Upcoming Events

Please refer to our Instagram @saic_art_history to keep up to date on the latest department events.


Friday, May 10 - Wednesday, May 22 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CDT at SAIC Galleries Street Level, SAIC Galleries Lower Level 1, SAIC Galleries Lower Level 2

Past Events

Alumni Series

Our alumni series invites graduates to come and speak to current students about their research, professional careers, experiences at SAIC, and other relevant topics. In many cases, students have gotten private tours of exhibitions or been able to visit art spaces with our alumni.

Past guests include:

  • Alivé Piliado (Dual’23)- Research Associate at the Art Institute of Chicago and curator of Remedios Varo: Science Fictions
  • Laura-Caroline de Lara (Dual’12)- Director of the DePaul Art Museum
  • Matthew Mullane (MAAH’12)- Assistant Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Daisy Charles (MAAH’18)- Director of Archives and Research at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, NY
  • Vipash Purichanont (Dual’12)- Lecturer in the Department of Art at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and independent curator
  • Gan Uyeda (Dual’14)- Partner at François Ghebaly gallery in Los Angeles, California
  • Alison Glenn (Dual’12)- Curator of Promise, Witness, Remembrance at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Robyn Farrel (MAAH’13)- Senior curator at the Kitchen in New York, NY and former Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Dorota Biczel (Dual’10)- Executive Director and Curator at the Houston Center for Photography
  • Kelly Schindler (Dual’11)- Director of Exhibitions and Public Interpretation at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

The Norma U. Lifton Lectures in Art History

Since 1988, the Norma U. Lifton Lecture in Art History has brought distinguished art historians and critics to the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at SAIC. Across its history, the annual selection for the Lifton Lecturer has been guided predominantly by a desire to feature scholars whose work has served as a model for women art historians and who have encouraged feminist approaches to art history. Links to recordings of the lectures may be given upon request.

  • 2023: Irmgard Emmelhainz: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess
  • 2022: Dori Tunstall: Decolonizing Design: Dismantling the European Modernist Project in Design
  • 2021: Ming Tiampo: Contrapuntal Modernisms between Imperialism and Decolonization: Critical Unlearning and the Slade School of Art

  • 2020: Adrienne Brown and Rashad Shabazz, (Black Ground) /// Revaluing Black Spatial Politics

  • 2019: Saloni Mathur, "A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art"

  • 2018: Hannah B Higgins, "USA Surpasses All the Genocide Records: The Perspective from 9/11"

  • 2017: Deborah Willis, "Picturing Women: The Power of the Gaze"

  • 2016: Rachael Z. DeLue, "Thomas Eakins' Music Painting and the Problem of Picturing Sound"

  • 2015: Caroline A. Jones, "Desires for the Global"

  • 2014: Hollis Clayson, "Episodes from the Visual Culture of Electric Paris"

  • 2013: Panel Discussion with Catherine Bock-Weiss, James Elkins, David Getsy, and James Yood, "From Gardner to Global: Modern and Contemporary Art History at SAIC"

  • 2012: Andrea Giunta, "Imagining the Future. The Post-War Avant-Garde in Latin America"

  • 2011: Anne Higonnet, "White Dress, Broken Glass: Starting Art All Over Again in the Age of Revolution"

  • 2010: Patricia Leighten, "A Rationale of Ugliness: Primitivism, Cubism and Its Audience, 1908–1913"

  • 2009: Jean Fisher, "Trickster, Troubadours, and Bartleby: On Art From a State of Emergency"

  • 2008: Linda Nochlin, "Courbet Now"

  • 2007: Kellie Jones, "African Aesthetics in the Black Arts Movement, the 1960s and 1970s"

  • 2006: Michele Bogart, "The Politics of Public Beauty: New York Answers and Chicago Questions"

  • 2005: Anne Wagner, "Our Flag was Still There: Nationalism, Hegemony, and Jasper Johns"

  • 2004: Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, "Like James Bond: Art With an Assignment"

  • 2003: Jerry Saltz & Roberta Smith, "Point/Counterpoint: Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz Talk About the Art, Life and Role of the Working Critic in New York City"

  • 2002: Eleanor Heartney, "Transcending Fundamentalism: Art in an Age of Moral Absolutism"

  • 2001: Ann Gibson, "Can Abstraction Have Social Meaning? 1949–2000"

  • 2000: Tsong-Zung Chang, "Everyday Use of Art: From Calligraphy to Conceptual Art in China"

  • 1999: Gerardo Mosquera, "Alien Own/Own Alien: Globalization and Cultural Difference"

  • 1998: Kristine Stiles, "Remembering Invisibility: Documentary Photography in the Nuclear Age"

  • 1997: Griselda Pollock, "Who is the Other? Feminism, Politics, and Modernism: New York 1915"

  • 1996: Johanna Drucker, "Signs of Life: Images of Language, American Art from Standard Brand to Integrated Circuit"

  • 1995: Christopher Reed, "Reimagining Domesticity: The Art of the Bloomsbury Group"

  • 1994: Maria Makela, "Subversive Strategies: On Hannah Höch and Photomontage in Weimar Germany"

  • 1993: Carol Armstrong, "Facturing the Feminine: Manet's Woman Before the Mirror"

  • 1992: Whitney Chadwick, "Living Simultaneously: Sonia and Robert Delauney"

  • 1991: Roger W. Shattuck, "Georges Braque: Poet & Painter"

  • 1990: Patricia Mainardi, "Marriage and Its Discontents: Husbands, Wives and Lovers in 19th Century France"

  • 1989: Eugenia Parry Janis, "What Do We Want Photographs To Be?"

  • 1988: Linda Nochlin, "Seurat's Grand-Jatte: An Anti-Utopian Allegory”