HGSCEA | Historians of German, Scandinavian and Central European Art

Historians of German, Scandinavian and Central European Art, or HGSCEA, is an affiliated society of the College Art Association. It was founded in 1997 to foster study of visual and material culture of Central Europe and enhance communication and cooperation among scholars working on the art and architecture of the region. The society publishes regular updates of member news and activities, events and news items of interest to HGSCEA members on this website. HGSCEA also sponsors a session at the annual CAA conference, as well as organizes and supports scholarly endeavors and events focused on Central European topics. The society’s members include American and European scholars (affiliated and independent) and graduate students. Join HGSCEA!

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February 2020

Dear colleagues and friends,

It was great to see so many members of HGSCEA at CAA’s annual conference in Chicago! Our gatherings, so rich and convivial, are always one of the high points of my year.

The conference began for HGSCEA on Wednesday morning with the sponsored session, “A Foreign Eye: Photography, Women, and Global Encounters in the Twentieth Century.” HGSCEA members and the numerous others in attendance were treated to four excellent, provocative papers that addressed the complex and often fraught positions occupied by German, Swiss, and French women who worked as photographers in Japan, Palestine, Africa, and Afghanistan from the 1920s to the 1940s. On behalf of the Board, I want to congratulate the speakers – Kim Felt (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), Alyssa Bralower (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Kim Sichel (Boston University), and Elisaveta Dvorakk (Humboldt Universität, Berlin) – for their outstanding presentations. I also want to thank Jordan Troeller (Universität Graz) and Hyewon Yoon (University of New Hampshire) for putting together such a great session.

About thirty HGSCEAns gathered on a cold Thursday evening at Bistronomic, a French restaurant in the North Loop. The wine was delicious, the dinner tasty, the company warm, and the presidential speech mercifully short – at least I hope it was. (See the website for a few photos.) Most importantly, I announced the results of the 2019 Emerging Scholar’s Publication Prize. Honorable mentions went to Hannah Shaw (Rutgers University) for her essay, “The Trouble with the Censorship of August Sander’s Antlitz der Zeit,” in PhotoResearcher and to Kristin Schroeder (University of Virginia) for her article, “A New Objectivity: Fashionable Surfaces in Lotte Laserstein’s New Woman Pictures,” in The Art Bulletin. The winner was Aaron Hyman (Johns Hopkins University), for his article “The Habsburg Re-Making of the East at Schloss Schönbrunn, ‘or Things Equally Absurd’,” in The Art Bulletin. As always, jurying the competition was both a pleasure and a challenge, given the quality of the entire pool of essays and articles that were submitted.

On Friday morning, a group of members gathered at the Art Institute for a special HGSCEA event organized by Jay Clarke, Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings. Participants had the opportunity to look closely at a selection of works on paper from Dürer and Hollar, through Kollwitz and Munch, to Kiefer and Trockel. We are fortunate to have among us generous friends and colleagues who make such things possible.

Looking ahead, I would like to encourage those who qualify to submit new publications to the Emerging Scholars Prize later this year, and to apply for Travel Stipends of up to $250 to assist with the cost of attending CAA. If anyone is working on an exhibition, symposium, or other such event, and thinks that collaboration with HGSCEA would be useful, please contact me or any other member of the Board. We take great pleasure and pride in facilitating the sponsored session, in jurying the Emerging Scholars Prize, in offering travel funds, and in arranging the members’ dinner, but are eager to support scholarship on German, Scandinavian, and Central European Art and Architecture in other ways.

To conclude, I want once again to welcome those who have joined HGSCEA’s Board – Nina Amstutz, Jenny Anger, Thor Mednick, and Nick Sawicki. I am eager to work with them and with those who are continuing – Morgan Ridler, Jeffrey Saletnik, and Adrian Sudhalter – both to maintain what HGSCEA does and to find new ways to make the organization even more appealing to graduate students and early career colleagues in particular.

At the same time, I will miss those who are leaving the Board: Kathleen Chapman, Karla Huebner, Juliet Koss, and Marsha Morton. It is especially important to recognize Marsha’s fifteen, and Juliet’s nine years of service. Their ideas and efforts were indispensable to HGSCEA’s development and success over the past decade.

I hope to see them, and every member, at CAA in New York in 2021!

All best,

Jim van Dyke

HGSCEA President


HGSCEA sponsored session, “A Foreign Eye: Photography, Women, and Global Encounters in the Twentieth Century.”


Congratulations to Nina Amstutz for winning the Novalis Gesellschaft’s prize for “innovative research on European Romanticism ” for her book Caspar David Friedrich: Nature and the Self (Yale UP, 2020). http://novalis-gesellschaft.de/index.php/106-forschungsstaette/novalispreis