October 29, 2018

An international conference organized and funded by the Meadows School of the Arts and the Art History Department

By Amy Freund (Associate Professor) and Alex Perez (M.A. student)

We’ve been planning this conference in the Art History Department for three years, and it’s finally about to happen. When we started out, we thought that maybe 80 people would show up – and that’s a lot for an academic conference. But as of today we have 145 people registered to attend. 

Over 60 universities and museums are represented, including Harvard University, the University of Sydney, the University of British Columbia, The Frick Collection, The J. Paul Getty Museum, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, MIT, the University of Delaware, Columbia University, and Dartmouth College – not to mention everyone from SMU, TCU, UNT, UT Dallas, and UT Arlington…. We’re very happy, and only a little nervous about how we’re going to pull this all off.

SMU art history grad students

Amy Freund and Art History students (Alexandra Perez and Danielle Ezor) prepping for HECAA.

The next few days are all about printing name tags, stuffing swag bags, and making sure 145 absent-minded art historians make it on the bus from their hotel to campus. But we keep reminding ourselves about the really exciting part – the world-class presenters and collaborations we’ve lined up!

Here are some of the things we’re really looking forward to (see the full program):

  • Our first keynote address, which will also be the annual Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art (thanks, DMA, for making this collaboration possible!): Knowing Their Place? Women Artists in Eighteenth-Century France, by Melissa Hyde from the University of Florida. Not only is Dr. Hyde a leading expert on female artists in the eighteenth century, she’s a mentor to both of us – Alex did her undergraduate work at the University of Florida.
  • Presentations by current SMU art history Ph.D. student Danielle EzorA Restaurant at the Salon: Consuming Chardin’s Still Lifes – and alumna Delanie Linden (M.A. ’18, now a Ph.D. student at MIT) – Silver, Flesh, and Holy Water: Colonial Conversions in the French Enlightenment. Pony Up!
  • The one-day loan of eighteenth-century menswear from the Texas Fashion Collection at UNT, which will be on display on Saturday, November 3 at SMU Meadows School of the Arts in the Hawn Gallery foyer of the Hamon Arts Library. It’s rare even for specialists in the field to see garments like this close up – come by on Saturday and prepare to be wowed!
  • How to Art History – a panel chaired by SMU professor Elizabeth Bacon Eager on making it as a professional art historian, aimed especially at emerging scholars. Sixty-five early-career art historians from around the country (and the world!) will be attending.
  • Seeing how art history and boulevarding mix – we didn’t know when we started planning that our conference would coincide with Homecoming, but we can’t imagine a better time for all our visitors to experience the Meadows School!

Follow along with the HECAA conference at @SMUArtHistory.