The Society of Fellows at the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies announces a seminal conference:

Organized by the DB Dowd Modern Graphic History Library and the Norman Rockwell Museum, this symposium brings together scholars from across the humanities and the arts to explore the history, context, and theory of illustration in the United States from the nineteenth century to now.

As a set of practices and a cultural force, illustration emerged in the nineteenth century as a new and distinctly modern phenomenon. A vital component of the visual cultures of advertising, design, publishing, and entertainment, illustration is omnipresent in modern America. Yet its historical, contextual, and theoretical specifics—from modes of production, distribution, reception, and repetition to mandates of communication and consumption—remain relatively unexamined by scholars, art critics, and practitioners. Likewise, a taxonomy of the field—shared definitions of illustration, for example—is lacking. This symposium aims to bring together scholars and researchers across multiple fields including art history, history, visual and material culture studies, American Studies, consumer studies, book arts, childhood studies, literary criticism, media studies, and more who would like to join others in constructive conversations focused on developing the emergent field of illustration studies.  The deadline for registration is Friday, March 15.

Conference Schedule

(Program-at-a-glance)

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019 (KNIGHT CENTER, WU)

2:30-4pm Registration and Coffee
4-4:30pm Welcome/Opening Remarks from Denise Stephens, Vice Provost and University Librarian, D.B. Dowd and Stephanie Plunkett: Overview of Symposium Organization & Goals

4:30-6:00 Panel 1: What is Illustration?
Chair: Christopher Lukasik
Speaker: Michael Lobel, “Defining Illustration: An Art Historian’s View.”
Speaker: Jennifer Greenhill, “Illustration without Illustration.”
Speaker: Whitney Sherman, “Hidden in Plain Sight: How We Live with Illustration.”
Speaker: Jesse Kowalski, “Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol.”

OLIN LIBRARY, WU
6:00-7:30 Exhibition & Reception

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 (KNIGHT CENTER, WU)

8-8:50am Registration and Breakfast
8:50-9:00am Welcome remarks by Holden Thorp, Provost and Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Medicine

9-10:30am Panel 2: Case Studies in Nineteenth-Century Illustration
Chair: Erika Doss
Speaker: Christina Michelon, “Fragmented and Fugitive: Illustration’s Afterlives in the Antebellum United States.”
Speaker: Baird Jarman, “The Trouble with Thomas Nast.”
Speaker: Heidi Kolk, “Illustration and the Visual-Material Politics of Slum Tourism,
1870-1890.”

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11-12:30pm Panel 3: Evolving Practices in Illustration
Chair: D.B. Dowd
Speaker: Lenore Miller, “Tony Sarg, America’s Puppet Master: Commerce and Fantasy in Twentieth-Century American Popular Culture.”
Speaker: Roderick Mills, “Illustration as an Expanded Field of Practice: A Speculative Discourse.”
Speaker: Brendan Leach, “Cross Listed: Illustration and Cultural Context.”

12:30-1:30 Lunch Onsite

1:30-3 Panel 4: Histories of Illustration/Analog and Digital
Chair: Stephanie Plunkett, “Museums, Preservation, and Scholarship:
Illustration History Online.”
Speaker: Roger Reed, “A New Data-Architecture Tool for Illustration Exploration.”
Speaker: Elizabeth Seaton, “The Curry Illustrations Project.”
Speaker: Jaleen Grove, “Old Texts/New Data: The Canon According to Illustration
Experts, 1830-1970.”

3:00-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30-5:00 Panel 5: Re-Visualizing America: Subjects, Space, and Sex
Chair: Christopher Lukasik
Speaker: James Peck, “Image/Text: Visualizing Indian Territory in the 1880s.”
Speaker: Stephen Mandravelis, “Tantalizing Obtainability: The Illustrated Agricultural Press and the Re-Envisioning of the American Farmscape.”
Speaker: Ryan Hartley-Smith, “Yellow Journalism in the United States and the
Emergence of Cuban Anti-Imperialist Cartoons.”
Speaker: Jane Dini, “Maxfield Parrish and the Magic of Arabia in America.”

Shuttle Service to West Campus, 7425 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton MO 63105

5:30-6:30 Tour/Reception DB Dowd Modern Graphic History Library
Speaker: Skye Lacerte

6:30-7:30 Talk and Book Signing
Speaker: D.B. Dowd, Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice

Dinner on Your Own

Graduate Student Event (TBD)

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 (STEINBERG HALL, WU)

8-8:50am Registration and Coffee
8:50-9:00am Welcome from Carmon Colangelo, Ralph J. Nagel Dean, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts

9-10:30am Panel 6: Illustration and Identity Formation
Chair: Michele Bogart
Speaker: Karen Fang, “Background Artist: Art and Immigration in the Life and Work of Artist Tyrus Wong.”
Speaker: Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, “The Persuasive Power of Illustration on Race and Cultural Identity in America.”
Speaker: Theresa Leininger-Miller, “‘Are They Equal in the Eyes of the Law?’: African American Soldiers in World War I Illustrated Sheet Music.”
Speaker: James Kimble, “Illustrations, Iconotexts, and the Adventures of the Kid in
Upper 4.”

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Lightning Panel (5-7 minute presentations by graduate students)
Chairs: Erika Doss and Christopher Lukasik
Speaker: Rose Bishop, “A Little Artifice is Our Best Ally: The Flexibility of
Photography, Illustration, and the Teenage Self in Junior Bazaar.”
Speaker: Erica Bittel, “Re-Imagining the American Civil War: John Steuart Curry’s
Illustrations for the Red Badge of Courage and John Brown’s Body.”
Speaker: Joshua Kopin, “Drawing Speech: The Word Balloon as a Technology of Sound.”
Speaker: Matthew Ward, “Fadeway Man: The Disappearance of C. Coles Phillips.”
Speaker: James Denison, “Coloring the Mind: Illustrating and Imaging the Fantastic in Early Twentieth-Century Pulp Fiction.”

12:30-1:30 Lunch Onsite

1:30-3:00 Panel 7: Illustration and Gender
Chair: Erika Doss
Speaker: Laura Fravel, “A Rose at Harper’s: Elizabeth Shippen Green’s Working
Method and Sources.”
Speaker: Patricia Scanlan, “‘Her Real Hope Is in Black and White’: The Rise of Women Illustrators in Late-Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia.”
Speaker: Shreyas R. Krishnan, “Becoming Rosie: Rosie the Riveter and Performing Gender.”
Speaker: Margaret Denny, “For Love or Money: Women Photographers and the Illustrative Print”

3:00-3:30pm Coffee Break

3:30-5:00 Future of the Field: Conference Roundtable with Rockwell Center Fellows
Chair: Stephanie Plunkett
Speaker: Michele Bogart
Speaker: Erika Doss
Speaker: Douglas Dowd
Speaker: Christopher Lukasik

5pm Concluding Remarks

6:30pm Conference Dinner sponsored by Wash U, with remarks and/or reflections from selected figures, and concluding remarks from Rockwell Museum. By invitation only.

Travel and Accommodations

Conference Hotel

Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center​
Throop Drive and Snow Way, St. Louis, MO 63130

A limited number of rooms are available at the Knight Center for $139 per night. Please call the Knight Center direct to make your reservations at 314-933-9400 or toll free 866-933-9400 and ask for the guestroom block name: Rockwell/DMGHL Symposium.

Parking is available in the lot across from the Knight Center for free.

Alternative Hotel

Rooms are also available at the Moonrise Hotel for $139 on Thursday night and $169 on Friday and Saturday. You can make reservations by

  1. Calling the hotel directly and ask for in house reservations at 314-721-1111 and asking for Rockwell-DMGHL Symposium Group rate
  2. Going to www.moonrisehotel.com and filling in the appropriate reservation information on the left side of the opening screen. In the box labeled “Group Code” fill in your booking code, which is DMGHL2019 and the reservation will be made at your discounted rate.
  3. Emailing the reservations department at Reservations@moonrisehotel.com.

Getting There

Airport

Lambert-St. Louis International is the local airport. Please visit www.flystl.com for additional information.

Taxi fare from Lambert St. Louis International Airport to the Knight Center is $30 – $35 each way. For reservations, call County Cab at 314.991.5300.

By Car

Drive time from the airport to the Washington University campus is about 15 minutes. For driving directions, click on the map.

Directions via Metrolink

Via Metrolink: For $3, you can take the light-rail system to the University City/Big Bend Station. After exiting the train, take the elevator or stairs to street level. Washington University’s Danforth campus is on the southeast corner (Big Bend and Forest Park Parkway).

To reach the Knight Center, walk east on Forest Park Parkway and turn right on Throop Drive. The Knight Center is straight ahead.

DMGHL Research Information

The DMGHL Reading Room will be closed during the symposium on March 21-23, 2019. We are taking appointments for researchers before and after the conference. Space will be limited so please contact Skye Lacerte at slacerte@wustl.edu as soon as possible to schedule your appointment.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and contact information
  • Collection name, items requesting, box numbers if applicable. Our processed collections’ finding aids can be found here.
  • Preferred appointment dates and times

It’s possible that there are unprocessed collections that may be of interest to you, so please let us know what your area of study is and we will see if there are other collections of interest to you.

Hours

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Last appointment at 3:30pm.

Location:

West Campus Library is located at 7425 Forsyth Blvd. St. Louis, 63105.

At West Campus, visitors can park in designated spaces in the West Campus Garage. There is also a limited amount of metered parking on the surface lot next to the Metrolink station.

West Campus is easily reached via Metro public transit.

  • by MetroLink (light rail) exit at the Forsyth station immediately adjacent to the parking lot for the West Campus Library
  • by Bus take the #1 Gold line

For more information about our policies, procedures and forms, please visit https://library.wustl.edu/spec/access/forms/.

Sponsors

(Previous) CALL FOR PROPOSALS

LOCATION: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri,

DATE: March 21-23, 2019

CONVENED BY: The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the D. B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

BACKGROUND: This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars from across the humanities and the arts to explore the history, context, and theory of illustration in the United States from the nineteenth century to now.

As a set of practices and a cultural force, illustration emerged in the nineteenth as a new and distinctly modern phenomenon. A vital component of the visual cultures of advertising, design, publishing, and entertainment, illustration is omnipresent in modern America. Yet its historical, contextual, and theoretical specifics—from modes of production, distribution, reception, and repetition to mandates of communication and consumption—remain relatively unexamined by scholars, art critics, and practitioners. Likewise, a taxonomy of the field—shared definitions of illustration, for example—is lacking. This symposium aims to bring together scholars and researchers across multiple fields including art history, history, visual and material culture studies, American Studies, consumer studies, book arts, childhood studies, literary criticism, media studies, and more who would like to join others in constructive conversations focused on developing the emergent field of illustration studies.

Papers on the following themes are especially encouraged:

  • the ways in which technological innovations shaped the practice and look of illustration from the nineteenth century to now
  • the complementary nature of reading and looking in nineteenth century illustration
  • image/text relationships
  • how illustration shaped practices of looking in mass media
  • how and why illustrations came to shape and define ideas about class, race, gender, and ethnicity
  • the racial and gendered dimensions of illustration practice
  • the interplay of illustration, design, and fine art in American visual culture
  • illustrators and cultural agency
  • the labor, practice, and economics of illustration, including the organizational worlds of agencies, studios, and publishers
  • relationships between and frequent interdependence of the practices in illustration and photography
  • how illustrators and agencies responded to intermittent historical, cultural, and technological shifts, for example the advent of television
  • collecting illustration: buyers, donors, fans
  • the history and role of archives, libraries, and museums in collecting, cataloguing, preserving, and exhibiting illustration
  • evolving directions in contemporary illustration: technological, cultural, distributive

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSIONS: Please note, the call is now closed and we are no longer accepting submissions.

Proposals should include: name, mailing address, contact number(s), email, title of paper, and an abstract—maximum 200 words—of your paper.

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTED PROPOSALS: Applicants will be contacted by November 26, 2018 regarding acceptance of their proposal.

Graduate students are encouraged to apply to a special “lightning” session featuring 5-minute presentations.