Detail, Howard Pyle (1853-1911); My hatred of him seemed suddenly to have taken to itself wings , 1890 Illustration for Harold Frederic’s “In the Valley” in Scribner’s Magazine v.8 (July 1890): 93 and in Harold Frederic, In the Valley (New York: Scribner’s, 1890) and in F. Hopkinson Smith, American Illustrations (New York: Scribner’s, 1892); Oil on board; Norman Rockwell Museum, gift of Lila Berle, NRM.2000.04

Detail, Howard Pyle (1853-1911); My hatred of him seemed suddenly to have taken to itself wings , 1890
Illustration for Harold Frederic’s “In the Valley” in Scribner’s Magazine v.8 (July 1890): 93 and in Harold Frederic, In the Valley (New York: Scribner’s, 1890) and in F. Hopkinson Smith, American Illustrations (New York: Scribner’s, 1892); Oil on board; Norman Rockwell Museum, gift of Lila Berle, NRM.2000.04

THE ROCKWELL CENTER FOR AMERICAN VISUAL STUDIES

The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum is the nation’s first research institute dedicated to the integrative study of illustration and its impact in our world. The Rockwell Center’s goal is to enhance and support scholarship relating to this significant public art form, exploring the power of published images and their integral role in society, culture, and history, and the world of art―from the emergence of printed mass media in the mid nineteenth century to the innovations of digital media today.

Cultural engagement with the history of popular images has accelerated in the twenty-first century. There is a growing awareness that illustration and comics have mattered more in the cultural history of the modern period than has been properly recognized, and museum curators and academics have begun to work with popular materials to a greater degree than before. Institutional developments have paralleled rising interest in these topics.

And yet, despite increased engagement, the critical focus of most work has tended to be local, biographical and analytically underdeveloped. The Rockwell Center, in consultation with other institutional and critical participants in these somewhat inchoate fields, recognizes a methodological vacuum at the heart of popular image studies. Ideological biases and a lack of critical material continues to compromise our understanding of visual culture in a social context, which results in an incomplete view of our shared cultural history.

Annual fellowships are awarded in support of scholars who are undertaking topics and themes that advance understanding of the role of published images in shaping and reflecting culture. Fellowships are made possible by the Lehman Foundation; Internships are made possible by Jordan Berman in honor of illustration historian Walt Reed.

Fellowship and Internship Opportunities/2019-2020

  
We invite applications from academic scholars and curators for participation in the following programs, which are designed to advance research and access relating to an influential but understudied aspect of American visual culture.

 

woman-and-stick

Jerry Pinkney (American, b.1939). Untitled (Sharecropper) 2004. Illustration for Plural Response, Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, National Park Service, Alabama Watercolor and pencil on paper. Collection of the artist

About Rockwell Scholars Fellowship Program

The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies awards annual fellowships of $1,500, promoting the scholarly study of American illustration art to advance understanding of the role of published images in shaping and reflecting culture. Rockwell Center Fellowships are open to senior scholars, advanced graduate students, doctoral candidates, and museum professionals choosing to pursue research or projects in or relating to the subject field of illustration art from diverse academic perspectives, including but not limited to Art History, American Studies, Visual Culture Studies, and History.

Rockwell Center Fellowships are awarded on an annual basis to four recipients

This fellowship may be used during the year/twelve month period for which it is awarded. The term of these grants may be carried out in residence at the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Fellow’s home institution, or at another appropriate site. The Fellowship period is January through December 2020.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $1,500 in support of their work.

Rockwell Center Senior Fellowships are intended for scholars with a distinguished publication record who hold a doctoral degree, or who possess an equivalent record of professional accomplishment at the time of application.

Rockwell Center Dissertation Fellowships are open to doctoral candidates who are currently working on dissertation research or writing in or relating to the field of American illustration art and visual studies.

Rockwell Center Fellow Application Requirements

Senior Fellow and Dissertation Fellow Applicants Should:

Offer a proposal for scholarly research focused on or relating to a topic about American illustration art or referencing published images. Although the topic may be historically and/or theoretically grounded, attention to the art object and/or image should be foremost. Projects must be object and/or culturally oriented, employing art historical or visual studies approaches.

Fellowship Application Timeline:
November 22, 2019                                               Applications Due
January 1, 2020                                                       Fellowship Awards Announced
January through December 2020                 Fellowship Period

To apply, please provide the following information:

  1. Applicant Research Proposal

Up to five pages, double spaced, outlining the project thesis and themes

  1. Research Bibliography
  2. Selected Images
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Two Letters of Reference

Please forward to:

Jana Purdy, Curatorial Project Manager, jpurdy@nrm.org, 413-298-4100 ext. 227

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator,
splunkett@nrm.org; 413-298-4100, ext. 208

The Walt Reed Distinguished Scholar Internship

The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies offers a named, paid internship in honor of illustration historian, gallery owner, and author Walt Reed in recognition of Mr. Reed’s lifelong commitment to scholarship relating to the art of illustration. This internship provides a unique opportunity for third and fourth year college and graduate level students interested in pursuing arts and museum careers to gain practical experience within a nationally accredited organization dedicated to the art of illustration in all its variety.

The intern will spend eight to ten weeks focusing on a project or projects established within the Curatorial/Exhibitions Department. The internship requires at least a four-day-a-week commitment including occasional weekend days.

The intern will receive a stipend of $2,500 in support of their work.

Internship Application Timeline:
November 22, 2019                                    Applications Due
January 1, 2020                                            Walt Reed Internship Announced
Summer 2020                                                Internship Period

To apply, please provide the following information:

  1. Applicant Letter of Interest
  2. Resume
  3. Two Letters of Reference

Please forward to:

Jana Purdy, Curatorial Project Manager, jpurdy@nrm.org, 413-298-4100 ext. 227

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator,
splunkett@nrm.org; 413-298-4100, ext. 208

Rockwell Center Fellows

Skylar Smith is a graduate student who is working toward her MA in Decorative Arts, Design, History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center in New York. Her Qualifying Paper and research area is Familiar Narratives and Clothing Caricatures: The Realities of Tex Avery’s Imaginary Universe (1908-1980). Ms. Smith uses Tex Avery’s (1908-1980) “Red Hot Riding Hood” cartoon series as the entry point for understanding racial, social, gender, and class stereotypes in 1940s American popular culture. She grounds the study in reception theory to establish the argument that Avery was building on audiences’ existing expectations and humor theory (specifically incongruity theory) to illustrate the breakpoints of normative behavior for these groups, which in turn, are reinforced through the laughter of viewers. The case study is especially rich since each of the cartoons in the set of seven has a literary basis (“Little Red Riding Hood,” Uncle Tom’s Cabin, “The Song of Hiawatha,” etc.), incorporates hit songs, reflects contemporary fashion trends, and pulls from popular films.

The author’s MA thesis at Dartmouth, Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words: The Depiction of Women in American WWI Propaganda Posters, shows how wartime recruitment posters for women created by illustrator Howard Chandler Christy (1890-1952) promulgated social change over the course of World War One. Drawing on insights from the field of propaganda studies, she supplemented this visual inquiry with literary analysis of popular fiction from before and after the war, as well as memoirs of women who served in the auxiliary expeditionary forces to contextualize the broadening roles for women made visible through Christy’s posters in conjunction with lived experiences.

Sarah Goethe-Jones is a costume designer and fashion historian with a diverse background in theatre, film, styling, and museums. She holds a degree from Parsons New School of Design in New York City, and is currently studying art history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is working closely with the Norman Rockwell Museum and Norman Rockwell Archives to conduct new research on the work of fashion illustrator Jean Ratley Cunningham (1931-2018), whose midcentury fashion drawings and designs are prominently featured in the Museum’s collection. In addition, this artist’s work will be placed within a broader context of fashion illustration history and of other noted practitioners in the field. Writing entries and providing access to this expanded information and the field through the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Illustration History website will be a significant outcome of this fellowship.

Lenore D. Miller is associate professorial lecturer at The George Washington University where she has been in a leadership position in the visual arts for 43 years. “Tony Sarg, America’s Puppet Master: Commerce and Fantasy in Twentieth-Century American Popular Culture” is her research topic. An associate professorial lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History, she is also a free-lance writer for various art publications, which have included ARTnews, KOAN, Camerawork, New Art Examiner, Metalwork, and Washington Print Club Quarterly. In October 2017 she curated and wrote the catalogue for a two-person exhibition at the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C. Her academic degrees include B.A. in Art and Art History and M.F.A. in Printmaking.

Rene Mills has been an accomplished New York City educator at the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, where she teaches English, Speech, and Communications, for the past thirty-three years. She is the recipient of undergraduate/graduate degrees from Northeastern University (BA, Theater and Communications) and Brooklyn College (MA, Speech Education), has served on the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild, and in the Peace Corps, where she worked on a Navajo reservation. Her project, The 4 Freedoms for All, engages students and teachers from the Edward A. Reynold’s West Side High School and the with artistic and historical research and themes relating to the Four Freedoms, as put forward by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and illustrator Norman Rockwell. A paper and curriculum outlining connections for high school students between the arts and civics will be a result of this fellowship.

This project is an outgrowth of the following events:

In 2013, students and teachers from the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on the upper west side of New York City visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. The school’s mission is to provide an enriching educational environment that assists students who have not progressed in traditional high school settings. Following their visit, students form the Norman Rockwell Place Committee (NRPC), in recognition of Norman Rockwell’s roots in their neighborhood. An action plan to commemorate Rockwell’s birthplace is developed and submitted to the local community board in support of the street sign Norman Rockwell Place. This campaign was student led with Ms. Mills as an advisor, and was carried through New York City community boards, and eventually, to the City Council.

In 2016, Mayor of New York Bill DiBlasio signs into law the placement of a secondary sign at West 103rd Street and Broadway/Norman Rockwell Place, with students of Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School and Norman Rockwell Museum staff present.

In 2018, in collaboration with the Norman Rockwell Museum, students and teachers dedicate a plaque on the site of Norman Rockwell’s West 103rd Street birthplace. A student and teacher-led Jamboree commemorate Rockwell’s interpretation of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, in honor of their 75th Anniversary. Students led workshops emphasizing the importance of protecting freedom, and visited Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, Norman Rockwell Museum’s traveling exhibition at the New York Historical Society.

In 2019, students began work on a Quality of Life Innovation Program, which asks student to identify real-world issues and problems within their society, and develop unique solutions to them.

Because creativity, critical skills and solution-based thinking are key characteristics in problem solving, the Quality of Life Innovation Program provides a platform for students to work in support of the protection of democratic ideals and the Four Freedoms.

Michele H. Bogart. Ph.D. has taught art history and American visual culture studies at Stony Brook University since 1982. Bogart is author of Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City, 1890-1930 (1989/1997), recipient of the 1991 Charles C. Eldredge Prize; Artists, Advertising, and the Borders of Art (1995); The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York and Its Art Commission (2006), and Sculpture in Gotham: Art and Urban Renewal in New York (2018). She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the JFK Institut, Freie Universität von Berlin. From 1999 through 2003 she was Vice President of the Art Commission of the City of New York (since renamed the Public Design Commission), the City’s design review agency, and presently serves on the PDC’s Conservation Advisory Group.

Christopher J. Lukasik, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Purdue University. His research has received over twenty fellowships, including long-term awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright Scholar Program, American Antiquarian Society, Boston University Humanities Foundation, Purdue Research Foundation, and Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture at the University of Virginia. He has presented over eighty papers on three continents and his work has been published in over a dozen journals. He is the author of Discerning Characters: The Culture of Appearance in Early America (2010), and is currently working on a new book project entitled The Image in the Text: Intermediality, Illustration, and Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

Erika Doss. Ph.D.  is a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her wide-ranging interests in American art and visual culture are reflected in the breadth of her publications, including Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism (1991, recipient of the Charles C. Eldredge Prize), Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities (1995), Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith, and Image (1999), Looking at Life Magazine (editor, 2001), Twentieth-Century American Art (2002), The Emotional Life of Contemporary Public Memorials: Towards a Theory of Temporary Memorials (2008), Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010), and American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries (2017). She is also the recipient of several Fellowships and Fulbright awards.

D.B. Dowd, Senior Fellow, is Professor of Art & American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also serves as the Faculty Director of the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, which was renamed in his honor. He writes, lectures, and curates exhibitions on the history of illustration and cartooning, and is also active as a practitioner. Dowd’s book Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice will be published by the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies in 2018. He was the consulting curator for Mac Conner: A New York Life, a traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of the City of New York (2014). In addition to teaching studio courses in drawing and illustration, he has taught courses art theory, popular visual culture, and the history of illustrated press. His blog Graphic Tales (https://www.dbdowd.com/graphic-tales-blog/), has been available online since 2007, and publishes the illustrated journal Spartan Holiday.

Past Fellowship Recipients

Barbara Tepa Lupack, former professor of English at St. John’s University and Wayne State College and academic dean at SUNY/ESC, is author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including Literary Adaptation in Black American Cinema: From Micheaux to Morrison; Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking; Ivar Krueger and Jeanne de la Motte; Early Race Filmmaking in America, and a forthcoming study of silent filmmakers Theodore and Leopold Wharton. Fulbright Professor of American Literature in Poland and later in France, she is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including Kosciuszko Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, SUNY (State University of New York) Foundation, Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship at the Lilly Library at Indiana University (2011), and Robert Lehman Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship at the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies (2014). As New York State Public Scholar (2015-2018), she lectures widely on race filmmaking and racial representation in American cinema.

DIRECTOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY ART GALLERIES AND CHIEF CURATOR, 2007 – PRESENT
Lenore D. Miller is associate professorial lecturer at The George Washington University where she has been in a leadership position in the visual arts for 43 years. An associate professorial lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History, she is also a free-lance writer for various art publications, which have included ARTnews, KOAN, Camerawork, New Art Examiner, Metalwork, and Washington Print Club Quarterly. In October 2017 she curated and wrote the catalogue for a two-person exhibition at the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C.:SMITH|PALEY. Her academic degrees include B.A. in Art and Art History and M.F.A. in Printmaking.

Participating as a speaker for the cruise industry, Miller has been giving special interest and destination related talks for more than six years. A frequent traveler to Mediterranean destinations, she has also done transatlantic and transpaciific cruises. She has presented talks about the Baltic, Russia, Germany, and Scandinavia. As destination speaker, Miller was aboard the Celebrity Millennium’s “Japan Jubilee” cruise in September, 2015. It was a spectacular voyage across the north Pacific from Vancouver to Shanghai with a stop at Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
Keenly fascinated by Japan, Miller visited Japan and presented papers in Korea. In Washington, she worked with the JICC (Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, Washington, D.C.) Miller served as an advisor and curator for art activities coordinated with Embassy of Japan, approximately coinciding with the exhibition, Japan: The Shaping of Daimyo Culture at the NGA (1988-1989) and Miller independently curated an exhibition “Journeys East” which featured two Japanese contemporary artists and two American artists inspired by traditional Japanese culture. She has written essays for Taro Ichihashi, a Japanese-born artist living in New York, for exhibitons in Tokyo, Japan.
Lenore Miller is a member (2008) of the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. and served for more than three years on the Art Committee. Her collage work has has been included in a group exhibition there called “Survival.” She is also a participating member of ArtTable, the leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts.

Sarah Litvin is a doctoral candidate in U.S. History at the CUNY Graduate Center where she studies gender, visual culture, and parlor pianos. Additionally, she is the Interpretive Planner for the Reher Center for Immigrant History and Culture, a new museum and center for civic engagement in Kingston, New York. Sarah’s curatorial expertise is digital exhibits; she has developed interactives for the New-York Historical Society, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and also holds a certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Prior to coming to CUNY, Sarah was Senior Education Associate at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where she directed accessibility and living history programming from 2008-2013.

Tracy Stuber is a PhD candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. Her dissertation, “Photography on the Ground: Four Artists in the American Landscape, 1973-1982,” examines how artists adapted avant-garde strategies of the 1960s to explore 1970s discourses about historical consciousness. From 2015 to 2017, she held an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Digital Humanities, and she is currently teaching an undergraduate class about activist and artistic uses of reproduction in second-wave feminism.

Douglas B. Dowd, Professor of Art and American Culture studies at the Sam Fox School of Washington University in St. Louis.
Research/Program Topic: Stick Figures/Drawing as a Human Practice

Christine Mugnolo, a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Irvine (Visual Studies).
Research Topic: “The Rising Preoccupation with Adolescent Male Bodies in Early 20th Century—American Print Culture.”

Heather Campbell Coyle, Ph.D., Curator of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware.
Research Topic: “Sloan, Glackens, Luks, and Shinn: Ashcan Artists as Illustrators.”

Dr. Alexia L. Boylan Assistant Professor, Joint Appointment in the Art History Department and the Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, University of Connecticut
Research topic: Shinn and his Salamander

Dr. Alan Lupack and Dr. Barbara Tepa Lupack (joint application)
Alan Lupack is the Director of the Robbins Library & Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Rochester; Dr. Barbara Tepa Lupack is currently an independent scholar and formerly an Academic Dean, SUNY/ESC
Research topic: “Visions of Courageous Achievement”: Moral Chivalry and American Arthurian Illustration in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Jennifer Stettler Parsons University of Virginia; McIntire Department of Art
Dissertation title: “John Sloan: Between Philadelphia and New York, 1892-1904”

Senior Scholar Fellowships

Dr. James J. Kimble Associate Professor at Seton Hall University in the Department of Communication and the Arts
Research topic: “Character Sketches: The Strange War Careers of Willie Gillis, the Kid in Upper 4, and Al Parker’s Mother and Daughter

Dr. Michael Clapper Professor at Franklin & Marshall College, Department of Art and Art History
Research topic: “Maxfield Parrish: Popular Art as Fantasy and Commodity”

Ms. Andrea Truitt University of Minnesota; Department of Art History
Dissertation title: “Exotic Interiors, Exotic Selves: Orientalized Domestic Space in the United States, 1880-1920”

Erin Corrales-Diaz  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Department of Art
Dissertation title: “Remembering the Veteran: Disability, Trauma, and the American Civil War, 1861-1915

Dr. John Ott  Associate Professor of Art History, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Topic: “Graphic Consciousness: The Visual Culture and Institutions of the Industrial Labor Movement at Midcentury

Emily A. Schiller Ph.D. candidate at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Dissertation Topic: Unsettled Masses: Transportation in American Art During the 1930s and 1940s

Bryna R. Campbell  Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Dissertation Topic: Bodies in Crisis: The Comic Grotesque in American Caricature of the 1930s

Ranelle Lueth  Ph.D. candidate at University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Dissertation Topic: Conflicting Lines: World War I Combat Artists and Their Works

Dr. Michael Lobel Professor of Art History in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism, and Theory, School of Humanities at Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
Topic: “Becoming an Artist: John Sloan, the Ashcan School, and Popular Illustration”

S. Jaleen Grove  Ph.D. candidate at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, Long Island ,NY
Dissertation Topic:  A Cultural Trade: Canadian Commercial Illustration at Home and in the United States