1. I am re-learning art history, a field into which I have poured hundreds of hours and thousands of 💸. My past self could recount the eating habits of a nunnery characterized by their papal dispensations for or against meat-eating, while my current self can barely remember anything.
2. I am reminded of how revelatory I found Erica Rand when I first discovered her work, specifically “Lesbian Sightings: Scoping for Dykes in Boucher and Cosmo." The author “comes out of the closet” to the academic audience and admits that her own scholarly thesis was culled from the pages of Cosmo Magazine, something that would be looked down at the time both by feminist scholars and art historians alike. According to Rand, in 1985, Cosmo started publishing articles about lesbians, with dubious titles like “Comso’s In-depth Survey of a Man-less life” and “Confession: I had a lesbian lover.” The lesbian (and here, I use “lesbian” as a title, much like a nature documentary would select some single, hapless lioness as its focal point, a tone that Rand uses in her article) is not a “Cosmo Girl”, not a reader, but rather a type of woman held apart, something to study.
3. There is an art historical concept of the "period eye," conceived of by Michael Baxandall argued that people within a culture share experiences that influence how they view images. More and more, my own identity as a queer woman shapes how I view art, art history, and my own past. I also connect anything (marine biology, dental appointments, etc) to art.
4. I am not saying that I wouldn't have written about Renaissance food rituals (because I am still obsessed with that) but I'm also not saying that I wish I had those grad school resources for this insta/blog, because there's a whole world of queer art history that I never learned. I’m sharing what I find, #artbookstagram and new friends (artworks) that I find in galleries at work and anywhere.
5. All of this to say: welcome to this experiment. 📸@ad_mi_re