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Senior Art History Majors

Alexandra Chamberlain

"Philosophies of the Romantic Sublime:  Elevating the Status of Landscape Painting"

Combining the new found philosophical concept of the sublime with historical narratives, artists of the Romantic period elevated landscape painting to the ranks of history painting.  In particular, JMW Turner and Thomas Cole, used the sublime in their landscapes to transcend the lowly status of landscape imagery.  By merging historical narratives with present scenery that evoked an emotional response, Romantic landscape paintings continue to speak to viewers.

Victoria Davidson

"Beckett and van Velde:  A Model Pairing of French Existentialism" 

In the aftermath of World War Two, Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett, and Dutch
painter, Bram van Velde, worked in Paris within a close group of Existentialist writers, artists, and philosophers. Beckett’s writing and van Velde’s abstract paintings purposefully remained open to individual interpretation that authentically model and inspire Existentialism’s practices and values. 

Paul Dugdale

"A Material Investigation of T.C. Steele and Artistic Identity"

Theodore Clement Steele, one of the most well known Hoosier Group Artists, was more a Realist than an Impressionist both in subject and style during the 1880’s. My investigation focuses on a connection of style, materiality, and patronage early in his career.


Vishal Khandelwal

"De-queering the queer:  Robert Indiana at the Indianapolis Museum of Art"

This paper explores how the queer associations of Robert Indiana's art have often been sidelined, often embraced more fully, by scholars and museums that present the artist's work. Such institutional choices and scholarly motivations in writing Indiana's history allow us to acknowledge the multiple lives of Indiana's art, laying bare the complex network of museums, artists, scholars, and audiences that allow works of art to be interpreted in multiple ways at different points in time.

Katlin Kraska

"Animal Presence in Surrealist Art:  Re-Examining the Dichotomy between Human and Animal" 

Animals are the subject matter for much surrealist art. I argue that this is due to the ideology of surrealism - a search for truth beyond the conscious mind and humanistic constructs such as language, logic, and rational thought.  I focus on three artists to substantiate these claims; Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, and Rene Magritte. All three revisit and ultimately subvert the human-animal dichotomy, transcending it through physical connectedness, spiritual connectedness, and eventually estrangement altogether. Though each visualizes the animal in different ways, they are each reconceptualizing the animal in a way that we would now consider post-human.


Jade Powers

"Finding a National Identity through Religious Imagery:  Depictions by Raja Ravi Varma"

Raja Ravi Varma was seen by many as an Indian nationalist. During this semester, I researched how his religious paintings and prints affected this idea. In the end, I suggest that Varma's religious depictions are what made him a Hindu nationalist because he depicted Hindu deities in a positive and different manner to help other Indians to feel a sense of pride in both their nation and their religion.

Kendall Querry

"Velazquez does Titian:  Myths and Motives"

"I seek to navigate the 17th century painting, The Spinners, by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. Through the rewriting of a classical mythological tale, complex layering, and the appropriation of a predecessor’s work, Velazquez seeks to raise not only himself as an artist but art and artistry as well."

Kaela Vass

"Negotiating Disability in Weimar Germany:  Visual Representations of the War Impaired in the aftermath of the First World War"

Disability was being negotiated and defined in Germany following World War I. An influx of war impaired men caused Weimar authorities to completely revamp their current pension system. A body of literature, produced by the German Labor Ministry, highlighted the new advances in prosthetic technology and government programs by showing war impaired veterans at work. At the same time, a group of German Artists who had fought in the war were producing very different kinds of representations of the war impaired veterans. Both representations produce different, and sometimes conflicting, definitions of what it meant to inhabit a war impaired body in the post war world. 

Elizabeth Young

"Picasso and Velazquez:  Two Spanish Masters and their Meninas"

Pablo Picasso and Diego Valazquez-- two Spanish masters who were separated by three decades, yet both painted Las Meninas.  Picasso's appropriation of Velazquez's original version resulted in a series of 58 diverse paintings that today reside in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.  How do these two masters relate and what did Picasso hope to achieve through the reworking of this master piece?