James A. van Dyke

James A. van Dyke
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
211 Swallow Hall

Ph.D., Northwestern University


Focus Area

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

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.


  • ARH_VS 2850: Introduction to Visual Culture

  • ARH_VS 3750: Modern Art

  • ARH_VS 3760: Contemporary Art

  • ARH_VS 4005/7005: Topics in Modern and Contemporary Art History

    • --Photography between the Wars

    • --Modern European Design

    • --War and Photography

    • --Modernism in Missouri (Maymester)

    • --Modern and Contemporary German Art in Missouri Museums (Maymester)

  • ARH_VS 4760/7760: Modern Sculpture (2020: Modern Sculpture, History, and Public Memory)

  • ARH_VS 4780/7780: Advanced Topics Course in Contemporary Art

    • --Contemporary Art and Memorial Culture

  • ARH_VS 8750: Seminar in Modern and Contemporary Art

    • --Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Avant-Garde in Imperial Germany

    • --Modernism, Figurative Painting, and Politics in France, Italy, and Germany after World War I

    • --Otto Dix and Weimar Culture

    • --Realism

  • Modern Art, Mass Media, and Radical Politics in the Weimar Republic (cross-listed as GERMAN 8087)

Selected Publications

My publications have focused on German artists such as Ernst Barlach, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, and Franz Radziwill, as well as a variety of broader 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.


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).

Selected Articles and Essays:

“On Masculinity and Male Sexuality in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Soldiers’ Bath,” Art History, (in press).

“Style,” Kunst und Politik. Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft (special issue: “Keywords for Marxist Art History Today,” ed. Andrew Hemingway and Larne Abse Gogarty) 21 (2019): 149-56.

“Dix und die Illustrierte Moderne,” in: Egger-Lienz und Otto Dix: Bilderwelten zwischen den Kriegen, ed. Helena Pereña and Astrid Flögel, exh. cat. Tiroler Landesmuseen, Innsbrück and Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen (Munich: Hirmer, 2019), 137-49.

“On the Possibility of Resistance in Two Silverpoints by Otto Dix,” in: Art and Resistance in Germany, ed. Elizabeth Otto and Deborah Ascher Barnstone (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019), 151-72.

“Dix Petrified,” in: Art and War (German Visual Culture series), ed. Deborah Ascher Barnstone and Barbara McCloskey (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017), 103-27.

“On the Challenge of Nazi Art,” German Quarterly 90, no. 3 (2017): 366-8.

“Otto Dix’s Triptych The War,” Kunst und Politik. Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft (special issue: “Hauptwerke politischer Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert/Icons of 20th-Century Political Art,” ed. Andrew Hemingway and Norbert Schneider), 18 (2016): 25-35.

“The Politics of the New Objectivity, A Specific History,” in: New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933, ed. Stephanie Barron and Sabine Eckmann, exh. cat. Museo Correr, Venice, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (New York: Prestel, 2015), 65-75.

“On the Grotesque Body in a Double-Sided Drawing by Otto Dix,” in: Naked Truth: The Body in Early 20th Century Germany and Austria. Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2015, (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2015), 61-77.

“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.

“Something New on Nolde, National Socialism, and the SS,” Kunstchronik (Munich) 65 (2012): 265-270.

“Otto Dix’s Streetbattle and the Limits of Satire in Düsseldorf, 1928,” Oxford Art Journal 32 (2009): 37-65.