Class of 2022

Hometown: Waunakee, WI

Major: Art History/Visual Arts

Minors: Chemistry and French Studies

Mellon Project: Institutional Critique and Curatorial Methodologies for Collections of Art of the Americas

Concerns with the phenomenology of art audiences arose with the minimalist movement that followed World War II. The practice of institutional critique emerged from this movement and manifested as the interdisciplinary and collaborative upheaval of long-held notions of academic and cultural authority. My Mellon project explores the application of institutional critique on museum collections of ancient art of the Americas. This study explores modes of curation of ancient art of the Americas within museums, by presenting analyses of three main examples of institutional critique conducted by contemporary Latin/x artists: Pedro Lasch’s Black Mirror | Espejo Negro, Nadín Ospina’s involvement in the group exhibition Pre-Columbian Remix, and Mariana Castillo Deball’s exhibition Estas Ruinas Que Ves | These Ruins You See. These projects demonstrate, from three significant vantage points of historical and cultural perspectives, the ways in which collections have failed and need to address the oppression inherited from the first colonial gaze to the most recent contemporary one. The thesis then applies conclusions taken from these analyses, in addition to certain aspects of curatorial theory to put forth a proposal for an installation of objects from the ancient Caribbean within the Nasher Museum of Art’s collection, an understudied area in the history of art of the Americas. The purpose of this proposal is to challenge existing curatorial models in arts institutions that perpetuate various elements of colonial violence, through the example of this field, adding to a broader discourse on the ways ancient objects are presented in modern society.


What is the best part of your Mellon experience?

Access and being welcomed into a community of like-minded scholars in extremely diverse fields.