Directory   |   Workday   |   Access+   |   CyBox   |   Privacy Policy

Art and Visual Culture Faculty and Staff

[View all college faculty]


Office Support Staff

Academic Advisor

Undergraduate Coordinator

Graduate Coordinator


Affiliated Faculty


Associate Professor

April Eisman PhD

Associate Professor, Art and Visual Culture (Contemporary Art History)

Mailing Address

Art and Visual Culture Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-8513
Office: 383 Design

Research Interests

Hampel Catalog
- Angela Hampel. Das künstlerische Werk / The Artistic Work, exhibition and bilingual catalog (German/English) , Städtische Galerie Dresden, May 25-Sept 11, 2022 (exhibition)(catalog)(flier)

- "Symbolic Erasures and Populist Discontent: The Post-War Rebuilding of Historic Dresden," in Monatshefte, Vol. 114, No. 1, 2022, 24-51 (abstract)


PhD, History of Art & Architecture, University of Pittsburgh
MA, History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
BA, English & Art History, Lawrence University

Contemporary art and theory
East German (GDR) painting and reception
Post-colonialism, post-socialism, feminism, and Marxism

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Research Fellowship (press2)
NEH Summer Institute: "Culture in the Cold War" (project team) (press)
Amer. Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship, AAUW
Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities
Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies
German Academic Exchange Service / DAAD
Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship
Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship
Arts and Sciences Fellowship, Pittsburgh University



Kunst in der DDR – 30 Jahre danach, Kunst und Politik: Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft (Göttingen: V & R Unipress, 2020) -- co-edited with Gisela Schirmer (amazon)

Bernhard Heisig and the Fight for Modern Art in East Germany (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2018) (amazon)


"Symbolic Erasures and Populist Discontent: The Post-War Rebuilding of Historic Dresden," in Monatshefte, Vol. 114, No. 1, 2022, 24-51 (abstract)

"Whose East German Art is This? The Politics of Reception After 1989" in New Research on East Germany, ed. Marc Silberman, Imaginations Journal of Cross-Cultural Visual Studies, 8:1 (2017) (online)

"East German Art and the Permeability of the Berlin Wall," in German Studies Review 38, no. 3 (2015): 597-616 (toc)

"From Economic Equality to 'Mommy Politics': Women Artists and the Challenges of Gender in East German Painting," in International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity 2, no. 2 (2014): 175-203 (pdf)

"Painting the East German Experience: Neo Rauch in the Late 1990s," in Oxford Art Journal 35, no. 2 (2012): 233-250 (pdf)

"Denying Difference in the Post-Socialist Other: Bernhard Heisig and the Changing Reception of an East German Artist," in Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture, no. 2 (2012): 45-73 (pdf)

“Playing with the Political: Feng Mengbo’s Streetfighter IV,” Yishu, Journal for Contemporary Chinese Art  5, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 101-7 (pdf)

“The Media of Manipulation: Mainstream News in the U.S. in the Weeks Following 9/11” Critical Quarterly 45, no. 1/2 (Spring/Summer 2003): 55-72


"Curating Out the Socialist Alternative: Art and Architecture in a Neoliberalized Leipzig," in Curating (Post-)Socialist Environments, eds. Schorch & Habit (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2021), 81-100 (amazon)

“Art and Controversy in Dresden: Angela Hampel and Steffen Fischer’s Mural for the Jugendklub Eule (1987),” in Eisman/Schirmer, eds. Kunst in der DDR – 30 Jahre danach (Kunst und Politik: Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 2020), ch. 6

"'Socialist Realist' Critiques of Neoliberal 'Shock Therapy': East German Artists Respond to the 1973 Putsch in Chile," in The Oxford Handbook of Communist Visual Cultures, eds. Aga Skrodzka, Xiaoning Lu, and Katarzyna Marciniak (New York: Oxford UP, 2019), ch. 10 (amazon)

“Painting in East Germany: An Elite Art for the Everyday (and Everyone),” in German Division as Shared Experience. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Postwar Everyday, eds. Erica Carter, Jan Palmowski, Katrin Schreiter (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019), ch. 9 (amazon)

En shock y listos para actuar. Los artistas de la RDA y el golpe de Estado en Chile en 1973” (Shocked and Galvanized: East German Artists and the 1973 Putsch in Chile) in El arte de la República Democrática Alemana, 1949-89, ed. Blanca Gutierrez Galindo (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2018), 185-204

“Re-examining the Staatskünstler Myth: Bernhard Heisig and the Post-Wall Reception of East German Painting,” in Virtual Walls? Balancing Political Unity & Cultural Difference in Contemporary Germany, eds. F. Lys and M. Dreyer (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2017), 117-30

"From Double Burden to Double Vision: The Doppelgaenger in Doris Ziegler's Paintings of Women in East Germany," in The Doppelgaenger (German Visual Culture 3), ed. Deborah Ascher Barnstone (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016), 45-66

“Heidrun Hegewald and the Cold War Politics of the Family in East German Painting,” in Elize Bisanz and Marlene Heidel, eds. Bildgespenster. Künstlerische Archive aus der DDR und ihre Rolle heute (Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag, 2014), 205-229 (pdf)

"In the Crucible: Bernhard Heisig and the Hotel Deutschland Murals," in Amy Wlodarski and Elaine Kelly, eds., Art Outside the Lines: New Perspectives on GDR Art Culture. (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2011), 21-39 (pdf)

"Painting the Berlin Wall in Leipzig: The Politics of Art in 1960s East Germany," in Sabine Hake and Philip Broadbent, eds., Berlin. Divided City, 1949-1989. (New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010), 83-9 (pdf)


“Das Motiv der ‘Doppelga╠łngerin’ in Doris Zieglers Frauenbilder,” in Doris Ziegler. Das Passagen-Werk. Malerei, ed. Paul Kaiser (Weimar: Tympanon, 2020), 149-161 (amazon)

"Aufstand der Alibifrauen," Sächsische Zeitung, 12/20/2019 (pdf)

“Angela Hampel,” Utopie und Untergang: Kunst in der DDR (Düsseldorf: Kunstpalast, 2019), 146-55 (amazon)

"Gerhard Kurt Mueller und die Leipziger Schule der 1950er/60er Jahre," Gerhard Kurt Mueller: Maler, Bildhauer, Zeichner (Altenburg: Lindenau Museum, 2018) 67-78 (amazon)

“Der Prophet im eigenen Land," Sächsische Zeitung, November 11, 2017 (pdf)

"Heisigs Geisterbahn," in Ruediger Kuettner, ed. Bernhard Heisig, Eine unendliche Geschichte. (Berlin: Galerie Berlin, 2010), 126-7

“Eine ‘US-Amerikanische’ Sicht auf Bernhard Heisig,” Gestern und in dieser Zeit – Bernhard Heisig zum Achzigsten (Leipzig: Faber & Faber, 2005), 42-5


“The Impact of Unification on East German Art: The Case of Angela Hampel,” in The Sudden and Startling Vanishing of a State, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität (10/2020): 7-11 (pdf)

"In Memoriam - Bernhard Heisig (1925-2011)," German Studies Association Newsletter 36, no. 2 (2011): 97-100 (pdf)

Review of the 2009 LACMA exhibition catalog, Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures. Published in German History 27, no. 4 (2009): 628-630 (pdf)


New Books Network: Bernhard Heisig and the Fight for Modern Art in East Germany, December 2019 (podcast)

"Ideological and Geographical Invisibility: The Western Reception of East German Art," paper given at the Piotr Piotrowski Center, Poznan, Poland, October 2018 (video)

Interview for the C-Map Project at the Museum of Modern Art, March 2017 (video)


Co-organizer (with Sonja Klocke) of the "GDR and Socialisms Network" (German Studies Association, 2018-23)
     - 2022, Untimely Deaths
     - 2020, The Phantasmatic GDR
     - 2019, Teaching East German Culture (seminar)
     - 2018, Forever Young? Marx at 200

Co-founder of the Transatlantic Institute for East German Art (TIEGA) and co-organizer of its triennial conference
     - 2017, Transatlantic Workshop on East German Art (Dresden)
     - 2014, Reassessing East German Art (Ames, USA)

Co-organizer (with Ben Robinson & Eli Rubin) of the "German Socialisms Network" (German Studies Association, 2014-16)
     - 2016, Ecologies of Socialism
     - 2015, Alterity, Resistance, and Social Change:
                    Marxist and Postmarxist Approaches
     - 2014, The Commons: Communism, Public
                    Space, Open Access

Co-organizer of the Berlin Program Summer Workshop (Freie Universitaet Berlin, 2013-15):
     - 2015, Violence, Oppression, and Civil Disobedience
     - 2014, Virtual Germans
     - 2013, Germany Looks East

Current Projects


Angela Hampel: A Contemporary Artist in East Germany

Women Painters in East Germany


Art H 280: History of Art I

Art H 388: Modern Art & Theory to 1945
Art H 395: Art & Theory After 1945

Art H 498: Art & Dictatorships
Art H 498: Art of Communist East Germany
Art H 498: Art of the Americas Before Columbus

Art H 501: Issues in Visual & Material Culture (grad theory)
Art H 595: Contemporary Art (graduate seminar)
Art H 598: The Art World After 1989 (graduate seminar)