Professor of Art History
Areas of expertise
Modern German and Austrian art; European modernism; history of art history.
Kim Smith's research interests are the art of central Europe from the first decades of the 20th century, and the intellectual history of art history.
Ph.D., Yale University 1999
M.Phil., Yale University 1994
B.A., Duke University 1990
Smith teaches courses on modern European and American art, and the history of art history. In her teaching, Smith hopes to make her students aware of the complex mechanisms by which works of art speak to viewers about history and culture. She emphasizes the work of art as precisely that -- a material site where the work of articulating national, gender, ethnic, religious or class identities takes place.
In all her courses, she presents the discipline of art history as the lively, collective production of interpretations, rather than an inert archive To this end, the methods by which art historians arrive at their conclusions are always foregrounded in class discussions, and students are encouraged to think creatively and inquisitively about how we generate analyses of all aspects of visual culture.
* Modernism and Modernity
* Art Since 1945
* History and Theory of Photography
* German Art of the Modern Era
* Gender and Art
Smith's book, entitled Between Ruin and Renewal: Egon Schiele's Landscapes (Yale University Press, 2004) analyzes the ways in which Schiele's Expressionist landscapes register and respond to the alienating effects of modernity, the problematic nature of selfhood, the eroding coherence of the imperial state, and other anxieties of his era, yet simultaneously offer solutions to the very crises his images present.
Most recently, Smith edited and wrote the introduction to a forthcoming historiographic study entitled The Expressionist Turn in Art History: A Critical Anthology (Ashgate, 2014). This book offers a cross-section of noteworthy art history texts written in German between 1912 and 1933, and translated here for the first time, which have been described as expressionist. These primary texts are accompanied by critical commentaries by an international group of scholars.
She has also published essays on central European visual culture in the journals Art History, Austrian History Yearbook, and elsewhere, on topics such as Schiele's painting, avant-garde Viennese fashion and Jewish identity, the art historian Alois Riegl's theoretical relationship to modern art, and Germany's imperialist imagination as manifested in Expressionist postcards.
"Colonial Utopia: Cultural Ambivalence in Franz Marc and Else Lasker-Schüler's Postcards." In Postcards: Ephemeral Histories of Modernity
, eds. Jordana Mendelson and David Prochaska. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010.
"Real Style: Riegl and Early 20th-Century European Art." In "Theory and Methodology," ed. Christopher Long. Special issue, Centropa: Journal of Central European Art and Architecture
5, n. 1 (January 2005): 16-25.Between Ruin and Renewal: Egon Schiele's Landscapes
. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004.
"The Tactics of Fashion: Jewish Women in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna." Aurora: the Journal of the History of Art
4 (2003): 135-154.
"Egon Schieles Landschaften: Von der Baumlandschaft bis zur Stadtansicht." In Egon Schiele
, exhibition catalogue, ed. Rudy Chiappini. Lugano: Museo d'Arte Moderna, 2003.
"Egon Schiele's Landscapes and the Allure of the Natural Nation." Austrian History Yearbook
33 (2002): 163-205.
"Egon Schiele's Treescapes. Work and World: Unframing the Autonomous Landscape." Art History
23, n. 2 (June 2000): 233-261.