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Clark Art Research and Academic Program Fellowships
11:02AM / Friday, May 19, 2023
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute's Research and Academic Program (RAP) announces the appointment of its 2023–2024 class of Fellows for summer 2023 and the upcoming academic year. 
The Clark is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Through RAP, the Clark hosts a residential fellowship program that welcomes top international scholars for periods ranging from two to nine months. To date, the community of Clark Fellows numbers more than 400 individuals hailing from thirty countries, forming a global network of scholars united through the shared experience of academic pursuits undertaken on the Clark's Williamstown campus.
"The 2023–2024 Clark Fellows represent an exceptional group of scholars," said Caroline Fowler, Starr Director of the Research and Academic Program. "They bring many perspectives, as well as great vitality and creativity to the Clark. The scope of these projects is thrilling—from the question of Edgar Degas's material and technical experimentation, to an innovative study of the Indo-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil, and an examination of paintings completed by British and French military officers in the Caribbean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—among many other extraordinary art historical interventions. We're excited to introduce our Fellows, and their ground-breaking work, to our community."
While in residency at the Clark, Fellows pursue independent research projects that span a wide variety of topics and pursuits, including writing, conceptualizing exhibitions, and studying emerging trends and issues in art history. The Clark's library collection—recognized as one of the leading art history libraries in the United States—serves as a central resource for researchers. Scholars live in apartments in a house close to the Clark's campus, providing a collegial environment that fosters collaboration, ongoing dialogue, and exchange of ideas. 
"Clark Fellows bring a unique worldview, a dynamic presence, and a profound commitment to scholarship that inspires us all," said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. In 2001, I had the good fortune to be in one of the first cohorts of Clark Fellows, and I know firsthand how meaningful the program is to those who participate. The Clark's library, its collections, the camaraderie, and the inspiration of the museum's beautiful setting all combine to make the Clark Fellowship a remarkable experience." 
Fellowships for summer 2023 and the 2023-2024 academic year are awarded to:
Michael Ann Holly Fellow: Rakhee Balaram, University at Albany, State University of New York (Fall 2023)
Rakhee Balaram specializes in modern and contemporary art. She is the author of Counterpractice: Psychoanalysis, Politics and the Art of ‘French Feminism, an alternative history of art in France after May 1968 (Manchester University Press, 2021) and co-editor of a comprehensive survey of modern and contemporary Indian art, 20th Century Indian Art (Thames & Hudson, 2022). Her current research addresses issues of global art history, theory, art criticism, and the philosophies of digital media, technology, and machine learning.
Clark Fellow: Sandra Benites, National Arts Foundation (Funarte), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Summer 2023)
Sandra Benites is an anthropologist and Guarani Nhandeva Indigenous curator whose curatorial proposals have emphasized Indigenous "cosmovisions" and centered Indigenous women as protagonists. In spring 2023, she was appointed audiovisual director of the National Arts Foundation (Funarte). Along with Clark Fellow Anita Ekman, Benites organized the exhibition Ka'a Body: Cosmovision of the Rainforest at Paradise Row in London and Radicantes in Paris in winter 2021-2022. At the Clark, Benites and Ekman will collaborate on a book project examining how women in contemporary Indigenous and Brazilian art are transforming the global imagination of forests and their human and non-human inhabitants.
Beinecke Fellow: Cynthea J. Bogel, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (Spring 2024)
Cynthea J. Bogel's work addresses Japanese art history and the Buddhist visual cultures of Asia. Since 2015, she has served as the editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University. Her books include Hiroshige: Birds and Flowers (Braziller, 1988) and With a Single Glance: Buddhist Icon and Early Mikky? Vision (University of Washington Press, 2009). Other publications focus primarily on Buddhist icons and temples in Japan, imported Chinese icons, Edo prints, art historiography, and aesthetics.
Clark Fellow: Brigid Doherty, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (Fall 2023)
Brigid Doherty holds a joint appointment in the Departments of German and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and is an associated faculty member in the School of Architecture. She is the co-editor of The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media (Harvard University Press, 2008) and has participated in Manifesta 7, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, for which she created the exhibition project Learning Things. Her current research investigates twentieth-century German modernism, and the work of early-twentieth-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the late twentieth-century conceptual artist Hanne Darboven.
Clark Fellow: Anita Ekman, Researcher and Artist, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Summer 2023)
Anita Ekman is a Brazilian visual and performance artist and researcher of pre-colonial art and rainforest history. Her collaborative performances at archaeological sites and in museum collections analyze the Atlantic world and the role of women in the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests. She has lectured widely in the United States, including at Indiana University, Tufts University, and Harvard University. Her artwork has been featured in museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as in publications such as Od Review and Select. At the Clark, Ekman joins Clark Fellow Sandra Benites to collaborate on a book project examining how women in contemporary Indigenous and Brazilian art are transforming the global imagination of forests and their human and non-human inhabitants.
Center for Spain in America Fellow: Jesús Escobar, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (Fall 2023)
Jesús Escobar's research focuses on the art, architecture, and urbanism of early modern Spain, Italy, and the larger Spanish Habsburg world. Recent and ongoing publication projects consider the monastery-palace of El Escorial, a spectacular seventeenth-century map of Madrid, transatlantic Renaissance and Baroque religious architecture in the Spanish Empire, and the historiography of seventeenth-century architecture in Spain. He is the author of The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Habsburg Madrid: Architecture and the Spanish Monarchy (Penn State University Press, 2002). Escobar is editor of the scholarly book series, Buildings, Landscapes, and Societies, published by Penn State University Press, as well as an editor for the Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art and Architecture.
Florence Gould Foundation Fellow: Michelle Foa, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana (Fall 2023–Spring 2024)
Michelle Foa studies European art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries with a particular focus on nineteenth-century French art, visual and material culture, and criticism. She is at work on a book on Edgar Degas titled The Matter of Degas: Art and Materiality in Later Nineteenth-Century Paris, in which she analyzes the conceptual significance of the artist's sustained experimentation with diverse media and techniques in the context of his investigation into the physical and material qualities of the world around him. She is the author of Georges Seurat: The Art of Vision (Yale University Press, 2015). Other research and teaching interests include the materials of art, the relationships between art, science, and technology, the intersections of art history and environmental studies, and art historiography and criticism.
Critical Race Theory and Visual Culture Fellow: Sora Han, University of California, Irvine (Fall 2023)
Sora Han is the director of the Culture and Theory PhD program at the University of California, Irvine, and an associate professor of Criminology, Law, and Society with courtesy appointments in the African American Studies Department and the School of Law. She is the author of Letters of the Law (Stanford University Press, 2015), as well as the co-author of the law casebook, Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, Third Edition (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020). She is currently at work on two books: Slavery as Contract: A Study in the Case of Blackness, which brings together poetics, contract law, and afro-pessimist theory to think beyond the property metaphor of slavery; and Mu, the First Letter of an Anti-Colonial Alphabet, an experimental text on the "anagrammatic scramble" of the unconscious materiality of abolitionism.
Beinecke Short-Term Fellow: Suzanne Hudson, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Summer 2023)
Suzanne Hudson is an art historian and critic whose research spans the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries, with special emphasis on the history, theory, and conventions of painting within art schools and alternative pedagogical institutions, which include spaces of care work and medical and psychological services. Her books include Contemporary Painting (Thames & Hudson, World of Art Series, 2021); Mary Weatherford (Lund Humphries, 2019); Agnes Martin: Night Sea (Afterall Books/MIT Press, 2017); and Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT Press, 2009). Hudson is currently at work on Better for the Making: Art, Therapy, Process, a study of the therapeutic origins of artmaking within American modernism.
Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow: Erica Moiah James, University of Miami, Florida (Fall 2023–Spring 2024)
Erica Moiah James is an art historian and curator whose research centers on modern and contemporary art of the Caribbean, African, and African American diasporas. Her forthcoming book is entitled After Caliban: Caribbean Art in the Global Imaginary. Other publications include Charles White's ‘J'Accuse!' and the Limits of Universal Blackness (Archives of American Art Journal, 2016), and Decolonizing Time: Nineteenth Century Haitian Portraiture and the Critique of Anachronism in Caribbean Art (Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, 2019). She was the founding director and chief curator of the National Gallery of The Bahamas from 2003 to 2011.
Clark Fellow: Hallie G. Meredith, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (Summer 2023)
Hallie G. Meredith specializes in late antique work, craft production, Eurasian exchange, and ancient technologies with a glass emphasis. In addition to editing and co-editing publications on late-Roman visual culture, she is the author of Word Becomes Image: Openwork Vessels as a Reflection of Late Antique Transformation (Archaeopress, 2015). She is currently at work on a book titled The Unknown Maker: Anonymous Roman Glass Artisans and their Legacy on Contemporary Craft.
Clark Fellow: Keisha Oliver, University of The Bahamas, Nassau (Summer 2023)
Keisha Oliver is assistant professor of art and design and the inaugural head of the Visual Arts and Design Department at the University of The Bahamas. She is currently pursuing a dual-title PhD in Art Education and African American and Diaspora Studies at Pennsylvania State University, where she is also leading an African art project for the Palmer Museum of Art. Her research and curatorial practices investigate Indigenous identity and cultural preservation across the African diaspora, with a focus on the intersection of cultural formations and nation building in the post-colonial Caribbean. Oliver contributed to the first co-authored text dedicated to contemporary Caribbean Art, A to Z Caribbean Art (Robert and Christopher Publishers, 2019).
The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation Fellow: Kirstin Ringelberg, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina (Spring 2024)
Kirstin Ringelberg is an associate professor of art history, and an affiliate faculty member of the Women's and Gender Studies, American Studies, and Asian Studies programs at Elon University. Ringelberg is the author of the Redefining Gender in American Impressionist Studio Painting: Work Place/Domestic Space (Routledge, 2017), and numerous essays on topics ranging from the artistic representation of pain to the influence of contemporary art in popular culture, and the tension between beauty and criticality. Ringelberg served as the first art history professor at Elon, where they were instrumental in establishing its art history department.
Clark Class of 1974 Fellow: Marta Ruiz del Árbol, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (Summer 2023)
Marta Ruiz del Árbol is the curator of modern painting and temporary exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, where she also manages the twentieth-century permanent collection. Her curatorial activity focuses on the vindication and reinterpretation of the women artists present in the Thyssen's collection. Her curatorial projects include the 2021 exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe—a joint project with the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland—and the 2017 exhibition Sonia Delaunay: Art, Fashion and Design. Ruiz del Árbol is at work on a 2024 retrospective of Gabriele Münter.
Clark Fellow: Igor Simões, Universidate Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (Spring 2024)
Igor Simões's work focuses on the intersections of histories of art and racialization in Brazilian art. Recent and current curatorial projects include Presença Negra no Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, Empowerment (Volfsburg, Germany); Social Fabric (Houston and Dallas, Texas); and Dos Brasis: Arte e Pensamento negro (São Paulo, Brazil). In 2019 he served as educational curator of the Bienal 12—Bienal do Mercosul, and he is the invited curator of the Instituto Inhotim in Minas Gerais, Brazil for the 2023 season. Simões is an advisory board member for the Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions (AWARE), including advising the initiative "Rewriting Art History in the Americas: BIPOC Women Artists from the 19th Century to Today," which will culminate in the exhibition Art and Feminisms at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany.
Clark Fellow: Elena Shtromberg, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Fall 2023)
Elena Shtromberg specializes in modern and contemporary Latin American visual culture, with a specific focus on Brazil and the United States–Mexico border region. Her book, Art Systems: Brazil and the 1970s (University of Texas Press, 2016) explores visual forms of critique and subversion during the height of Brazilian dictatorship by tracing how the encounter of artistic practice with information and systems theories redefined the role of art in society. Her research interests extend to gender and media studies, cultural studies, and communications, geography, and postcolonial theory. She has also curated a number of exhibitions, the latest among them a co-curated screening of Contemporary Video Art from Latin America at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and In Motion – Borders and Migrations, encompassing a range of artistic manifestations along the U.S.–Mexico border, co-curated for the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City.
Support from the Center for Spain in America, Florence Gould Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Manton Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, and the Sperry Fund help to underwrite fellowships in RAP. For more information, visit
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