Robert Leo Costello
Ph.D. 2002, Bryn Mawr
College, Bryn Mawr, PA.. Dissertation title: "The Center Cannot Hold:
The History Painting of J.M.W. Turner in the Age of Revolution."Advised
by Dr. Christiane Hertel.
MA, 1999, History of
Art, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA. Thesis: "The Critical Reception
of Abstract Expressionism in Mass Media Art Magazines, 1944-1950."
MA, 1996, History of Art, American University,
Washington, DC. Theses on critical reception of Degas and Manet, and
contemporary English artist Raymond Mason.
BA, 1993, History, HistoryHSkidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
"From The Death of General Wolfe to The Battle of Trafalgar:
The Rise and Fall of Contemporary History Painting, 1770-1806," article
currently in preparation. (Expected completion: November 2004).
Contributing writer, J.M.W. Turner, exhibition catalog for retrospective coming to USA in 2005-6, organized by Tate, Britain.
"Turner's Slave-ship: Towards a Dialectical History Painting," in Brycchan Carey, Markman Ellis and Sarah Salih, eds., Discourses of Slavery and Abolition: Britain and Its Colonies 1660-1838, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2004: pp. 209-22.
Object essays on William Baziotes, Adolph Gottlieb,
Alfred Jensen and Louis Lozowick, Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art,
Permanent Collection catalogue, Austin, TX, 2005.
Guest Editor, ArtL!es (Houston), v. 45, "Art and Politics in the 21st Century," (Spring 2004).
"Margo Sawyer: Contemplative Spaces," (review), ArtL!es (Houston), v. 43 (Fall 2004): p. 84.
"Kelli Connell: Double Life," (review), ArtL!es (Houston), v. 42 (Summer 2004): p. 86.
"David Hutchinson," (review), ArtL!es (Houston), v. 41 (Spring 2004): p. 83.
With Susan Pollock, Reinhard Bernbeck, et. al., "Excavations at Fistikli Höyük, 1999," in Salvage Project of the Archaeological Heritage of the Ilisu and Carchemish Dam Reservoirs. Activities in 1999, Numan Tuna and Jean Ozturk (ed.). Ankara: Middle East Technical University, 2001.
With Gridley McKim-Smith, "Crafting the Intangible:
The Art of John Clemmer," in David Clemmer, Leo Costello and Gridley
McKim-Smith, John Clemmer: Exploring the Medium, 1940-1999, (exhibition catalog), New Orleans: New Orleans Museum of Art, 1999.
"The WPA/FAP Poster Project," in Therese Thau Heyman, Posters American Style, (exhibition catalog), Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1998.
Lecturer: Department of Art History, Rice University Houston, TX, Current. Teaching advanced level courses in European art from the 18th-20th
Century, designed to introduce students to the major artists, works and
themes of the period as well as to key methodological approaches to
early modern and modern art history. Also teaching advanced level
seminar in Marxism and Art History, and participating in team-teach of
second half Survey of Art History.
Affiliate Professor: Department
of Art, University of Houston, Spring 2004. Taught two sections of Art
History Survey, Renaissance to Present, approximately 230 students, in
total. Lectures emphasized key monuments, artists and movements in
history of art. Supplementary readings also provided introduction to
the discipline of art history, and to methodologies such as feminism,
Marxism and psychoanalysis. Written work focused on learning to look
careful at original works of art, and developing language to discuss
Teaching Assistant: Department of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, 1998-99.
Duties included leading regular discussion classes
which served to augment and explain lecture and reading material in an
issue-oriented format, leading review sessions for exams, which
emphasized reacting to specific student concerns of a broad or specific
nature and meeting with students individually to review class and
reading material. Also responsible for sharing the grading with
professors for 40-60 students per semester, administering exams and
attending to other practical matters. Also delivered formal topic
lectures and developed innovative schemes for student participation.
Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Department of Prints, Drawings and Twentieth-Century Art, April 2002-August 2004.
Duties include organization and installation of
exhibitions of works from permanent collection of Prints and Drawings
Also responsible for installing works from the permanent collection in
different public areas of the museum on a rotating schedule.
Prints and Drawings: Recent Accessions, 2002: June-September 2002
Famous/Infamous: Images of Celebrity (photography): August-October 2002
The Form of the City: Urban Imagery in Works on Paper: September 2002-March 2003
Word and Image: Text and Symbol in Modern Works on Paper: March-May 2003
Process and Possibility: Contemporary Drawings at the MFAH. August-December 2003
States of Mind: Modern Art and the Exploration of the Psyche. December 2003-March 2004
Prints and Drawings: Recent Acquisitions, 2002-3, March-May 2004
Images of the Landscape in Works on Paper, May-September 2004
In addition to planning and installing these
exhibitions, prepared all written material for these shows, as well as
for temporary exhibitions, such as Vija Celmins (November 2002-February 2003) for which I also prepared a gallery brochure, and Jasper Johns and Richard Serra: Drawings from a New York Collection.
Duties also include research on permanent collection, preparation of
agendas for accessions committee meetings, and assistance in the
coordination and maintenance of collections. Also presenting potential
accessions to departmental subcommittees, and museum collection
committee for approval. Worked extensively on The Heroic Century,
an exhibition of 200 works from the Museum of Modern Art, assisting in
the planning and installing of the art, and coordinating the written
materials to accompany the art in the galleries. Coordinated staff
education series for that exhibition, and delivered lectures as part of
that series and numerous tours of exhibitions to various groups
including donors and collectors' groups. Created and maintained object
files for Prints and Drawings department, worked with Registrar's
office to integrate that material into museum database.
"John Clemmer: Exploring the Medium, 1940-1999," New Orleans Museum of
Art October 3, 1999 Ð November 21, 1999. In addition to working on the
essay noted above, worked with artist, other authors and museum
director John Bullard in preparing exhibition checklist and display
strategies, as well as plans for catalog as a whole.
Curatorial Intern: Department
of Prints and Photography, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC, 1995-96. Assisted curators in exhibition
preparation. Activities included object research, artist research and
preparation of printed material for exhibition display and catalog.
Also assisted curators in preparing exhibition checklists, locating
objects for possible inclusion and contacting potential loaners to
Research Assistant: Professor
Barbara Miller-Lane, Department of Growth and Structure of Cities, Bryn
Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1998-99. Worked with Professor Lane in
preparing her recent book, National Romanticism and Architecture in Germany and Scandinavia,1880-1930.
Duties were primarily related to assembling photographs for inclusion
in book. Located photographs, contacted institutions, organized
receipt, storage and return of images from private and museum sources
in six different countries.
Research Assistant: Professor
Gridley-McKim-Smith, Department of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College,
Bryn Mawr, PA, 1996-8. Assisted in preparation of various publications,
including reference checking, reading of potential sources and writing
short written summaries to establish relevance and other detailed
Awards and Honors:
Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, Bryn Mawr College, June 2001- May 2002
Workman Travelling Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Bryn Mawr College, 2000-2001
Graduate Scholarship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Bryn Mawr College, 1996 to 1999
Graduate Assistantship, Department of History of Art, American University, 1994-1996
Member, Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honor Society, 1993
Papers Given and Conference Participation:
"Turner and Venice,"
Symposium, Kimbell Art Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, February 14, 2004: Paper
title: "' 'Now is come a darker day': Turner, Venice and the Fate of
Southeastern College Art Conference, Mobile, AL, October 2002. Paper title: "Turner's Battle of Trafalgar, 1806"
VizCult, Harpur College Dean's
Workshop in Visual Culture, Department of Art History, Binghamton, NY,
February, 2002. Paper title: "Turner's Battle of Trafalgar and the End of Contemporary History Painting."
Interdisciplinary Group, Department of English, City University of New
York, November, 2001. Paper title: "Turner's Teignmouth, 1812: History and the Politics of Form in the Picturesque."
Discourses of Slavery and
Abolition, Writing in Britain and Its Colonies, 1660-1838, Institute of
English Studies, University of London, April 2001. Paper title: "A
Difficult History and an Uncertain Future: Turner's Slave-ship and the Dynamics of the Sublime."
30th Annual Middle
Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, Center for Advanced Study in
the Visual Arts, National Gallery Washington DC, April 2000. Paper
title: "A Difficult History and an Uncertain Future: Turner's Slave-ship and the Dynamics of the Sublime."
Session Moderator and Respondent, "Decline: All Good Things Must Come to an End?" 2nd Graduate Student Symposium, Department of Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr PA, October 1999.
French: proficient reading knowledge and conversational speaking knowledge.
German: proficient reading knowledge and conversational speaking knowledge.
Italian: basic reading and basic conversational knowledge.
Turkish: conversational knowledge.