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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces the 2017-18 Class of Tyson Scholars


Bentonville, AR –Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the 2017-18 class of Tyson Scholars of American Art: Timothy Andrus, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University; Lauren Applebaum, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Robb Hernández, PhD, Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Riverside; Audrey Sands; PhD candidate, Yale University; Marin R. Sullivan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art History at Keene State College; and Emily Voelker, PhD, Boston University;

The Tyson Scholars of American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art and visual and material culture from the colonial period to present. The residency program provides housing and access to the museum’s art and library collections. In addition to research, scholars have the opportunity to participate in programs, lectures, community engagement activities, as well as educational collaborations with the University of Arkansas.

The program was established in 2012 through a $5 million commitment from the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc. Since its inception, the Tyson Scholars program has supported the work of 20 scholars, attracting academic professionals in a variety of disciplines from across the world.

“We are thrilled to welcome our next group of scholars who will make meaningful contributions to the field of American art,” said Mindy Besaw, Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “The rich dialogue and new research coming from both pre and post-doctoral scholars has bolstered the museum’s vision of being a dynamic, learning institution. Tyson Scholars have completed dissertations, published books, and included articles in peer-reviewed journals, based on their research and writing time at Crystal Bridges.”

2017-18 Tyson Scholars:

Timothy Andrus, PhD, “Stuart Davis and the Aesthetics of Anarchy: Realism, Cubism, and Dada.” Andrus received his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. His focus is on American art of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His research interests include the relationship between realism and abstraction in theories of painting and sculpture.  Andrus is currently working on a book examining painter Stuart Davis’s art and theory of the 1920s and their relation to cubist, dadaist, and anarchist ideas.

Lauren Applebaum, PhD, “Material Transmissions: Art and Communication in the Telegraphic Age.” Applebaum’s research focuses on the intersections of American visual and material culture with histories of technology, media studies, and communication practices. Her current book project examines how traditional forms of creative expression, from landscape and genre paintings, to quilts and decorative desk sets, were used to integrate and understand new communication technologies and their social implications during the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. Before completing her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017, Lauren’s work was generously supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, and The Huntington Library.

Robb Hernández, PhD, “Alien Skins: Cosmic Performances of Transplanetary Latinidad.” Hernández is an Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Riverside, focusing on Latina/o literary and visual culture studies. His first manuscript “Finding AIDS: Archival Body/Archival Space and the Chicano Avant-garde” examines alternative archive formations generated around the AIDS crisis in Latina/o artist communities in Southern California. Hernández’s articles have appeared in Aztlán, Collections, MELUS, and Radical History Review and the exhibition catalog for Art AIDS America edited by Jonathan Katz and Rock Hushka. He is curating Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas with UCR ARTSblock for the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time II: LA/LA Initiative scheduled to open in September of 2017. During his residency, he will be working on his next book project examining transplanetary performance art in the Americas.

Audrey Sands, “Lisette Model and the Inward Turn of Photographic Modernism.” Sands is a PhD candidate in the history department at Yale University specializing in the history of photography. Her dissertation on Lisette Model examines the artist’s pivotal influence on American photographic modernism. Her research has been supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Council of Learned Societies, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research. She has held positions in curatorial departments at the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Audrey received her B.A. in art history from Barnard College and an M.S. in the history of art and visual culture from the University of Oxford.

Marin R. Sullivan, PhD, “Alloys: American Sculpture and Architecture at Midcentury.”

Sullivan received a PhD from the University of Michigan and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at Keene State College. Prior to her appointment, she served as Henry Moore Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on European and American modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on sculpture. Sullivan recently published “Sculptural Materiality in the Age of Conceptualism” (Routledge, 2016), and is co-curating a major exhibition on Harry Bertoia, scheduled to open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in 2019. She is also working on a book project about the relationship between American sculpture and architecture during the mid-twentieth century.

Emily Voelker, PhD, “From Both Sides of the Lens: Anthropology, Native Experience & Photographs of American Indians in French Exhibitions, 1870-1890.” Voelker is a historian of photography and nineteenth-century art and visual culture, with particular focus in transatlantic exchange and indigenous representation. Her first book project considers photographs of American Indians either sent to, or made at, Parisian exhibitions between 1870 and1890. The study also examines the continued life and ongoing meaning of these pictures in the Native communities today. Voelker earned her PhD from Boston University in 2017, and her work has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution (NMAH & NPG), the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

For more information about the program and past scholars, visit here.

In addition to the Tyson Scholars program, the Tyson family and Tyson Foods Inc. created the Don Tyson Prize. In 2016 Crystal Bridges announced that the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, was selected as the first recipient of the prize. This $200,000 award recognizes significant achievements in the field of American art.

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