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Smithsonian American Art Museum

2016 Fellows Lectures in American Art

The Smithsonian American Art Museum cordially invites you to attend three afternoons of lectures delivered by its research fellows. The talks will be held in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium, located at 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC. This event is open to the public, and no reservations are required. A wine reception will conclude the series on Friday evening. For further information, please contact Amelia Goerlitz at (202) 633-8353 or email

Download the brochure [PDF] for SAAM’s 2016 Fellows Lectures in American Art.

Wednesday, May 18

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Moderator: Brandon Fortune, Chief Curator, National Portrait Gallery

Emily Clare Casey, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, University of Delaware
“American Faces, Maritime Places: Early Republic Portraiture at Sea"

Jennifer Van Horn, Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow (joint with the National Portrait Gallery), George Mason University
“The Value of Likeness: Portraits of Slaves in Early America”


3:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Moderator: Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-In-Charge, Renwick Gallery

Layla Bermeo, Douglass Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, Harvard University
“War Paintings: Comanche Shields and the U.S.-Mexican War”

R. Ruth Dibble, James Renwick Predoctoral Fellow in American Craft, Yale University
“Mobilizing the Homefront: Presentation Swords in the Civil War–Era Imagination”

Yuko Kikuchi, Terra Foundation Senior Fellow in American Art, University of the Arts London
“Transnational Trajectories and Cold War Design under the Russel Wright Project in Asia: The Case of Ken and Michiko Uyemura”

Thursday, May 19

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Moderator: Virginia Mecklenburg, Chief Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Ashley Lazevnick, Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
“Precisionism in the Long 1920s”

Marci Kwon, Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
“Joseph Cornell at the Ballet”


3:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Moderator: Joanna Marsh, Senior Curator of Contemporary Interpretation, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Erica DiBenedetto, Patricia and Phillip Frost Predoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
“Sol LeWitt: Drafting Plans, Drafting Pages”

Saisha Grayson, Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
“Producing Platforms: Charlotte Moorman, Lucy Lippard, and Catalytic Curating”

Frances Jacobus-Parker, Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
“Vija Celmins and the Art of Redescribing”

Friday, May 20

2:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Moderator: Eleanor Harvey, Senior Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bruce Robertson, Visiting Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara
“William Sidney Mount’s The Power of Music and the Performance of Race”

Caitlin Beach, Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
“Exhibiting Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave in Antebellum New Orleans”

Julia B. Rosenbaum, Smithsonian Senior Fellow, Bard College
“Unruly Bodies? The Human Form as Political Allegory in Post–Civil War America”


4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Moderator: E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Tobias Wofford, Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art, Santa Clara University
“Ritual and Spiritual Potency: A Turn to African Aesthetics in African American Art”

Elaine Y. Yau, William H. Truettner Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
“‘This is a mystery work’: When Sister Gertrude Morgan Painted…”