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Release Date: September 1, 2020

National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) Announces 2020–2021 Academic Year Appointments in Virtual Environment

CASVA members tour the exhibition Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence in October 2019

CASVA members tour the exhibition Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence in October 2019

Washington, DC—The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), an internationally renowned research institution that brings distinguished scholars from around the world to the National Gallery of Art, has announced its 2020–2021 academic year appointments, which will begin in a virtual environment.

They include Dell Upton of the University of California, Los Angeles, as Kress-Beinecke Professor; Huey Copeland of Northwestern University as Andrew W. Mellon Professor, 2020–2022; Penelope Jane Curtis of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor; and Jennifer Roberts of Harvard University as the 70th A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts. "These brilliant minds are the future of art history scholarship," says Steven Nelson, dean of the Center. "We are grateful for their expertise and their commitment to knowledge sharing, especially as the academic year begins in a virtual environment."

In addition to this list of distinguished appointees, seven senior fellows and six visiting senior fellows have been appointed to CASVA, along with one guest scholar, one postdoctoral fellow, seven predoctoral fellows in residence, 11 predoctoral fellows not in residence, and three predoctoral historians of American art who were awarded fellowships to travel abroad when it is safe to do so.

"This incoming class of appointees embodies CASVA's commitment to creating a community of diverse scholars dedicated to the importance of art throughout history—from ancient Sumer to 1970s Manhattan," says Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art.

For the safety of members and staff, the academic year will begin in a remote environment. Members will benefit from the digital resources, database subscriptions, and interlibrary loan services of the National Gallery of Art Library, and fellows and professors will present and discuss their research virtually.


Since its inception in 1979, CASVA has promoted the study of the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and urbanism through the formation of a community of scholars. A variety of private sources support the program of fellowships, and the appointments are ratified by the Gallery's Board of Trustees. In selecting its members, CASVA seeks a diverse pool of applicants in the visual arts.

CASVA currently supports the Andrew W. Mellon Professor, a two-year appointment of a midcareer scholar; the Kress-Beinecke Professor, an appointment of one academic year of a distinguished scholar; the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, a three- to six-month appointment of a scholar who advances his or her own research on subjects associated with the Gallery's permanent collection; and senior fellows, visiting senior fellows, a postdoctoral fellow, and predoctoral fellows. A board of advisors, composed of seven or eight art historians appointed to rotating terms, serves as a selection committee to review all fellowship applications.

In 1949, the Gallery commenced the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship in the fine arts. The program, now under CASVA's auspices, is named for Andrew W. Mellon, the Gallery's founder, who gave the nation his art collection and funds to build the West Building, which opened to the public in 1941.

CASVA publishes Symposium Papers as part of the Gallery's series Studies in the History of Art, and Seminar Papers. Both series are available for purchase on Volumes of Studies in the History of Art published more than five years ago can be accessed and downloaded on JSTOR. An annual report, Center, published each fall, summarizes research and activities that took place during the preceding academic year. The full archive of Center is available for free download on the Gallery website.

Full List of Appointees

Kress-Beinecke Professor, 2020–2021
Dell Upton
University of California, Los Angeles

Andrew W. Mellon Professor, 2020–2022
Huey Copeland
Northwestern University

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, Spring 2021
Penelope Jane Curtis
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Seventieth A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts, Spring 2021
Jennifer Roberts
Harvard University

Ailsa Mellon Bruce National Gallery of Art Sabbatical Curatorial/Conservation Fellow
Mel Harper
National Gallery of Art
Education Department, Interpretive Resources
ACT: The Black Women's Performance Wikipedia Project

Paul Mellon Senior Fellow
André Dombrowski
University of Pennsylvania
Monet's Minutes: Impressionism and the Industrialization of Time

William C. Seitz Senior Fellow
Byron Ellsworth Hamann
The Ohio State University
A History of Mexico through Histories of "The Conquest": The Lienzos of Tlaxcala Remade, 1552–2012

Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellows
Elena M. Calvillo (Fall 2020)
University of Richmond
Rome in Translation: Cultural Brokerage in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Patrick R. Crowley (Spring 2021)
Stanford University
Roman Portraiture: A Media Archaeology

Stuart Lingo
University of Washington
Bronzino's Bodies and Mannerism's Masks

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellows
Madhuri Desai
The Pennsylvania State University
Creating the Mughal Temple: Architecture, Innovation, and Archaism (1590–1700)

Oscar E. Vázquez
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Copying the Body: The Practice and Politics of Life Drawing in Latin American Academies of Art, 1780–1900

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellows
Fall 2020 / Winter 2021

Melissa L. Hyde
University of Florida
Marie-Suzanne Giroust Roslin: The Forgotten Académicienne

Rachel Stephens
University of Alabama
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Concealment of Slavery in Antebellum American Art

Molly Warnock
Johns Hopkins University
The Subject of Painting: James Bishop and Tel Quel

Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow
Fall 2020 / Winter 2021
Samantha A. Noel
Wayne State University
Diasporic Art in the Age of Black Power

Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellows
Fall 2020 / Winter 2021
Kathryn Jane Brown
Loughborough University
Artists' Books of the Harlem Renaissance

Howard Singerman
Hunter College
Acts of Art and Cinque: Networks and Geographies of Black Art in Manhattan, 1969–1975

Paul Mellon Guest Scholar, Fall 2020–Spring 2021
Melanee C. Harvey
Howard University
Patterns of Permanence: African Methodist Episcopal Architecture and Visual Culture

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Ellen Tani
A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 2020–2022
Black Conceptual Practice in Contemporary Art

Predoctoral Dissertation Fellows (in residence)
Thadeus Dowad
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2018–2021
[University of California, Berkeley]
Border Regimes: European Art and Ottoman Modernity, 1789–1839

Susan Eberhard
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, 2019–2021
[University of California, Berkeley]
Chinese Export Silverware, Foreign Coins, and Incarnations of Value: The Global Economy and Its Materials, 1682–1902

Ziliang Liu
Ittleson Fellow, 2019–2021
[Harvard University]
Art of Changes: Material Imagination in Early China, c. Third to First Century BCE

Andrew Sears
David E. Finley Fellow, 2018–2021
[University of California, Berkeley]
The Sacred and the Market: Reliquaries and Urbanism in Medieval Cologne

Kimia Shahi
Wyeth Fellow, 2019–2021
[Princeton University]
Margin, Surface, Depth: Picturing the Contours of the Marine in Nineteenth-Century America

Johanna Sluiter
Twenty-Four-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2019–2021
[New York University]
Engineering Habitat: Reconstruction, Decolonization, and the Atelier des Bâtisseurs, 1945–1962

Teresa Soley
Samuel H. Kress Fellow, 2019–2021
[Columbia University]
The Politics of Death: A Social History of Renaissance Portuguese Tomb Sculpture

Predoctoral Dissertation Fellows (not in residence)
Davida Fernández-Barkan
David E. Finley Fellow, 2020–2023
[Harvard University]
Mural Diplomacy: Mexico, the United States, and France at the 1937 International Exposition in Paris

Luke A. Fidler
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2019–2022
[University of Chicago]
Henry the Lion and the Art of Politics in Northern Europe, c. 1142–1195

Sara Lent Frier
Robert H. and Clarice Smith Fellow, 2020–2021
[Yale University]
Unbearable Witness: The Disfigured Body in the German-Speaking Lands, c. 1500–1650

Christine Garnier
Wyeth Fellow, 2020–2022
[Harvard University]
Amalgamating the West during the American Silver Age (1848–1893)

Isabella Lores-Chavez
Samuel H. Kress Fellow, 2020–2022
[Columbia University]
Plaster Casts in the Life and Art of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painters

Mohit Manohar
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, 2020–2022
[Yale University]
The City of Gods and Fortune: An Architectural and Urban History of Daulatabad, 1200–1500

Maria Verónica Muñoz-Nájar Luque
Twelve-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2020–2021
[University of California, Berkeley]
Art, Civility, and Religion in the Amazon Margins

Cleo Nisse
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2020–2023
[Columbia University]
Unraveling Canvas: Textile Supports and Venetian Painting from Bellini to Tintoretto

Rachel Catherine Patt
David E. Finley Fellow, 2019–2022
[Emory University]
Meaning, Materiality, and Pothos in Late Antique Gold-Glass Portraits

Catherine H. Popovici
Ittleson Fellow, 2020–2022
[University of Texas at Austin]
Stones of Statehood: Art, Politics, and Placemaking in a Classic Maya Landscape

Erhan Tamur
Twenty-Four-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2020–2022
[Columbia University]
Site-Worlds: An Account of Material Lives from Tello (Ancient Girsu)

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Predoctoral Fellowships for Historians of American Art to Travel Abroad
Zoë Colón
[University of Delaware]

Grace Converse
[University of Southern California]

Phillippa Pitts
[Boston University]

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