The Cleveland Symposium, an Annual Art History Conference Showcasing Local and International Graduate Student Talent

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 04/20/2005 - 16:42.

The art history students of Case Western Reserve University organized another successful Cleveland Symposium Friday April 15th. The Cleveland Symposium is an annual graduate art history symposium, which takes place at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This year nine graduate students from universities throughout the country presented 20 minute papers. Their papers covered a wide range of historical periods and geographic areas: Italian Renaissance fresco, 17th century Peruvian manuscripts, 18th century French sculpture, 19th century photography, Hudson River School landscape painting, American modernism, abstract expressionism, and contemporary art.

Selected from a pool of over 50 applicants, the nine presenter’s papers were all high quality and some were quite daring and original in their scholarship. Though you will have to wait until next spring, the Cleveland Symposium is well worth attending for anyone interested in art or art history. It is always free to attend and guests can attend specific talks that fit their interests or the entire program. Often the Symposium closes with a special lecture – as it did this year. Dr. Andrew Stewart, Professor of Greek Art at The University of California Berkeley gave a very entertaining talk titled “Designing Women: The Hetaira as Model from Phidias to Praxiteles. Dr. Stewart is a leading scholar of ancient Greek art, yet he is one of those rare art historians whose writing and lectures appeal to a wider audience.

I encourage all graduate students writing on a topics in art history to apply and attend next year’s Cleveland Symposium (graduate students from other academic disciplines are welcome to submit abstracts as long as their paper topics are art historical). This year three $500 awards were given to presenters for the most outstanding papers in contemporary art, 19th century art and ancient, medieval, renaissance, or non-western art. The Symposium Co-chairs and Session chairs selected the winners. Each year the Cleveland Symposium Committee is also very hospitable to the presenters. Presenters are invited to a luncheon and evening reception, and if they wish, they are paired with a Committee member host who provides them with free housing. In addition, a Committe member is appointed Symposium Ambassodor. The Symposium Ambassodor’s duties include helping presenters find their way around Case campus, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the city of Cleveland.