Recent Student Work

Seniors majoring in art history write a thesis of no fewer than 30 pages (50 pages for those pursing honors) that addresses specific works, artists, themes, methodological approaches, and contexts of images produced around the world and during a vast span of time. Since 2007, art history majors have written original interpretations on the following topics:

2017

  • "Visualizing a Race and Documenting a Culture: Winold Reiss's Blackfeet Portraits from 1920 - 1928" (Honors Thesis) Peyton E. Bryant
  • "Vulnerability and Coyness: Raja Ravi Varma's Oil Paintings of the Female Nude in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries'" (Honors Thesis) Helen Clay
  • "A New Way of Looking: Iconography, Formalism and the Subversion of Allegory in Vermeer's The Art of Painting," (Honors Thesis) Arianna India Dial
  • "Trick Me in Love: A Study of Correggio's Loves of Jove," (Honors Thesis) Padget Sutherland
  • "Murayama Tomoyoshi and 'Constructivism': Life through the Prism of the Theater," (Honors Thesis) Kasiet Toktomusheva
  • "The Art of Lying, Cheating, and Stealing: Redefining Appropriation," Sonia Brozak
  • "Richard Prince's New Portraits: The Inevitable Curation of the Photograph," Sophie Epstien
  • "Cashing in on Culture: The Function of Corporate Art Collections," Cyrus Gaines Felfeli
  • "Reframing Cornell: A Formal(ist) Departure form Surrealism," Catherine Fonvielle
  • "Contemporary Depictions of Sexual Assault on American College Campuses: How Emma Sulkowicz and Violet Overn Identify Universities as Complicit Accomplices in Campus Rape," Camille LeJeune
  • "Context and Viewer Reception: Olafur Eliasson at the Château of Versailles," Emma Payne
  • "Art of the Tibetan Disenfranchised: An Analysis of Tenzing Rigdol's Collages," Allison Smith
  • "The Democratization of American Art: Horatio Greenough's George Washington and the Era of the Common Man," Dylan Thomas Stroud
  • "At the Forefront of Feminism: William Merritt Chase and the American New Woman," Sarah Wagner

2016

  • "The Careful Crafting of a Utopia: Yves Klein and the Anthropometric Event of March 9, 1960," Sarah Bartlett
  • "The Power of Objects: An Exploration into the Work of Chiharu Chiota," Christina Cheadle
  • "A Climax of Bohemia: An Echo of Toulouse-Lautrec and Nonconformity," Natania Greenspan
  • "'Piping' in Jan Steen's As the Old Sing So Pipe the Young," Kendall Knoll
  • "Politicizing Rene Magritte's Vache Period," Laura Lemon
  • "Artemisia Gentileschi in London: Patronage and Political Propaganda," Ashley Little
  • "Pubic Hair, Public Outcry: Modigilani's Obscene Exhibition of 1917," Pauline Marting
  • "The State of Religion in Contemporary Art," Nathaniel Purdy
  • "China for the West: Ni Haifeng's Mediation of Identity Through Porcelain," Hannah Wilson
  • "Casta Painting: Spanish Power and Dutch Antecedents," Katlyn Wolfe 

2015

  • "Gonkar Gyatso: A Decolonialist Exploration if 'No Man's Land'," Victoria Andrews
  • "Contemporary Chinese Landscapes: Sociopolitical Criticisms that Bypass Government Censorship," Julia Arena
  • "Signs of Yuan Dynasty Imperialism in Tibet: Decoding the Fourteenth-Century painted Representations of Textiles at Shalu Monastery" Betsy Cribb
  • "We Warred Over Art: Pandemonium at Le Sacre du Printemps," Blair Davis
  • "'I believe only in the supreme reality of tradition': Salvador Dali's Return to Classical Religious Art in 1941" Suzanne Drennen
  • "The Personalization of Honoré Daumier's Les Gens de Justice and Its Cumulative Effect on Political Opinion Prior To the February 1848 Revolution in France," Caroline Hardin
  • "Beautiful Bodies: The Photography of Leni Riefenstahl," Kristina Johansson
  • "Edward Hopper and the Cinema," Colton Klein
  • "Pachakuti's Machu Pichu: Royal Estate and Ceremonial Center," Megan Shearer
  • "Gendered Spaces: The Role of Sex and Gender in College Residence Halls," Catherine Willett 

2014

  • "I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Revelry Scenes from Buddhist India," Ellen Archie
  • "The Palazzo del Tè: Mannerist Spectators in the Absence of Frames," Lauren Boone
  • "Art and Nationalism in Austria: The Use of Gustav Klimt's Work to Define Austrian National Identity During World War II and the Independent Republic of Austria," Ali Burner
  • "Issues of Authorship in the Collaborative East Village, Beijing: An Analysis of the Relationship between the Performer, Zhang Huan, and Photographer, Rong Rong," Cameron Dorsey
  • "Mark Chagall on the Cross: Trauma and Changeable Icons," Audrey Humleker
  • "The Social and Educative Qualities of the Great Wall of Los Angeles," Virginia McGarry
  • "Surrealism and Sacred Space: The Object and Sagrada Família's Architecture," Caroline Morgan
  • "The Land of the Stars: The Origin of Cy Twombly' Aesthetic," Sally Nexsen 

2013

  • "Fountains, Feet, Files, and Felt: An Exploration of the Duchamp-Morris Legacy," Gregory Barton
  • "The Democratization of Art: The Fusion of Art and Business in the Work of Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami," Victoria Burch
  • "Anne Boleyn and Hans Holbein, An Interaction that Determined the Face of English Court Portraiture," Parker Chambers
  • "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Examination of Rembrandt's Monumental Female Nudes as Storytelling Women," Katherine Cole
  • "Akbar's Painted Empire: Construction and Conquest in the Akbarnama," Emelia Curry
  •  "The Stories Behind the Faces of Tibet: The Portraits of Tsewang Tashi and Nortse,"  Sirocco Hamada-Sweren.
  •  "Using Caspar David Friedrich to Legitimize German Art in the Early Twentieth Century," Ann Marie Haynie
  • "How Paolo Veronese Combined Painting, Architecture, and Theater in Sixteenth-Century Venice," Leigh Kendrick
  • "The Unicorn Tapestries: More than Medieval Romance," Caroline Kingsbery
  • "Why Jasper Johns Chose Fall," Stephanie Krasnov
  • "Colliding Cultures at Chora Church," Kathryn Marsh-Soloway
  • "First and Lasting Impressions: A Tupinambá Magus in the Retábulo de Viseu (1502-1506)," Teresa Soley (Honors Thesis)
  • "The Instructional Purpose of Porcelain in Rococo Painting:  Informing Good and Bad Behavior Through Dining and Gender Roles," Ellen Stauffer
  • "The Advent of the Poster Tradition in Post-Revolutionary Cuba," Katherine Trigg
  • "Finding Continuity and Harmony: Le Corbusier's Religious Commissions at Ronchamp and La Tourette," Yoon Min Um

2012

  • "Mary Cassatt's Depictions of Mothers and Children 1893-1910," Ann R. Moore
  • "Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone: Independent and Groundbreaking Female Collectors," Laura W. Stephens
  • "The Art Students League of New York, Gertrude Whitney, and the Contemporary Art Culture of the United States," Emily F. Rigamer
  • "A Drop of Innovation Rippling Through the Traditional Current: Contemporary Raku Pottery," Anne H. Stevenson
  • "Images of the Bible: Alan Corwin's Collection on Jewish Art Including Theo Tobiasse, Ben Shahn, Sadao Watanabe, and March Chagall," (Honors Thesis) Christina I. Lawrence
  • "Destruction and Preservation: Tensions and Trends in Ai Weiwei's Art (2000-2010)," Rachel E. Denniston
  • "Reevaluating Peripheral Sources: The Impact of David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Celemente Orozco on Jackson Pollock," (Honors Thesis) John R. Wuestling 

2011

  • "Divine Intervention: Visionary Imagery and Authority at the Convent of San Domenico of Pisa," (Honors Thesis) Celeste Cruz-Carandang
  • "Accessing the Divine: Private Devotional Diptychs and Triptychs of Fifteenth-Century Flanders," (Honors Thesis) Blakeley Simpson
  • "Marital Artwork in 15th Century Florence: Marital Duties Depicted through Cassone Paintings of The Rape of the Sabine Women," Poppy Hall
  • "Finding Agency and Identity: Artistic Patronage by and for Eleonora of Toledo," Jean Chapman
  • "The General's House: The Lee House as Building, Home, and Shrine," (Honors Thesis) Christian Roden
  • "Vincent L. Bradford and his Painting Collection," (Honors Thesis) Lauren R. Sturdy
  • "From Lexington to the Luxembourg Gardens: An Artist Rediscovered," (Honors Thesis) Katie Gephart
  • "Picasso's Guernica and the Shift of Meaning," Merritt Poling
  • "Frida Kahlo: Creating Her Own Identity," Margaret Alden Denny
  • "Two Profiles of Southern Female Outsider Artists: Clementine Hunter and Sister Gertrude Morgan," Sarah Catherine Welch
  • "Cy Twombly: Lost in Translation," Mary Morgan Radcliff
  • "Critiques of a Strategist: Jean-Michel Basquiat," (Honors Thesis) Yasmine Espert 

2010

  • "Land, Women, and Power: The Bayeux Tapestry and the Secular Epic Tradition," (Honors Thesis) Jane Bouch
  • "Danae: Princess of Illicit Sex Culture in the Renaissance," Sarah Hardin-White
  • "French Culinary Still Life from 1850-1900: An Economic, Political, and Social Exploration," Carolyn Lee Adamik
  • "The Birth of the Modern Book: Re-reading Vollard's livres d'artistes," (Honors Thesis) Natalie Bunnell
  • "Multiple Solutions to the 'Problem of the Window': A Historiographic Approach to Réne Magritte's Painting-within-Paintings," (Honors Thesis) Molly Harrington
  • "Mussolini's 'Will to Empire'" The 1932 Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution (Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista) and Fascism's Colonization of Imperial Rome," Jessica Brenner
  • "Meditation in Art: A Common Thread between Abstract Expressionism and the Zenga Art of in Buddhism," Elizabeth Mann
  • "Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend's Joint Control Over the 1960's Modern Art Market," Katie Dunphy
  • "The Blurred Boundaries of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Public Art," Jennifer Wright
  • "Art in the Wild(er)ness: Andy Goldsworthy's Art & the Green Movement," Garrott McCintock

2009

  • "Food and Female Spirituality in The Tree of Life," Mary Katie Tabb
  • "Painted Propaganda: The Spanish Chapel," Allison Rigsbee
  • "Fra Angelico and Gradual 558," (Honors Thesis) Brittany Simpson
  • "Depictions of the Muslim 'Other' in the Art of the Venetian Scuole: A Study of the Relationship between Cinquecento Venice and the Ottoman Empire," (Honors Thesis) Mallory Ruymann
  • "Angelica Kauffman: A Woman Artist in an Age of Men," Catherine Hook
  • "The Effect of Haussmannization on the Notion of the Gaze and Motion in Impressionist Painting: Renoir, Degas, Caillebotte," Jennifer Jack
  • "Exploring the Response to Architectural Absolutes: A.J. Downing in Lexington, Virginia," Liza Morten
  • "The Lasting Impact of Building Contractors W.W. and Francis Coffey on the Community of Lexington, Virginia," Emily Wallace
  • "Cross-Dressing in the Portraits of Romaine Brooks: The Evolution Towards an Androgynous Female Identity," Saya Clancy
  • "Exploring a Pop Patron's Legacy: Redefining Robert C. Scull," Kasey Sherrick
  • "Sydney and Frances Lewis: The 'Best' Postmodern Patrons," Elizabeth Spears
  • "Banksy: A Redefinition of Graffiti," Laura Maurer 

2008

  • "Championing American Art in the 20th Century: The Lives and Businesses of Edith Gregor Halpert and Betty Parsons," Lizzy Appel
  • "The Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art: An Exploration of Americanism," Amanda Askew
  • "Breast Imagery During the French Revolution," Christina Michelle Bortner
  • "DeWitt Clinton's Immortals: The Meaning behind the Eight Immortals Motif on the Platter of an American Statesman," Kathryn Carmody
  • "In the Hands of the Oungans and Mambos: Haitian Identity Through Voudou Art," Megann Daw, 2008
  • "Cezanne's Use of Color and Space: A Historiography of Interpretations of the Mont Sainte-Victoire Series," Gregory Elkins
  • "The Nine Friends of Suzhou: A Study of Traditional Chinese Fan Painting from the Qing Dynasty in the Groke Mickey Collection at Washington and Lee University," Madeline Gent, Honors Thesis
  • "Leonora and Mexico: A Surreal Cultural Merger," Maureen Grant
  • "Lee Krasner: Casting Her Own Shadow," Emily Grimball
  • "The Career of Julian Schnabel as a Model of Cultural Production in Late Capitalism," Inslee Haynes
  • "The Borgia Apartments as Propaganda for Pope Alexander VI," Lisa Leonard
  • "Paul Poiret and the Ballet Russes: Changing the World of Art," Elizabeth Barret Matthews
  • "From Heracles to Superman: A Look at the Connection Between Ancient Greek and American Comic Book Superheroes," Colette Moryan
  • "Diane Arbus: In Private, Public and Perspective," Jacqueline Neilson
  • "Confronting the Chapman Brothers: A Postmodernist Question of Values" Marguerite S. Nugent, Gerard Doyon Award for Art Historical Writing
  • "Yoko Ono: Giving Performance Peace a Chance," Lauren Sapikowski, Honors Thesis
  • "Right Out of History and Back Again: The Journey of Judy Chicago's Dinner Party and the Feminist Movement," Caitlin Smith
  • "A Structuralist Pursuit of Meaning in the Works of Richard Diebenkorn, "Polly Smith
  • "For the Love of God! The Dualism of Damien Hirst in the Realm of Consumer Culture," Devin Wilkins