Yale Center for British Art welcomes Anni A. Pullagura as the inaugural Center/YCBA Postdoctoral Fellow

headshot of a woman wearing a blue dress

Anni A. Pullagura, photo by Mel Taing

NEW HAVEN, CT (October 4, 2023) — The Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) announces the appointment of Anni A. Pullagura as the inaugural Center/YCBA Postdoctoral Fellow. This new fellowship is offered jointly with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC. Pullagura, who is a consulting assistant curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), will join the YCBA in October. 

The two-year award supports research for recent PhDs from historically marginalized or disadvantaged groups who are studying modern and contemporary visual arts and who seek to expand their ability to serve as curators and scholars in fields beyond those for which they received their doctoral degrees. Fellows will work with conservators, curators, and educators at the NGA and the YCBA to learn about the conservation, curation, interpretation, and presentation of the museums’ historical, pre-twentieth-century collections. 

“This fellowship is both a path into leadership in academic and museum positions as well as an answer to the larger queries about how these fields could be transformed in the coming years,”  said Courtney J. Martin, Paul Mellon Director, Yale Center for British Art. “We welcome Anni and are excited to have such an accomplished curator and scholar in residence with us.” 

During the first year of her fellowship, Pullagura will conduct provenance research on the YCBA’s holdings of works by George Stubbs and Joseph Wright of Derby. She will also assist with the development of curatorial projects, including the museum’s forthcoming exhibition on J. M. W. Turner. Her research will contribute fresh ideas and thinking that will enable new approaches to interpreting and presenting the YCBA’s collection of Turner paintings. For the second year of her fellowship, Pullagura will be based in Washington, DC, where she will support curatorial projects at the NGA. 

“As my curatorial practice is focused on the role of the contemporary in understanding our shared histories and collective futures, the opportunity to continue my curatorial and research pursuits at the YCBA and the Center is invaluable,” noted Pullagura. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on programs and research that examine how the idea of a nation is realized in the acquisition, care, and study of art across historical periods and for contemporary audiences.” 

Pullagura brings more than eight years of museum experience to the fellowship. She has served on the curatorial staff of the ICA since 2020 and will continue as a consulting assistant curator there throughout her fellowship. She previously held roles at the Atlanta History Center, the Center for Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is an alumna of the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Cultural Practice. 

During her time at the ICA, Pullagura provided curatorial, publication, and research support for several major exhibitions and their accompanying catalogues, including Simone Leigh (2023) and Deanna Lawson (2021). She also coordinated the ICA’s commission of Leigh’s Sovereignty at the US Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. 

Pullagura received her PhD in American studies, as well as master’s degrees in the history of art and architecture and in public humanities, from Brown University. Her dissertation, “Seeing Feeling: The Work of Empathy in Exhibition Spaces,” examined empathetic feeling in the art encounter through the work of Hew Locke, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems. 

About the Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, encompassing works from the fifteenth century to the present in a range of media. The museum offers a vibrant, year-round program of events and exhibitions in person and online. Presented to the university by collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), the YCBA opened to the public in 1977. The museum is currently closed for building conservation and will reopen in 2025. Visit the YCBA at britishart.yale.edu, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @yalebritishart.

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