University of Rochester

Getty Continues Support of International Art Institute

March 11, 1999

An international group of art historians, museum curators, and cultural critics will gather at the University of Rochester for the second year of a program that explores new developments in art history and visual culture.

A departure from traditional academic seminars, the Summer Institute in Art History and Visual Studies was conceived as a way to attract scholars who were once isolated by political or financial hardships in their home countries. With the support of the Getty Grant Program, 30 participants—two-thirds from Central and Eastern Europe—will be selected.

"Every seminar of our first summer encouraged intense conversation and real intellectual discussion," said Michael Ann Holly, chair of the University's Art and Art History Department. "The first summer focused more on the humanities in general; this summer will incorporate a more specific concentration on visual culture."

Holly will lead the summer institute with Keith Moxey of the Department of Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University. Daily seminars, evening lectures by 10 distinguished authorities in the field, and film and video screenings compose the structured work of the institute.

The $353,000 Getty grant covers the cost of the seminar as well as travel stipends for research in the United States by participants from Central and Eastern Europe. Trips to western New York sites with historic and artistic significance will be incorporated into the program along with three days in New York City for visits to art museums, artists' studios, and conservation laboratories.

Sixteen countries were represented at last year's institute. For the incoming group, participants will arrive from 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, and eight other countries, including Australia, South Africa, and Sweden.

The institute will be held from June 27 to July 30, 1999, on the River Campus. Evening programs will be open free to the public.

One of the reasons Getty officials were drawn to the University was its Visual and Cultural Studies Program, the first interdisciplinary graduate program of its kind. At Rochester, the program stresses the interpretation of art works within a historical and ideological framework. Art is defined in its broadest sense and analyzed by studying relationships between cultural texts and critical theory, such as feminism and psychoanalysis.

The Getty Grant Program, a part of the J. Paul Getty Trust, supports work of exceptional merit for which resources are otherwise limited. Its projects promote research in the history of art and related fields, advancement of the understanding of art, and conservation of cultural heritage by individuals and institutions throughout the world.