Department of Art and Art History News

Professor Michael Smith included in exhibition From the Object to the World

Mon. March 30, 2015

white overlapping hexagonal and cube shapes on green background

Do Objeto para o Mundo – Coleção Inhotim (From the Oject to the World – The Inhotim Collection features over 50 works from the Inhotim Collection and work by Professor Michael Smith. the exhibition will be on view in Belo Horizonte, Brazil through March 8, 2015, and travel to Sãu Paulo, Brazil in April 2015.

UT Austin / RISD MFA Sculpture and Studio Art exchange exhibition

Mon. March 30, 2015

green graph paper event poster for exhibition with dates and list of artists

MFA candidates in UT Austin's graduate Studio Art program and Rhode Island School of Design's graduate Sculpture program exchanged work in the two-part exhibition Parallels. The one-night exhibitions were on view March 21 and March 28, 2015.

Alumnus Robert Pruitt interviewed on Saint Heron

Mon. March 30, 2015

white overlapping hexagonal and cube shapes on green background

Robert Pruitt (MFA in Studio Art, 2003) was interviewed on Saint Heron which is produced by Saint Records.

Alumna Rachel Simone Weil curated Hardware Not Responding, on view at the Fine Arts Library

Sat. March 28, 2015

text on top of gradient iamge of old NES nintendo control

Rachel Simone Weil (MFA in Design, 2014) curated the exhibition Hardware Not Responding. The exhibition will be on view at the Fine Arts Library March 27 – May 1, 2015. An opening reception will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 5 pm in the Fine Arts Library.

While its earliest videogame consoles are not well known in the US, Sega made an impact with its third entry into the console market, the Sega Genesis. The Genesis became a runaway hit and fast rival to Nintendo in the late 1980s and early 1990s, built on the slogan that “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” In the early 1990s, Sega and Nintendo battled for the top spot in the game console market, and it seemed likely that Sega—with sizable game sales and fan following—would come out ahead.

Yet just a few years later, Sega would be plagued by missteps and poor reception to its next-generation game console releases. The Sega Dreamcast, released in the US in 1999, would be Sega’s final videogame console before refocusing its business on arcade machines and game software.

Hardware Not Responding playfully asks the viewer to consider whether history could have been different for Sega and for videogame consoles today. Were some ideas underdeveloped? Too cumbersome? Or perhaps too ahead of their time?

Hardware Not Responding is curated by Rachel Simone Weil with support from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Fine Arts Library. Display items are on loan from the UT Videogame Archive and from the FEMICOM Museum.

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Terah Walkup, BA in Art History, 2007

Fri. March 27, 2015

woman with yellow curly hair and glasses wearing black turtle neck poses

Terah Walkup (BA in Art History, 2007) is a research associate in the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Professor Glenn Peers: What informed your decision to move into curation rather than a scholarly track? How would you advise others who wanted to follow in your path and what other career options would that open to them?

Terah Walkup: I grew up in a household with little tags pasted underneath each piece of furniture listing the previous owners, their life dates, and location…so working in an art museum and doing provenance research was quite natural to me! As a freshman in 2003 I volunteered at the Blanton Museum of Art as a student docent. It was an exciting time because construction had just begun on the new museum building. During the four years I worked at the Blanton I gained an invaluable introduction to various aspects of museum work including education, audience development, and event planning.

Volunteering and internships are one of the best ways to gain the experience necessary to begin a museum career. One of my favorite memories of being an art history undergraduate was spending hours in the Fine Arts Library. It’s a great place to satiate curiosity once you become comfortable with a piano hanging over your head! Before joining the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art as a curatorial research associate, I worked as a museum educator. That position required me to lecture about works of art across all of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collections and exhibitions. So having a broad knowledge base was essential.

GP: After you received your BA in Art History from UT Austin, you attended Northwestern University. How did you decide that graduate school was right for you?

TW: Whether or not to pursue graduate school is a difficult decision, particularly as the experience differs greatly from undergraduate studies. One of the most crucial skills to hone before embarking on any graduate degree is effective writing. The Art History faculty was my most valuable resource in that regard. After a study abroad trip to Sicily led by you [Professor Peers], I engaged in a long-term research project under your mentorship during which you guided me through the process of scholarly investigation.

Also extremely helpful was a seminar on Feminism and Visual Culture that I took with Professor Ann Reynolds. She helped us navigate challenging texts of critical theory while treating as fellow inquirers — a great preparation for graduate coursework. The application process is not only a personal commitment but a collaborative process with your professors, and I remain very much indebted to Professor Louis A. Waldman who graciously devoted hours to helping me craft my writing and to Professor Jeffrey Chipps Smith who lent encouragement and generous advice.

I would encourage current undergraduates interested in pursuing graduate work in art history to take a wide range of art history courses and take advantage of the number and range of humanities courses offered at UT Austin.

Participate in class — you will get to know your professors, peers, and find your voice. Connect with current graduate students in the department. Expose yourself to new research by attending lectures hosted by the department and events at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art. Finally, it’s never too late to begin learning a foreign language. I rely on my knowledge of German and French regularly in my research and curatorial work.

GP: What aspects of the Art History program and your other experiences at UT Austin prepared you for your current work/research?

TW: One of the best things about the Department of Art and Art History are the people. Get to know your professors and peers in the department and find ways to collaborate on projects! I joined the Undergraduate Art History Association and after a few years took on a leadership role that connected me with fellow students who have since grown into stellar artists, museum professionals, and innovative leaders in the art world.

Get to know your campus resources. I consider my curatorial internship at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where I learned to handle original works of art and the fundamentals of collections care, to have been a critical initial training in curatorial work. I was fortunate to work with curators in the Photography Department who walked me though the stages of exhibition planning and preparing objects for display. One of my projects was to catalog and house a box of photographic military portraits by E. O. Goldbeck. After working my way through the 200 records in the box, I asked about my next assignment and my supervisor walked me into the vault and showed me the remaining 50 or more boxes in the queue! There were almost 45,000 portraits and I had only made a dent over the course of the year.

GP: What current projects do you have coming up?

TW: As a research associate in a curatorial department my work involves exhibition management, art historical research on the permanent collection and loans, and educational programming. Though it closes in May, we are beginning the planning process of deinstalling an exhibition of international loans, Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections. I am organizing a celebratory symposium that will take place at its close. Looking forward, I am working on an exhibition opening this summer that explores Dionysos as the god of wine and theater. It’s a collaborative effort between two curatorial departments and will pair Classical antiquities with early modern prints. Perhaps someday I’ll be able finish cataloging those photographs…only 44,000 to go!

Related topics:

Student Spotlight: Meet some of our newest BA in Art History graduates
Student Spotlight: Meet some of our our newest BFA and BA Studio Art graduates
Student Spotlight: Meet Caleigh Taylor, BFA in Visual Art Studies

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Karen Cervantes, BFA in Visual Art Studies, 2013
Alumni Spotlight: Meet Lucy Parker, BFA in Studio Art, 2012