Common Ground by Erin Elizabeth Wilson

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Active Art History Graduate Students

Submitted on June 20, 2016 - 2:13pm

MA and PhD students in the Division of Art History are often busy with research, writing, presentations, and projects. Below are recent and upcoming activities for some of these students.

Erin Giffin, PhD Candidate: After assisting with the Art History Seminar in Rome during winter quarter 2016, Erin became an International Fellow at the Dutch Institute in Florence (Istituto Universitario Olandese della Storia dell'Arte). She is researching sculptural installations in sacred interiors, with a specific focus on copies of Michelangelo Buonarroti's Roman Pieta and Risen Christ still in situ in the Florentine church of Santo Spirito. This exploration directly impacts her dissertation, entitled "Body and Apparition: Material Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italian Religious Sculpture," wherein Erin investigates the impact of the sculptural medium — its invasive presence and material nature — on acts of early modern religious devotion. Her de Cillia Teaching with Excellence Award was announced in June.

Jennifer R. Henneman, PhD: She completed her dissertation in March 2016 and presented a paper the next month at the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada (VSAWC) conference in Winnipeg: "Inescapable Faces: the Veneer of Public Intimacy of London's Professional Beauties." Jennifer was a speaker at the School’s Graduation Celebration in June. She steps into the role of Assistant Curator at the Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art in late July.

Ashley Verplank McClelland, PhD Candidate: She spent spring quarter 2016 teaching two classes for the Art History Program at Western Washington University: “Indigenous Arts of the Pacific Northwest” (300-level) and “Seminar: Exhibition Theory and Practice” (400-level). Ashley is curating an exhibition at Western Gallery titled Susan Point Past Present: Cultural Visions in New Media, which will open at the end of September and close in December. Associated lectures and a November symposium highlighting Coast Salish art and culture are being planned. During the autumn, she will spend two weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia, doing dissertation research supported by a Bill Holm Center Graduate Student Fellowship.

Lauren Palmor, PhD: She also finished her dissertation in March 2016. Lauren became the Curatorial Assistant for American art at the DeYoung Museum during the same month. Her essay titled “Exploding the Hearth: Considering Victorian Aging” won an award in 2014 and is being published in the next issue of Age, Culture, Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She received a Parnassus Graduating with Excellence Award at the School’s Graduation Celebration in June.

Megan Sadler, MA student: She just completed her first year of course work. Megan is studying Chinese art, but she is expanding her Asian language knowledge by spending the summer studying intensive Japanese with the support of a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship.

Julia Stimac, PhD Candidate: She recently returned from a trip to the East Coast where she conducted research in several collections for her dissertation on James McNeill Whistler's use of frames and the boundaries of aestheticism. Julia presented some of this material at a May 2016 conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in a paper titled "Framing Aestheticism: Mediations of Autonomy in Whistlerian Spaces," which looked at the artist's exhibition designs as a form of early installation art. She is also currently working on an exhibition of photographs by Vik Muniz that will open at the Henry Art Gallery on July 9.

Anna Wager, PhD Candidate: She presented a paper titled “Close Looking: May Morris and Reimagined Intimacies of Victorian Embroidery" at the April 2016 Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada (VSAWC) conference  in Winnipeg. During late summer and early autumn, Anna will be the Alfred Appel, Jr. Curatorial Fellow at Delaware Museum of Art, where she will provide research assistance for a future exhibition titled The Book Beautiful. For the remainder of 2016, she will be doing essential archival dissertation research in East Coast collections with the support of four awards: Columbia University Libraries Research Award, a Smith College Travel-to-Collections Award, a Mary Catherine Mooney Fellowship at the Boston Athenaeum, and a UW Textual Studies Research Award. Anna’s dissertation is titled "Kindred Spirits, Progressive Practices: Religious Revival and Communal Making in Arts and Crafts Movements, 1880-1920."