National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) Announces 2018–2019 Academic Year Appointments

  • CASVA members tour the Gallery's objects conservation lab with Dylan T.  Smith, Robert H.  Smith Research Conservator, National Gallery of Art, November 2017

    CASVA members tour the Gallery's objects conservation lab with Dylan T. Smith, Robert H. Smith Research Conservator, National Gallery of Art, November 2017

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 2018–2019 academic year appointments. They include Maryan W. Ainsworth, Curator of Northern Renaissance Painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as Kress-Beinecke Professor; Steven Nelson, Professor of African and African American Art and Director of the UCLA African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles as Andrew W. Mellon Professor, 2018–2020; Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History of Duke University as Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor; and Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia of the University of Chicago, as the 68th A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts.

This year, CASVA members in residence will research a typically wide range of topics, from early modern Chinese art to Napoleon's influence on French visual culture. "This incoming class of CASVA appointees embodies the Center's diverse and dynamic nature," says Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. Elizabeth Cropper, dean of the Center, adds, "the Center is especially enthusiastic about the appointment of leaders in the field of African American art history in connection with CASVA's special initiative in this important area of scholarship."

In addition to the distinguished list of appointees, seven senior fellows and six visiting senior fellows have been appointed to CASVA, along with one postdoctoral fellow, seven predoctoral fellows working in residence, 11 predoctoral fellows not in residence, and four predoctoral historians of American art who were awarded fellowships to travel abroad.


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. Through its fellowship programs, 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 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, postdoctoral fellows, 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, 2018–2019 
Maryan W. Ainsworth
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Andrew W. Mellon Professor, 20182020 
Steven Nelson
University of California, Los Angeles

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, spring 2019 
Richard J. Powell
Duke University

Sixty-Eighth A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts, spring 2019 
Wu Hung
University of Chicago
End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time

Paul Mellon Senior Fellow 
David O'Brien
Universityof Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Cult of Napoleon in French Visual Culture, 1815–1848

William C. Seitz Senior Fellow 
Jennifer Van Horn
University of Delaware
Resisting the Art of Enslavement: Slavery and American Art, 1720–1890

Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellows 
C. Jean Campbell
Emory University
Pisanello's Parerga: Knowledge and Imitative Practice in Fifteenth-Century Italy

Michelle Foa
Tulane University
The Matter of Degas: Art and Materiality in Later Nineteenth-Century Paris

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow 
J.P. Park
University of California, Riverside
Presence in Absence: Documents, Forgeries, and Myth-Making in Early Modern Chinese Art

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow, fall 2018 
Matthew Biro
University of Michigan
Robert Heinecken: Gender, Sexuality, and Consumption through a Photographic Lens

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow, spring 2019 
Benjamin Anderson
Cornell University
The Tragic Image: Fate and Form from Byzantium to the Baroque

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellows, fall 2018/winter 2019 
Adrienne L. Childs
The Phillips Collection
The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University
Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition

Ilia Doronchenkov
European University at St. Petersburg
Western Art Exhibitions in 1890s Russia Reconstructed

Nino Simonishvili
Tbilisi, Georgia
Wölfflin's Art History in Stalin's Home

Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellows, fall 2018/winter 2019 
Linda Goddard
University of St. Andrews
Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin

Julie L. McGee
University of Delaware
Sam Middleton: An American Artist in Holland, a Transnational Existence

Martha Wolff
Formerly The Art Institute of Chicago
The Embroidered Altarpiece Made for Bishop Pedro de Montoya: The History, Function, and Stature of a Luxury Textile

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 
Rachel Grace Newman
A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018–2020
The Sugar Plantation, The Transatlantic Slave Trade, and Modernity

Predoctoral Dissertation Fellows (in residence)
Ravinder S. Binning
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2016–2019
[Stanford University]
The Medieval Art of Fear: Christ Pantokrator after Iconoclasm

Ashley Dimmig
Ittleson Fellow, 2017–2019
[University of Michigan]
Making Modernity in Fabric Architecture: Imperial Tents in the Late Ottoman Period

Michele L. Frederick
Samuel H. Kress Fellow, 2017–2019
[University of Delaware]
Shaping the Royal Image: Gerrit van Honthorst and the Stuart Courts in London and The Hague

Ximena A. Gómez
Twenty-Four-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2017–2019
[University of Michigan]
Nuestra Señora: Confraternal Art and Identity in Early Colonial Lima

Andrew P. Griebeler
David E. Finley Fellow, 2016–2019
[University of California, Berkeley]
The Byzantine Illustrated Herbal and Its Use in the Transmission and Transformation of Botanical Knowledge, from Antiquity to the Modern Era

Annika K. Johnson
Wyeth Fellow, 2017–2019
[University of Pittsburgh]
Agency at the Confluence of Euro-American and Eastern Dakota Art, 1835–1900

Lauren Taylor
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, 2017–2019
[University of California, Los Angeles]
The Art of Diplomacy in Dakar: The International Politics of Display at the 1966 Premier Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres

Predoctoral Dissertation Fellows (not in residence)
Rachel E. Boyd
David E. Finley Fellow, 2017–2020
[Columbia University]
Experimentation and Specialization: The Glazed Terracotta Sculpture of the Della Robbia Workshop, c. 1430–1550

Alicia Caticha
Twenty-Four-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2018–2020
[University of Virginia]
Étienne-Maurice Falconet and the Matter of Sculpture: Marble, Porcelain, and Sugar in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Thadeus Dowad
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2018–2021
[University of California, Berkeley]
Border Regimes: European Art and Ottoman Modernity, 1789–1839

Suzanne T. Duff
Robert H. and Clarice Smith Fellow, 2018–2019
[Brown University]
The Antwerp Saint Luke's Guild: Its Impact on Artistic Production and Identity, 1556–1663

Samuel Luterbacher
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, 2018–2020
[Yale University]
Adrift: Portable Objects between Iberia and Japan

Julia Oswald
Samuel H. Kress Fellow, 2018–2020
[Northwestern University]
The Visual Rhetoric of the Relic Treasury, 1100–1600

James Pilgrim
Paul Mellon Fellow, 2017–2020
[Johns Hopkins University]
Jacopo Bassano and the Ecology of Painting

Miriam K. Said
Ittleson Fellow, 2018–2020
[University of California, Berkeley]
Materializing Apotropaia: The Power of the Distributed Body in Neo-Assyrian Ritual Arts, Ninth–Seventh 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

Michelle Smiley
Wyeth Fellow, 2018–2020
[Bryn Mawr College]
Becoming Photography: The American Development of a Medium

Stephanie E. Triplett
Twelve-Month Chester Dale Fellow, 2018–2019
[University of Michigan]
Romanticism, Realism, and the Rise of Narrative Animal Painting in France and Germany, 1790–1880

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Predoctoral Fellows for Historians of American Art to Travel Abroad 
Alicia L. Harris (Assiniboine)
[University of Oklahoma]

Emily M. Mazzola
[University of Pittsburgh]

Ana Cristina Perry
[Graduate Center of the City University of New York]

Vanessa Reubendale
[University of Minnesota, Twin Cities]

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