June 5, 2023

Och Pens Editorial on Vincent van Gogh for Great Lives Lecture on Jan. 27

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och penned an editorial on Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in advance of her Great Lives lecture, which will be held over Vimeo on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Vincent van Gogh lived only 37 years (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890), yet his work has had an indisputable influence on artists in the 20th and 21st centuries, perhaps to a greater extent than any previous painter in the West. And his life, while not the origin of the “suffering artist living in a garret” story, codified that fiction into a powerful narrative that haunts any parent whose child says: “I want to go to art school.” Read more.

Och Pens Editorial on Artemisia Gentileschi for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och penned an editorial on painter Artemisia Gentileschi in The Free Lance-Star in advance of her “Great Lives” lecture on March 16. The lecture can be viewed at umw.edu/greatlives.


“You will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman.”

—Artemisia Gentileschi, 1649

IN Fredericksburg today, one can find many women artists who work in every media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics, but also paper and book arts, mosaic, jewelry, weaving and textiles, photography, neon, video, and calligraphy, as well as architecture, interior design, and urban planning.

But women’s presence in these fields is recent in the history of Western art.

The life of acclaimed painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654) allows us to consider how artists were trained in early modern Europe and why a woman might enter the profession in the 17th century, a time when such accomplishments by a woman were rare indeed. Read more.

Fredericksburg-Este Association to offer free talk on 16th-century Venetian painter (fredericksburg.com)

Margaret Sutton: Face to Face Exhibition Opens Thursday

Margaret Sutton: Face to Face, an exhibition curated by Art Professor Marjorie Och’s ARTH 317: Laboratory in Museum Studies class, will open Thursday, April 19 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the HCC Convergence Gallery of Simpson Library. The opening reception is from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is made up of a drawings by Sutton, a 1926 graduate of the State Teacher’s College, now the University of Mary Washington. Sutton was a prolific artist, and most of her drawings, paintings and correspondence is in the collection of UMW Galleries.

Students in Professor Och’s Laboratory in Museum Studies have curated an exhibition from this extraordinary archive. The works span much of Sutton’s career, from 1936 through the 1970s, decades of remarkable developments in American art centered in New York City, Sutton’s home for this entire period.

Sutton studied at the Art Student League, but also studied textile, drafting and engineering. Her interests in science, psychology, philosophy, music, religion and travel to Europe inspired Sutton’s original style.

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Department of Art and Art History, UMW Galleries, the Museum Studies Program, Simpson Library, the Convergence Gallery, Alfred Levitt, and the students in ARTH 317.

Free lecture on Pompeii, history and art of ancient Roman city buried in ash from Vesuvius explosion in 79AD; 11/10; 6:30. St. George’s (patch.com)

Och Presents at College Art Association

Marjorie Och, art history professor, presented the response at a panel sponsored by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women at the annual meeting of the College Art Association, Washington, D.C., Feb. 3, 2016. The panel, “Emotion, Status, and Memory in Early Modern Italy,” included papers on Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and a study of Vannozza Catanei, mother of four of Pope Alexander VI’s children.

UMW Professor to Offer Free Art Lecture on Titian (The Free Lance-Star)

Och Publishes Review of “Violence and Virtue”

Artemisia Gentileschi, "Judith Slaying Holofernes," 1620 (Florence, Uffizi)

Artemisia Gentileschi, “Judith Slaying Holofernes,” 1620 (Florence, Uffizi)

Marjorie Och’s review of the exhibition “Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes” and the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue (Yale University Press, 2014) will appear in the fall/winter issue of The Woman’s Art Journal. The exhibit, at the Art Institute of Chicago (Oct. 17, 2013 to Jan. 9, 2014), focused on this one work of 1620 within the context of Gentileschi’s career. Gentileschi, one of the premier artists of the Italian Baroque, produced the painting while she was in Florence seeking the support of the ruling Medici family. The painting eventually enters the Medici collection, but was hidden from view for centuries, likely because of the realistic depiction of Judith, the heroine of her people, decapitating Holofernes, enemy of the Israelites. Unlike most depictions of this subject, which show Judith as a delicate woman incongruously murdering her enemy, Gentileschi represents Judith as a powerful figure acting on her own. The exhibit and catalogue demonstrate the importance of focusing on a single work; both encourage the viewer/reader to contemplate what is evident in the painting—Gentileschi’s technique and the narrative she depicts—as well as how the work might have been understood by her contemporaries.

Marjorie Och Publishes Article on Vasari

Marjorie Och’s article, “Venice and the Perfection of the Arts,” has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari, edited by David Cast.

Marjorie Och at STITAH, Yale University

Marjorie Och has been accepted into the third annual Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History to be held in July 2013 at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. The focus of this summer’s seminar is “Behind the Image: The Painted Surface and its Technical Study.” STITAH is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Yale University.