Volume 20, Issue 3 | Autumn 2021

Practicing Art History

by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu and Isabel Taube

With this issue, we are launching a new section of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide entitled “Practicing Art History.” Its purpose is to address art historical practice, broadly speaking, as it relates to the art and visual culture of the long nineteenth century across the globe. We acknowledge, firstly, that there are many practices rooted in different cultural (with that word used in its most elastic meaning) conventions and theoretical models; secondly, that art historical practice, in the sense of “praxis,” can accommodate such diverse activities as careful looking, archival research, conducting interviews, or data analysis and statistical modeling; and, thirdly, that it can lead to many “products,” including articles, books, lectures, exhibitions, and catalogues raisonnés.

The first contribution is devoted to the sometimes controversial “naming” of works of art. It focuses on conventional and often long-used, even artist-given, titles of artworks that are offensive or even hurtful in today’s context. Authors Patricia Hills and Abigael MacGibeny discuss how they dealt with this issue in their preparation of the Eastman Johnson catalogue raisonné.

We invite ideas for future contributions—which can range widely from the theoretical to the practical. Please contact Petra Chu (petra.chu[at]shu.edu) and Isabel Taube (itaube[at]19thc-artworldwide.org) with your suggestions.