A Message of Thanks
Chair, Associate Professor,
and Faculty Organizer
I am immensely grateful for all of our speakers and attendees who participated in the 2021 SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium. Your wonderful talks, insightful questions, and enthusiastic comments made the event a terrific success and a heartwarming celebration of so many exceptional budding art historians. These students’ work is all the more impressive when one considers the challenging circumstances under which it was produced as the world has grappled with the impacts of the pandemic, political strife, and continued social injustice. The passion, industriousness, and fortitude of this year’s talented presenters give me great hope for not only the future of Art History as a discipline, but for our world as a whole.
I also wish to express my appreciation for the dedicated and unfailingly supportive team that helped to bring this event to fruition. Susan DeMaio Smutny provided us with marvelous technological support before, during, and after all twelve of the Symposium’s sessions as well as designed and maintained this website. Also keeping things running seamlessly were our four superb student moderators – Brooke Cammann, Madelyn Colonna, Shay Steuart, and Katherine Vrachopoulos – who deftly handled introductions and the Q&A portions after each talk. They also served as the selection committee for this year’s papers through a blind review process, a very challenging job considering the high caliber of the many applications we received.
I hope that you enjoyed this year’s event as much as I did, and I encourage you to join us again for our next virtual symposium in April 2022. Thank you again for your incredible support – with you, this event has transformed into the largest venue of its kind for the sharing of undergraduate art historical research in just two short years. We look forward continued growth and many more exciting Symposia to come!
With great appreciation,
The SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium began as the brainstorm of two students serving as the co-presidents of the College’s Art History Association in the fall of 2018. Within a few short years, it has grown into a multi-day virtual event this spring featuring the work of a hundred talented students from institutions across the entire northeastern United States. We look forward to developing it further into a premiere outlet for undergraduates interested in art history and its related fields to share their research, broaden their intellectual horizons, and network with one another.
The Symposium’s mission is to provide an inviting, nurturing, and inclusive space for undergraduates to give their first professional talks as well as develop increased self-confidence.
We are extremely grateful to all our past participants for their willingness to be a part of this successful experiment and especially to their faculty mentors, who not only shared this opportunity with their students, but who also supported and encouraged them while crafting their submissions. It is enormously exciting to celebrate the scholarly achievements of these talented undergraduates and see the bright future of the field ahead of us as we do so. Thank you all for being a part of this year’s event!
The Art History department is dedicated to the teaching of undergraduates. Small class sizes, usually comprised of fifteen to thirty-five students, allow for individual attention and close interaction with faculty and other students. All courses count toward the liberal arts requirement.
The breadth of courses offered by the Art History department, ranging from prehistoric times to the present and covering nearly all areas of the world, is rarely found at four-year colleges. Since 1964, the State University of New York at New Paltz has offered a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a wide variety of courses in the history of painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, design, and photography. A minor concentration in Art History is available, as is an Art History major concentration within the Elementary Education Pre-K-6 curriculum.