Cultivating Conversation: Associate Professor s Book Continues to Spark Critical Dialogues

Posted July 28, 2017 in Art History, Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies, Faculty

Since the 2015 publication of "Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914: Strangers in Paradise," a collection of scholarly essays co-edited by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) faculty member Dr. Karen Carter and Dr. Susan Waller, an associate professor of art history at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, the book has been steadily making its mark on the landscape of art history scholarship.

Dr. Karen CarterDr. Karen Carter

The 16 essays presented by Dr. Carter, who teaches in KCAD’s Art History and Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies programs, and Dr. Waller, including one authored by Dr. Carter herself, form a fascinating picture of Paris as a thriving transnational arts community in which the interactions between diverse cultures, peoples, and traditions contributed to the development of a hybrid and multivalent modern art.

cover of book edited by Dr. Karen Carter

The Art Bulletin, a quarterly publication of the College Art Association, praised the book for revealing a fresh and intentionally broad perspective on the subject matter, with reviewer Michele Greet noting that “The issues, networks, and structures that these essays reveal create a new framework for understanding the Parisian art world at the turn of the century as a much more global place that it has been portrayed previously.”

Writing for the journal Art History, Alexis Clark emphasized the timeliness of the book’s celebration of multicultural discourse. “That Europe and the United States are now once more witnessing the rise of national chauvinism, with its belligerent calls for border fences and bureaucratic red-tape to restrict immigration, makes Foreign Artists and Communities all the more timely,” she wrote.

A review by Anna Louise-Milne in the quarterly journal French Studies singled out Dr. Carter’s essay, “‘Earning a Living’ in the Graphic Arts: the Académie Julian and the teaching of poster design and illustration, 1890-1914.”

“The book deals well with the declining influence of state apparatuses, with a particularly interesting piece by Karen L. Carter on the private Académie Julian, which saw artists from all over the world pass through its studios.”

In the journal H-France Review, Hélène Valance wrote that “This collection opens up new perspectives on Paris’s role in shaping modernism in art, with case studies reaching an impressive breadth and diversity.”

In the quarterly journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Sonia Coman pointed to the book’s widespread appeal to scholars, writing that “This collection of essays is of use not only to historians of nineteenth-century art, but also to scholars of other periods interested in artist exiles and globalization.”

Writing in the journal Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Sara Pappas highlighted the potential of the book to inspire further scholarship, saying “It may be that Foreign Artists will lay the foundation for further research into the influence of international artists on French art itself.”

“Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914: Strangers in Paradise” has recently been selected for distribution as a paperback through Routledge Paperbacks Direct.  

Learn more about KCAD’s Art History program at

Learn more about KCAD’s Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies program at