Mark Haxthausen

Photo of Mark Haxthausen

Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History, Emeritus

Areas of Expertise

My teaching and research focus on modern and contemporary European art, with an emphasis on Germany. As Director of the Graduate Program in the History of Art, I teach mostly graduate seminars in art-historical method, classical modernism, and contemporary art. On the undergraduate level I also regularly offer a lecture course in art in Germany since 1960.

My current and recent research has focused on the painters Paul Klee, Max Beckmann, Sigmar Polke, the critics Carl Einstein and Walter Benjamin, and the German Dada movement. If my various publications are linked by a common thread, it is my interest in how visual objects, if we have the patience and discipline to look at them closely and openly, are capable of an articulate discourse on issues that transcend the normal connotations of the “aesthetic.”

Scholarship/Creative Work

Selected Publications

A. Books and catalogues

  • Refiguring Vision: The Art Criticism of Carl Einstein. Translations of selected texts with an introduction and commentary. Under contract by the University of California Press (in progress, completion date end of 2010).
  • The Two Art Histories: The Museum and the University (editor). Williamstown, Mass.: Clark Art Institute/ New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002
  • Berlin: Culture and Metropolis (co-editor, with Heidrun Suhr). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990; reprinted 2009 in “Minnesota Archive Editions.”
  • Modern German Masterpieces from the Saint Louis Art Museum, catalogue for a traveling exhibition of forty paintings, 1986. Simultaneously published as the Winter 1985 issue of Bulletin. The Saint Louis Art Museum.
  • Paul Klee: The Formative Years, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981

B. Articles and Chapters

  • Ad Marginem? Klee und die amerikanische Kunstgeschichtsschreibung,” in: Polyphone Resonanzen: Paul Klee und Frankreich/ La France et Paul Klee, ed. Gregor Wedekind, Berlin/Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2010, 45-61.
  •  “Lyonel Feininger/Walter Gropius: Bauhaus Manifesto, 1919,“ in: Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, exhibition catalogue, edited by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman, MoMA, 2009, 64-67.
  • “Raumerforschungen: Zu Sigmar Polkes ‚Linsenbildern’/ Space Explorations: On Sigmar Polke’s ‘Lens Paintings,’“ in: Sigmar Polke : Wunder von Siegen/Sigmar Polke: Miracle of Siegen, edited by Eva Schmidt, exh. cat., Cologne: Dumont, 2008, 32-41 (German); 44-51 (English).
  •  “A ‘Degenerate’ Abroad: Klee’s Reception in America, 1937-40,” Klee and America, ed. Josef Helfenstein and Beth Hutton Turner, exhibition catalogue. Houston: The Menil Collection and Stuttgart: Hatje Cantz, 2006, 158-177
  • “An Optics of Fragmentation,” (essay on Carl Einstein, Bebuquin or Dilettantes of the Miracle) in: David Wellbery and Judith Ryan (eds.), A New History of German Literature, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005, 688-693.
  •  “Chinese Painting Between Modernity and Tradition: Reflections on an Exhibition and a Conference,” ed. Cao Yiqiang, to be published in the proceedings of the conference, Crossing Boundaries: An International Symposium on Chinese Painting, held in Hangzhou, China, September 4-5, 2004 (in press).
  •  “Reproduction/Repetition: Walter Benjamin/Carl Einstein,” October 107, Winter 2004, pp. 47-74.
  • “’Die erheblichste Persönlichkeit unter den deutschen Künstlern’: Einstein über Klee,“ in: Die visuelle Wende der Moderne: Carl Einsteins Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Klaus H. Kiefer, Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2003, pp. 131-146.
  • “Bloody Serious: Two Texts by Carl Einstein,“ October 105, Summer 2003, pp. 105-118.
  •  “A Poetics of Space: Beckmann’s Falling Man,” in: Max Beckmann, ed. Sean Rainbird, London: Tate Publishing, 2003, pp. 250-253.
  • “Zwischen Darstellung und Parodie: Klees ‘auratische’ Bilder,” in: Oskar Bätschmann and Josef Helfenstein (eds.), Paul Klee: Kunst und Karriere: Beiträge des internationalen Symposiums in Bern, Bern: Stämpfli Verlag, 2000, pp. 9-26.
  • “’Wenn Welten zusammenstoßen’: Sigmar Polkes Frau Herbst und ihre zwei Töchter,” in: Jenseits der Grenzen: Französische und deutsche Kunst von Ancien Régime bis zur Gegenwart: Thomas W. Gaehtgens zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Uwe Fleckner, Martin Schieder, and Michael F. Zimmermann, Vol. 3: Dialog der Avantgarden, Cologne: DuMont, 2000, pp. 323-333.
  • “‘Das Gegenwärtige zeitlos machen und das Zeitlose gegenwärtig’: Max Beckmann zwischen Formalismus und Mythos,” in: Max Beckmann: ‘Die Nacht'”, edited by Anette Kruszynski, Stuttgart: Hatje, 1997, pp. 35-52.
  • “The Road to Critical Resemblances House: Report of a Mapping,” Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Reversible Destiny, exhibition catalogue, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1997, pp. 15-37.
  • “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner (al)chemi(sti)schen Umwandelbarkeit,” in: Martin Hentschel (ed.), Sigmar Polke: Die drei Lügen der Malerei, exhib. cat., Bundeskunsthalle Bonn and Nationalgalerie Berlin, Stuttgart: Hatje/Cantz, 1997, pp. 185-202.
  • English edition: “The Work of Art in the Age of its Alchemical Transmutability: Rethinking Painting and Photography after Polke,” Sigmar Polke: The Three Lies of Painting,Stuttgart: Hatje/Cantz, 1997, 185-202.
  • “Modern Art after ‘The End of Expressionism’: Worringer in the Twenties”, in: Invisible Cathedrals: The Expressionist Art History of Wilhelm Worringer, ed. Neil H. Donahue, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995, pp. 119-134.
  • “The World, the Book, and Anselm Kiefer,” The Burlington Magazine, No. 1065 (December 1991), pp. 846-851.
  • “Looking at Arakawa,” in: Constructing the Perceiver–Arakawa: Experimental Works, exhibition catalogue, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1991, pp. 33-51 (Japanese translation), 313-322 (English text).
  • “‘A New Beauty’: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Images of Berlin,” in: Berlin: Culture and Metropolis, ed. Charles W. Haxthausen and Heidrun Suhr. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990, pp. 58-94; reprint 2009.
  • “A Critical Illusion: ‘Expressionism’ in the Writings of Wilhelm Hausenstein,” in: The Ideological Crisis of Expressionism: The Literary and Artistic War Colony in Belgium 1914-1918, edited by Rainer Rumold and O. K. Werckmeister, Columbia, S. C.: Camden House, 1990, pp. 169-191.
  • “Zur ‘Bildsprache’ des Spätwerkes,” in: Paul Klee: Das Schaffen im Todesjahr, ed. Josef Helfenstein and Stefan Frey (exhibition catalogue Kunstmuseum Bern), Stuttgart: Verlag Gert Hatje, 1990, pp. 7-36.
  • “Kiefer in America: Reflections on a Retrospective,” Kunstchronik, Jahrgang 42, Heft 1 (January 1989), pp. 1-16.
  • “‘Der Künstler ohne Gemeinschaft’: Kandinsky und die deutsche Kunstkritik,” in: Kandinsky:Russische Zeit und Bauhausjahre, 1915-1933, exhibition catalogue, Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, 1984, pp. 72-89
  • “Beckmann and the First World War,” in: Max Beckmann Retrospective, St. Louis Art Museum (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1984, distributed by W. W. Norton and Co., New York), pp. 69-80
  • “Klees künstlerisches Verhältnis zu Kandinsky während der Münchner Jahre,” in: Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk, exhibition catalogue, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich 1979, pp. 98-130

Professional Affiliations

Positions Held (partial list):

Williams College, Williamstown Massachusetts:

Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History, 2007-

Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art History, 1997-2007

Professor of Art, 1993-

Director, Graduate Program in the History of Art, 1993-2007

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: Associate Professor of Art History, 1985-93

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Associate Curator, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1980-83

Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, joint appointment as Assistant Curator at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1976-80

Instructor in Fine Arts, 1975-76

Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana: Lecturer in Fine Arts, 1970-75

Selected Grants, Fellowships, and Honors:

Award for Distinguished Teaching of Art History, 2009, College Art Association

Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, Fall 2002

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award: Research Fellowship, in residence at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany, September 1996-February 1997.

Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, October 1989-June 1990 (in residence at Kunsthistorisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin)

Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, 1979 (in residence at Brücke-Museum, West Berlin)