Environmental Art History – The Recording

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On Monday, April 22nd, NiCHE and the Department of Art History at Aberdeen University hosted a virtual roundtable on the topic of environmental art history. The recording is now available to watch on YouTube.


  • Sugata Ray (UC Berkeley)
  • Monica Bravo (Princeton)
  • Robyn Barrow (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Alistair Rider (St. Andrews)
  • Aris Sarafianos (University of Ioannina)

Chaired by Isabelle Gapp and Hans Hönes

Reconciling the ecocritical turn in art history with a need to more broadly understand the histories, as well as futures, of our global environment, the field of environmental art history and visual culture is growing. Not only should history make ecological sense, but environmental art history should also contribute to an understanding of present-day environmental concerns. Where the specificity of the environment has often been overlooked in studies of art history and visual culture, environmental art history realigns art historical concerns with environmental realities. With this roundtable we centred the work of art historians from across North America and Europe, and their visually, geographically, materially, and temporally expansive research in dialogue with the larger field of environmental history.

Foregrounding the interdisciplinarity of art history and visual culture and following on from an in-person roundtable at ASEH 2024 in Denver (co-chaired with Chris Slaby), we hoped this virtual roundtable would revitalise discussions around art in environmental history and actively encourage environmental historians and humanists to intentionally engage with artwork and visual media, not simply as illustrations but as important and necessary primary sources.

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Isabelle Gapp is an Interdisciplinary Fellow in the Department of Art History at the University of Aberdeen. Her research and teaching considers the intersections between nineteenth and twentieth century landscape painting, gender, environmental history, and climate change across the Circumpolar North.

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