The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce its 2021–22 Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest.
Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows will pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and a forthcoming collection reinstallation that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.
Research Fellows will attend meetings at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in Taos, New Mexico, engaging in critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Cynthia Chavez Lamar (assistant director for collections, National Museum of the American Indian), and they will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Through the Colby College Museum’s collections and their ongoing research, the Fellows will explore these questions and others: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?