The Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Fellowship in Modern and Contemporary Art History, which supports research and teaching on topics in American, European, or nonwestern art of all media form 1780 to the present, was awarded to Dr. Kate Cowcher. Kate Cowcher completed her PhD at Stanford University in 2017, writing her dissertation on art and visual culture during the Ethiopian Revolution. She is currently working on a manuscript based upon her doctoral work, which will incorporate new research conducted at the Library of Congress and Howard University. In addition, she recently submitted an article for consideration to a major art history journal on the parallel projects of Soviet and American Africanist art historical research and writing during the Cold War period. In August 2017 she chaired a panel on socialist aesthetics in Africa at the Arts Council of the African Studies Association meeting in Accra, Ghana. In November 2017 she will present research at the "Multiple Modernisms" conference at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and the conference on "State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism" at the University of Exeter, UK. In the Spring semester she will teach an undergraduate seminar entitled "African Modernisms" at the Phillips Collection.
The Fellowship in Virtual Culture, which supports research and experimentation with emerging technologies, was awarded to Dr. Nicole Riesenberger. As a Graduate Assistant in Digital Art History, Dr. Riesenberger has worked in the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture at the University of Maryland to implement digital initiatives for art and museum education. In this role, she helped to develop and execute an interactive augmented reality application that improves experience and accessibility for visitors to the Riversdale House Museum.
During her fellowship, Dr. Riesenberger will work closely with the Phillips’s curatorial, education, and AV staff, as well as with UMD’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, to create augmented and virtual reality projects for the museum, with attention to evaluating impacts of new technologies on visitors. In the spring of 2017, Dr. Riesenberger will also teach a course on museum technology that will offer students hands-on experience building and creating content for ongoing digital engagement projects at the Phillips.