History of Art and Architecture

Kirk Savage

Professor

Area of Specialization

Art of the United States
Advisees:

Biography

Past PhD(s): Carolyn Butler-Palmer, Maria D'Anniballe, Anne Knutson, Travis Nygard, Charles Pearo, Ivy Schroeder, Paul Scolari, Donald Simpson; See a listing of Past PhDs for details

Constellation(s): AgencyIdentityVisual Knowledge

Kirk Savage has written extensively on public monuments within the larger theoretical context of collective memory and identity. He is the author of two prizewinning books. Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (2009) reconsidered the key public monuments and spaces of the capital within a narrative of nation building, spatial conquest, ecological destructiveness, and psychological trauma. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) investigated the themes of slavery and emancipation in the monument boom that followed the U.S. Civil War.  He is at work on a new book about the Civil War dead that examines the interaction of bodies, names, and memorials.  The project will have a digital humanities component as well, which focuses on the movement of the war dead through local and national space and the visualization of that mobile identity in the ground of a soldier cemetery.

Education Details

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications

Editor, The Civil War in Art and Memory, in the series Studies in the History of Art (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art and Yale University Press, Spring 2016).  Author credits: Introduction, 1-4, and essay, “The Unknowable Dead: The Civil War and the Origins of Modern Commemoration,” 81-102.

Guest Editor, Memorials War and Peace, Special Issue of Public Art Dialogue, 2 (September 2012).

“Afterword: War/Memory/History: Toward a Remixed Understanding,” in Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial, ed. Thomas Brown (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), 180-88.

“The Obsolescence of Sculpture,” American Art 24 (Spring 2010): 9-14.

“The War Memorial as Elegy,” in The Oxford Handbook of Elegy, ed. Karen Weisman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 637-657.

“Shock and Awe: The Horse in Battle and Art, American Style,” in Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: The Horse in American Art, Ingrid Cartwright curator (Lexington, KY: Art Museum of the University of Kentucky, 2010), 10-29.

“John Rogers, the Civil War, and “the subtle question of the hour,” in John Rogers: American Stories, ed. Kimberley Orcutt (New York: New York Historical Society, 2010), 59-75.

 “Between Diaspora and Empire: The Shevchenko Monument in Washington, D.C.,” in Transnational American Memories, ed. Udo J. Hebel (Berlin/New York: Walther de Gruyter, 2009), 333-350.

Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

“The Impossible Monument: A Response to Wodiczko’s ‘Memorial for September 11,’” in Krzysztof Wodiczko, City of Refuge: a 9-11 Memorial, ed. Mark Jarzombek and Mechtild Widrich (London: Black Dog, 2009), 56-60.

“Trauma, Healing, and the Therapeutic Monument,” in Terror, Culture, Politics:  Rethinking 9/11, ed. Daniel Sherman and Terry Nardin (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2006), 103-120. [Reprinted in part in Public Art Review, Issue 35 (Fall/Winter 2006): 41-45.]

Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).

Forthcoming: Editor, The Civil War in Art and Memory, in the series Studies in the History of Art (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, 2015).

“Leere Gräber. Bürgerkrieg und nationale Gedenkpraktiken” [“Empty Graves: The Origins of Civil War Commemoration”], Mittleweg 36 (Zeitschrift des Hamburger Instituts fur Sozialforschung), 23:2 (April/May 2014): 54-61.

Selected Awards

Public Art Dialogue Award for Achievement in Public Art, 2016.

Recipient of the 2012 J.B. Jackson Prize, Foundation for Landscape Studies, for Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape

Recipient of the 2010 Charles C. Eldredge Prize, Smithsonian American Art Museum for Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2010 for Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Recipient of the 1998 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, American Studies Association, for best book published in American Studies for Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).