Here is representative sampling of academic publications (articles, catalogue entries, book reviews), a few web posts and a range of curatorial projects including wall texts, exhibition proposals and justifications for acquisition.

Academic Freedom
Art Conservation
Costume Design
Garden History
Graphic & Media Design
Paintings, Sculpture & Decorative Arts

Academic Freedom

Aaron SwartzRIP Aaron Swartz. This is my first ever personal blog entry, written the day I discovered my friend Aaron ended his own life after being hounded by the US Department of Justice for his efforts to make scholarly journal articles available for free. Reflecting on this fiasco I note that “I’m not sure what’s next, but under the circumstances being quietly bereft and outraged doesn’t feel like an adequate response.”

Click to view a heavily-edited 2004 discussion on a right-wing talk show about academic freedom legislation.

Legislating Academic Freedom: The Larkin-Horowitz Debate. This series of web postings, formerly on the California AAUP website, begins with my 2004 essay “What’s not to Like About the Academic Bill of Rights” and includes a few subsequent efforts to prevent the legislation of affirmative action for conservative ideas in the American Academy. In my capacity as VP for Private Universities of the California chapter of the American Association of University Professors I engaged for a couple of months with the screwy perpetrator of the legislation efforts before signing off in exasperation in April 2005. You can watch heavily-redacted extracts from an hour-long discussion between me and Horowitz here, and revisit some of the exchange in “The Graham Larkin-David Horowitz Debate” in Stephen H. Aby ed., The Academic Bill of Rights Debate: A Handbook. Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2007, pp. 67-90.

Art Conservation

bossy-burger[1]Things Fall Apart: Graham Larkin on The Object in Transition,”  ArtForum International vol. 46, no. 8 (April 2008), pp. 153-6, 390. Review of a Getty conference on the preservation of recent art in which I note that “”given the abundance of Duchampian and Dadaist modes of artistic production in the past half century, the material traces of much ontologically challenging art have been piling up in museums, with the result that philosophical questions about where art begins and ends are no longer merely academic. Good luck trying to acquire, store, or present vintage performance art, environmental art, Conceptual art, or appropriation art while maintaining a clear distinction between art and context, art and life, art and artifact, art and interpretation, high and low, original and copy, or completion and incompletion.” The ArtForum editors vetoed my original title (Whither the Object?) that more accurately signalled the move away from materialistic conceptions of art.

fogg_stella_relinedReconstructing Stella: Investigating the Materials and Context of Louis XIII and Richelieu,” Harvard University Art Museums Review, vol 7 no 2, Fall 1998, pp. 1, 5. A preliminary description of my work with conservators in using various technologies from X-ray and IR photography to Photoshop in an effort to rebuild a 17thC painting. It’s a brief plea for “expository imaging” that includes a pretty effective example.

Costume Design

Catalogue entry on Daniel Rabel in Drawing Attention: Selected Works on Paper from the Renaissance to Modernism, ed. Katharine Lochnan, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2008.

Catalogue entry on the Ballet de la Délivrance de Renaud (1617) in Sue Welsh Reed, French Prints from the Age of the Musketeers (Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1998), pp. 84-86.

Serious Play: Daniel Rabel’s Classical and Burlesque Costume Designs for the Court Ballet of Louis XIII. MA diss., Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1993. Advisor: J. Douglas Stewart.

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Garden History

vaux_thumbOn the Advantages of Nietzsche for Garden History,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 20, no. 1 (2000), pp. 1-5. This is a somewhat whimsical effort to inject some methodological self-awareness into the field of 17thC garden history. In contrast to the the dry archivalism of much garden history I present Thierry Mariage as what Nietzsche would call a critical historian and Vincent Scully as a monumental historian.

mariage_coverTranslation of Thierry Mariage, The World of André Le Nôtre (originally L’Univers de Le Nostre, 1990). University of Pennsylvania Press; hardcover 1999, paperback 2010. Includes supplemental glossary and index. This is a book I discovered in Mirka Beneš’ class on early modern gardens, and decided to translate for the benefit of non-Francophone students.

Graphic & Media Design

aspen4_detThe Case for the Design Producer. In this June 2013 entry on my Design Incubator web site I compare my role as instigator and promoter of student projects to the work of old-school record producers.

fire_map_detHere’s my annotated Bibliography of Multimodal Design (i.e. studies on works layering and integrating text, image and data) assembled for my Adventures in Multimodal Design class at Carleton University in January 2013.


damo-koeln-jan-2o12-by-matias-corral-ii[1]My first work of music criticism since a review of Bongo Fury in high school, this July 2013 blog post recounts an enthralling performance by krautrock legend Damo Suzuki and local psych rockers The Band Whose name is a Symbol. Now that cyberspace is so canned and commercialized will “resolutely real-time and non-virtual” experience become the new countercultural frontier?

Paintings, Sculpture & Decorative Arts

Voice-of-Fire[1]Handbook Entries /Extended labels for 13 works in the International Collection of the National Gallery of Canada (March 2011). Pithy introductions to paintings and sculptures by Thomas Cole, Piet Mondrian, Edward Wadsworth, Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, James Rosenquist, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Joseph Kosuth, Carl Andre, and Barnett Newman.

s_ptarmigan-vase[1]The Ptarmigan Vase: A Monumental Copper, Silver and Gold Mokume Vase, ca. 1900-05. These 24 pages of research were assembled in a matter of days in January 2011 in preparation for a successful auction bid for an amazing piece of Canadian-themed exotica designed by the former head jeweler at Tiffany’s. In a strange twist of fate a twin to this seemingly-unique work emerged a year later.

warhol_brillo_detAmerican Invasion: US Art meets Canada in the 1960s. Proposal by Graham Larkin (Dec 2010) for an exhibition to tour across Canada. Approved by the exhibition committee, but never realized due to the termination of my position.

watts_tdj_oil_sketchG.F. Watts’ Time, Death and Judgement. Justification for the acquisition of preparatory studies (already purchased at auction) for a painting donated to by the artist to the NGC in 1887.

tomb-of-general-brock[1]Thomas Cole’s Tomb of General Brock, Queenston Heights. Justification for the acquisition of an 1830 painting for the National Gallery of Canada. Thanks to the efforts of my predecessor Catherine Johnson this painting had been on loan to the NGC for some years. In this successful 2009 effort to purchase it in time for the War of 1812 bicentenary year I note that as withWest‘s celebrated Death of Wolfe this is “a Canadian subject painted in England by an American émigré … perfect for the collection of European and American art in the National Gallery of Canada.” Here‘s the handbook entry/label I wrote for the work, and here‘s the announcement in the NCG magazine.

roncalli_detCatalogue entry on Cristoforo Roncalli’s Death of Sapphira in From Raphael to the Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome, National Gallery of Canada, 2009. A painting acquired during my tenure as as Curator of European & American Art.


Fullscreen capture 08062016 52856 PM.bmpSleep Laboratory: An Intimate Investigation into Warhol’s Process. Proposal for an exhibition riding the line between film and still imagery in Warhol’s amazing work of the mid-sixties.

Fullscreen capture 08062016 53000 PM.bmpAndy Warhol’s Sleep. Nov 2010 justification for the acquisition of a unique 1965 screenprint donated to the National Gallery. This is a stunning poster-sized work, with a Warhol print on one side and an anonymous, Rauschenburg-style print on the other. It  was donated by the delightful Marla and Larry Wasser, who took a day to show me their stunning private collection in Toronto. Over lunch we bumped into filmmaker David Cronenberg, who had include the print in his 2006 Supernova exhibition at the AGO.

Fullscreen capture 08062016 53417 PM.bmpPrinting the World: Representations of Places by European Artists, 1470-1720. Exhibition proposal, 2008. Supported for a while by the NGC and other institutions, this proposal was scrapped due to untenable budgetary restraints.

5_invasionObserving Birk’s Method,” in Sandow Birk, The Depravities of War. Grand Central Press, Santa Ana California and Hui Press Publications, Makawao, Maui, Hawai’i, 2007, pp. 72-74. Love his work!

Consequence+Capricci+A+celebration+before+the+Signoria+in+Florence-1024x768-3089The Unfinished Eighteenth Century” in Michael Cole and Madeleine Viljoen (eds.)  The Early Modern Painter-Etcher (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), pp. 75-83. A brief and quirky survey of 18thC etching.

The Elusive Oeuvre of Jacques Callot. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 2003, 581 pp. A study of the origins of the modern art catalogue techniques in early modern print compilations. My thesis advisor was the inimitable Henri Zerner. Available for purchase here.

Fullscreen capture 09062016 24836 PM.bmpGuest editor with Lisa Pon, of “Printing Matters: The Materiality of Print in Early Modern Europe.” Word & Image, vol. 17, nos. 1-2 (2001).  In addition to co-editing this double issue I co-wrote the introductory essay, designed the diagram of the scholarly field, and translated Roger Chartier’s afterword from the French.

3306201407620044Review of Henri-Jean Martin, La naissance du livre moderne: mise en page et mise en texte du livre français (XIVe-XVIIe siècles), in Print Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 4 (2001), pp. 472-74.

Lines of Inquiry: Ancien Régime Book Illustration from the Department of Printing & Graphic Arts, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Brochure for a Houghton Library exhibition of sixty books, 8pp., 1998.

Entries on seventeen prints in French Prints from the Age of the Musketeers, ed. Sue Welsh Reed. Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1998.

Fullscreen capture 09062016 33900 PM.bmpMeditations on a Landscape by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. A short student essay from 1995, now on this site as a blog post.

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