HNA is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for President and Vice-President, to serve four-year terms beginning in February 2021. There are two candidates for President and three candidates for Vice-President. The voting is open immediately, and will close on December 16. Please send an email with your selection to Marsely Kehoe, HNA administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please vote!
Matt Kavaler is Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies and Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto. He is also a former board member of the HNA. A specialist of northern European art of the early modern period across multiple media, he is the author of Pieter Bruegel, Parables of Order and Enterprise and Renaissance Gothic, Architecture and the Arts in Northern Europe 1470-1540. He has written many articles on notions of embodiment, performative engagement, affective piety, ornament and aesthetics, Bruegel and ideology, the rise of secular painting in the Netherlands, the politics of court sculpture, and the stunning revival of Late Gothic architecture in the early modern period. He contributed to the catalogue Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasure: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance (New York: Metropolitan Museum, 2010); more recently he helped organize the exhibition Borman: A Family of Northern Renaissance Sculptors (Leuven: M-Museum, 2019). His book on Netherlandish sculpture of the sixteenth century is forthcoming.
I would like to build on the tradition of the HNA especially in two ways. I would continue to encourage new scholarly approaches, to broaden the discourse, and I would like to engage more fully with our international community. I would strengthen our outreach and collaboration with other institutions such the Arbeitskreis Niederländische Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, Codart, and the Renaissance Society of America. Virtual platforms offer new opportunities for working together. As Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies in Toronto, I have organized international conferences, collaboration between early modern centers, and seminars held jointly by North American and European art history departments. Finally, I would encourage greater representation of our scholars who study the arts of the fifteenth and sixteenth century—as well as those of the German territories.
Walter Melion is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, where he directs the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. He is author of three books and seventy articles, co-author of two exhibition catalogues, and editor or co-editor of more than twenty volumes. He has served on the board of the HNA.
During my several decades as a scholar, I’ve seen major changes in our field: some feel valedictory, having to do with generational and institutional shifts, while others touch upon method and historiography, what we study and how we study it. Our relation to established sub-fields has altered, as also our sense of our participation in the shaping of new sub-fields—trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific studies, for example—as well as in consolidating the new field of global studies. And crucially, we are grappling with issues of diversity and equity: how do we research and write about Netherlandish art, exhibit and conserve it, even while interrogating the Euro-centric premises deeply implicit in our historiography? How can HNA help all of us deal with these concerns and, as an organization, respond to them structurally? One of the things I’d like to do, were I elected president, is to organize online lectures, response fora, and/or colloquia—perhaps a couple each year, one in the fall, another in the spring—in which we examine some of these issues, while familiarizing ourselves with new research strategies and outlooks. I think of these proposed online events as complementary to the triennial conference, which is in-person and on-site. There’s a lot we can learn from each other, and HNA can serve as a conduit for exchanges of this sort. Our membership has grown considerably over the last few years, and our endowment needs to grow commensurately; this is an ongoing project the new president must continue to advance. I take as my motto, Karel van Mander’s apothegm, ‘Men denck’ ick ben een Mensch: en Menschen connen falen’.
Dr. Karen L. Bowen is an art historian who has most recently been employed by the University of Antwerp to create electronic catalogues of their art collections. In her research she specializes in the study of prints, printmaking, and book illustration in the early modern period. She has focused in particular on the production of illustrated editions at the Plantin-Moretus Press and the activities of artists engaged by that Press, in particular, the Wierixes and the extended Galle family. She is currently working on a book on print prices and the international distribution of prints in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. She has published numerous articles in Print Quarterly, in addition to other journals, and contributed to several books. Her own books include Christopher Plantin and Engraved Book Illustrations in Sixteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2008), co-written with Dirk Imhof, which was awarded the Roland H. Bainton Book Prize in art history.
Ever since I moved to Belgium nearly thirty years ago, I have been a proud member of HNA, pleased with how it has grown into a strong, international organization. I am grateful for the ways in which it supports an active engagement in scholarship, as well as a positive fellowship among its members. I am eager to help sustain this organization and further its development by serving as the Vice-President. My professional background would provide a valuable complement to that of a US officer, for I am fluent in Dutch and have extensive experience working for European universities, researching in European archives, and organizing and participating in conferences and colloquia, including events for my alma mater, Williams College. My training in both academic and museum contexts and my immersion in the field of prints enable me to appreciate the needs of art historians with diverse areas of interest. In all circumstances, I keep looking for an optimal solution to any problem that might arise. I fully support HNA’s commitment to inclusion and the importance of listening to all of its members. I believe that I could make a valuable contribution to the organization by endeavoring to enhance members’ ability to communicate with one another, exchange experience and expertise, and help the organization continue to move forward.
Gordon J. Gilbert
Having enjoyably attended every meeting of the HNA since its inception, I am one of a small group of collector-members and would be the first collector of Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th century paintings in the position of vice president of the HNA (or possibly any HNA board position). With a collection of over forty paintings and with a longstanding and continuing academic interest in this field, I could offer a different perspective in planning meetings and publications. While my only formal art history training occurred at the undergraduate level, I have long served on the Collections Committee of the Harvard Art Museums and have attended rewarding summer school courses in Dutch and Flemish art at both the Rijksmuseum and the Hermitage. I have donated paintings to the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and the Harvard Art Museums. My collecting has featured a strong but not exclusive interest (and delight) in Dutch and Flemish mannerism, including paintings by Goltzius, van Mander, van Haarlem, Bloemaert, Wtewael, Moreelse, and de Clerck. My paintings have been exhibited at the Prinsenhof (Delft), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery London, the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, and others. My wife Michele Kidwell Gilbert is an art historian specializing in Ancient and Italian Renaissance Art History (she chairs the Archaeology Committee of the National Arts Club in New York). Our newest work, a beautiful portrait by Ferdinand Bol, arrived at our home in St. Petersburg only this week. I have had a long, successful career in neurology and published over a hundred articles, of which two (on Leonardo da Vinci and Pieter Bruegel the Elder) incorporate neurological description and art history.
Ashley West is Associate Professor of Art History of the early modern period at Temple University, where she has taught since 2009, with particular expertise in the history, practice and theory of printmaking and with interests in imagery produced around different kinds of cross-cultural encounters between Europe and the Ottoman Empire, the “New World,” Africa and the East Indies. She studies processes of cultural transmission and the dissemination of knowledge in the early modern period, as well as opportunities for artistic exchange through travel and portable objects, pilgrimages, diplomacy, warfare, global trade and exploration and early collecting practices. In her teaching she regularly incorporates on-site learning opportunities in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Mütter Museum, the Wagner Free Institute of Science and Temple’s Special Collections of rare books. Her work has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, among others. She has published on early etchings; notions of visual history and the German sense of the past; Renaissance antiquarianism and early representations of peoples from the coast of Africa and India. Her forthcoming book, Hans Burgkmair and the Visual Translation of Knowledge in the German Renaissance, reevaluates notions of the German Renaissance through the prints, drawings and paintings of Hans Burgkmair the Elder, a contemporary of Albrecht Dürer. She is currently working on early modern theories of representation and on the visual culture and technologies of sixteenth-century Augsburg as a site for negotiating the global and the local in everyday experience.
Admittedly, with HNA having for so long been seen as an exclusive and relatively homogeneous group, I am committed to efforts toward greater equity and inclusivity, especially in the content of programming and in grant and mentorship opportunities. I am open to listening to and enacting ideas about how best to promote these important values together. And while we remain in a period of isolation and distance during this pandemic, I see the Zoom era as opening up possibilities for a range of programming throughout the year, from workshops to virtual tours and roundtable discussions, with the ultimate aim of doing more to connect with our European counterparts.