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ART OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce its 2021–22 Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest.
Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows will pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and a forthcoming collection reinstallation that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.
Research Fellows will attend meetings at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in Taos, New Mexico, engaging in critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Cynthia Chavez Lamar (assistant director for collections, National Museum of the American Indian), and they will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Through the Colby College Museum’s collections and their ongoing research, the Fellows will explore these questions and others: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?
Jessica L. Horton is an associate professor of modern and contemporary art history at the University of Delaware and the 2021–22 Distinguished Scholar at the Lunder Institute for American Art. Her first book, Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement Generation (2017), traces the impact of Indigenous spatial struggles on artists working internationally since the 1970s. Her current book project, Earth Diplomacy: Indigenous American Art and Reciprocity, 1953–1973, examines how artists revitalized long-standing Indigenous cultures of diplomacy in the unlikely shape of Cold War tours, translating Native political ecologies across two decades and four continents. She recently participated in a Lunder Institute talk on “Reframing Modern Art of the American Southwest” with Patricia Marroquin Norby, who oversees the Native American art collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing.
Jill Ahlberg Yohe is the associate curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). In 2008, Ahlberg Yohe received her PhD from the University of New Mexico; her dissertation was a focus on the social life of weaving in contemporary Navajo life. Along with Teri Greeves, Ahlberg Yohe is the co-curator of “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists.” At Mia, Ahlberg Yohe has curated and co-curated a dozen of exhibitions and installations. Jill seeks new initiatives and a focus on Indigenizing Museums to expand understanding and new curatorial practices of historical and contemporary Native art.
Caroline Jean Fernald serves as Executive Director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has previously worked as Executive Director of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico and in multiple museums focusing on Native American arts and cultures. She holds a PhD in Native American Art History from the University of Oklahoma and specializes in the intersections of art, anthropology, and tourism in the American Southwest.
Elizabeth “Betsy” S. Hawley is an art historian, writer, and curator specializing in modern and contemporary art and art of the Americas. Her work often focuses on twentieth and twenty-first-century Native North American art, and other interests include ecocritical art, feminist/women’s art, political/activist art, and art of the American West. Her current book project, under contract with the University of Nebraska Press, tracks the ways Pueblo and Anglo artists in New Mexico grappled with fallacies of authentic Indianness and biases regarding gender roles in art production during the first half of the twentieth century. She recently organized Native Feminisms at NYC gallery apexart and previously curated or contributed to exhibitions at MoMA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Laguna Art Museum. Betsy is currently Lecturer in Art and Art History at Santa Clara University.
Hadley Jensen’s research addresses the intersections among art, anthropology, and material culture. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Museum Anthropology, a joint appointment between Bard Graduate Center and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Her current book project, Shaped by the Camera: Navajo Weavers and the Photography of Making in the American Southwest, examines the visual documentation of Navajo weaving through various modes and media of representation. Jensen believes in the close examination of objects and artworks as an integral part of learning about their material qualities and methods of production, and she is particularly interested in advancing interdisciplinary methodologies to better understand processes of making. In addition, she has hands-on experience learning Indigenous weaving and natural dyeing practices, which has strengthened and enlivened her work as an academic researcher, curator, and teacher. Her work has been supported by the Textile Society of America, The Center for Craft, Smithsonian Institution’s National Anthropological Archives and National Museum of Natural History, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Lunder Institute for American Art.
Juan Lucero (Isleta Pueblo) was born and raised in New Mexico and is a Twin Cities transplant. He has been dedicated to the arts for the past 15 years in many facets. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Throughout his career in the arts, he has immersed himself in Native American Art with an emphasis on Southwest jewelry and traditional Pueblo pottery. Lucero prides himself with the relationships he developed throughout the years with artists and art professionals in his communities. He spent seven years at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque which is highlighted by his time as an art purchaser and in the education department. More recently he held a position as an Art Storage Technician at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), where he developed a great relationship with staff and objects in the collection. Today he works at the MIA as the MdeWakanton Native Fellow working in a curatorial capacity. He curated the show Parska/Shada which opened in the fall of 2021 and runs until August 2022. He also co-curated the reinstallation of the MIA Native American galleries with Associate Curator of Native American Art, Jill Ahlberg Yohe.
Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha) oversees the Native American art collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing. An award-winning art scholar and museum leader, she served as Senior Executive and Assistant Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York and as Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry in Chicago. Her forthcoming book, Water, Bones, and Bombs (University of Nebraska Press), examines twentieth-century American Indian art and environmental disputes in northern New Mexico. She earned her MFA from University of Wisconsin Madison and her PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Sascha Scott is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University. She also is part of the core faculty for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program. Scott specializes in 19th and 20th-century American and Native American art, with particular attention to the art and politics of the colonization of Indigenous lands and Native resistance against US imperialism. Scott’s publications include the book A Strange Mixture: The Art and Politics of Painting Pueblo Indians (2015) and numerous academic essays, including a 2013 Art Bulletin essay on San Ildefonso Pueblo painter Awa Tsireh, which won the College Art Association’s Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize. In 2020, she co-edited, with Amy Lonetree, a special issue of Arts on “Native Survivance and Visual Sovereignty: Indigenous Visual and Material Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries.” Scott is currently working on two book projects, O’Keeffe Interrupted and Modern Pueblo Painting: Art, Colonization, and Indigenous Visual Sovereignty. The latter has been supported by a NEH summer grant, a Syracuse University Humanities Fellowship, and by a Brown University Howard Foundation Fellowship.
Mary Bevilacqua is a rising junior double majoring in studio art and American studies. In addition to her position as a research assistant to the Lunder Research Fellows this year, she will be working as a learning assistant for the Center for Teaching and Learning Colby Fellows program as well as continuing her work as a student guide at the Colby College Museum of Art. “I am excited to have the opportunity to engage with and experience the work of such distinguished scholars and am eager to explore and expand the intersection of my majors through my work for the research fellows.” Outside of academics, she is an artist by trade and has a business selling watercolor paintings. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, practicing yoga, spending time outdoors hiking and rock climbing.
Alexis Kinney is a rising senior at Colby College majoring in Art History with an Environmental Studies minor. She grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania and is currently living in Andover, Massachusetts. In the summer of 2021 she interned as a curator at the National Museum of American History within the Photographic History Collection. Alexis has a love and passion for research and southwestern art.
Jade Ma is an architecture independent major with a concentration in East Asian studies. She has always had a love for American art and art history. “When I first visited Colby, I absolutely fell in love with the art museum, and it has continued to be one of my favorite places to frequent, especially as the Lunder Institute has invited different visiting artists to share their work.” While she has never researched art of the American Southwest, she is excited to start working with distinguished scholars and talented artists. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to learn as much as I can from this experience.”
Images (Header): Victor Higgins, Taos (detail), c. 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 27 in. x 30 in. (68.58 cm x 76.2 cm). The Lunder Collection; 2013.139P; (Inline): Ramona Sanchez Gonzales (aka Ramona Gonzales), San Ildefonso Plate, c.1925. Blackware, 11 3/4 in. (30 cm). Gift of Adelaide Pearson, 1960.145.