Past Faculty

Past Chairs of the Art History Department

These profiles honor and commemorate some departmental faculty members who have retired or passed away in recent years. Please contact the department if you would like to add a profile or contribute additional information or pictures.

Portrait of Anthony D. King

Anthony D. King

Professor King joined the faculty of Binghamton University in 1987. From 2000-2005, he was Bartle Professor of art history and sociology and then, since 2006, Professor Emeritus. As a faculty member, he exemplified the interdisciplinary spirit of Harpur College by forging links between art history, sociology, philosophy, history, and the Fernand Braudel Center. With a worldview that was profoundly international and cross-culturally oriented, King spearheaded the study of the global city long before the terms globalism and globalization became commonplace in academic circles. His many publications consider how the built environment has been produced socially, with a focus on the transregional flows of capital and the geographically uneven processes of colonialism, post-colonialism, and globalization. His books include Colonial Urban Development (1976, 2006), Buildings and Society: Essays on the Social Development of the Built Environment (ed. 1980, 1984), The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture (1984, 1995), Urbanism, Colonialism and the World-Economy: Cultural and Spatial Foundations of the World Urban System (1990), Global Cities: Postimperialism and the Internationalization of London (1990), Culture, Globalization and the World-System (ed. 1991, 1997), Re-Presenting the City: Ethnicity, Capital and Culture in the 21st Century Metropolis (ed. 1996), Spaces of Global Cultures: Architecture, Urbanism, Identity (2004), and Writing the Global City (2016), a collection of his published essays. These publications, and many others, have reached audiences around the world in German, Korean, Turkish, Arabic, and Japanese translation. In 2013, Professor King was honored with a campus conference that featured his past students as speakers.

Portrait of Barbara Abou-el-Haj

Barbara Abou-el-Haj (1943-2015)

The Department of Art History mourns the untimely loss of Professor Barbara Abou-El-Haj––a dear friend and colleague to us all. For almost thirty years, with her open house and her open heart, Barbara made colleagues and students of the department an extension of her own family. And, in that period, an entire generation of students passed through her lectures and seminars, while her teaching and research added immeasurably to the national and international visibility of the program. It was in 1985 that Barbara came to Binghamton from UCLA, where she had completed her doctorate working with the renowned historian of medieval and modern art, Karl Werckmeister. The dissertation she wrote under Werckmeister's supervision became her 1994 book, The Medieval Cult of Saints: Formations and Transformations, which exposed the fierce competition between cults that characterized the political struggle to preserve property and privilege, especially in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. There were also path-breaking articles on Bury St. Edmunds Abbey, Santiago de Compostela, and Reims and its cathedral that appeared in leading publications such as Art History, The Art Bulletin, and Gesta, extending her examination of feudal conflicts, art production, building programs and the suppression of social dissent. These writings decisively shifted the field of medieval art history away from its long established comfort zone of ritual, liturgy and the sumptuous expression of spirituality. This made her a leader of the field and in the 1980s when she regularly organized panels at the College Art Association Annual Meeting her sessions would be packed. The summation of her radical revisionist perspective was her manuscript, Lordship and Commune: A Comparative Study of Building in Reims and Amiens, long in preparation and nearing completion when illness cut short her work on it. The International Center of Medieval Art has published this work posthumously as a collaborative online project. Exacting in its reading of the historiography, scrupulous in its use of primary sources, and trenchantly committed in its analyses, Barbara's work kept alive a tradition of the social history of art in the United States that traced its origins back to the 1930s but burst into life again in the 1970s when Barbara was a doctoral student grappling with the challenges of graduate study and the care of her two daughters, Marriam and Sarra. Active as she was in the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies as well as the Fernand Braudel Center, Barbara's death leaves a hole in the heart of the department.

Portrait of Kenneth Lindsay

 Kenneth C. Lindsay (1919-2009)

Professor Emeritus Kenneth C. Lindsay, 89, of Vestal, NY, died March 2, 2009 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Christine (Charnstrom); his son, Guy and his wife, Shari, Middletown, CT; his daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Mark Tevelow, Silver Spring, MD; a brother, Marshall Lindsay, Corvallis, OR; and two grandchildren, Joel Church and Allison Lindsay. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1919, Professor Lindsay took all three of his degrees at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He also studied in Paris on a Fulbright Award from 1949 to 1950. He is the author of numerous articles and books on art and artists, ranging from early American to modern. His Ph.D. dissertation on Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian painter, paved the way for all future scholarship on that important artist. Coming to Binghamton University in 1951, he was responsible for making the Department of Art and Art History, which he chaired for seventeen years, outstanding. After he had earned his B.A. at UW Madison, he signed up with the US Army Signal Corps, and was deployed overseas as a cryptographer during World War II. Eventually, he was assigned to the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of the Army after the Allied Victory in Europe in 1945. Following V-E Day, Dr. Lindsay was assigned as a Monuments Man to work at the Collecting Point in Wiesbaden, Germany. Here, he personally handled thousands of Europe's valuable art treasures as he and other Monuments Men dedicated themselves to saving and preserving art that had been seized by the Nazis. Many of these priceless works are still being returned to their original owners today. Aside from his other achievements, Dr. Lindsay considered his teaching career to be the most fulfilling of all. Many of his students have gone on to high positions in colleges and the museum world. It was a particular joy for him to have a student enroll in his course just to fulfill a requirement, and to end up pursuing a career in the field. Many of his students stayed in touch. Professor Lindsay was able not only to share information with them, but to inspire a curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. He has left his unique mark on his students, peers and the art community. His legacy is sustained on campus in the Kenneth C. Lindsay Study Room, in the Binghamton University Art Museum, which provides the opportunity to study and examine works from the permanent collection.

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