American Drawing, Renaissance Historiography, and The Remains of Humanism in the 1960s
Katie Anania received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary art of the Americas, focusing especially on ephemeral artworks in the 1960s and 70s. Her research has been supported by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Getty Research Institute, The Menil Collection in Houston, the Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Sallie J. Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University. Her most recent fellowship at the Morgan Library & Museum allowed for revisions to her current book project, Deeply Felt: Drawing Beside Itself in Postwar New York, which tracks the shifting position of drawing in American studio practice in the long sixties.
The project examines artists in the postwar United States, including Carolee Schneemann, Robert Morris, and William Anastasi, who took up Renaissance art, specifically drawings, as both a historical touchstone and a problematic cultural script. Revived through popular publications and major traveling Old Master drawing exhibitions, this portion of canon provided contemporary makers with an impetus to re-consider both the logic of history and the legacies of humanism. My research at I Tatti will support the argument set forth in my book: that drawings and studio ephemera mediated, in an absolutely critical way, the shifting history of public and private domains for contemporary American artists, and forged an alternative economy through which to re-imagine the very notion of communication.