Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Public Lecture // Nostalgia as Remedy: Modernity and Sentimentality in Japanese Woodblock Prints of the Meiji Era (The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery)



CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “Nostalgia as Remedy: Modernity and Sentimentality in Japanese Woodblock Prints of the Meiji Era,” public lecture delivered at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Nostalgic Femininity: Japanese Woodblock Prints from The St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections (May 13, 2019).

ABSTRACT

Christina M. Spiker, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and curator of the current exhibition, Nostalgic Femininity, will discuss the broader historical and social contexts that inform the relationship between nostalgia and feminine imagery in the work of Japanese printmaker Yōshū Chikanobu and his peers. Learn about print styles from late nineteenth-century Japan using examples from St. Catherine University’s Archives & Special Collections.

VIDEO

A video of the lecture can be watched on The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery website.

TAGS



Website // Japanese Woodblock Prints @ St. Kate’s w/ MaryJane Eischen (Scalar 2)

CITATION

Eischen, MaryJane, Christina M. Spiker, and Nicole Wallin. Japanese Woodblock Prints @ St. Kate’s. Scalar 2. 2019.

DESCRIPTION

Through the Assistant Mentorship Program at St. Catherine University, MaryJane Eischen ‘20 worked with curator Christina M. Spiker to create Japanese Prints @ St. Kate’s, a website to supplement both the gallery and library exhibitions. This digital component was built using Scalar 2, a technological publishing platform developed by the University of Southern California. The website catalogs the entirety of the Japanese woodblock print collection in the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections and provides additional information about all prints and artists on display in each show. MaryJane also utilized a program called Timeline JS, which was developed by Northwestern University Knight Lab. This software was used to create two JavaScript timelines documenting both the artists in the collection and the ways these prints intersect with the history of Meiji Japan. The website also includes exhibition essays by Christina M. Spiker and Nicole Wallin ‘19.

Exhibition Catalog // Nostalgic Femininity & From Flowers to Warriors: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Archives & Special Collections (The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery)



CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “Nostalgia as Remedy: Contextualizing the Japanese Woodblock Prints in the St. Catherine University Archives and Special Collections.” In Nostalgic Femininity / From Flowers to Warriors: Japanese Woodblock Prints from The St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections. Exhibition catalog. (The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, 2019).

VIDEO

You can read my essay digitally or download the entire exhibition catalog through our digital exhibition.

TAGS



Exhibition // Nostalgic Femininity: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections (Catherine G. Murphy Gallery)

CITATION

Nostalgic Femininity: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections, curated by Christina M. Spiker, Ph.D, Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN (April 13-May 26, 2019)

ABSTRACT

Drawing from items in the University’s Archives & Special Collections, this exhibition explores the relationship between nostalgia and gender in Japanese woodblock prints of the late nineteenth century. The show features various prints by Meiji-period artist Yōshū Chikanobu alongside select examples by Miyagawa Shuntei, Utagawa Kunisada I, Mizuno Toshikata, and Toyohara Kunichika. It will open alongside a complementary library exhibition and digital supplement.

TAGS

Exhibition // From Flowers to Warriors: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections (St. Catherine University Library)

CITATION

From Flowers to Warriors: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections, curated by Christina M. Spiker with MaryJane Eischen and Nicole Wallin, St. Catherine University Library, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN (April 13 – May 26, 2019)

ABSTRACT

Drawing from items in the University’s Archives & Special Collections, this exhibition builds on the concurrent show Nostalgic Femininity in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery to explore a broader range of topics in nineteenth-century printmaking, from delicate studies of flowers to intense scenes of battle. The show features various prints by Meiji-period artists Utagawa Yoshitora and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi alongside select examples from other artists including Showa-period shin-hanga artists Aoyama Masaharu, Asada Benji, and Ohno Bakufu. It will open alongside a digital supplement.

TAGS

Course // All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion
HONORS 4990 | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Gabrielle Filip-Crawford

DESCRIPTION

Building on an edited volume of George Orwell’s writing titled “all art is propaganda,” this course will explore the art and psychology of advertising, propaganda, and other persuasive visual media. Combining methods of scientific and visual analysis, students will investigate how both historical and contemporary images are constructed and consumed. In learning to apply psychological theories of influence, students should expect to engage with diverse media including contemporary art, political advertisement, public service announcements, military propaganda, cartoons, caricature, product advertising, and branding. Upon completion, students will have the tools to be critical consumers of art and visual culture.

Image Credit: (top) Cliff Chiang, Untitled (He Can’t Do it Alone), 2010. Originally made for Star Wars Galaxy Series 5, a series of Legends trading cards by Topps.

Image Credit: (bottom) Aleksandr Rodchenko, “Books,” 1924. Poster.

TAGS

Course // The Reflective Woman (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

The Reflective Woman: Scholars, Artists, Thinkers, Writers
CORE 1000W | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Cecilia Konchar Farr, Hella Cohen, and Monica Rudquist

DESCRIPTION

The Reflective Woman (TRW), the first course in the Catherine Core Curriculum, provides a common touchstone experience for all entering students at St. Kate’s. Our main objective will be to examine together what it means to be a “reflective woman”—to know yourself, to integrate the knowledge you have, to seek new truths, to encounter art and perceive beauty, to live in communities, and to quest after a good life.

Image Credit: Patricia Olson, Details of selected paintings from The Catherine Portrait, 2008-2011. Oil on canvas.

TAGS

Course // Art History: Renaissance through Modern (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Art History: Renaissance through Modern
ARTH 1110 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course introduces the history of art from the early Renaissance in Europe to the present in Europe and the U.S. It surveys the artists, architects, and art movements that constitute the canon of Western art since the Renaissance with an eye to examining how society influences artistic production. The role of patronage, individual artistic personalities, religion, war and peace, and attitudes about gender are explored throughout and compared across geographic boundaries. This course provides comparative global examples to understand Western movements in context. The basic principles of visual analysis are taught and utilized; students are also introduced to fundamental methods of art history such as iconography, formalism, and social art history.

TAGS

Course // Ways of Seeing (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Ways of Seeing
ARTH 1150 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

“The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.” John Berger made this claim in 1972, when he published a thin, but hugely influential book called Ways of Seeing. This course intends to bring Berger’s statement – and the insights of his book – to bear on our own experiences of art, history, and visual culture in the early 21st century. An introduction to the history of art and visual culture, this course considers local and global case studies that implicate images, image makers, and viewers. These are explored according to themes that cut across historical and geographical boundaries, themes that include, but are not limited to visual culture and ideology, beauty and art, the female body and the male gaze, iconoclasm, piety and religious spaces, museums, popular and consumer culture, and social change.

TAGS

Presentation // The Texture of Crepe: Western Women and the Connoisseurship of Japanese Crepe Paper Books (chirimen-bon)

CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “The Texture of Crepe: Western Women and the Connoisseurship of Japanese Crepe Paper Books (chirimen-bon),” paper delivered at the second annual Art Historians of the Twin Cities Symposium, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (April 1, 2017)

ABSTRACT

In his book, A Shoemaker’s Story, art historian Anthony W. Lee reflects on the importance of investigating local subjects with an eye open to the large—and often global—issues that they invoke. He writes,

My advisor… once waxed eloquent about digging where one stands, meaning a commitment to local subjects and the belief that they deserved just as much rigorous scrutiny as more glamorous, cosmopolitan ones… This book is all about scratching the soil nearby and seeing what turns up. I continue to learn that such a project is neither limiting nor truly local but instead opens up to a very wide and meaningful world…

This essay is an exercise and experiment of following this same advice. While attempting to “scratch the soil nearby,” I uncovered a small, unassuming Japanese crepe paper book (chirimen-bon) in the Evelyn Goodrow Mitsch collection at St. Catherine University. The 24-leaf volume that Mitsch collected bore a quaint name, The Smiling Book, and was published by woodblock printer Takejiro Hasegawa circa 1896. This essay investigates the relationship between densely illustrated crepe paper books produced for a predominantly foreign female audience, the artistry of Hasegawa’s woodblock-printed illustrations, and the obscured labor of missionary and military wives who served as writers and translators of these image-texts. This article also considers the role of Minnesota native Evelyn Goodrow Mitsch as an artist-traveler and a collector. Her life-long mission of bridging cultures can be viewed alongside a material history of the woodblock printed crepe paper book in order to historicize the sustained female engagement and fascination with Japanese objects—a role often played by male connoisseurs of culture— through the mid-twentieth century.

TAGS

Course // Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture
ARTH 2994 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course considers the global trajectory of Japanese art and visual culture from 1945 to 2016. From sushi to karaoke to martial arts, Japanese goods have permeated US markets. This class seeks to understand this phenomenon in the realm of art and visual culture through the analysis of diverse material including advertising, animation, comics, film, graphic design, installation, mascot culture, painting, photography, popular music, and street fashion. Grounded in art historical and visual studies methods, with supplementary readings from anthropology and media studies, this class will investigate issues such as the overlap between comics and contemporary art; Japanese and American approaches to animation; and the influence of Japanese graphic design on product packaging. The course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, minority representation, and the post-human through lecture and discussion, individual and group work, and film and video screenings. Our goal will be to critically interpret the role of Japanese art and visual culture in an increasingly interconnected world.

TAGS

css.php