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Art history professor published in Art Journal

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March 18, 2013

Dr. Chris Balaschak, assistant professor of art history, was recently published in the Fall 2012 issue of Art Journal for his essay, “Planet of the Apes: John Szarkowski, My Lai, and The Animals.”

In his essay, Balaschak examines how perceptions of documentary photography changed in the late 1960’s. He discusses how an art photographer, a military photographer and an activist group saw photography as serving different functions during a critical time in American history.

Balaschak researched the connection of photographer Garry Winogrand’s 1969 book “The Animals,” to the protests of the Vietnam War. Winogrand’s work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art during the height of these protests, many of which took place inside the Museum itself. His work focuses on animalism, which Balaschak believes serves as a satire of America during the Vietnam War.

“I compared his work to photographs from the protest movement and to Ron Haeberle’s photographs taken during the My Lai massacre, which were published at roughly the same time,” Balaschak explained. “They display a similar, if more graphic, animalism.”

During a Community Lecture Series at Flagler in 2010, Balaschak was inspired to write the essay.

“It was really incentive for the project. I gave more or less an outline of what was later written,” he said.

Balaschak said he is ecstatic his work has been published in Art Journal.

“In my field, Art Journal is a top journal for academic research, so I feel really honored to have my research accepted,” he said. “I’m excited about the publication, not only for my own professional development, but that it will reflect well on Flagler and our new art history major.”

The journal is published by the College Art Association, the largest academic association of art historians, curators and artists in the world. 

Balaschak's article can be read at