1. It must have been soon after my arrival at Vassar College in the autumn of 1986. Two things stood out: the rapidity of Harry’s speech pattern, and, of course, the rapidity of the camera’s clicks. With Harry in the neighborhood, we all shudder at the shutter. Life’s passing-he seems to want to remind us. Catch it quick and say it even faster.
2. I am an art historian and a lecturer on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art (I’m still not sure whether or not I’m a teacher-one hopes so). My research has been concerned mostly with British romantic art and architecture. It seems to be about the imagination in one form or the other-how history torments and shapes it. I am also a husband, a father, a pet owner, and a record collector.
3. A reflection of my work? All I have are some articles, a book, and, parts of other books. I wrote and published an article on J. M. W. Turner many years ago (1990 or so) for a journal called Word and Image. I think it still speaks for me in meaningful ways. I’m now trying to flesh it out into an odd volume of what I think are some unique thoughts about how Turner saw and interpreted the world. For a couple of decades I sleuthed after an architect and artist named Joseph Gandy. It became a demented hobbyhorse, but the book is there. It said what I had to say. It is not hypothetical, as is most art history, of late.
–March 6, 2010