Vilhelm Hammershøi’s canvases seem at first glance to be a direct record of the material world of turn-of-the-century Denmark. Yet, his depopulated cityscapes, distanced landscapes, and strangely vectored interior scenes imbue the potential coziness and familiarity of the scenes with an uncanny sense of silence and suspension. In this afternoon symposium, we bring specialists on Hammershøi together with specialists on artists whose work resonates with his strangely quiescent vision—Rembrandt van Rijn, Giorgio de Chirico, and Edward Hopper, among others—to discuss the visual strategies that create the effect of silent places.

The symposium will feature talks by Dr. Susan Sidlauskas, Rutgers University; Dr. Margaret Carroll, Wellesley College; Dr. Ara Merjian, New York University; Dr. Thor J. Mednick, University of Toledo; and Dr. Gail Levin, Baruch College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York; as well as a conversation moderated by Dr. Patricia G. Berman, Wellesley College and University of Oslo.

The symposium has been made possible by grants from the Scan | Design Foundation by INGER & JENS BRUUN and Henry P. Godfrey.


Edward P. Gallagher, President, American-Scandinavian Foundation

“Seeing Double”
Dr. Patricia Berman, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg
Professor of Art, Wellesley College

“There’s a Glitch Here Somewhere:
Uncanniness and the Incomplete in Hammershøi”
Dr. Thor J. Mednick, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Toledo

“Too Close/Too Far Away: Interior Disturbances”
Dr. Susan Sidlauskas, Professor, Art History Department, Rutgers University

“Rembrandt’s Uncanny Ox”
Dr. Margaret Carroll, Professor of Art, Wellesley College

“The Poetics of Silence: Hammershøi, de Chirico, and After”
Dr. Ara Merjian, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, New York University

“Edward Hopper’s Interiors: A Look Inside”
Dr. Gail Levin, Distinguished Professor of Art History, American Studies, and Women’s Studies, Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Moderated by Dr. Patricia Berman



SAT—2-20-2016—2 – 5 PM