2007-2008 Academic Year

Professor Bill Anthes Honored with Graves Award

Bill AnthesBill Anthes, assistant professor of art history at Pitzer College, has received a Graves Award for 2007-08. The Graves Awards, administered at Pomona College, under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies, honor “outstanding accomplishment in actual teaching in the humanities by younger faculty members.” The award allows younger faculty to undertake research to develop new courses.

Anthes proposes to develop a course that examines how local/indigenous artists become part of the global, contemporary art world through the examples of Native North American and South African artists. With the support of the Graves Award, Anthes will travel in South Africa, studying the emerging contemporary art world in this newly democratic, multiracial nation. Since the dismantling of South African Apartheid between 1990 and 1993 and the 1994 democratic elections, South African artists have stepped into the global contemporary art world.

“I have been interested in how global processes affect culture making at the local level,” Anthes said. “In particular, my work to date has focused primarily on Native North American art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and I see this as an important yet underappreciated part of what we think of as modern and contemporary art history. My experience at Pitzer has encouraged me to further develop a comparative and global focus in my teaching. Contemporary South African artists, since the dismantling of Apartheid, have stepped into the international art world. I am eager to bring this material more fully into my teaching of contemporary art history.”

Anthes will visit the South Africa National Gallery in Cape Town, as well as regional art museums in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. In addition, he will visit university and corporate collections, as well as smaller commercial galleries and artist-run alternative spaces. “I am also interested in meeting and talking with South African artists, critics, and art historians,” Anthes said. “This type of direct knowledge is invaluable in developing the expertise necessary to teach and write about a subject.”

This is the third Graves Award for Pitzer since 2003: Carina Johnson, assistant professor of history received the award in 2003 and Andre Wakefield, assistant professor of history, in 2005.