I’m an art historian by training and critic by temperament. I teach art history, museum studies and visual/cultural studies at Hood College in Frederick, MD where I’m Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology. My specialty is 19th century Europe, but far from the grand boulevards or decorative designs associated with Impressionism and its ilk.
I am interested in the relation between the West and the lands beyond it, especially in the Middle East, then being “discovered.” I am fascinated by the many images we have of travel, Orientalism, global history, biblical illustration, and related matters, especially as they connect with pioneering archaeological campaigns to places like Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece, as well as display of their artifacts in Western museums. I published a book in 2003 on England, France and Germany’s reception of the remains of ancient Iraq, which is quite a story and touches plenty of famous art and artists, seen in a new way. Even some Impressionists! More recently, since I love looking at old photos, I did a book on photography and archaeology which goes up to the present day. It was fascinating, and great fun, working with contemporary photographers, and always amazing going around the world plumbing archives.
But there’s lots more that comes into play when an art historian looks at the world, as I’ve tried to design this website to show. There’s a list here in another section to the range of my writings. I’ve written about the contemporary destruction of archaeological artifacts, in a way that doesn’t always agree with modern fulminators against ISIS. I’m also fascinated by contemporary art and how it deals with my kinds of interests. When you live in Washington, DC, as I have for more than two decades, there’s also the omnipresence of monuments, which a section here explores. Most Washingtonians learn to not see them over time, but what happens when you keep your eyes open to them? That’s what “Monumental Anxiety: An Anti-Guide to the Monuments of Washington, DC” is set to explore.
Really, the whole world is material for a researcher. As Yogi Berra long ago put it “You can observe a lot just by looking.” Keep your eyes open! And look around.