Alisa McCusker

Associate Curator of European and American Art
Research Interests: 

Alisa CarlsonMy main research interests are early modern northern European art and culture. I am particularly interested in German and Netherlandish drawings and prints of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, drawing and printmaking techniques, the Holbein family of artists, early portraiture, theories of social networking and the production of material culture, as well as the study of fashion. My dissertation (University of Texas at Austin, 2015) explores the portrait drawings of Hans Holbein the Elder (ca. 1465–1524), an Augsburg painter and draftsman who produced numerous portrait drawings in silverpoint. My most recent research project is a study of the portrait drawings of Hans Schwarz (1492–after 1521 or 1526), a sculptor and draftsman who may have trained with Holbein the Elder in Augsburg. Several portrait drawings by Schwarz are extant, presumably all studies for portrait medals. This essay examines the portrait drawings by Schwarz and Holbein in comparison to determine whether this evidence suggests that Schwarz did train as a draftsman with Holbein in Augsburg, a hypothesis that has until now only been tentatively proposed. Other research interests of mine include medieval European art and culture, trecento Italian painting, European and American printmaking of all eras, Japanese woodblock prints, and the ‘traditional’ arts of Africa.

 

Publications and Presentations

Catharine Ingersoll, Alisa McCusker, and Jessica Weiss, eds., Imagery and Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Chipps Smith (Brepols, 2019)

“Hans Schwarz and Hans Holbein the Elder: Training a Portraitist in Early Sixteenth-Century Augsburg,” in Imagery and Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Chipps Smith, eds. Catharine Ingersoll, Alisa McCusker, and Jessica Weiss (Brepols, 2019)

“Collecting Himself: The Portrait Drawings of Hans Holbein the Elder,” in Collecting Prints and Drawings, eds. Andrea M. Gáldy and Sylvia Heudecker (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018)

“Collecting Himself: The Portrait Drawings of Hans Holbein the Elder,” Collecting Prints and Drawings, Seminar on Collecting and Display, Schwabenakademie Kloster Irsee, Germany, June 2014

“Social Networks, Social Capital, and the Portrait Drawings of Hans Holbein the Elder,” Renaissance Society of America, New York City, March 2014

“Keeping Up with the Holbeins: Renaissance Portraiture from Father to Son,” Southeastern College Art Conference, Greensboro, NC, October-November 2013

“Material Differences: The Silverpoint as a Medieval Technique?” Eleanor Greenhill Graduate Symposium, University of Texas at Austin, March 2013

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