My grandfather was an art historian and museums have long been a second home. As an undergrad art student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I developed skills in 3D modeling, digital illustration and traditional painting, a talent for art history writing, and a fascination with the writings of artists. This led to auditing graduate art history courses at the CUNY Graduate Center to prepare for graduate school applications. At the University of Washington in Seattle, I researched original prints and sculpture, and explored the intersection of artists’ written and visual works. I carried out research in English, German and French, including visits to archives and special collections in the United States and Germany.
Conferences / Presentations / Papers
Paper: “Study for the Triadic Ballet: A Prologue to a Bauhaus ‘Metaphysical Revue’”, 2011 Seattle Art Museum and University of Washington Graduate Students of Art History Symposium: From Object to Action: Art and Performance
Paper: “Forest Tales and Sculpted Ghosts: Adaptations of Contemporary Nigerian literature in the print oeuvre of Bruce Onobrakpeya”, 2010 University of Washington Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference: Adaptations
Grants / Fellowships / Awards
- 2012 Thelma I. Pell Travel and Research Award
- 2012 Graduate Students of Art History Travel Grant
- 2011 Deutscher Akademiker Austauschdienst (DAAD) Summer Course Grant
- 2010-11 Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (German), Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington - Seattle
De Stijl digitization
A graduate paper explored Belgian artist George Vantongerloo’s enigmatic mahogany sculpture Construction of Volume Relations (Rapports des Volumes). Photographs of the 1921 sculpture in publications reproduced very few angles and look quite different from one another. Curious about the relationships in the round, I built a 3D model of the sculpture, guided by reproductions of Vantongerloo’s schematic drawings. Video game artists Liz Beetem (sibling) and Ben Carnow lighted the scene and textured the model with a texture of the same wood type, then I finalized and rendered the scene. The collaboration produced a Quicktime VR “turntable” video with numbered frames that were referenced in my written analysis. The model is now available on Sketchfab and 3D Warehouse.
The original Construction of Volume Relations by Georges Vantongerloo is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This model is presented for free as a transformative use of this artwork. It would be interesting to compare the relations in my model to a digital model created from the original work. This 3D model is true to the proportions of a set of the artist’s schematics, but appears more narrow than the original in some photographs and in person. Why?
Bauhaus MA Practicum
Der Austausch Online is an online presentation of my research on the Bauhaus periodical Der Austausch (Interchange, The Exchange). Der Austausch was a short run periodical created and crowdfunded by students in Spring and Summer 1919 during the first semester of the new State Bauhaus in Weimar. It was printed on cheap paper at a nearby Weimar printing house R. Wagner Sohn.
While working on a MA thesis surveying original prints in German modernist periodicals, committee members retired and I took the project in a new and more accessible direction. The resulting practicum project is a website that presents an annotated digitization of a microfilm reproduction of Der Austausch and contextualizes it with accompanying virtual exhibitions.
To create the website I chose the open-source online exhibition building software Omeka Classic and created a custom theme that draws on grid-based Bauhaus modes while presenting Der Austausch - a periodical that is more visually and formally aligned with late German Expressionist media than the geometry of post-De Stijl Bauhaus design. The digitization was created from a microfilm stored at UC-Berkeley and original copies of Der Austausch were consulted at the Getty Research Institute Special Collections and Northwestern University McCormick Library Special Collections. I plan to release a public version of Der Austausch Online after receiving all image permissions.