By Elizabeth Hutchinson

About Elizabeth Hutchinson

Elizabeth Hutchinson is Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College of Columbia University. She is the author of The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–1915.


Despite being rooted in a biological practice that most of us take for granted, visual experience is complex. The challenge of tracing how we consciously and unconsciously make sense of what is in front of our eyes has been exacerbated by the proliferation of mass media. Television, print media, film, and the Internet, all of which appeal primarily to the eye, using color, form, and narrative to convey messages more swiftly than the printed word, have displaced the central position of text in modern society, demanding the development of skills to analyze the nature and significance of the visual (Sturken and Cartwright 2009). In academic circles, the term “visual” is often paired with “culture” or “studies” to indicate an interrogation of the culturally and historically constructed nature of objects designed for visual consumption and the practices through which they are engaged. If the number of sessions indexed under …

Disciplinarities, Histories, Methodologies
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