finally,  Hillary Chute, an American literary scholar and expert on comics and graphic novels (and University of Chicago associate English professor) will be speaking on April 27. Chute’s books and articles on comics, narrative, and identity, can be found in the library.

The lectures will be held on GWU’s campus in the Smith Hall of Art, Room 114, at 6:15pm on January 27th, February 10th and April 27th respectively. There will be a reception with each speaker in Gallery 102 (Smith Hall) immediately following their presentation.

Spring Lecture Series

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New Art Books!

I love seeing new art books arrive at the library–it’s rewarding to see the brightly-colored physical manifestation of a citation or an online abstract. Every week I received dozens of citations of newly-published art books, and I look closely at the authors, subject matter, publishers, and academic scope to determine if the book is appropriate for the Library and its patrons. Each of the other subject librarians does the same, and our selections often overlap and reinforce one another’s disciplinary interests.

You can find many new art books in the New Arrivals shelf on the third floor of Lau, across from the reference desk. They’re arranged by Library of Congress call number order–so look for the “N”s. Here are just a few items that have recently arrived–I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Picture This: Painting the Women’s Movement


The Memory of Time









The Recovery of Beauty: Arts, Culture, Medicine


Goya: The Portraits









Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson



Video Art Historicized









Design for Eternity: Architectural models for the Ancient Americas


The World Goes Pop

world goes pop







Van Gogh and Nature

van gogh and nature

Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance







The Freedom Principles: Experiments in Art and Music 1965 to Now

freedom principlesBen Shan’s New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene

ben shan






Art and Religion in the 21st Century

art and religion

Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service

landscapes for the people

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Wapikoni Filmmakers Talk Shop This Friday


WIK13- Valerie O'Leary's students - Mathieu Buzzetti 300dpiHappy Spring 2016 Semester! Yes, it’s cold and gray outside, but you can find excitement in a new line-up of classes, fresh-smelling books, and an intriguing list of programming in GU art, film, and media studies.

This Friday, January 15, Film and Media Studies hosts the Wapikoni Filmmakers for a drink and chat. Craig Commanda and Mélissa Mollen Dupuis are visiting the Program on Friday at 3pm to show some of their creative work and discuss their filmmaking process.  Wapikoni Studios visits First Nation communities and trains youth on documentary filmmaking. Nibbles and artistic conversation for all! That should warm you up.

Friday, January 15th @ 3pm in the FMST Office (156 New South)

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Corcoran Artist Vertical Files donated to Smithsonian

Photograph from Classified Illustrated Catalog of the Library Bureau, 1900.

Photograph from Classified Illustrated Catalog of the Library Bureau, 1900.

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the donation of research ephemera for more than 8,000 artists from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to be housed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library.

The Smithsonian AA/PG Library recently acquired the Artist Vertical File collection from the Trustees of the Corcoran, which encompasses a large collection of ephemera related to artists, with particular strength in Washington D.C.-based artists and those who worked during the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program.

The ephemera was collected by the Corcoran Gallery of Art between 1900 and 1980, and includes clippings, catalogs, small brochures, and photographs of artists and artworks. This type of material is especially useful for documenting the early careers of well-known artists, as well as an important resource for corcoran-illustration-29-editlesser-known artists that may not have had more than local or regional prominence. The Corcoran’s Artist Vertical File will join the Smithsonian’s existing Art and Artist File collection, which is indexed in the online Art and Artist Files database and provides scholars and the general public with a listing of artists and art subjects.
painting women corcoranThe Art and Artist Files in the Smithsonian Libraries are a special and unique collection serving as an important source of information that may not be found anywhere else, with more than 150,000 files of material are spread between seven different branches. The AA/PG Library has been continuously collecting ephemera since the early part of the twentieth century, providing unique insight into the history of American art, collectors, collections, museums, exhibitions, and galleries. The physical files contain ephemeral items such as exhibition announcements, newspaper clippings, exhibition invitations, pamphlets, and other published materials that were typically thrown away shortly after production. Material may be consulted on site.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art opened to the public in 1874 established as a national corcorancollection of art for Washington D.C. with the aim of “encouraging American genius,” as stated in the museum’s charter. In 2014, the Corcoran Gallery of Art was dissolved and the historic 17th Street building and the College of Art + Design was transferred to George Washington University and custody of the art collection bestowed to the National Gallery of Art.

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National Gallery of Art Library Student Position

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Palace of Art woodcut in Alfred Tennyson, Poems (London, E. Moxon, 1857) National Gallery of Art Library, Gift of Mark Samuels Lasner

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Palace of Art
woodcut in Alfred Tennyson, Poems (London, E. Moxon, 1857)
National Gallery of Art Library, Gift of Mark Samuels Lasner














The National Gallery of Art Library is seeking applicants for a student assistant position in the Reader Services Department.

Library Technician (Circulation)

The primary purpose of this position is to assist with a wide variety of circulation and reader services for Gallery staff and outside readers.

Duties include retrieving materials from the stacks and reshelving returned materials, providing information and instruction on circulation procedures governing use of the Library collection, and maintaining automated and manual departmental files.

Knowledge and Skills:

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of library collections, online catalogs, and circulation desk procedures, familiarity with using personal computers, an ability to type and file accurately, and an ability to work cooperatively with other staff members and library patrons. Reading knowledge of a Western European language (French, German, or Italian) is desirable.


In order to qualify for this position, applicants must be registered at least as a half-time student, and be able to provide certification of student status, including a current class schedule. Work schedules will be determined to accommodate the student’s class schedule and the Library’s work requirements. The position is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session; full-time employment is available during semester and summer breaks. The incumbents earn sick and annual leave based on the amount of hours worked.

Interested applicants should send résumés and any inquiries by email to:

Lamia Doumato, Head of Reader Services

National Gallery of Art Library


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