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Gray Sweeney

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Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1505
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1505
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1505
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1505
Biography

Professor J. Gray Sweeney is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of publishing and teaching of American art. He has published over 200 books, peer-reviewed journals articles, single- and multiple-author catalogues and museum collection catalogue entries. Dr. Sweeney produced over 1 million in private, federal and state funds in support of his publications, exhibitions, and other scholarly endeavors. Professor Sweeney is nationally known as an expert on the art of the American West, the Hudson River School, and American painting in the 19th century. He is frequently quoted in The New York Times and has appeared on PBS's History Detectives.

Professor Sweeney received his Ph.D. in 1975 from Indiana University. His awards include numerous prestigious fellowships including the Smithsonian Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, where he investigated critical issues in American art. His research has been supported by the Luce Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, The Tweed Foundation, Carnegie, Kress, Ford Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Cargill Corporation.

His most recent book, Fantastic Embodiment: Art, Imagination and the Ecocritical history of Personification, is in final preparation.This book investigates aesthetic conventions of anthropomorphic imagery from the Renaissance to the present and is expected to be completed in 2014-2015. The study investigates the artistic conventions of perceiving fantastic personifications in clouds, rock faces, and gesturing trees in European and American landscape paintings from the Renaissance to the present.

Statement of Teaching and Mentoring Philosophy: My goal in teaching is to help students develop ways of thinking that lead to “critical vigilance.” As art historians, art critics, or studio producers, my ultimate goal is to enable students to produce new methods of “embodying history” for themselves. I apply current theoretical and methodological discourses in my teaching and research. My instruction shows an impressive range and development culminating over two decades of effort to rethink the belief system of traditional art history. My current focus is on the future of visual arts disciplines, and how they will be transformed by new conceptions, theories, technology, and globalization. I introduced a number of exciting and challenging courses in Methods and Theories of Art History, Visual Culture Studies and Theories of Contemporary Art. My courses deal with issues of critical theory, ideological and institutional critique, class, race and gender. I am developing a new course on the art and ecology of visual cultures that I hope to offer by 2015. This course will include issues of “eco-criticism” and sustainability, and connects to my research on vitalistic personifications or anthropomorphic embodiments in the history of art. The focus of my teaching and research, as publishing scholar, is based on excellence rather than quantity. Please see my academic Vita below.

Publications

Gilbert Munger: Quest for Distinction, with Michael D. Schroeder, Afton Historical Society Press &  University of Minnesota, Tweed Museum of Art, Afton & Duluth, Minnesota, 2003.

“Inventing Luminism: Labels are the Dickens,” Oxford Art Journal, 26. 2, 2003, 93-120.

Inventing Acadia: Artists and Tourists at Mount Desert. "An 'Indomitable Explorative Enterprise': Inventing National Parks." The Farnsworth Art Museum, University Press of New England. 2003

Drawing the Borderline: Artist-Explorers of the U. S. - Mexico Boundary Survey.   University of New Mexico Press & Albuquerque Art Museum, Albuquerque, 1996

“The Advantages of Genius and Virtue: Thomas Cole's Influence, 1848-1876,” in Thomas Cole and the Course of American Empire, Yale University Press & National Museum of American Art, New Haven, 1994.

The Columbus of the Woods: Daniel Boone and the Typology of Manifest Destiny , Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, & University of Washington Press. 1992

Masterpieces of Western American Art, Bantam/Doubleday/Dell, New York 1991. 2 nd revised Edition, New York, Random House, 1996.

“Racism, Nationalism and Nostalgia in Cowboy Art,” Oxford Art Journal, Winter 1992. Reprinted in Race-ing Art History: A Critical Anthology, ed. Kymberly N. Pindar, Routledge, 2002.

Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARS 480Research Methods
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 584Internship
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARA 592Research
ARS 592Research
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
AMS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
ARS 692Research
ARS 790Reading and Conference
ARS 792Research
ARS 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 591Seminar
ARS 592Research
ARS 598Special Topics
AMS 599Thesis
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARS 480Research Methods
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 584Internship
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARA 592Research
ARS 592Research
ARS 598Special Topics
AMS 599Thesis
ARS 599Thesis
HST 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
ARS 692Research
ARS 790Reading and Conference
ARS 792Research
ARS 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 498Pro-Seminar
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 591Seminar
ARS 592Research
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
HST 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 501Methodologies and Art History
ARA 584Internship
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARA 592Research
ARS 592Research
ARS 595Continuing Registration
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
ARS 692Research
ARS 790Reading and Conference
ARS 792Research
ARS 795Continuing Registration
ARS 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 498Pro-Seminar
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 591Seminar
ARS 592Research
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 501Methodologies and Art History
ARA 584Internship
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARA 592Research
ARS 592Research
ARS 595Continuing Registration
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
ARS 692Research
ARS 790Reading and Conference
ARS 792Research
ARS 795Continuing Registration
ARS 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 591Seminar
ARS 592Research
ARS 595Continuing Registration
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 795Continuing Registration
ARS 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ARS 394Special Topics
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARS 498Pro-Seminar
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARA 584Internship
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 591Seminar
ARA 592Research
ARS 592Research
ARS 595Continuing Registration
ARS 598Special Topics
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 690Reading and Conference
ARS 692Research
ARS 790Reading and Conference
ARS 792Research
ARS 795Continuing Registration
ARS 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ARA 394Special Topics
ARS 442Critical Issues in Am Painting
ARS 480Research Methods
ARA 484Internship
ARS 492Honors Directed Study
ARS 493Honors Thesis
ARA 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 499Individualized Instruction
ARS 590Reading and Conference
ARS 592Research
ARS 595Continuing Registration
ARS 599Thesis
ARS 795Continuing Registration
ARS 799Dissertation