Current and Former Fellows

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Each year, the Art Institute hosts interns and fellows through multiple training programs, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Chicago Objects Study Initiative, the Rhoades Foundation Curatorial Internship, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship.
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Andrew W. Mellon Chicago Objects Study Initiative (COSI) Predoctoral Research Fellowships and Curatorial Internships

  • 2018–19 (current fellows)

    Hanne Graversen

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Architecture and Design

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Graverson’s dissertation, “Interchanges: Construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System and Artistic Practice, 1956–84,” examines how the transforming landscape of the Interstate in the United States became both a medium and an object of inquiry for artists in the period.

  • 2018–19

    Brian T. Leahy

    COSI Curatorial Intern in the Department of Modern and Contemporary art

    A third-year PhD student in art history at Northwestern University, Leahy’s research focuses on art in the United States during the 1980s, with a particular interest in the role of public relations practices for artists and art institutions.

  • 2018–19

    Scott David Miller

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of European Decorative Arts

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Miller’s research focuses on the built environment and material culture of late medieval domestic spaces. His dissertation, “The Château, the Landscape, and the Building of the Social Edifice in Valois France,” investigates how late medieval French rulers and their courtiers used the acts of building, the adornment of spaces and landscapes, and the selective occupation of castles to perform aspects of their identities.

  • 2018–19

    Nancy Thebaut

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Thebaut studies medieval art and architecture. Her dissertation, “Non est hic: Figuring Christ's Absence in Early Medieval Art,” examines images made c. 850–1050 in which Christ is visually absent or partially obscured from view.

  • 2018–19

    Christine Zappella

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Zappella’s dissertation, “Andrea del Sarto’s Monochrome Life of St. John the Baptist and Monochrome Painting in Renaissance Florence,” investigates the use of color by the city’s leading artists to comment on the shifting theoretical, theological, and political ideologies of Renaissance Florence.

Previous Fellows

  • 2017–18

    Antawan I. Byrd

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Photography

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Byrd’s research focuses on modern and contemporary art of Africa and the African Diaspora. His dissertation, “Interferences: Sound, Technology, and the Politics of Listening in Afro-Atlantic Art,” examines how artists in Bamako, Port of Spain, and New York combine sound and visual technologies to engage profound moments of political change in the 20th century.

  • 2017–18

    Laurel Garber

    COSI Curatorial Intern in the Department of Prints and Drawings

    A PhD student in art history at Northwestern University, Garber studies histories of printmaking and print culture in early modern and 19th-century France.

  • 2017–18

    Solveig Nelson

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art

    A PhD candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Nelson’s dissertation "The Whole World is (Still) Watching: the Televisual, Early Video Art, Nonviolent Direct Action, 1930s-1970s" positions early video art as an aesthetic response to television played out in multiple media, thus opening up arenas of action, vision and thought not previously counted within the history of video.

  • 2017–18

    Xi Zhang

    COSI Research Fellow in the departments of Asian Art and European Decorative Arts

     A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Zhang’s dissertation “Mapping Entertainment Spaces in Changing Shanghai, 1850s–1920s,” explores the role of entertainment spaces in the construction of distinct cultural identities in imperial-republican transitional Shanghai.

  • 2016–17

    Jadine Collingwood

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Collingwood’s dissertation, “‘A Tragic Suburban Mentality’: Managerial Lyricism in Contemporary Art,” considers the work of Liam Gillick, Matthew Barney, and Pierre Huyghe within the context of 90s-era neoliberalism and the development of networked communication technologies.

  • 2016–17

    Anne Feng

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Asian Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Feng’s dissertation, titled “Waters on the Wall: Producing the Pure Land in 7th- to 10th- Century Mogao, Dunhuang,” is a study of changing conceptions of cave space at Dunhuang.

  • 2016–17

    Julia Oswald

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Oswald’s dissertation, “Sachreliquien and the Rhetorics of the Real and Imagined Treasury, 1100–1600,” examines the growing range of iconographies developed to depict the relics of the Passion.

  • 2016–17

    Emily Wood

    Curatorial Intern in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Wood studies the art and architecture of early modern Spain and Italy. Her dissertation research examines the artistic and political interactions between the Habsburg court in Madrid and the Medici court in Florence during the reign of Philip II (r. 1556–98).

  • 2015–16

    John Murphy

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of American Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Murphy’s dissertation, “Back to the Garden: Craft, Modernism, and the Making of Woodstock’s Visual Counterculture, 1902–69,” traces how early 20th-century American Arts and Crafts colonies generated the artistic counterculture that we now associate with Woodstock, promoting antimodernist values of handicraft, community, and a reverence for the natural world against the alienation and exploitation of urban-industrial society.

  • 2015–16

    Marin Sarvé-Tarr

    COSI Research Fellow in the department of Modern and Contemporary Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Sarvé-Tarr’s dissertation “Seizing the Everyday: Lettrist Film and the French Postwar Avant-Garde, 1946–1954,” studies how early Lettrist films by artists like Isidore Isou, Guy Debord, Yves Klein, Raymond Hains, and Jacques Villeglé participated in the French intellectual project of post–World War II reconstruction.

  • 2015–16

    Jin Xu

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Asian Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Xu’s dissertation, “Picturing an Afterlife on Stone: Stone Mortuary Equipment and the Visual and Material Culture of Early Medieval China,” probes three key concepts: material, medium, and space in stone mortuary equipment from the Northern Dynasties (AD 386–589) and Sui (AD 589–618) periods, including sarcophagi and mortuary couches.

  • 2015–16

    Aisha Motlani

    COSI Curatorial Intern in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Motlani studies 19th-century art, particularly British and French military and political imagery. She is in the early stages of research for her dissertation, which is tentatively titled “Visual Representations of the 1857 Indian ‘Mutiny’ in British Art.”

  • 2014–15

    Nicola Cronin Barham

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Cronin Barham’s dissertation “Ornament and Art Theory in Ancient Rome: An Alternative Classical Paradigm for the Visual Arts,” identifies an overlooked paradigm of visual culture in ancient Rome, one that celebrated the power of works of art to adorn their environment, conceptualizing them as ornamenta.

  • 2014–15

    Jennifer Cohen

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Photography

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Cohen’s dissertation “Surrealism and the Art of Consumption, 1924–69,” examines how, despite the movement's early forays into French communism, surrealists approached the selection and organization of their artistic techniques as a process of "consumption." 

  • 2014–15

    Maureen Warren

    COSI Research Fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings

    A doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, Warren’s dissertation “Politics, Punishment, and Prestige: Images of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the States Party in the Dutch Republic, 1618–1672” analyzes works of art about domestic political disputes in the Northern Netherlands during the 17th century.  

  • 2014–15

    Xinran Guo

    A doctoral student in art history at Northwestern University, Guo studies modern and contemporary Chinese art, especially contemporary art in China during the 1980s and after. Her dissertation is tentatively titled “Afterimages of Socialism: Contemporary Chinese Art from 2000 to 2008”.

Rhoades Foundation Curatorial Internship Alumni

  • 2017–18

    Meekyung MacMurdie

    Rhoades Curatorial Intern in the department of Textiles

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, MacMurdie studies premodern Islamic Art. Her dissertation, “Geometric Medicine: Aniconism and Arab Painting,” examines the use of pattern, proportion, and ornament in medieval Arabic diagrams and tables.

  • 2015–16

    Jadine Collingwood

    Rhoades Curatorial Intern in the Department of Architecture and Design

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Collingwood’s dissertation, “‘A Tragic Suburban Mentality’: Managerial Lyricism in Contemporary Art,” considers the work of Liam Gillick, Matthew Barney, and Pierre Huyghe within the context of 90s-era neoliberalism and the development of networked communication technologies. Collingwood continued her work with the museum as a 2016–17 COSI Fellow in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.  

  • 2014–15

    Hannah Klemm

    Rhoades Curatorial Intern in the Department of Prints and Drawings

    A doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Chicago, Klemm primarily researches the work of Sigmar Polke and other postwar German artists. Her dissertation is titled “Systems Depictions: A. R. Penck and the East German Underground, 1953-1980.”

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows

  • 2018–20 (current Fellows)

    Kayleigh Doyen

    Doyen is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studies art history and museum studies. A first-generation college student, Doyen has earned several scholarships while furthering her education, including from the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She developed a passion for museums while working as a technician at the Bay County Historical Society, and since beginning her undergraduate career, she has completed internships at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Outside of museum work, Kayleigh is a resident assistant with UIC Campus Housing and a fellow with America Needs You, a nonprofit providing professional development for low-income, first-generation college students. Doyen’s focus of study is contemporary American art and she is keen to orient her career towards elevating underrepresented narratives within American art museums. Her undergraduate thesis will discuss Latino Futurist interdisciplinary art in the United States circa 1960. At the Art Institute, she is currently mentored by Elizabeth McGoey, Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff Associate Curator of American Art.

  • 2018–20

    Isabella Ko

    Ko is an undergraduate student at Northwestern University, where she studies art history, with a minor in French and business. Her passions lie in probing the relationship between art and activism, the processes of place-making, and the possibilities for inclusive, collective learning and action. Ko views curation as a way of providing platforms for marginalized narratives and of strengthening solidarity among diverse communities. Outside of academics, she is a student docent at the Block Museum of Art, where she also served as a summer curatorial intern, conducting research for upcoming exhibitions and designing an audio as well as family guide for the museum’s sculpture garden. In addition, Isabella is deeply invested in community organizing on campus, involved in groups such as Asian Pacific American Coalition and Black Lives Matter NU and in campaigns relating to labor justice, immigration rights, and ethnic studies departmentalization. At the Art Institute, she is currently mentored by Erica Warren, assistant curator of textiles.

Previous Fellows

  • 2016–18

    Margarita Lizcano Hernandez

    Lizcano Hernandez completed her undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018. Her focus is on Latin American modern and contemporary art with an interest in Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and Guillermo Gomez-Peña. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Lizcano is also interested in the hybridity of both physical borders, such as the Mexico-US border, and metaphorical borders as they relate to issues of classism and colorism. Lizcano Hernandez is now working towards her MA degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her 2016–18 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in Photography, Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Department of the Arts of Africa and the Americas.

  • 2016–18

    Alejandra Vargas

    Vargas will complete her undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute in 2019. Prior to her fellowship at the Art Institute, Vargas was a two-year intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago where she and her peers, together called the Teen Creative Agency, explored the institution’s relationship to minority youth. Along with other participants, Vargas co-curated 21 Minus, an event that invited young people from around the city to take over the museum’s spaces. Vargas has also worked with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Learning and Public Engagement, exploring the ways that cultural institutions give back to and serve underrepresented communities. Her 2016–18 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in European Decorative Arts and Architecture and Design.

  • 2015–17

    Jarvis Boyland

    Jarvis Boyland completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Memphis with a major in studio art and a minor in art history in 2017. Boyland admires the work of Edgar Degas, David Hockney, Delacroix, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley. As a practicing painter, he is interested in contemporary genre painting and heavily inspired by working-class and social justice issues. Deeply committed to his painting practice, Boyland aims to also independently pursue curatorial endeavors. His 2015–17 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in American Art, Prints and Drawings, and the Department of Learning and Public Engagement.

  • 2015–17

    Yady Rivero

    Yady Rivero completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in 2017 with a major in art history and a specialization in Latin American art and media theory. Through her Mellon fellowship at the Art Institute, Rivero honed her expertise in film, video and new media and explored questions on museum public(s) and their relationship with the art institution. Her 2015–17 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in Architecture and Design, Prints and Drawings, and the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.

  • 2014–16

    Sarah Molina

    Molina completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in art history and minors in philosophy, politics, and economics in 2016. Her undergraduate thesis focused on boundaries and frontiers in the Mediterranean as delineated through her study of al-Idrisi’s medieval cartographic manuscript. Since completing the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship, Molina has embarked on a yearlong dual internship in both the curatorial and education departments at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and has returned to the Art Institute for the 2017–18 year as a Kress Interpretive Fellow, and most recently, as a National Science Foundation Fellow. Her 2014–16 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in Asian Art, the Department of European Painting and Sculpture, and the Department of Textiles.

  • 2014–16

    Sheridan Tucker Anderson

    Tucker Anderson completed her undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute in 2015 and earned a MA in the humanities from the University of Chicago in 2016. Her thesis focused on abstract painter Ed Clark’s shaped canvas Untitled (1957) that is part of the Art Institute’s contemporary collection. Since completing the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship, Tucker has been awarded the 2016–18 Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity in the Arts at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and has been selected as a Chicago Artists Coalition Hatch Projects 2016–17 Curatorial Resident. Tucker Anderson is now Assistant Director at Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago. Her 2014–16 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute involved curatorial projects with, and mentoring from, curators in American Art and the department of Modern and Contemporary Art.

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