John T. Paoletti Travel Research Fellowships
in Art History

Funds are available to support student research and travel in the summer following the junior year that will result in a senior thesis project. Only current juniors who are working with art history faculty and who will complete a senior thesis are eligible. These funds are made available through a gift from Judith Gurewich P’05, P’10 to the Art History Program at Wesleyan University in honor of John T. Paoletti, Kenan Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus and Professor of Art History, Emeritus. Paoletti Research Travel Fellowships are intended for advanced students who have demonstrated a commitment to art historical study and a strong aptitude for writing and research. In addition to a solid background in art history and knowledge of relevant foreign languages, students must have formulated an original, coherent, and methodologically informed research project related to the study of art objects, material culture, cultural sites, and/or architecture. Applicants must demonstrate that travel to archives and to specific collections and/or sites is necessary in order to complete successfully the proposed project. For application information and procedures, please click on the following link: John T. Paoletti Travel Research Fellowships in Art History

Given the situation with COVID-19, at this time, Paoletti fellowship monies may be used to pay for research materials, including books, scans from archives, photographs, etc. All University-sponsored, connected, or funded domestic and international travel for students is prohibited until further notice. Proposals for the 2021-22 academic year should take these limitations into account and tailor their budgets in light of them.

Maya Hayda ‘21

Reshaped and Reframed: Art, Industry, and the Changing American Landscape

For centuries, the mythic and awesome nature of the American Western landscape has been a source of inspiration for artists. The documentation of and/or the interaction with this landscape has been central to the practice of artists from Bierstadt and Church in the 19th century, to the photographs of the US Geological Survey and the Earthworks/Land Art artists of the 1960s and 70s. However, within this time period this same landscape, which once might have been considered “Edenic” or pristine, has been fundamentally altered with the presence of industry. Victoria Sambunaris and An-My Lê, two contemporary female photographers, document this changed environment in its current state through photographing mine sites, railroads, and other networks of transportation and industry. Additionally, through their photography, both Sambunaris and Lê incite a dialogue with historical representations of/engagement with the American landscape by other photographers and artists. The way in which we as a society have fundamentally displaced our surroundings points to underlying structures of organization and authority which are particularly tied to concepts of manifest destiny and the “conquering” of the American landscape. In my thesis, I will be exploring how Sambunaris and Lê have taken up the challenge of uncovering and presenting this dialogue to the contemporary viewer, demonstrating how a new definition of the American landscape has taken over the old, one which is structured and scarred by our society’s seemingly perpetual expansion and consumption.

Riley Richards ‘21

Newcomb Pottery: Women and Enterprise in the American Arts and Crafts Movement

This project will aim to explore the involvement of women in the American Arts and Crafts movement by undertaking research on Newcomb Pottery, a pottery that was active as part of the art school at Newcomb College in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1895 to 1940. This pottery provides a unique case as it was a part of an educational institution that allowed college students to make a profit from their pottery, encouraging entrepreneurship. By undertaking this project, I hope to better understand the intersection between labor and women in the American iteration in this movement. I also hope to examine the regional aspect of the movement, as Newcomb Pottery had the unique experience of operating in the post-civil war landscape of New Orleans, as it was largely cut off from the Northern artistic productions. My in-situ research at the Newcomb Art Museum and Newcomb archives which will then be supplemented by textual research on the movement in America as well as in Great Britain, including writings about William Morris and the start of the movement.


Previous recipients since the fellowship's founding in 2012:

2019 Emma Frohardt, Art History Major, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures Major

Project title: "Art as Cultural Critic: Surveillance, Authorship and Collectivism in the Oeuvre of Equipo Crónica, 1964-81"

2019 Olivia Samios, Art History Major, French Studies Major

Project title: "The Nordic Home as a Total Work of Art: Codifications of Nationalism in Norwegian Home Design, 1880-1905"

2018 Sara Kim, Art History Major, College of East Asian Studies Minor and Data Analysis Minor

Project title: "The Impact of Jesuit Missionaries on the New Visual Culture in Japan: Namban Byōbu in the 16th and 17th Centuries"

2018 Rachel Rosin, Art History and English Double Major

Project title: "Mary Cassatt & the Impressionist Exhibitions: Defining 19th Century 'Girlhood'"

2017 Nicole Boyd, Art History and Italian Studies Double Major with a Writing Certificate

Project title: "Compositional Cross-Dressing: The Figures of Guido Cagnacci, the Pursuit of Invention, and the Construction of Artistic Identity in 17th Century Italy"

2017 Emily Furnival, College of Letters Major

Project title: "Fictitious Friars, Reconstructed Romans: The Architecture and Experience of the Getty Villa and Met Cloisters"

2017 Juntai Shen, Art History and College of Social Studies Double Major

Project title: "Modern vs. Rural: The Chinese Rural Architecture & Modernization since 1978--Three Case Studies"

2016 Nathan Johnson, Art History and College of Letters Double Major

Project title: "Purvis Young, Lonnie Holley, and Thornton Dial: When Outsider Artists Become Insiders"

2016 Sharifa Lookman, Art History and College of Letters Double Major

Project title: "Non finito: Botticelli and the Status of Drawing in the Italian Renaissance 'Here It Behoves Us, Use A Little Art'"

2015 Bryan Schiavone, Art History Major

Project title: "The Tree as Cultural Pillar Throughout Indian Art History"

2014 Rachel Hirsch, Art History and French Studies Double Major

Project title: "Mughal Illustrations of Hindu Epics: Tracing Iconographic Sources of the Razmnama and the Ramayana to the Indic Visual Landscape"

2013 Grace Kuipers, Art History Major

Project title: "The Philosophy Behind the Wall: Modernism, Industrialism, Primitivism and Albert Barnes' Wall Ensembles"

2012 Zoe Mueller, University Major with a Concentration in Urban Studies

Project title: "Highway Adaptation and Appropriation: Grassroots Transformation of Visual Culture in the American Rust Belt"