Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art

The Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art support an academic year of research and/or writing by early career scholars for a project that will make a substantial and original contribution to the understanding of art and its history.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Getty Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Nadya Bair
Nadya Bair  |  Abstract
“The Decisive Network” is a history of the international picture agency Magnum Photos, founded in 1947. Based in extensive archival research, the project shows how American editors, publishers, and corporate leaders worked with peripatetic photographers to create an American visual culture that was deeply engaged with everyday life around the world, and which exploited the aesthetic and production mode of news photography. It is a story of the large amounts of images that Magnum produced on a daily basis, and of the massive logistical efforts in global photographic distribution and communication. This book situates Magnum’s output within the history of magazines, exhibitions, and the art market as well as the changing professions of journalism, sociology, and public relations. It shows that histories of photography and the press are key to modern and US art, and that the role of transatlantic networks is indispensable to critical studies of art and mass media.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Digital Humanities and American Studies, Yale University  -  The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market

Natilee Harren
Natilee Harren  |  Abstract
This book examines the status of the object in the intermedia practice of Fluxus, an artist collective founded in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1962 and centered in New York with far-flung international outposts. Utilizing an interdisciplinary methodology rooted in art history, musicology, and literary theory, the book traces Fluxus artists’ development of innovative formats that reimagined the ontologies of music, painting, and sculpture as well as prevailing economic models of the commodity and the commercial art gallery. Beginning with an account of Fluxus artists’ radical innovations on abstract expressionist painting and the experimental notations of the New York School composers, the book examines the development and critical significance of key Fluxus formats of the event score and multiple. This work reflected new modes of late-capitalist subjectivity and community formation, and ultimately laid crucial pathways for the kinds of conceptual, ephemeral, and performative art practices that define contemporary art of the present.

Assistant Professor, Art History, University of Houston  -  Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network

Brooke Belisle
Brooke Belisle  |  Abstract
The desire to “see the bigger picture” aspires toward an expanded view that could only be pictured, because it exceeds direct perception. This project traces how new media aesthetics have conjured this expanded view from the nineteenth century to the present. It focuses on panoramic, stereoscopic, and algorithmic strategies for coordinating multiple images into the provisional coherence of an overarching view. It shows how these strategies resurface in periods of technological and cultural transformation to visualize alternative ways coherence itself could be conceived. By engaging examples that range from popular visual culture to computer programs and works of contemporary art, the project demonstrates how efforts to articulate a bigger picture not only reflect, but also help produce shifting potentials of visibility, connection, and control.

Assistant Professor, Art, State University of New York, Stony Brook  -  The Bigger Picture: A History and Theory of Expanded Views

Gül Kale
Gül Kale  |  Abstract
This book-length project is the first sustained and critical analysis of “A Book on Architecture,” the scholar Cafer Efendi’s book about Ottoman architecture and the life of Mehmed Agha, the chief architect of the Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul in 1617. Based on an interdisciplinary approach and close readings, this project reveals architecture’s relationship to diverse modes of knowledge, scientific learning, and artistic practices as they intersected with intellectual, visual, and material cultures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The study shows how theory, poetics, and ethics helped to convey architecture’s legitimate foundations to artists, architects, courtly elite, and scholars, and reinforce its mediating role in sustaining social order and cosmic harmony for the public. The project brings to light a unique manuscript from the early modern Islamic world and places it within a broader crosscultural context, contributing to scholarship on global art and architectural history and theory.

Assistant Professor, Art History, Carleton University, Canada  -  Unfolding Text, Image, and Artifact: Theory, Poetics, and Ethics in Cafer Efendi’s Seventeenth-Century Book on Ottoman Architecture

Gianluca del Monaco
Gianluca del Monaco  |  Abstract
The Decretum Gratiani is the first volume of the collection of ecclesiastical legal texts known as the “Corpus iuris canonici,” The Body of Canon Law, since 1500 and used by the Roman Catholic Church until 1917. The volume was one of the most popular texts and reference works in medieval western Europe. Initiated by Gratian, who may have been a monk teaching canon law in Bologna, the Decretum Gratiani was completed around the mid-twelfth century. Shortly afterwards, it began to be illustrated, giving birth to an outstanding corpus of illuminated manuscripts. When and where was its visual tradition established? Were a few main centers responsible for its origin, perhaps in core university cities such as Bologna or Paris, or was it the product of a complex interaction among many places? This project explores these questions through a detailed analysis of the volume’s illustrated copies dating before around 1210-1220.

Adjunct Professor, Arts, Università di Bologna, Italy  -  The Early Stages of the Illustration of the Decretum Gratiani

Emily Neumeier
Emily Neumeier  |  Abstract
While recent movements in social and economic history have encouraged scholars to turn their gaze toward the periphery, the majority of recent accounts of Ottoman architecture remain focused on the patronage of the imperial court in Istanbul. This project aims to expand the view, standing as the first book-length study devoted to the art and architecture of provincial notables in the Ottoman empire. Specifically, this study explores the flourishing of cultural production on the empire’s western frontier under Ali Pasha of Tepelena, who governed what is now Greece and Albania for more than thirty years, during the so-called Age of Revolutions from 1788 to 1822. By tracing the governor’s capacity to construct urban architectural complexes including palaces, mosques, and even Christian monasteries, this project demonstrates that shifts in the political order translated into new, localized strategies for display that both responded to and challenged conventions of patronage established in Istanbul.

Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Art, The Ohio State University  -  Fortune and Triumph: The Architectural Transformation of the Ottoman Provinces in the Age of Revolutions

Peyvand Firouzeh
Peyvand Firouzeh  |  Abstract
This project explores the power of objects and knowledge in motion in the eastern Islamicate world. Set in fifteenth-century Deccan India under the Bahmanids, the region’s first independent Muslim dynasty from 1347 to 1528, the project focuses on the circulation of images and perceptions of the built environment that materialized temporal and geographical distance across the Indian Ocean. It examines how this circulation legitimized the dynasty by connecting it simultaneously to a pre-Islamic past and an Islamic present. Elucidating the history of an understudied region, traditionally considered a periphery of the Islamic world under Persian influence, the project’s interdisciplinary and transregional approach counterbalances this view by engaging with questions such as the interplay between politics and material culture, identity formation and migration, and the history of Islamicate societies in a global context.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Art History, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Italy  -  Constructing Legitimacy along Sea Routes: Things and Ideas between Fifteenth-Century Iran and Deccan India

Sarah Selvidge
Sarah Selvidge  |  Abstract
“Modernism and Miracles” follows the trajectory of modern architecture in twentieth-century Mexico, demonstrating the long-term impact of architectural ideas on social welfare policy and national politics. By analyzing architectural discourse and praxis as well as the policies of state agencies, the project brings together the study of the urban built form with analysis of political and economic change. Beginning with debates about functionalism and the social role of architects after the triumph of the Mexican revolution in 1920 through the establishment of a financial regime for housing policy in the 1970s, the project relies upon close reading of buildings and visual culture, as well as engagement with transnational and local intellectual debates, to show how urban development in Mexico shaped political issues ranging from social security and labor relations to development finance.

Visiting Scholar, Architecture, University of California, Berkeley  -  Modernism and Miracles: Housing in Post-Revolutionary Mexico

Andrew James Hamilton
Andrew James Hamilton  |  Abstract
The royal Inca tunic conserved by Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, is arguably the most famous work of ancient Andean art in the world, yet little is actually known about it. Since the 1970s, debates over whether its patterns, called tocapus, are a form of long-lost glyphic writing have dominated scholarship on the textile. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” explores the object’s materiality, making, wear, and repair to reconstruct its objecthood, life, and place in history. The study reveals that the royal garment is unfinished and likely was being woven on the eve of the Spanish conquest for the last Inca emperor, Atahualpa, who was executed in 1533. This makes the tunic the only ancient Andean artifact that can potentially be ascribed to a historically known individual, let alone to an indigenous sovereign.

Lecturer, Art and Archaeology, Princeton University  -  The Emperor's New Clothes: The Biography of a Royal Inca Tunic

Christina Weyl
Christina Weyl  |  Abstract
Between 1935 and 1965, color became an increasingly pervasive feature of American life. Innovations in printing technology allowed newspapers and magazines to reproduce images in full color; color comic books rapidly gained popularity; Technicolor films like “The Wizard of Oz” became blockbusters; and Kodachrome/Kodacolor enabled Americans to capture everyday moments in home movies and photos. During this same period, a dramatic shift occurred in the graphic arts, with artists moving from black-and-white printmaking toward vibrant color. Drawing on interdisciplinary sources, this book project overlays a comprehensive survey of midcentury color prints with in-depth study of visual and material culture, bringing alive the period’s cultural environment and commercial marketplace. The project also reshapes narratives about the transition from postwar abstraction to pop art, demonstrating that midcentury color printmaking laid important and yet-unrecognized groundwork for pop artists’ practice of color lithography and screenprinting.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art  -  Living in Color: The Explosion of Color in American Printmaking, 1935-1965