The Art of Memory and Mourning A Symposium in Honor of Cynthia J. Mills

Friday, November 14, 2014, 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Watch Both Videos of the Symposium

This symposium will present recent scholarship that addresses the subjects of mourning, loss, remembrance, and memorialization as explored through a variety of art forms in the United States over the past four centuries. The program is dedicated to art historian Cynthia J. Mills (1947–2014), former executive editor of the journal American Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum academic programs advisor, and recognizes the release of her book Beyond Grief: Sculpture and Wonder in the Gilded Age Cemetery (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2014).

The symposium is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. The symposium will be webcast live, and will remain available online: Webcast of The Art of Memory and Mourning. To request accessibility services, please contact museum staff preferably two weeks in advance of the program.


1:00 p.m., Welcome

Karen Lemmey, Curator of Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

1:15 p.m., Session I

  • Portraits in Stone: Burial Monuments and Practices in Colonial Charleston
    Jennifer Van Horn, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University 
  • Bivouac of the Dead: Confederate Monuments and the Politics of Mourning
    Sarah Beetham, Independent Scholar 
  • Managing Mourning: Victim Memorials and the Volatile Politics of Grief
    Erika Doss, Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Notre Dame 

2:40 p.m., Coffee Break

3:00 p.m., Session II

  • A Wall for Apricots: Dedication and Loss in Anne Truitt’s Sculptures 
    Miguel de Baca, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Assistant Professor of Art History, Lake Forest College 
  • Against Nostalgia: Kerry James Marshall and the 1960s
    James Meyer, Associate Curator of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art 
  • Retro-Spectacles: On Photography and Its Fictions
    Lisa Saltzman, Professor, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College 

5:00 p.m., Reception

Speakers' Abstracts

Contact Us

For symposium information, please email or telephone Amelia Goerlitz at +1 (202) 633-8353.