In a way, the question we have asked of our five respondents: “Is American art history conservative?” is an odd one. Despite the troublingly combative obduracy that the psychic and physical boundaries of American-ness have assumed in the larger political discourse this election season, the field of American art history has never been more catholic in its interests or inclusive in its approaches.
The practice of connoisseurship occupies a complicated position within the contemporary realm of art history. In recent decades, the legacy and economic connotations of connoisseurship have clashed with the aims and attitudes of many scholars.
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