Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan received the 2014 Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award for her article “Confronting ‘Taboo’: Photography and the Art of Jacob Lawrence.” The article was published in the fall 2014 issue of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s peer-reviewed journal for new scholarship. The Frost Award recognizes outstanding scholarship in the field of American art history by honoring an essay that advances the understanding of American art history and demonstrates new research and ideas. The award, established in 2004, is presented annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Art.
The jurors who selected Sheehan’s article wrote of it, “By reinterpreting Taboo and other paintings by Lawrence within the context of studio portraits, amateur snapshots and street portraits, Sheehan goes beyond obvious interpretations and draws attention to the ways in which Lawrence’s paintings contest predominant views of black life in both stereography and Farm Security Administration reform photographs.”
See the Smithsonian’s full press release here.