February 24, 2022
Greetings from the Executive Editors of Panorama, Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. We are pleased to share this 2021 Annual Report with our readers, stakeholders, and supporters.
Prompted by the compounded events of the past two years and their effect on research and learning, scholarship is increasingly moving online. It follows that the digital is shaping new conversations and innovative directions in research and publishing. As an open-access, born-digital scholarly journal, Panorama is uniquely poised to serve as a vehicle for the delivery of timely, engaging, and original scholarship on American art that is free, accessible, and open to all. We aim to be a welcoming and accessible space for scholarly discussion and debate: from long-form, double-anonymous peer-reviewed Feature Articles and themed suites of academic essays in In the Round to spotlights on exciting discoveries in Research Notes and short, conversational pieces inspired by pressing questions in the field in Colloquium. Our Book Reviews and Exhibition Reviews showcase innovative recent studies and significant contributions to scholarship—in the museum and academic publishing.
In each undertaking and throughout all our operations, Panorama retains a commitment to diversity and inclusivity – by publishing scholars at all stages of their career from the museum and academy (and beyond), from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences; by addressing current events; by shining a light on overlooked or underrepresented artists, topics, periods, or materials; and by highlighting diverse methodologies and approaches. Since our first issue in winter 2015, we have published 333 scholars living and working in France, Canada, Mexico, England, Serbia, Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, and across the United States. We create a welcoming and accessible environment for our editors, contributors, and readers to participate in the creation, dissemination, and reception of cutting-edge scholarship in American art. Escalating public debates over censorship and academic freedom, questions about history and its place in contemporary life, and the ongoing national reckoning with race and systemic racism, gender identity and sexuality, and ability, public health, and personal freedoms make this work feel more urgent than ever.
In 2021, Panorama undertook a number of new initiatives and continued to grow our readership to extraordinary heights. We launched our Toward a More Inclusive Digital Art History initiative, supported by a project grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art; concretized plans for a new section focused on digital scholarship (broadly conceived); continue to work with our publishers at University of Minnesota Libraries to ensure we follow Creative Commons and open-access publishing standards; partnered with the University of Central Florida’s Texts and Technology PhD program to add alt-text to our images and make our site more accessible; grew financial support through a fundraising campaign and gifts from readers like you; and addressed our board structure and governance models, setting a path toward strategic visioning and long-term sustainability. We also welcomed several new editors, who have brought topical expertise in their unique subject areas, expanded our geographic reach, and added to our editorial meetings and operations in positive ways.
Editorial Board & Staffing
Panorama relies upon the dedicated service of its editorial board. We are pleased to acknowledge and thank outgoing and new incoming editors in 2021. Rebecca Bedell has served the journal since its inception, first as an inaugural Advisory Board member and more recently as an Exhibition Reviews editor. She has been a supportive champion of Panorama, shepherding exhibition reviews to print, and serving as a warm and reliable colleague. We are grateful for her many contributions.
Fig. 1. New editors Constance Cortez, Frances Kay Holmes, Tracy Stuber, and Jennifer Way.
In 2021, we welcomed Constance Cortez, Frances Kay Holmes, Tracy Stuber, and Jennifer Way to the Editorial Board. Cortez will serve as Co-Executive Editor from 2022 through 2024. She is a professor of Chicano/a Art History and Post-Contact Art of Mexico at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Her three most recent volumes include Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján, co-edited with Hal Glicksman; Carmen Lomas Garza, for which she was awarded first place in the category of Best Arts Book (English) at the 2011 International Latino Book Awards; and Death and Afterlife in the Early Modern Hispanic World, co-edited with John Beusterien. She is a co-author of the digital art history project “Generative Rhizomes: Extending Digital Discovery of Mexican American Art,” the first national-level digital portal focusing on Mexican American Art, and is concluding a term on the editorial board for The Art Bulletin. Holmes (Mvskoke Creek), who is an assistant professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies and current department chair at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), joins the journal as a new Exhibition Reviews editor. She works from an Indigenous perspective, incorporating other disciplines and methods into her research and teaching, which is social justice–oriented. Stuber and Way will lead a new section of the journal broadly focused on digital scholarship, digital publishing, and digital humanities that will premiere in November of 2022. Tracy currently serves as Research Specialist for PhotoTech at the Getty Research Institute and previously held a Kress Fellowship at the George Eastman House and a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Rochester. Her research focuses on the intertwined histories of photography and art history. Jennifer is a professor of art history at the University of North Texas, and she researches and publishes on modern and contemporary art, design, and craft, disability studies, and the medical humanities. She is a board member for the Visual Arts Society of Texas and on the Council of Readers for College Art Association’s annual conference.
Finally, we laud the work of Panorama’s Managing Editor Jessica Skwire Routhier, whose dedication and organization keeps the journal going. We also value contributions from continuing section editors: Marissa Vigneault, Margaretta Lovell, and Amy Werbel in Book Reviews; Erin Pauwels, Kate Crawford, and Emily Burns in Research Notes; Caroline Riley and Mora Beauchamp-Byrd in Exhibition Reviews; and Diana S. Greenwald and Johnathan Hardy, who lead the DAH project.
Fig. 2. In the Round table of Contents for “Asian American Art, Pasts and Futures” and Special Section on “Art and Politics in the US Capitol,” published in Panorama, Issue 7.1 (Spring 2021).
Content & Section News
2021 saw the journal responding to contemporary crises and engaging timely debates in its pages, with special sections devoted to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol building, Asian American art histories, stories from the pandemic as shared by colleagues working in different sectors and facing individual challenges, the legacies of colonialism, the commemoration of women in public sculpture, and women’s shared experiences as artists and teachers. Issue content from Gail Levin and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw also tackled thorny topics like how to address and redress systemic racism and racist artistic output in scholarship devoted to American art, or grapple with the legacies of historical racism and anti-semitism at important institutions devoted to the study and exhibition of American art.
We were thrilled to host guest-edited Colloquiums dedicated to "Art and Politics in the US Capitol," from Wendy Bellion and Anna Marley; “When and Where does Colonial America End,” from Emily Casey; and “American Art History in the Time of Crises,” organized by the Executive Editors. The In the Round section of the journal addressed "Asian American Art, Pasts and Futures,” from Aleesa Alexander and Marci Kwon, and “Women Artists and Teaching: An Intersectional View,” from Liz Kim and Amy Von Lintel. We were also pleased to publish three feature articles this year: “Commemoration of an Epoch: Monuments to the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States,” a digital art history (DAH) article with full dataset from Sierra Rooney; a consideration of Andrew Wyeth, World War II, and avian imagery from Cécile Whiting; and an essay on the art and political and social activism inspired by dance and engagements between Dorothy Dehner, Franziska Boas, and David Smith in the period around World War II by Paula Wisotzki. Seven research notes, twelve book reviews, and nine exhibition reviews—all fantastically varied in terms of topic—and summaries of the journals’ DAH workshop cohort and the 2021 virtual AHAA Biennial Symposium, jointly hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the University of Maryland in October, rounded out our 2021 content.
Fig. 3. Map of attendees for Paul B. Jaskot’s virtual lecture “Thinking about Visibility and Invisibility in the Art Historical Canon: The Tensions between Evidence and Data in Digital Art History,” February 27, 2021, presented by Panorama and the Terra Foundation for American Art
Digital Art History & the Digital
Our DAH project on the theme “Toward a More Inclusive Digital Art History,” supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, had a productive year. We hosted a highly successful virtual public lecture by Paul B. Jaskot on February 27, 2021, with hundreds of registrants from around the globe. Our cohort of DAH workshop participants convened over the course of the year to develop workshop questions and learn about open-source digital tools and data methodologies. They have been mentored by Digital Art History editor Diana S. Greenwald, Assistant Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Project Manager Johnathan W. Hardy, a doctoral student in the department of Art History at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. An interview with Greenwald about the project was just published on the Terra Foundation website.
We published summaries of workshop participant’s research questions in the November 2021 issue, which also premiered the first of three double-anonymous, peer-reviewed, feature-length DAH articles with data sets. Sierra Rooney’s “Commemoration of an Epoch: Monuments to the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States” marks an exciting conclusion to the first year of our three-year publishing project. We anticipate distributing a second call for DAH articles later this year and hosting another public event on Digital Art History on April 30, 2022. Keep on the lookout for details about both!
Fig. 4. Relationship between creators’ location (site of studio/home) and suffrage monument, created by Sierra Rooney and published in Panorama, Issue 7.2 (Fall 2021).
Beyond our DAH initiative, “the digital” writ large affects much of our ongoing operations. We continue to partner with the University of Minnesota (UMN) Libraries, which hosts the journal and advises on best practices and standards in the field of open-access digital publishing. They also advise on our Creative Commons licensing, facilitate indexing, and design and update our public-facing website and Open Journal Systems (OJS), our submissions platform. We are grateful to the team—including John Barneson, Laureen Boutang, Emma Molls, and Shane Nackerud—for their ongoing efforts to support the journal’s infrastructure, findability, and back-end operations. We will be working on a site redesign over the summer of 2022, with plans to launch for our Fall 2022 issue. PhD students from the Texts and Technology PhD program at the University of Central Florida have also begun adding screen reader–accessible alt-text captions to our images through a new collaboration. We hope to expand our accessibility in future issues and provide important training in digital publishing work through this partnership.
Aiming to foreground, honor, and support new directions in digital scholarship—including data-driven art history projects, digital tools and resources, online publishing, and digital art history (DAH) methods—Panorama is launching a new digital section in the Fall 2022 issue tentatively called “Digital Directions.” This section’s editors, Tracy Stuber and Jennifer Way, are actively working to frame direction and devise original content for this new section. More broadly, they are imagining how we can expand the conversation around the digital, including co-authored work, data-focused efforts, and non-traditional publishing platforms, and support the scholarly recognition of digital projects within the field and the tenure-focused mechanisms of academia.
Fig. 5. Current co-Executive Editor Jacqueline Francis joined past Editors Jennifer Marshall and Austen Barron Bailly, along with Tanya Sheehan and Jennifer Greenhill, for a 2020 roundtable on publishing in the field of American Art, hosted by the University of Arkansas.
Finally, members of the editorial team presented on Panorama at various venues over 2020-21, including at the College Art Association, in the panel “New Demands, New Directions in Digital Publishing,” organized by the Committee on Research and Scholarship, and the session “Crisis and Invention: Digital Publishing after 2020,” co-organized with the Art Institute Review. Panorama editors also participated in virtual conversations with Winterthur Portfolio and American Institute for Conservation Journal, organized by the Society of Winterthur Fellows, and Archives of American Art, organized by the University of Arkansas and Crystal Bridges, and our Managing Editor presented the paper “The Devil is in the Details: Cutting, Cropping, and Visual Violence,” at the National Museum Publishing Seminar, an initiative of the Graham School at the University of Chicago. We remain active members of the Digital Art History Society and the Consortium of Online Journals.
Engagement and Impact
Panorama continues to reach an ever-expanding audience. In 2021, visits to the site were up 21 percent to 87,856 total sessions, and the number of visitors to the site increased 23 percent, to 68,376 unique readers. Where we really saw important changes in our reader analytics was in how many individual pages readers visited in each session. We saw average visitors viewing three pages per visit—meaning that they read through more than one article at a time—with almost 261,000 individual pageviews, an increase of 133 percent from last year. As of January 2, 2022, we have 771 journal subscribers, up 18 percent from 2020. In 2021, use of PDFs also rose 14 percent, with almost 4,800 downloads. Our user demographics indicate that our largest reader pool is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, indicating that the journal’s content is being assigned in higher education settings. To help us assess our readership, we encourage you to link directly to articles on our website whenever you share them or assign them to a class. Sharing your favorite Panorama articles and using the hashtag #journalpanorama on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram increases our readership too, so please keep spreading the word!
As evidence of the quality of Panorama’s scholarship, we had a busy year in terms of feature article submissions, fielding eleven manuscripts, and we maintain a nine-year article acceptance rate of 37 percent. Further, academic and non-academic citations to content published in the journal continues to grow, indicating its relevance to scholarly and general audiences. For a more detailed review of our 2021 statistics, please read the 2021 Year in Review, expertly compiled by our Managing Editor.
Governance, Finances & Strategic Direction: Charting a Path Forward
Publishing twice a year, Panorama relies entirely on the labor of volunteer Executive and Section Editors and the contracted services of a dedicated Managing Editor and Copy Editor to bring scholarly articles and other content to our audiences. Our annual operating costs, which total about $28,000, are underwritten—in part—by a grant from the Luce Foundation for American Art, which has been a steadfast and generous supporter, and from our parent organization, the Association of Historians of American Art. The year 2021 also marked the conclusion of our first full calendar year of fundraising, which aims to cover 24 percent of our annual operating budget and seed a reserve fund for future financial stability. Since its launch, we have received 87 individual donations. Donations as small as five dollars are welcome; sustainer pledges of five hundred dollars and above will be acknowledged on our website. We also invite individuals and organizations interested in making sustainer pledges to contact our Executive Editors and discuss the journal’s fundraising needs and acknowledgment structure. As AHAA is a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are fully tax deductible.
This year also saw the reorganization of the journal’s governance structure. Since its inception, the journal has relied on a dedicated group of supporters on the Advisory Board. Their affiliation enabled Panorama to establish itself as a leading journal for scholarship on American art and visual culture, and each contributed time, expertise, and energy to the success of the journal. However, there were no formalized governance structures in place to concretize and maximize board participation, and as the journal has grown, the editors have recognized the need to restructure the board to better utilize the expertise of its members and ensure that their input informs strategic decisions moving forward. The restructured Advisory Board will be a working board that meets once or twice per year, with term-limited members serving on committees focused around Development and Fundraising; Digital Infrastructure; Ethics and Legal Issues; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA); International Initiatives; and Emerging Professionals. We had our inaugural board meeting on January 28, 2022, and look forward to charting the future of the journal with the involvement of our newly reframed and empowered Advisory Board.
In closing, we want to express our gratitude to our Advisory Board—past and present—and the Association of Historians of American Art (AHAA), which sees Panorama as central to its mission. We are proud to be a valued benefit to AHAA members and the field at large. Thank you also to our editorial team for your work on Panorama, and thank you to all of our contributors, readers, and sustainers!
We invite you to write to us if you are interested in guest editing a section; proposing a Research Note, Book Review, or Exhibition Review; or submitting a Feature Article. We also encourage letters to the editors, which may be published in Talk Back. These contributions are the lifeblood of the journal, carrying forth important ideas about and interventions to the fields of American art history and visual cultural studies. We also invite you to nominate your favorite portraiture-adjacent Panorama article published between 6.1 (Spring 2019) through 7.2 (Fall 2021) for the National Portrait Gallery Director's Prize by March 7! More details and instructions here: https://npg.si.edu/research/directors-essay-prize.
We are proud to be framing a conversation that extends well beyond the academic sphere and engages with ongoing cultural, social, and political concerns. In this way, the journal continues to advance scholarly work on American art in its broadest sense.
Naomi Slipp, New Bedford Whaling Museum
Jacqueline Francis, California College of the Arts
Keri Watson, University of Central Florida
Constance Cortez, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley