Art History

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2024

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller gave an invited presentation on February 26 in a webinar organized by the Association for Chinese Art History titled “Chinese Art History in the Undergraduate Curriculum.”

October 2023

  • Professor of Art History Thomas Noble Howe co-published a peer-reviewed online monograph with Prof. Joseph C. Williams (Univ. of Maryland), Adan Ramos (UMd), and Gabriel Maslen (UMd and Tecnico di Milano), “The Role of the Field Architect in the Digital Age: Integrating Human and Electronic Recording at the Villa Arianna in Roman Stabiae”, The Journal for Field Archaeology, Received 17 Apr 2023, Accepted 04 Sep 2023, Published online: 11 Oct 2023. Howe is the overall director of the project and began to develop the technique of using conventional digital survey commands in the then-nascent digital laser EMD (Electronic Measuring Distance) surveying instruments to develop an efficient means of using surveying line commands to create a precise 3D “line wire cage drawing” to guide the completion of on-site hand drawings. He was the chief field architect and associate director of the American Academy in Rome Palatine Excavation project (1988-1994) and has been the director general of the Restoring Ancient Stabiae project since 1998.

  • Professor of Art History Kimberly Smith gave a talk entitled “Beyond Japonisme: Charlotte Berend-Corinth’s Wartime Watercolors” at the 2023 Feminist Art History Conference, held online and in-person, hosted and organized by American University, Washington DC, September 30 - October 1.

Feburary 2023

  • Professor of Art and Art History Thomas Howe was invited to attend the opening of a major new exhibition of Roman painting at the San Antonio Museum of Art, “Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii,” on February 23. Howe was part of the technical advisory committee for the exhibit, and several frescoes from his archaeological site of the Roman villas of Stabiae were included in the exhibit. The exhibit will be open until May 21, 2023. Howe will be lecturing in San Antonio on recent discoveries from his site in April.

  • On February 8-10, Professor of Art and Art History Thomas Howe was invited to do a department review of an undergraduate interdisciplinary architecture major at Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, AL, of a program introduced five years ago largely based on the Architecture Minor which Howe introduced at Southwestern in 1985.

August 2022

  • Professor of Art History Thomas Howe recently reviewed two books for the  American Journal of Archaeology : Oplontis: Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy, Volume 2: The Decorations: Painting, Stucco, Pavements, Sculptures edited by John R. Clarke and Nayla K. Muntasser, and  Archaeological Exploration of Sardis Report 7: The Temple of Artemis at Sardis  by Fikret K. Yegül (review to be published in January 2023). The two books represent two radically different approaches to current high-quality archaeological publication. The first is completely digital and lavishly illustrated beyond the normal means of hard-copy publication, while the second is a very traditional hard copy with plates, also lavishly illustrated with line drawings by the author. Clarke and Howe currently lead the excavations of the two largest villas in the Bay of Naples (Stabiae and Oplontis), and Clarke and Muntasser have both lectured at Southwestern. Howe began his archaeological career in 1980 at Sardis and made a few short contributions that Yegül generously credits with having clarified the controversial issue of the chronology of the Artemis temple.

July 2022

  • For the first time in three years, Professor of Art History Thomas Noble Howe conducted a field season at the ancient Roman villas of Stabiae. Small teams from the University of Maryland, the University of Akron, and Cornell University joined Howe and Southwestern student Oliver Johnson ’23 in digitally recording the architecture of one of the villas (Villa Airanna). Software engineer Sean Cahall began work with Howe and others to establish a GIS database, perhaps to be maintained by another university in a full field season next year. Howe is working on a major restructuring of the managing scientific committee involving some dozen European and American universities. 

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller gave an invited talk in Chinese on June 11 titled “秦汉彩绘青铜器:材质、装饰工艺与价值” (“Painted Bronzes of the Qin and Han: Materials, Decorative Techniques, and Value”) at the virtual conference 制器尚象 (Making Artifacts by Modeling Images), hosted by the Chinese National Academy of Arts (中国艺术研究院) in Beijing, China. The conference title derives from a phrase in the Book of Changes, which discusses emblematic figures as archetypes for artifacts. Miller presented on a panel titled “Craft and Form.”

June 2022

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller published the article “Painting Bronze in Early China: Uncovering Polychromy in China’s Classical Sculptural Tradition” in the spring 2022 issue of Archives of Asian Art.

April 2022

  • Professor of Art History Thomas Noble Howe was recently invited by Academiato conduct a review of an article about St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv, Ukraine: An Appreciation by Myroslava Hartmond (Halushka).


    Howe also was invited by the office of Rep. John Carter to be a judge for the Congressional Art Competition on April 27. The winning artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

June 2021

  • Professor of Art History Thomas Howe  and his collaborator Professor Ingrid Rowland (Notre Dame) have just published a monograph translation into Chinese of their Vitruvius: Ten Books on Architecture  (originally published by Cambridge  University Press, 1999), 维特鲁维亚 波利奥, 关于建筑的十本书 (Beijing University Press; first edition, November 1, 2017/released 2021).

January 2021

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller gave a lecture titled “Purple in Early China” to an art history class at Georgetown University on January 17, 2021.

  • Professor of Art and Art History Thomas Noble Howe  was one of the few authors to contribute two chapters—“Hellenistic” and “Christian Roman Empire”—to the book Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture  (21st edition, Bloomsbury, 2020), which has just been awarded the prestigious Colvin Prize for 2020 by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

  • Professor of Art and Art History Thomas Noble Howe contributed four drawings and a short chapter in the recently published book The Artemis Temple at Sardis, by Fikret Yegül (Harvard University Press, 2020). Yegül arrived independently at the same conclusion about the chronology proposed circa 1985 by Howe.

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller was invited to put her book Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China to the Page 99 Test. The Page 99 Testis a blog edited by American screenwriter Marshal Zeringue that asks authors to test their books and analyze the content based on the following idea expressed by Ford Madox Ford: “Open the book to page 99 and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” You can read Miller’s January 2nd entry here.

December 2020

  • Professor of Art History Kimberly Smith gave a talk in December 2020 titled “Modeling and Modernism: Charlotte Berend-Corinth’s Work” at the virtually held annual Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller ’s book Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China  was published by Columbia University Press.

November 2020

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller ’s book Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China  was published by Columbia University Press.

July 2020

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller discussed her forthcoming book, Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China, on a panel titled “The Problem of Objects and Material Culture” at the (virtual) conference, Envisioning East Asian Art History: 20 Books in 2020, hosted by the Society for the Promotion of International English-Language Scholarship on East Asian Art History on July 31. A recording of the conference and other information about the featured books can be found here.

January 2020

  • Professor of Art and Art History Thomas Howe  recently published two invitational drawings in the celebration of the Tribunal de Contas de Portugal (the Portuguese Court of Auditors) at the 630th anniversary of its first Regulations. The publication is titled “O Número :  A Emblemática Tapeçaria que Almada Negreiros Concebeu para o Tribunal de Contas ”  (“ The Number:  The Iconic Tapestry Designed by Almada Negreiros for the Tribunal de Contas”), published in Portuguese. The drawings are from Howe’s publication with Ingrid Rowland, Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture  (Cambridge University Press, 1999)—illustrations of the supposedly innate proportions of the Vitruvian “human.” The illustrations are a variation of the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci but show the ideal human as half male, half female—the first ever revision of the famous image of Leonardo’s male figure, based on the actual meaning of the term humanus , which is not gender specific in Latin.  The illustrations also appeared in a Portuguese translation of Vitruvius.

  • Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller gave an invited lecture titled “Terracotta Warriors after the First Emperor: Re-Evaluating the Qin Legacy in the Han” on January 17, 2020, at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The talk was the last of three talks Miller gave this academic year as a 2019–2020 Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) program lecturer.

  • Professor of Art History Thomas Noble Howe  has just published two invitational book chapters, “Hellenistic Architecture” (17,000 words) and “The Christian Roman Empire, A.D. 306–c. A.D. 500” (11,000 words), in the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture  (commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the University of London; published by, Bloomsbury Press,  pp. 284–331 and409–436). The Banister Fletcher is the oldest and arguably most prestigious repeatedly reedited history of architecture, first published in 1893. Howe has been invited to attend the presentation at the Royal Institute of British Architects and Bloomsbury Press in London on January 28. Both chapters are the only currently available one-volume histories of either period of architectural history.