Languages of Art Writing

A database of keywords from artists’ statements, manifestos, and art-critical works published in Western Europe since the late 1940s

Project team

Languages of Art Writing is a database of the terminology employed in art criticism, artists’ statements, and manifestos published in Western Europe from the late 1940s to the present. The dataset takes as its point of departure the thematic and historical frameworks of an art history course developed with the support of the 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education and first offered through the Collaborative Teaching Initiative in Spring 2021, Reckoning with History, Responding to the Present: Art in Europe Since 1960, which was co-taught by Brigid Doherty and Nathan Stobaugh (Ph.D. candidate, Art and Archaeology); a second iteration of the course will be co-taught by Doherty and Sara Green. Working in close collaboration, Green and Stobaugh have tagged original-language primary documents from the project’s corpus using more than six hundred keywords to create a database that explores connections among texts on the basis of shared language. The team hopes to triple the size of the database during this fellowship period. In addition, Stobaugh and Green will write an article exploring various methodological complexities involved in the project. For instance, how can meticulous, data-driven analysis engender manners of reading and visualization that differ from habituated modes of engaging with historical texts?

CDH Grant History

  • 2021–2023 Data Fellowship