Awardees | 2018
Elaiyne Ayers, PhD in the department of the history of science at Princeton University, examined nineteenth-century natural historical illustrations, ranging from pencil-sketched drafts of individual plants to fully realized oil paintings depicting picturesque tropical landscapes.
Rebecca Birrel, PhD in the department of the history of art at University of Edinburgh, studied the gendered, sexual, and emotional identities created and reflected by Gwen John’s representations of rented rooms.
Thomas Bromwell, PhD in history of art at the University of York, wrote a doctoral thesis about apocalyptic artwork from 1918 to 1939. During his residency, Bromwell examined works by Stanley Spencer, Cecil Collins, David Jones, and John Martin, allowing him to contextualize interwar evocations of the “End of Days” within the apocalyptic tradition.
Joseph Brown, Dphil student in science and technology studies at University College London, worked on a project titled “Goethe’s Farbenlehre and its Influence in the Arts and Sciences—J. M. W. Turner: A Case Study.” Turner read Charles Locke Eastlake’s 1840 translation of the Farbenlehre, absorbed Goethe’s theory of light and darkness, and depicted their relationship in several of his paintings.
Sam Buchan-Watts, PhD in the department of england at University of York, explored the relation between self-consciousness and form in art in twentieth-century poetics, focusing principally on W.S. Graham, for whom visual and linguistic mediums were “always a montage.”
Emily Burns, PhD in the department of the history of art at University of Nottingham, investigated the extent to which England could be said to have had a “school” of art in the mid-seventeenth century.
Apurba Chatterjee, PhD candidate in the history of art at University of Sheffield, studied the role of images produced both for and by the British and the Indians between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and their attendant politics in the creation and consolidation of British rule in India. Her aim was to understand how the legitimacy of imperial authority was constructed through imagery in accordance with the political discourse of the times.
Leila Harris, PhD in the department of art history at City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, researched late nineteenth-century colonial photographs of workers on tea plantations in India and Sri Lanka.
Thomas Hughes, PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, used the museum’s collection of drawing manuals to contextualize John Ruskin’s reforms of drawing education expounded at the Working Men’s College and published as The Elements of Drawing (1857). Hughes was 2018’s Brian Allen Scholar.
Alexandra Jones, assistant curator of metalwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum, studied the sketchbooks of the British war artist William Simpson, who accompanied the so-called Abyssinia Campaign (1867-68) as a special correspondent for the Illustrated London News. Jones was the curator of the display “Maqdala 1868” at the V&A, which presents a selection of Ethiopian objects and explores their connections to this British expedition.
Francesca Kaes, DPhil in the department of history at the University of Oxford, investigated the interrelationship between printmaking and strategies of pictorial composition in painting in late eighteenth-century England.
Stephanie Koscak, professor of British history at Wake Forest University, explored the social practices and responses of individuals to printed images of the royal family in the period of 1648 to 1760. Doing so revealed how the changing media landscape created a space in which ordinary subjects reimagined their relationship to the crown.
Jacob Leveton, PhD at Northwestern University, explored the impact of the invention of the improved steam engine on the artistic production of William Blake. He worked with the museum's Blake manuscripts, as well as collection material relating to the development of modern industry.
Hannah Lyon, PhD in the department of the history of art at Birkbeck College, London, investigated female printmakers (ca. 1700–1850), focusing on Maria Prestel, Letitia Anne and Mary Byrne, Carolina Leighton, Mary Darly, and Angelica Kauffman.
Emma Merkling, PhD in the department of the history of art at Courtauld Institute of Art, studied the work of the British artists Edward Burne-Jones, G.F. Watts, and Evelyn De Morgan alongside nineteenth-century writing on physics, neuropsychology, and physiological psychology.
Kerri Offord, curator at Lakeland Arts, Cumbria, conducted research on the works of George Romney in anticipation of redeveloping the Romney displays at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, UK. At the YCBA, Offord focused on Romney’s work and practice, with particular attention paid to his sketches.
Alexander Potts, professor of history of art at the University of Michigan, explored experimentation with new kinds of social realist subject matter in later nineteenth-century British art. He looked at instances of artists negotiating the tensions between a preoccupation with problems of pictorial depiction and experimentation with often charged social realist subjects.
Kelly Presutti, postdoctoral fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, examined the work of John Thomas Serres, a British artist tasked by the Royal Admiralty with painting the French coastline during the Revolutionary Wars, as part of an inquiry into the intersection of maritime representation and hydrography. Her comparative research into other depictions of the coastline and naval officers’ own drawings, also at the museum, gave a fuller picture of conventions and strategies for conveying place at a distance and contending with an inherently unstable subject.
Rosie Ram, PhD in the school of arts & humanities at Royal College of Art, studied the John McHale archive at the museum to investigate the relationship between collage and collaboration.
Kari Rayner, Conservator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Studied the way the new commercial availability of artists’ materials in the eighteenth century allowed artists to adapt their painting methods. She examined paintings and conducted technical analysis to gain insight into the interplay between materials and practice.
Cicely Robinson, assistant curator at Watts Gallery–Artists’ Village, Surrey, researched the sculptural work and practice of the Victorian artist George Frederic Watts.
Heidi Strobel, associate professor of art history at the University of Evansville, worked on her manuscript The Art of Mary Linwood: Embroidery, Installation, and the Popular Picturesque, scheduled to have been published by Bloomsbury press in 2019. The book examines how Linwood adapted the practice of painting to her own purposes while simultaneously challenging the primacy of this genre through her replication and installation of famous artworks.
Zalina Tetermazova, PhD in the department of Russian art history at Moscow Lomonosov State University, researched the national characteristics in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British and Russian printmaking, focusing on the artistic production of Gabriel Skorodumov and James Walker.
Charlotte Topsfield, senior curator of British drawings and prints at the Scottish National Gallery, studied Scottish drawings and watercolors in the museum's collections in order to support a groundbreaking book on this subject. Scheduled to have been published by the National Galleries of Scotland in early 2019 to coincide with the opening of the refurbished Scottish wing at the Scottish National Gallery, this book was accompanied by an exhibition in Edinburgh.
Courtney Wilder, PhD in the Department of History of Art at the University of Michigan, looked to expand the existing history of art and design between 1815 and 1851 by examining the innovative new genres of printed textiles and their representations in a wide range of visual media. These new design patterns powerfully communicate a transformative cultural moment in which technological innovation provided visual inspiration.
Maria Cristina Wolff de Carvalho
Maria Cristina Wolff de Carvalho, professor of architectural history and urban planning at the School of Visual Arts, São Paulo, researched to find further evidence that many works attributed to the British naturalist artist W.J. Burchell (1781–1863) were actually created by Louisa Anne Beresford, Marchioness of Waterford (1818–1891).