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Faculty - Art History

Keith Holz


Professor, Art History

PhD, Northwestern University

Office: 21(B) Garwood Hall

Phone: 309•298•2563


About the Art Historian

Keith Holz came to WIU in 2003. At Western he frequently teaches courses on Modern Art, Contemporary Art, History of Photography, Introduction to Art, and has participated in team-taught courses in the Centennial Honors College. He has also offered courses on American Art, the History of Modern Design, Introduction to Visual Culture, German Art 1900-1945, as well as seminars on Holocaust Representation in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, Women and Modern Art, and Art and Visual Culture in Nazi Germany. In 2008 and 2010, he led WIU's Study Abroad course "Berlin: Contemporary Art and Museum Culture in the New Metropolis." He regularly offers the following courses: Art History Survey II (ARTH 283) Twentieth Century Art (ARTH 394), and Contemporary Art (ARTH 496).

Holz has authored two books, Modern German Art for Thirties Paris, Prague and London: Resistance and Acquiescence in a Democratic Public Sphere. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004; and with Wolfgang Schopf, The Exilic Eye: Josef Breitenbach and the Free German Culture in Paris (1933-1941) German / English. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 2001. A bilingual French / German edition was published by Editions Autrement, Paris. Currently he is researching a book on Oskar Kokoschka in the thirties and forties with the working title Placing Kokoschka, Kokoschka and Place.

In addition to presenting at the annual conferences of the College Art Association and the Association of Art Historians (UK), Holz has received numerous invitations to present his scholarship. Recently he has lectured at the following institutions: the Institute for Advanced Studies, Munich (2010), German Historical Institute, Moscow (2010), Central Institute for Art History, Munich (2011), John F. Kennedy Institute—Free University of Berlin (2012), Indiana University Museum of Art, Bloomington (2012), Institute for Art History, Prague (2013), Council for European Studies, Amsterdam (2013), and the Tate Gallery, London (2013).

Holz has been the recipient of fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, and the German Academic Exchange Service, among others. He has also served as a reviewer of art history research grant proposals for foundations and government agencies.

Since 1992 he has been a member of the College Art Association (CAA) and is a member of CAA's Radical Art History Caucus, as well as the Historians of German and Central European Art (HGCEA). In 2010 he was elected to the Board of the HGCEA, and in 2013 was reelected to a second three-year term (2014-2016).

Recent and forthcoming publications include:

"A much revised painting reconsidered: "Oskar Kokoschka's The Fountain (Die Quelle) [working title]," 12,000 word article for peer-reviewed journal, in progress

"How German was New Objectivity? Questions of Neue Sachlichkeit and internationalism" [working title], curated by Stephanie Barron, Neue Sachlichkeit: Modern German Art during the Weimar Republic [working exhibition & catalogue title], Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2015, in progress

"The private life of a public artist: Kokoschka in Czechoslovakia," [working title] Oskar Kokoschka and the Prague Cultural Scene, exhibition catalog. Edited & curated by Agnes Tieze, Ph.D., Director, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg forthcoming Fall 2014

"'not my most beautiful but my best paintings ...': the 'degenerate' artist Oskar Kokoschka looks West in 1937," Echoes of Exile: Moscow Archives and the Arts in Paris 1933-1945, edited by Ines Reynard-Rothermund. Boston and Berlin: Walter deGruyter Verlag, forthcoming 2014

"Eugene Berman's Le Bon Samaritain: Exiles and the Paris Art Market toward 1930," invited publication and gallery talk from curator Karen Butler (Ph.D.), in the Spotlight series of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in Saint Louis, March 2013

"'Brushwork thick and easy' or a 'beauty-parlor mask for murder'? Reckoning with the Great German Art Exhibitions in the Western democracies," RIHA Journal 0055 (28 September 2012), URL:

"Recasting exiled artists groups as transnational diasporic communities," in Netzwerke des Exils: Künstlerische Verflectungen, Austausch und Patronage nach 1933. Edited by Burcu Dogramaci and Karen Wimmer. Berlin: Gebrüder Mann Verlag, 2011, 280-95

"The politics of mobility and mutilation in Kokoschka's exile years (1934-1949)," invited essay by the Zentralbibliothek, Zürich & Fondation à la Mémoire de Oskar Kokoschka – Fondation Oskar Kokoscka, Vevey, Switzerland. In Kokoschka: Neu Gesehen. Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2010, 77-92

"Max Silberberg's commitment to modern art and Jewish culture in interwar Breslau," Jewish Artists and Central-Eastern Europe: Art Centers-- Identity – Heritage From the 19th Century to the Second World War. Polish Society of Oriental Art, edited by Jerzy Malinowski, Renata Piatowska, and Tamara Sztyma-Knasiecka. Warsaw: DiG Publishers, 2010, 319-24.