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Graduate Student Seminar


Once upon a time, a museum educator named Barbara Wriston had an idea that students of art history could learn a lot from one another if they had a place to share their research. Her idea led to the Art Institute’s annual Graduate Student Seminar, now, remarkably, in its 46th year. For the seminar, fourteen Midwestern institutions of higher education select the best graduate paper of the year, and the author comes to Chicago to present their work.

Sitting in an auditorium listening to other people’s papers may sound like a swell way to ruin a perfectly good Saturday, but for art historians, it’s a little piece of heaven. Sharing ideas and approaches, getting inspired by critiques from people who understand what it’s like to get all worked up about art, artists, and culture—well, a good time is had by all. This year, the opening Friday night festivities before the seminar were held at Concertina Gallery, an exhibition space run by School of the Art Institute students in their apartment in Logan Square, where even more art history is being made. And they all lived happily ever after…

Participating schools include Indiana University at Bloomington, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Washington University in St. Louis.

A Culture of Denial: Franz Kline and East Asian Art
Vivian Li, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Franz Kline, Painting, 1952. The Art Institute of Chicago. Bequest of Sigmund E. Edelstone, 1984.521 © 2008 The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York