The History of Art Department recently announced the recipients of the 2016 Downing Grants for the spring semester, whose research sites range from Johannesburg, South Africa, to New York City to Houston, Texas. The recipients are Haley Brown, Anna Greene, Hannah Ladendorf, Monica Peacock, and Sujin Shin. The Downing Grant is a competitive award made in the fall and spring to juniors and seniors whose research in history of art courses would benefit from travel to museums, galleries, and other sites.
The Downing grant will support Haley Brown’s research this summer in Johannesburg for her honors thesis, “Photographic Portraiture in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her advisor is Rebecca van Diver, assistant professor of history of art.
Anna Greene plans to consult correspondence between such artists as René Magritte and Salvador Dalí and New York’s Museum of Modern Art in the museum’s exhibition archives. Her honors thesis is on Surrealism and advertising, and her advisor is Leonard Folgarait, professor of history of art.
Folgarait is also advising Hannah Ladendorf who is participating in the theatrical work, “Sleep No More,” a Surrealist interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, to be performed in the McKittrick Hotel in New York City. Her honors thesis will address Surrealism and modern-day theater.
Monica Peacock will travel to museums and meet with experts in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, for her research on ISIS and their destruction of culturally and historically significant sites in Iraq and Syria—the focus of her honors thesis. Her advisor is Mireille Lee, assistant professor of history of art.
Sujin Shin is writing her honors thesis on Mark Rothko’s nondenominational chapel in Houston, Texas, and what Robert Rosenblum called the “abstract sublime.” She will travel to Houston to study the Rothko Chapel, and her advisor is Vivien Fryd, professor of history of art.
The Department of History of Art awards grants for travel to exhibitions and research centers to supplement academic instruction for students in the History of Art department at Vanderbilt in the Honors Program, in senior seminars (HART 4960), or in “W” (writing) courses. These Downing Grants, which provide assistance for up to $1,500 in travel costs, are awarded in the fall and spring of each academic year.
Past Downing Grants have supported research on projects ranging from an 18th-century “folly” in Ireland, to a Marcel Duchamp installation in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon in the British Museum, to a Gothic reliquary in the Louvre.
*Monumental arch in the eastern section of Palmyra’s colonnade