Art History Program

James A. van Dyke

Dr. van Dyke
Associate Professor of Art History
Focus Area: 

Modern European Art, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Art and Theory


Ph.D., Northwestern University

Research Description: 

Trained in the social history of art, I am a specialist in twentieth-century German painting and politics. My attention is particularly strongly drawn to the ways in which artworks, artists, and artistic institutions have been and continue to be shaped by catastrophic historical events, structural social contradictions, and extreme ideological responses to them.

  • ARHA 2850: Introduction to Visual Culture
  • ARHA 3750: Modern Art
  • ARHA 3760: Contemporary Art
  • ARHA 4005/7005: Topics in Modern and Contemporary Art History
    • Photography between the Wars
    • Modern European Design
    • War and Photography
  • ARHA 8110 Introduction to Graduate Study
  • ARHA 8120: Theories and Methodologies in Art History & Archaeology
  • ARHA 8750: Seminar in Modern and Contemporary Art 
    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Avant-Garde in Imperial Germany
    • Otto Dix and Weimar Culture
Selected Publications: 

My publications have focused on German artists such as Ernst Barlach, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Klee, and Franz Radziwill, as well as a variety of topics related to art and politics in German art and visual culture between 1900 and 1945.  I am currently working on a book-length study of the painter Otto Dix.


Selected Recent Publications: 

  • On the Challenge of Nazi Art,” German Quarterly 90, no. 3 (2017): 366–8. 
  • “Dix Petrified,” in: Art and War (German Visual Culture series), ed. Deborah Ascher Barnstone and Barbara McCloskey (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017), 103-27.
  • “Paul Mathias Paduas Leda mit dem Schwan, zeitgeschichtlich betrachtet,” in: vermacht. verfallen. verdrängt. Kunst und Nationalsozialismus, ed. Christian Fuhrmeister, Monika Hauser-Mair, Felix Steffan, exh. cat. Städtische Galerie Rosenheim (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2017), 55-64.
  • “Franz Seraph von Lenbach,Portrait of Prince Otto von Bismarck(1884-90),” in:Spotlights: Collected by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, ed. Sabine Eckmann (St. Louis: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; distributed by the University of Chicago Press, 2016), 91-94. For a preliminary online version of this article go to the Kemper Art Museum's website here.
  • "Otto Dix's Triptych The War," Kunst und Politik. Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft (Special Issue: Icons of 20th-Century Political Art, ed. Andrew Hemingway and Norbert Schneider), vol. 18 (2016): 25-35.
  • “Radical Art History and the Art of Social Protest in Imperial Germany,” in: Protest and Social Reform in German Culture, 1871-1918, ed. Godela Weiss-Sussex and Charlotte Woodford (Munich: Iudicium, 2015), 15-35.
  • “Erasure and Jewishness in Otto Dix’s Portrait of the Lawyer Hugo Simons,” in ReNew Marxist Art History, ed. Warren Carter, Barnaby Haran, and Frederic J. Schwartz (London: Art/Books, 2013), 362-81.
  • “Torture and Masculinity in George Grosz’s Interregnum,” New German Critique 119, vol. 40, no. 2 (summer 2013): 137-65.
  • “Ernst Barlach and the Conservative Revolution,” German Studies Review 36, no. 2 (2013): 281-305.
  • “Felixmüller’s Failure: Painting and Poverty,” inBeyond Glitter and Doom: The Contingency of the Weimar Republic, ed. Jochen Hung, Godela Weiss-Sussex, Geoff Wilkes (Munich: Iudicium, 2012), 176-91.
  • “Otto Dix’ Volkstümlichkeit,” in:Das Auge der Welt: Otto Dix und die Neue Sachlichkeit 1920-1945, ed. Nils Büttner and Daniel Spanke, exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje-Cantz, 2012), 84-97; in English translation as “Otto Dix’s Folk Culture,” in:Otto Dix and New Objectivity, ed. Nils Büttner and Daniel Spanke , exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje-Cantz/New York: D.A.P., 2013), 84-97.
  • “Something New on Nolde, National Socialism, and the SS,”Kunstchronik(Munich) 65 (2012): 265-270.
  • “Bilder des Erfolges und der Demütigung im Staat Hitlers,” “Auslaufendes U-Boot” and “Inselbrücke in Wilhelmshaven,” in:Der MalerFranz Radziwill in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, ed. Birgit Neumann-Dietzsch and Viola Weigel, exh. cat. Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven and Franz Radziwill Haus, Dangast (Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2011), 23-28, 68, 80.
  • Franz Radziwill and the Contradictions of German Art History, 1919-1945, Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010).
  • “Otto Dix’s PhilosophicalMetropolis,” in:Otto Dix, ed. Olaf Peters, exh. cat. Neue Galerie New York and The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2010), 179-197.
  • “Otto Dix’sStreetbattleand the Limits of Satire in Düsseldorf, 1928,”Oxford Art Journal32 (2009): 37-65.
  • “Max Beckmann, Sport, and the Field of Cultural Criticism,” inOf Truths Impossible to Put in Words: Max Beckmann Contextualized,ed. Rose-Carol Washton Long and Maria Makela (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009), 199-228.
  • “Über die Beziehungen zwischen Kunst, Propaganda und Kitsch in Deutschland 1933 bis 1945,” in:Kunst und Propaganda, ed. Hans-Jörg Czech and Nikola Doll, exh. cat. Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (Dresden: Sandstein, 2007), 250-7.