Tyson Scholars

The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum and the Tyson Scholars Program encourages and supports scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries or traditional categories of investigation into American art. Crystal Bridges invites applications addressing a variety of topics including art history, architecture, visual and material culture, Indigenous art, Latin American art, American studies, and contemporary art. Projects with an interdisciplinary focus are particularly encouraged.

The program is open to scholars holding a PhD (or equivalent experience) as well as to PhD candidates. Applicants may be affiliated with a university, museum, or independent. Scholars will be selected on the basis of their potential to advance understanding of American art and to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape.

To support their research, Tyson Scholars have access to the art and library collections of Crystal Bridges as well as the library at the University of Arkansas in nearby Fayetteville. Stipends vary depending on the duration of residency, position as senior scholar, post-doctoral scholar, or pre-doctoral scholar and range from $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. Additional funds for relocation are provided, and research travel funds are available during the residency upon application.

Scholars are also provided with housing at one of the Crystal Bridges residences, within easy walking distance from the museum via wooded trails and approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Bentonville. Scholars have private bed and bathrooms in the house, and share comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces including an expansive yard, garage, and patio. In addition to housing, Scholars are provided workspace in the curatorial wing of Crystal Bridges’ Library. The workspace is an enclosed area shared with other Tyson Scholars. Scholars are provided with basic office supplies, desk space, an office chair, space on a bookshelf, and a locking cabinet with key for personal belongings and files.

Further information about the Tyson Scholars Program, application instructions, and application portal can be found at https://crystalbridges.org/tyson-scholar-application/. Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year open November 1, 2019 and close January 24, 2020.

About Crystal Bridges

Opened to the public on November 11, 2011, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by philanthropist Alice Walton. Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American art ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. It has particular strengths in colonial through early twentieth century painting and a growing collection of post-war and contemporary art in all media. Crystal Bridges’ research library consists of approximately 60,000 volumes as well as significant manuscript and ephemera holdings. The library also houses a comprehensive collection of American color-plate books from the nineteenth century.

The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program supports full-time scholarship in an expansive definition of American art and visual and material culture from the colonial period to the present. 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 41 scholars, attracting academic professionals in a variety of disciplines from across the country.

Applications for 2020-2021 are open November 1, 2019–January 24, 2020.

  • Project Description (limited to 1,000 words) including a detailed statement of your project or dissertation outlining its contribution to the field, methodologies, and overview of relevant literature. Please also indicate the status of the project (ie, how many chapters have been written, etc).
  • A statement of purpose (limited to 1,000 words) outlining the aspects of the work to be accomplished during the residency period and the specific benefits the residency program and its specific location would provide. Consider Crystal Bridges staff, the museum’s collection, proximity to the University of Arkansas and its faculty, as well as the geographic position in Middle America. If you plan to use objects from the museum collection and/or materials from the museum archives in your research, please provide a brief listing.
  • Curriculum vitae (limited to 10 pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to Crystal Bridges.
    • For pre-doctoral applicants, one of these letters must be from the applicant’s dissertation advisor or professor.

2019 - 2020 Tyson Scholars

Adepeju Layiwola
“Metal, Fire and Mother Earth: Melvin Edwards’ Diasporic Connections Beyond the Americas”
Adepeju Layiwola is Professor of Art History and the current Head of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos. She works in a variety of media and addresses diverse strains of the postcolonial condition. In Layiwola’s teaching, writing, and art, there is continuous engagement with themes of artifact pillage, repatriation and restitution, history, memory, gender and the continually mutable processes of production. She earned her BA in 1988 at the University of Benin, Benin City; an MA and Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991 and 2004 respectively.
Anni Pullagura
“Seeing Feeling: The Work of Empathy in Exhibitionary Spaces”
Anni A. Pullagura is a PhD candidate in American Studies and an MA candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. A specialist in modern and contemporary American art, her dissertation, “Seeing Feeling: The Work of Empathy in Exhibitionary Spaces,” considers how the contemporary art museum reinforces racial sightlines through the rhetoric of empathetic sight. She received her MA in Public Humanities in 2016, also from Brown, and a BA in Art History from Emory University in 2010.
Emily Warner
“Abstraction Unframed: Abstract Murals at Midcentury”
Emily Warner is a historian of American and twentieth-century art, with a particular interest in the relationship between painting and architecture. Her research has been supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Dedalus Foundation. Her current book project, Abstraction Unframed: Abstract Murals at Midcentury, offers a novel account of American abstract painting and its complex ties to modern architecture and public life. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 and has since held positions at Vassar College and University College London.
Joseph Underwood
“Forging a New Contemporary: Art from Senegal and the Americas in Transnational Networks, 1962-1984”
Joseph L. Underwood is a scholar and curator whose research focuses on artists from the African continent and the Diaspora as they create networks around the globe in the 1970s and ‘80s. As an art historian of the modern and contemporary, his projects encompass themes including post-colonialism, (trans)nationalism, globalization, and biennialism.
Laura Minton
“‘I’ve been all over this world four times:’ Travel, Place, and Memory in the Art of Joseph E. Yoakum”
Laura Minton is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Kansas (KU) and Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Prints & Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She specializes in twentieth-century American, global contemporary, and self-taught art. Her dissertation uses the theory of “sense of place” as a new interpretive approach to the drawings of Chicago artist Joseph E. Yoakum. She received an MA in art history from KU and a BA in art history from Wake Forest University.
Lesley Wolff
“Hungry Eyes: Picturing Foodways and Indigeneity in Post-Revolutionary Mexico”
Lesley A. Wolff is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Texas Tech University, specializing in Latinx and Latin American art and critical theory. Wolff’s current book project examines how the visual culture of foodways became a critical lens through which Mexican anxieties of indigeneity and globalism were negotiated during the nation’s volatile post-revolutionary era. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Florida State University where she held the Adelaide Wilson Fellowship, and her work has previously appeared in publications such as African and Black Diaspora, Athanor, and Food, Culture, & Society.
Melissa Messina
“Making Their Mark: The Abstract Languages of Betty Blayton, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Howardena Pindell, Sylvia Snowden, and Mildred Thompson”
Melissa Messina is an Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate. Her exhibitions, site-responsive projects, and public programs have been presented throughout the United States and abroad, and she has authored numerous essays on contemporary American artists. She recently co-curated Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, an intergenerational traveling exhibition and accompanying catalog that highlighted abstraction by 21 black women artists. In 2018 she served as consulting curator for Mildred Thompson’s debut solo exhibition at Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, and co-curated the solo exhibition Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Vanessa Reubendale
“Please Hold while I Connect You: Interdisciplinary Art, Telecommunications work, and Cold War America, 1947-1977”
Vanessa Reubendale is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Minnesota, where she also minored in American Studies. Currently, she is working on her dissertation, which considers the turn to interdisciplinary performance from the late 1940s to mid-1970s, especially as it aligned with parallel labors in the telecommunications industry. In addition to her studies at Minnesota, she holds an MA in art history from the University of Delaware.

2018-2019 Tyson Scholars

Lydia Brandt
“The Antebellum Plantation in the American Mind”
Lydia Mattice Brandt is associate professor of art history at the University of South Carolina and an architectural historian and historic preservationist. Her current research focuses on twentieth-century popular architecture in the American South. She published First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination in 2016 and has written multiple National Register of Historic Places nominations for districts in Virginia, South Carolina, and Illinois. Brandt earned her PhD in art and architectural history from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree from New York University.
Elizabeth Ferrell
“The Ring around The Rose: Jay DeFeo and her Circle”
Elizabeth Ferrell is a specialist in modern and contemporary art with an emphasis in post-war art of the United States. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley in 2012 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Arcadia University. Her book manuscript, The Ring Around The Rose: Jay DeFeo and her Circle, examines collaborations that took place around The Rose, a monumental painting created by the San Francisco artist Jay DeFeo between 1958 and 1966.
Jennifer Greenhill
“Commercial Imagination: American Art and the Advertising Picture”
Jennifer A. Greenhill is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California, where she teaches courses on American art and visual culture, and serves on the advisory committee of the Visual Studies Research Institute. She is the author of Playing It Straight: Art and Humor in the Gilded Age (University of California Press, 2012), and a co-editor of A Companion to American Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). Her current book project, Commercial Imagination: American Art and the Advertising Picture, has been supported by fellowships and grants from the NEH, the Smithsonian, the Huntington Library, the Hagley Center for the Study of Business, Technology, and Society, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Emilia Mickevicius
“New Topographics and the Reinvention of American Landscape Photography, 1975”
Mickevicius is a PhD candidate at Brown University specializing in the history of photography and modern and contemporary American art. Her dissertation considers the reception of the 1975 George Eastman Museum exhibition, “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape.” Her research has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Getty Research Institute, and the Center for Creative Photography. Emilia received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago and has held positions in curatorial departments at the Art Institute of Chicago and the RISD Museum.
Michaela Rife
“Public Art, Private Land: Visual Culture, Land Use, and Settler Colonialism in the American West, 1890-1940”
Rife is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Toronto, working on intersections between art and land use in the American West. Her dissertation examines how representations of natural resources in turn of the century festivals and New Deal murals worked to enshrine extractive identities in settler communities, specifically on the Great Plains. Her research has been supported by fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the American Antiquarian Society, and a travel grant from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU.
Nancy Scott
“Georgia O'Keeffe, Education, and the Art of Philanthropy”
A professor of Fine Arts at Brandeis University, Scott received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she wrote her dissertation under the supervision of Prof. H. W. Janson. In 2014, Scott held the Leon Levy Senior Fellowship at the Center of the History of Collecting, The Frick Collection. There she researched works by J. M. W. Turner collected in America, with a focus on The Slave Ship in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2015, she published Georgia O'Keeffe: Critical Lives. O'Keeffe's work in the 1940s to promote and secure the legacy of Stieglitz, including the 1949 gift of works from his “American and modern” collection to Fisk University, will be the center of Scott's ongoing project to be published.
Rachel Stephens
“Hidden in Plain Sight: Slavery and Suppression in Antebellum American Art”
Rachel Stephens is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the antebellum period, including southern art, race and slavery, and Jacksonian-era portraiture. Her first book Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture will be released June 2018 by the University of South Carolina Press. Her current book project, which she will be preparing as a Tyson Fellow is entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: Slavery and Suppression in Antebellum American Art.

2017-2018 Tyson Scholars

Timothy Andrus
"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
"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
"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,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 of art 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
“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
“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 1870-1890. The study also examines the continued life and ongoing meaning of these pictures in the Native communities represented within them 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.

2016-2017 Tyson Scholars

Jennifer Camp
Current Project: “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
Current Project: “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
Current Project: “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
Current Project: “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
Current Project: “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.

2015-2016 Tyson Scholars

Amy Torbert
Amy Torbert is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Delaware. Her dissertation studies the business of publishing prints in England and America from 1750 to 1840 and how representations of American rebellious acts in print shaped changing conceptions of nationhood. Her research has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society, Huntington Library, John Carter Brown Library, Lewis Walpole Library, National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC), Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and Winterthur Museum and Library.
Susanneh Bieber
Susanneh Bieber’s area of expertise is modern and contemporary American art in an international context. She is particularly concerned with the relationship between art, architecture and the built environment, and has a professional interest in curatorial practices and museum studies. Before completing her PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin, she worked as curator at the Tate Modern in London and the Fresno Metropolitan Museum in California. Bieber is currently completing her book manuscript, Construction Sites: American Artists Engage the Built Environment, 1960-75, and will use her fellowship time to work on a second book that focuses on American Regionalism in art, architecture and urban planning. Her scholarly work addresses the social role of art within the broader field of visual and material culture.
Corey Piper
Corey Piper is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Virginia. His dissertation project, Animal Pursuits: Hunting and the Visual Arts in Nineteenth-Century America, traces the ways in which representations of hunting functioned across diverse areas of nineteenth-century life, including the natural sciences, Western expansion, and refined urban recreation, and examines how such imagery structured humans’ relationship to the natural world and furthered a range of political and social ideals. Corey previously served as curatorial associate for the Mellon and European collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and has published research on a variety of topics including British sporting prints, Currier & Ives, and Édouard Manet
Leslie Reinhardt
Leslie Reinhardt holds a PhD from Princeton University. She will be working on a manuscript adaptation of her dissertation, Fabricated Images: Invented Dress in American Portraits of Women. The study will focus on the work of John Singleton Copley, who used invented dress in about half of his portraits of women. The study will offer close analysis of dresses in images, which often yield specific evidence of how an artist worked, the sources and models he used. In addition, as invented dress often "anticipated" actual developments in fashion, the study shows how art often ended up shaping what women later really wore. This study contextualizes this Anglo-American practice within contemporary discourse on the ideal woman. Texas native, Harvard graduate, Reinhardt has most recently been Senior Fellow at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, and currently teaches Art History at George Washington University.

2014-2015 Tyson Scholars

Lacey Baradel
Lacey Baradel specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American art. Her current book project traces the emergence of geographic mobility as a central theme through which genre artists probed the politics of modern life in the United States after the Civil War. A portion of this research, which examines the tension between mobility and domesticity in Eastman Johnson’s The Tramp (1876-77), will appear in the Summer 2014 issue of American Art. Lacey’s work has been generously supported by the Wyeth Foundation/Smithsonian American Art Museum, Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, and Baird Society of Fellows. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Breanne Robertson
Breanne Robertson was recently Visiting Assistant Professor of American Art at Wesleyan University, where she taught courses on art and material culture in the departments of Art History, American Studies, and Latin American Studies. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural exchange between the United States and Mexico from the eighteenth century to the present. As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Breanne will complete work on her book manuscript, which analyzes pre-Columbian imagery in U.S. public art to elucidate U.S.-Latin American foreign policy and domestic race relations during World War II. A second project examines nineteenth-century artist George Martin Ottinger’s “Old America” history paintings and the beliefs and missionary efforts of Mormon Utah. Breanne received her PhD from University of Maryland in 2012, and has held fellowships from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Annie Ronan
Annie Ronan is currently a PhD candidate in Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History, and formerly the 2013-14 Douglass Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. A specialist in 19th-century American art and visual culture, her dissertation project, “Beauty and the Bestiary: Animal Art and Humane Thought in the Guilded Age,” examines how American artists like Winslow Homer, Astley D.M. Cooper, William Holbrook Beard, and Edward Kemeys represented animals at the turn of the century, an era during which humanity’s relationship with and responsibility to the natural world was being radically reevaluated.

2013-2014 Tyson Scholars

Emily C. Burns
Emily C. Burns is Assistant Professor of Art History at Auburn University. Her research considers visual culture and transatlantic exchange between France and the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her forthcoming publications relate to American artists’ clubs in late nineteenth-century Paris and the performance of American identity abroad. She received her doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research has been supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Baird Library Society of Fellows, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and the Walter Read Hovey Foundation.
Jason Hill
Jason Hill was recently 2011-13 Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, where he taught courses on American art and media culture at the École Normale Supérieure, SciencesPo, and Université Paris Ouest Nanterre. He has published essays and criticism in such periodicals as American Art, Études Photographiques, Photography & Culture, and ˆX-TRA. He is presently completing a book on the 1940s New York tabloid daily, PM, which employed as journalists such important American artists as Weegee, Ad Reinhardt, and Ralph Steiner. With Vanessa Schwartz, Jason is also co-editing a volume on the art, history, and visual culture of news pictures.
Katherine Manthorne
Katherine Manthorne, a specialist in modern art of the Americas, earned her PhD from Columbia University. She is currently Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Prior to that, she served as Director of the Research Center at Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and Executive Editor of the journal American Art. Previously focused on artistic exchanges across the Americas, she then shifted her attention to the role of women in the American art world in a biography of Eliza Pratt Greatorex. Her current project is “You Ought to be in Pictures”: Film and American Modernism, 1896-1939.
Melissa Warak
Melissa Warak is the Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sam Houston State University. She earned her MA and PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. Warak was the 2012-2013 Vivian L. Smith Foundation Fellow at the Menil Collection in Houston
Nika Elder
Nika Elder specializes in American Art from the eighteenth century through the present and holds a particular interest in the intersection between visual art and material culture. Her current book project analyzes the still life paintings of the late nineteenth-century artist William Harnett in light of contemporaneous understandings and uses of objects in the humanities and social sciences. A second project examines references to the material and visual culture of slavery in the early work of contemporary artist Lorna Simpson. Her work has been supported by the Wyeth Foundation/Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts, and various departments and programs at Princeton University. Nika received her PhD from Princeton University in 2013. She is a Post-Doctoral Fellow/Lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program and has previously taught at Rutgers University.

2012-2013 Tyson Scholars

Jason Weems

Dr. Weems is an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside where he specializes in American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. He’s held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the College Art Association/Terra Foundation for American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.

As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Jason Weems will complete work on his current book manuscript, which examines the development of modern aerial vision and its effect on visual expression during the interwar years.

Matthew Bailey

Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Bailey is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology and a Lynn Cooper Harvey Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held dissertation fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.

As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Matthew Bailey will continue work on his dissertation, which examines the way artists conceptually and physically interacted with paint in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Susan Rather

University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Rather is a tenured member of the art history faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas, Austin. There since 1986, she has taught and supervised students ranging from beginning undergraduates to doctoral candidates. As a scholar, Rather first published Archaism, Modernism and the Art of Paul Manship. Her work then began to focus on artists during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with resulting articles on John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart and others appearing in such leading journals as Art Bulletin, American Art, William and Mary Quarterly, and Eighteenth-Century Studies.

As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Susan Rather will complete her manuscript for a book examining in depth what it meant to be an American artist during the colonial and early national era.