Dual Slade Professors, Oxford and Cambridge
This coming winter, members of the faculty of the Department of Art History and Archaeology will hold two of the most prestigious visiting appointments in the discipline of art history. Zainab Bahrani will be Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, while at the same time Barry Bergdoll will be Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cambridge.
The Slade professorships were established by a bequest from the philanthropist Felix Slade in 1869. The first to hold the professorship at Oxford was John Ruskin. Currently, Slade Professors at the two institutions deliver a series of eight public lectures and also offer seminars for graduate students.
Among past and current members of the Columbia faculty who have held the Slade professorship are Meyer Schapiro (Oxford, 1967), Rudolph Wittkower (Cambridge, 1970), Howard Hibbard (Oxford, 1976), Theodore Reff (Cambridge, 1982), David Freedberg (Oxford, 1983), Joseph Connors (Oxford, 1998-99), and Robert E. Harrist Jr. (Cambridge, 2007).
That two members of the faculty of a single department will hold the professorships simultaneously appears to be unprecedented. The working title of Professor Bahrani's lectures is "Art and Ontology in Antiquity" and those of Professor Bergdoll, "A Changing Frame: a History of Exhibiting Architecture Since 1750."