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- Essay Prize
2020 Dedalus Foundation Graduate Research Essay Prize at the Archives of American Art
The Dedalus Foundation Graduate Research Essay Prize recognizes original research by a graduate student that 1) focuses on aspects of painting, sculpture, and the allied arts from 1940 to the present day; and 2) engages deeply with the collections at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. The prize-winning essay will present an innovative argument directly supported by primary sources. Critical questions may be explored through a single source or a discrete set of materials at the Archives.
With more than 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and records of the visual arts in the United States. Students may consult original documents by appointment at the Archives’ headquarters in Washington, DC, view more than 3 million digital files and interviews online through the Archives’ website, or use the substantial microfilm holdings available through interlibrary loan or an affiliated research center.
The Dedalus Foundation was founded in 1981 by the artist Robert Motherwell to support public understanding and appreciation of the principles of modern art and modernism.
- $1,000 cash award
- One-year print subscription to the Archives of American Art Journal
- Essay forwarded to the executive editor of the Archives of American Art Journal for review
Criteria for Submission
- Essays must be written in English
- Essays must focus on aspects of painting, sculpture, and the allied arts from 1940 to the present day
- Essays must be original and not under consideration for publication elsewhere
- Essays must be a maximum of 3,000 words in length, inclusive of endnotes, with 4 to 6 illustrations
- The competition is open to students enrolled at the time of submission in a graduate program in art history, visual studies, American studies, or related fields, and to emerging scholars who have completed their doctoral dissertations within 12 months of the submission deadline (i.e., after September 15, 2019)
How to Enter
Email the following as PDF attachments to AAAPrize@si.edu by or before September 15, 2020
- Cover sheet with the essay title, author name and contact information, name of academic advisor, department/program, and university (the author should not be identified anywhere else)
- Abstract of no more than 150 words
- Essay text should be double-spaced, with endnotes; it should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style
- Illustrated, numbered list of proposed figures, with complete caption information
Please direct questions to AAAprize@si.edu. Essays will be judged by two Archives of American Art Journal advisory board members, an Archives staff member, and a Dedalus Foundation representative. Prize participants will be notified of the outcome of the competition by October 15, 2020.
From 2012-2018, this award was called the Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize and funded by the Dedalus Foundation.
Centers of Collaboration and the Rise of the Washington Color School
By Miriam Grotte-Jacobs, PhD candidate in art history, Johns Hopkins University
Oil Field Art and Alexandre Hogue's Land Ethic (published in spring 2020 issue of Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 59, no. 1)
By Michaela Rife, PhD candidate in art history, University of Toronto
Triptychs at War: Violet Oakley’s Victory (published in spring 2018 issue of Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 57, no. 1)
By Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, PhD candidate in art history, University of Delaware
“Draw a Straight Line and Follow It (Repeat)”: Walter De Maria’s Cricket Music and Ocean Music, 1964–1968
By Amanda Dalla Villa Adams, PhD candidate in art history, Virginia Commonwealth University
By Christina Weyl, PhD candidate in art history, Rutgers University
By Katherine Jentleson, PhD candidate in art history, Duke University
By Meredith A. Brown, PhD candidate in art history, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
By Jennifer Stettler Parsons, PhD candidate in art history, University of Virginia