Lindner Lecture Series

The Lindner Lecture Series is funded by the Sacks Art Lecture Endowment which supports an annual lecture within the Department of Art.  The series is named after the Carl H. and Martha S. Lindner Center for Art History which supports student and faculty programs and research in the Art History Department within the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at UVA. The Lindner Lecture Series brings speakers to Grounds to present exciting new research in art history. Since the Fall 2022, speakers are nominated and selected by the faculty and graduate students of the Art Department. 

December 4th | Campbell Hall 160

Mapping Art History and its Futures: Steven Nelson in Conversation with David Getsy 

Steven Nelson, Dean, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art 

David J. Getsy, Eleanor Shea Professor of Art History, University of Virginia 

In this conversation, Steven Nelson and David Getsy will explore the practice, politics and poetics of writing art history. Drawing from his pioneering scholarship on African and African American art, Nelson will discuss his own practice of writing, which has crossed genres from autobiography to criticism, and shaped fields beyond art history, including architecture, urbanism, and film. For this occasion, Nelson will read passages from his latest two new manuscripts: “Structural Adjustment: Mapping, Geography, and the Visual Cultures of Blackness” and “On the Underground Railroad.”  

Steven Nelson is the dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (the Center), responsible for its fellowships, meetings, research, and publications. Nelson has published widely on the arts, architecture, and urbanism of Africa and its diasporas and on queer studies. Nelson is professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served as director of the African Studies Center. He is also a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Kress Foundation and the Bard Graduate Center. He has held visiting appointments at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and has been appointed a fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Association of Art History (UK). Nelson previously served as president of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. Before assuming the role of dean, he was the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor. Nelson earned a BA in studio art from Yale University and an AM and a PhD in art history from Harvard University.

David J. Getsy is an art historian, curator, and art writer focusing on modern and contemporary art. He has published widely on American and European art from the nineteenth century to the present, and his current projects address queer methodologies, links between transgender studies and art history, and archive-based recoveries of suppressed or lost histories of queer and genderqueer performance. His books include Queer Behavior: Scott Burton and Performance Art (2022; winner of the 2023 Robert Motherwell Book Award); Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender (2015, reissued 2023); and the widely-read anthology of artists’ writings, Queer (2016). He teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is the inaugural Eleanor Shea Professor of Art History.

September 21st, 6:30 pm | Campbell 160

Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies/Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

Plantation Returns: Visualizing Space and Medicalizing Bodies in the Colonial World

IMAGE CREDIT: William Berryman, View of Lucky Valley Estate Buildings, Clarendon, 1808, Watercolour

This talk will discuss the representation of plantations in nineteenth-century British colonial art, it will explore the importance of these spaces as sites where medical and artistic knowledge could be produced and consider how contemporary artists work with these histories to imagine new forms of care for each other and the environments in which we live.

Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an Associate professor of Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Departments of African American Studies and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. She practiced as a Registered Nurse before completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History at Yale University. Anna focuses on African American, Caribbean, and British Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, medicine, and transatlantic visual culture in the long 19th century. Her first book is called Black Bodies White Gold: Art, Cotton and Commerce in the Atlantic World (Duke University Press, 2021). Other projects include a co-written book with Prof Mia Bagneris on 19th century Black Diaspora artists, and a monograph on the intersection of art and medicine in plantation imagery. She is the 2022 Terra Foundation Rome Prize Fellow, a Senior Research Fellow of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the director of the digital humanities project Art Hx: Visual and Medical Legacies of British Colonialism

November 2, 6:30 pm | Campbell 160

Nancy Marie Mithlo, Professor  Departments of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies University of California Los Angeles

Elisabetta Frasca, independent curator, Rome, Italy

Red Skin Dreams: Twenty Years of Native Art Curation at La Biennale di Venezia 1997-2017

IMAGE CREDIT: Shelley Niro, The Show Off, from the series Toys Are Not Us, 2017

The "place" of contemporary Native arts in broader discourses of art history, visual culture and American Indian Studies remains contested, even twenty years after the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. While Indigenous arts receive more attention in the press than twenty years ago due to recent curatorial efforts, how sustainable is this inclusion given the lack of mainstream academic research needed to guide conversations?  Anthropologists Elisabetta Frasca (independent curator) and Nancy Marie Mithlo (UCLA) discuss the emergence of Indigenous arts in global contexts from 1997-2017 drawing from their work together curating exhibits at the Venice Biennale.

"Red Skin Dreams” documents and theorizes the presentation of contemporary American Indian art through memoir and storytelling. The improbable and messy business of staging international exhibits that were non-institutional, non-commercial and anti-hierarchical involved collaborators from across the globe—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, England, Norway, Germany, as well as Italy. These connections were made through Indigenous networks, institutions, and relationships, not the prestigious galleries, museums and art collectors that typically decide who is represented and where. Our presence-making exposed the fiction that only those “in the middle of things” have access to global representation. Questioning the very notions of margin and center and asserting alternate frames of reference besides simple inclusion, this is a story that asserts that the world belongs to Native people. As Canadian First Nations arts professional Jim Logan stated, “We are a part of this world; we are a part of the human story. We are worth it.” 

Nancy Marie Mithlo (Fort Sill Chiricahua Apache) is a professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mithlo’s curatorial work has resulted in nine exhibits at the Venice Biennale. A life-long educator, Mithlo has taught at the University of New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Santa Fe Community College, Smith College, California Institute of the Arts, Occidental College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her co-edited book Visualizing Genocide: Indigenous Interventions in Art, Archives and Museums was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2022. Mithlo’s research addresses the pressing need for accurate and sensitive information for and about American Indian communities using institutional critique, curatorial strategies and arts analysis. She is concerned with the unequal application of resources in the arts and culture field and the outmoded theoretical frames of analysis that tend to describe, but fail to analyze the wealth of knowledge inherent in Native arts production and circulation.

Elisabetta Frasca is a specialist in Anthropology of Cultural Heritage and Museums and an independent scholar. From 1998 to 2017, following her field research in Santa Fe, NM, she worked with a non-profit association of Native American artists in exhibiting their artworks at the Venice Biennale, Italy, which in the late 1990s hosted indigenous artists for the first time. From 2003 to 2007, she worked for the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C and New York in the realization of the exhibit “New Tribe: New York”, and two Venice Biennale shows (James Luna and Edgar Heap of Birds). She did research on popular culture and theatre for the University of Florence, in Tuscany, Italy, thanks to a grant by the British Library Endangered Archive Programme (EAP). From 2010 to 2013 she worked as research assistant at the ethnographic museum "L. Pigorini" in Rome (now part of the Museum of Civilizations) for the European project 'RIME - Ethnography Museum and World Cultures’, and co-edited the volume “Beyond Modernity. Do Ethnographic Museums Need Ethnography? (Espera, Rome, 2013). She taught museum anthropology at the 'Siena School for Liberal Arts' in 2013, and held seminars and acted as thesis advisor at Marist College, Florence, Italy, from 2013 to 2019. She has recently completed a national anthropological survey on historical reenactments in the north of Italy for the Italian Ministry of Culture. 



Previous lectures

March 23, 2003, 6:30 pm | Campbell 160


Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

In this talk Valerie Cassel Oliver will discuss her 2014 exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston entitled, Black in the Abstract, that looked at the history of Black artists working in abstraction. It was the basis of several solo exhibitions that came in its wake including monographs on Jennie C. Jones, Angel Otero and Howardena Pindell. 

Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her position at the VMFA, she was Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Her debut at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the critically acclaimed retrospective entitled, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen co organized with Naomi Beckwith (2018). Most recently, she opened the groundbreaking exhibition, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse (2021) that toured nationally.

February 2, 2023

Roland Betancourt, Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine

Between Wonder and Omen: Conjoined Twins from Constantinople to Norman Sicily

Abstract: In the year 944, two wonders arrived in the city of Constantinople from foreign lands: First, a textile that had Christ's face miraculously imprinted on it, known as the Mandylion. Second, male conjoined twins from Armenia. In this talk, I will focus on the depiction of these twins in a historical chronicle known as the Madrid Skylitzes. My aim is to show how the multifaceted meanings of the conjoined twins operated in the context of imperial rule, political intrigue, and religious authority across the text’s Constantinopolitan origin and the manuscript’s eventual illustration in Norman Sicily.

Bio: Roland Betancourt is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. Betancourt is the author of three monographs, Performing the Gospels in Byzantium: Sight, Sound, and Space in the Divine Liturgy (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages (Princeton University Press, 2020), and Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium (Cambridge University Press, 2018), as well as several edited volumes.

Thursday, Oct. 27th, 6.30pm, 160 Campbell Hall

Ömür Harmanşah, Director of the School of Art and Art History & Associate Professor of Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago

Landscape and Fieldwork in a Changing Climate: Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Anthropocene

Thursday, Sept. 29th, 6.30pm, 160 Campbell Hall

Patrick R. Crowley, Associate Curator of European Art, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University


Solid Pictures: Photosculpture and the Reproduction of Reality 

Sun Jul 07
Upper West Oval Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia
Sun Jul 14
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia