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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces the 2016-17 Class of Tyson Scholars of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the 2016-17 recipients of the Tyson Scholars of American Art: Jennifer Camp, PhD candidate at the University of Virginia; Klint Ericson, PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Michael Gaudio PhD, Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota; Craig Lee, PhD candidate, University of Delaware; and Jennifer Padgett, PhD candidate at Washington University.

The Tyson Scholars program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art and visual and material culture from the colonial period to the 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 15 scholars, attracting museum and academic professionals in a variety of disciplines from across the world. 

“With the establishment of the Tyson Scholars program, Crystal Bridges has joined institutions such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art, which have similar programs that support new scholarship in American art,” says Crystal Bridges’ Executive Director Rod Bigelow. “The impact of the program expands the interpretation of American art, advancing the field of research and the museum’s vision of being a dynamic, learning institution.”

“Tyson Scholars work on a variety of topics and at many different stages of their careers,” says Crystal Bridges Curator Mindy Besaw. “This program provides a unique opportunity to be immersed in research, writing, art, and a small community of scholars.  After nearly five years, the program has supported many completed dissertations, published books, and articles in peer-reviewed journals.”

Articles by past Tyson Scholars appear in the current and forthcoming issues of leading, academic art journals including the American Art, Archives of American Art Journal, and Panorama, Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. In addition, two past Tyson Scholars have published books that expand on their studies while in residency at Crystal Bridges: “Barnstorming the Prairies: How Aerial Vision Shaped the Midwest,” (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) by Jason Weems and “The American School: Artists and Status in the Late Colonial and Early National Era” (Yale University Press, 2016) by Susan Rather.”

2016-17 Tyson Scholars:

Jennifer Camp, “Stories in Pictures: The Woodcut Novels of Lynd Ward and Visual Narrative in Depression-Era America.” Camp is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Virginia. She studies 20th-century American Art, with a specific interest in the intersections of art, politics, and visual culture during the Great Depression. Her dissertation analyzes the “picture books” of New York City-based printmaker Lynd Ward within the context of an emerging enthusiasm for visual storytelling among leftist and socially-engaged artists during the 1930s.

Klint Ericson, “Sumptuous and Beautiful, As They Were: Architectural Form, Everyday Life, and Cultural Encounter in a Seventeenth-Century New Mexico Mission.” Ericson is an art history PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His interdisciplinary dissertation explores cultural encounters in 17th-century New Mexico, focusing on the material expressions of everyday life among a community of Spanish Franciscans and Zuni Indians at the Purísima Concepción mission of Hawikku Pueblo. As a Peter Buck Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, he has studied the archaeology of this site and worked collaboratively with the Zuni community. He is also a practicing studio artist with roots in the Ozarks, where he completed his undergraduate studies in 2006.

Michael Gaudio, PhD, “Soundings: Art and the Aural Imagination in the Americas, 1590-1900.” Gaudio graduated from Stanford University in 2001 and is currently a Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in how the visual arts mediate knowledge. His publications have ranged across a wide temporal span, from the 13th to the 19th centuries, and include studies of visual ethnography, landscape representation, natural history illustration, cartographic practices, and the reception of religious prints. Currently, he is completing a book which investigates the significance of aural experience in relation to prints, paintings, and films created and circulated within the colonial Atlantic world.

Craig Lee, “Skyline Spectacular: Architecture, Aesthetics, and Outdoor Advertising in the American City.” Lee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware. His dissertation examines the aesthetic politics of outdoor advertising in 20th-century America, especially as it played out in the urban skyline. A secondary area of research investigates modern architecture in South Africa. He received an MA from the Bard Graduate Center and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Jennifer Padgett, “Made for ‘Modern Surroundings’: Intersections of Fine Art, Decorative Arts, and Design in America, 1920-1940.” Padgett is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation explores how modern artists worked across boundaries of fine art and design to envision a more dynamic interaction between aesthetic experience and everyday life in the early 20th century. She has previously held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and has most recently received fellowships at the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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

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