Vision​ Statement

Founded in 2002, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide (NCAW) is a scholarly, refereed, open-access journal devoted to the study of nineteenth-century art and visual culture across the globe. Open to various historical and theoretical approaches, the editors welcome contributions that reach across national boundaries and illuminate intercultural contact zones in the broadest sense of that term. The chronological scope of the journal is the “long” nineteenth century, stretching from the American and French Revolutions, at one end, to the outbreak of World War I, at the other, a period coinciding with the apex of European colonialism and the first phase of (unfettered) industrial capitalism.

Because the nineteenth century represents the beginning of the formation of a “global culture,” the journal covers the visual culture of all parts of the world—from the Americas to the Far East and from Scandinavia to Africa and Australia. For too long nineteenth-century art-historical studies have focused on France and, to a lesser extent, Great Britain, the United States, and Germany. NCAW’s editors make a particular effort to solicit articles that cover the arts in other areas of the world.

In addition to articles, NCAW publishes book and exhibition reviews. Here, the objective is not only to be timely (taking advantage of the speed of digital delivery), but to review books and exhibitions that might not get a great deal of press elsewhere, either because the subjects are outside of the mainstream or, in the case of exhibitions, because they take place in less accessible venues.

The goal of the journal, in sum, is to be a worldwide journal that publishes articles by scholars across the world on the widest possible range of topics, with regard to makers, consumers, media, and points of view. In so doing, we aim to contribute to the creation of a truly global history of nineteenth-century art and to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the artistic achievements of different nations.

History of the Journal

The history of NCAW goes back to the year 2000, when the governing board of the seven-year old Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA) distributed a survey to its members asking what they thought the association should prioritize. Overwhelmingly, members expressed the need for a peer-reviewed scholarly journal of nineteenth-century art. AHNCA president Petra Chu teamed up with Peter Trippi to investigate publishing possibilities; they found a financial supporter in the Swiss art historian Hans A. Lüthy (1932–2009), who made a generous donation to serve as seed money for a journal.

Chu and Trippi initially planned for a paper journal, still the norm at that time, but eventually opted for a digital-only, open-access format. They were introduced to Emily Pugh, then a graduate student at the City University of New York (CUNY), who had designed a digital graduate student art history journal, the design of which was simple, functional, and elegant. Pugh developed the NCAW website and, except for several back-end updates and some modifications of the front end, her design remained in place until 2021, when it was updated by NCAW web developer, Allan McLeod, with the help of a grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation.

In early 2002, the first issue of NCAW was launched. It features an opening section called “Whither the Field of Nineteenth-Century Art History?” with ruminations by leading nineteenth-century scholars, as well as eight articles and six book and exhibition reviews. The latter were edited by Gabriel P. Weisberg, who had joined Chu and Trippi in 2001. From the beginning, the plan was for two issues a year. While publication in the form of issues was not a necessity for online publication, the editors decided to maintain this format because it facilitated their workflow. In 2003, the idea came up for “special” issues, guest edited and (usually) focused on a specific topic. The first guest issue on “The Darwin Effect,” edited by Linda Nochlin and Martha Lucy, was published in spring 2003; later special issues were published as summer issues. Intermittent and opportunistic, they were sometimes the result of a symposium, other times connected to an exhibition or a special event, such as the retirement of Patricia Mainardi, AHNCA’s founder (2012).

Encouraged by Anne Helmreich, then senior program officer at the Getty Foundation, NCAW embarked on the publication of digital art history (DAH) articles in 2012. Two grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (awarded 2012) and the Terra Foundation for American Art (awarded 2017) support the DAH initiative, which is ongoing. Other new initiatives have included the addition of a special section called New Discoveries, in which an author writes about a single work or group of works that have been newly “rediscovered,” and the linking to AHNCA’s social media.

Much like public broadcasting, open-access journals are funded by a combination of grant funding and private donations. NCAW sponsors have ranged from foundations to art galleries and individuals.

Former NCAW Team Members

Robert Alvin Adler, Copy Editor

Elizabeth Allen, Copy Editor

Elizabeth Buhe, Digital Humanities Editor

Mary Gladue, Copy Editor

Sura Levine, Promotion Manager

Martha Lucy, Executive Editor

Emily Pugh, Web Developer; DAH Editor

Peter Trippi, Founding Editor; Executive Editor

Deborah Ultan Boudewyn, Access and Preservation Strategist

Gabriel Weisberg, Founding Editor; Book and Exhibition Review Editor

Janet Whitmore, Copy Editor