Art history graduate students win prestigious fellowships

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1:13 p.m., May 18, 2010----Five graduate students in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware have been awarded prestigious fellowships to support their doctoral work. Several other fellowships were announced earlier this spring.

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The newest recipients are Catherine Holochwost, Mary “Katie” Wood, Catherine Walsh, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf and Sarah Beetham.

“As their adviser, I am delighted that these students have received such important recognition of their academic achievements at an early point in their careers,” Wendy Bellion, associate professor of art history, said. “The generous support provided by these fellowships will enable them to make significant progress on their dissertations.”

Holochwost, who also recently won the Sewell C. Biggs Dissertation Writing Award, now has received a Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) dissertation fellowship in American art. The Luce/ACLS fellowship is designed for graduate students in any stage of their doctoral dissertation research or writing, with 10 fellowships available each academic year.

For her dissertation, Holochwost is exploring constructions of vision and multisensory effects of landscape representation in 19th-century America. She also previously won a research fellowship at Winterthur Museum and a Douglass Foundation Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wood has been awarded a Patricia and Phillip Frost predoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where she will be in residence for a year, beginning in September.

Her dissertation examines Benjamin West's sculptural pediment at London's Royal Naval Hospital dedicated to the memory of Admiral Horatio Nelson, which Wood described as “a significant object that lies at the nexus of many critical political, cultural and economic impulses circa 1812.” She said her research links classical antiquity with the modern idea of history painting and combines her own interests in art history and in material culture.

Walsh has received the Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The fellowship is awarded for a year, with the possibility of a one-year renewal, to fine-arts students whose fields are related to the museum's collections.

Walsh's dissertation is titled, “'Tell Me a Story': Narrative and Orality in Nineteenth-Century American Visual Culture.” It examines the relationships between the spoken or written story and the painted or printed image, exploring how images communicated stories and how readers and viewers created stories from the details found in pictures.

Luarca-Shoaf, whose dissertation is titled “The Mississippi River in Antebellum Visual Culture and Imagination,” will hold the 2010-11 Barra Foundation Fellowship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Her research focuses on ways in which such widely available images as maps, prints and panorama paintings constructed cultural ideas about the Mississippi, a key region in U.S. national expansion, between the 1830s and the Civil War.

Beetham was awarded a highly competitive predoctoral fellowship for historians of American art to travel abroad by the National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. It will support her six-week travel in Italy to study classical Roman art and architecture in preparation for starting work on her dissertation on 19th-century American sculpture.

Article by Ann Manser

 

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