September 28, 2016 – Mireille Lee

Assistant Professor of History of Art
Vanderbilt University

Mireille Lee (Occidental College, A.B.; Bryn Mawr, M.A., Ph.D.) teaches courses on the art and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean, including Egypt.  A specialist in Greek art and archaeology, she has a particular interest in the construction of gender in ancient visual and material culture.  Her first monograph, Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.  Her current research focuses on the ancient Greek mirrors as social objects.  Her research has been supported by: the American Council of Learned Societies; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art; the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, among others.

“Women’s Ways of Knowing: A Phenomenology of Mirrors in Ancient Greece”


October 5, 2016 – Deborah Hutton

Professor of Art and Art History, The College of New Jersey

“A Thoroughly Modern Major: Photography, Identity, and Politics at the Court of Hyderabad, India”

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the rapidly-changing courtly culture of the Indo-Islamic state of Hyderabad coalesced around the qualities of cosmopolitanism, hospitality, and sportsmanship. This talk unpacks the role photography played in defining that culture. It will do so by focusing on the Nizam of Hyderabad’s charismatic aide-de-camp, Sir Afsur ul-Mulk, both a prolific patron and celebrated subject of photography. As someone whose image can be read as simultaneously fulfilling and subverting social expectations, Sir Afsur allows us to rethink how categories such as race, religion, and “traditional” courtly culture have been constructed vis-à-vis modernity and modern visuality, as well as how the medium of photography was tied to the growth of a visual culture of “celebrity.” 

Deborah Hutton

October 19, 2016 – Matthew Fisher

Principal, Night Kitchen Interactive

From Exclusion to Representation: Digital Exhibitions Interpreting Slavery, Disability and Prejudice in American History”

Museums, libraries and cultural institutions are constantly reframing their narratives to accommodate emerging voices and viewpoints as they strive to portray a more inclusive picture of American History. Stories that were largely only shared in scholarly circles are being presented to the general public. Digital exhibits, often more so than their physical counterparts, provide wonderful venues to explore these complex, multifaceted stories. Matthew will share his experiences collaborating with several institutions as they embraced challenging topics, including: Re-envisioning the website with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation to accommodate the stories of slavery and plantation life, Exposing the “disturbingly informative” extremities of the human body in the Memento Mutter online exhibit for the Mutter Museum, and sharing the experiences of Japanese American WWII veterans and life in American Concentration Camps with the Smithsonian.
Matthew Fisher is Principal and Lead Interactive Designer for Night Kitchen Interactive (, an award-winning digital storytelling studio based in Philadelphia. For nearly 20 years Matthew has partnered with museums and arts and cultural institutions to craft online exhibits and interactive installations, sharing his deep commitment to telling challenging stories and exploring difficult subject matter. Matthew has published several papers for the Museums and the Web annual proceedings including Rousing the Mobile Herd: Apps that Encourage Real Space Engagement (co-authored with Jennifer Moses, 2013) and co-authored a chapter in Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World (Left Coast Press, 2012). Matthew studied Drama and Filmmaking at Vassar College.
Matthew Fisher


October 19, 2016 – Diane Favro Lecture

The Dangers Of Representation:
The Battle of the Xs in Digital Urban Simulations

Diane Favro
Associate Dean, School of the Arts and Architecture, UCLA

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
6:30 pm, Carpenter B21
Pre-lecture reception at 6pm in the Quita Woodward Room.

Co-sponsored by:
Mellon Curricular Development Seed Grant
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Department
History of Art Department
Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies
Department of Italian and Italian Studies
Graduate Group in Classics, Archaeology, and History of Art
Center for Visual Culture
Tri-College Digital Humanities
Philadelphia Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Every type of representation offers opportunities and dangers. Digital simulations of historic urban environments have been created for over 20 years, with ambitious early examples produced at UCLA. As we enter the second phase of production, scholars are increasingly interrogating the inherent representational challenges. After situating the issues at play today (X marks the spot), this talk will interrogate other Xs and their interaction. AesthetiX evaluations of most image types rely on familiar value judgments about urban viewing; those for digital urban simulations are more problematic, often involving conflicting technological and artistic proficiencies. Similarly, the equation “X = literacy” is not readily resolved in reference to digital recreated worlds where legibility centers on evolving means of user engagement. Hypothesis testing and other eXperimentation characterize current digital investigations exploiting approaches that tend to negate traditional evaluative strategies. Though overall the dangers inherent in digital representations can be destabilizing, they also foster heightened acuity and maintain eXcitement about research on the meaning, viewing, and experiencing of cities. 

Diane Favro is Associate Dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, and Director of the Experiential Technologies Center. 
Diane Favro


November 2, 2016 – Amy Golahny

Professor of Art History, Lycoming College
President, Historians of Netherlandish Art

Rembrandt’s One Guilder Print: Value and Invention in “the most beautiful that ever came from the burin of this Master”      

This essay explores how Rembrandt’s Hundred Guilder Print was conceived to rival and surpass several illustrious inventions by Raphael and Leonardo, and to be equated invalue to prints after Raphael. Value and price are measures of esteem and currency, and in the case of the Hundred Guilder Print, they both converge and diverge. Rembrandt combined a central group of Christ blessing the children and a rebuking apostle, with an unprecedented assembly of the Pharisees, the sick, and the rich man in one frame. This non-linear narrative is generally considered as proceeding from Matthew 19. However, Rembrandt ensured that the print could be given a wide application, for it was copied to illustrate the gospel texts Luke 6:17 and Matthew 8:16 in Melchior Küsel’s Icones Biblicae of 1679. The early reception of the print indicates it was immediately recognized as Rembrandt’s master print. This is a case in which a print,  uniquely known by its reputed price, was understood to carry a variety of interpretations from its inception.

Amy Golahny holds the Richmond Chair in Art History at Lycoming College, Williamsport PA, and is currently the president of the Historians of Netherlandish Art. She has lectured and published extensively on and around Rembrandt. Recently she contributed the entry on Pieter Lastman to Oxford Bibliographies in Art History.


November 9, 2016 – Jessica Horton

Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Delaware

“Kay WalkingStick, Creative Kinship, and Art History’s Tangled Legs”

This talk considers the artist Kay WalkingStick’s (b. 1935) reassessment of art historical difference through her engagement with global visual cultures collected in Renaissance Italy. Although WalkingStick participated in the postcolonial critique of modernism in the wake of the exhibition, “Primitivism in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern” in 1984, her own wide-ranging, elective affiliations suggest other trajectories of entanglement between European and indigenous makers. Jessica L. Horton positions her work at the intersection of Native American kinship studies and insights gleaned from the visual record of first contact.


Delaware Valley Medieval Association Spring Meeting – April 9, 2016

DVMA Spring Meeting
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Thomas Hall, Bryn Mawr College
1:00 – 6:00 PM

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Visual Culture
and the Provost’s Office of Bryn Mawr College

To register for the event, please go to:

For directions to Bryn Mawr College, please go to:


January 27, 2016 – Tanya Sheehan

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art, Colby College

“Changing the Joke: Racial Humor and American Vernacular Photography”

 In the decades following black emancipation, African Americans were the frequent subjects of humor in commercial photographs. Racial caricatures, which imagined black bodies as physically and socially deviant, set the stage for amateur photographic performances in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Not only did white Americans appropriate racial humor with remarkable regularity in their family snaps, but African Americans attempted to revive and subvert such humor in their own vernacular photographs. Focusing on the images and handwritten captions in family photo albums, this talk examines the personal and political work performed by comic photographic tropes in the Progressive Era.

Tanya Sheehan is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at Colby College, where she teaches American art history. She is the author of Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (2011). Her edited books include Photography, History, Difference (2014), Photography and Its Origins (co-edited with Andres Zervigon, 2015), and the forthcoming Grove Guide to Photography (2016). As a research associate at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, she is completing a book that explores ideas about race in American visual humor. Tanya Sheehan currently serves as editor of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Journal and organizes the Photography and Migration Project based at Colby College.