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Harrison Awards for Excellence in Art History Research Announced

Winners of the Harrison Award for Excellence in Research have been announced for the 26th Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History. Nadia DelMedico, graduate student in art history at The University of Alabama, won first place for her original research on the African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner. In the essay, “Finding Religion in Genre: Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Moroccan Scene,” DelMedico focused on a painting of Tanner’s in the collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art which has not been written about by art historians. DelMedico said, “There were so many excellent papers delivered by my fellow graduate students at the symposium, so it’s a huge honor to be given this award.”

DelMedico received her BA in art history from UA, where she won the Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for her undergraduate research on the history of slavery on The University of Alabama campus and slavery in Alabama. DelMedico’s graduate research focuses on American art in the long nineteenth century, particularly around ideas of travel, transatlantic exchange, race and identity, and immigrant and expatriate groups. Her thesis discusses the creative relationships between Italian immigrants and free artists of color in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century New Orleans.

photo of Nadia DelMedico
Nadia DelMedico

The Harrison Award was begun in 2015 by Jim Harrison III to recognize excellence in art history research.

  • First Place: Nadia DelMedico (The University of Alabama) “Finding Religion in Genre: Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Moroccan Scene”
  • Second Place: Elizabeth Orlofsky (The University of Alabama) “The Soul’s Sensational Journey Through the Portal at Kilpeck Church”
  • Third Place: Lindsey Reynolds (University of Houston) “Co-opted Networks: Intersections between Mail Art, Fluxus, and Beau Geste Press”
  • Honorable Mention: Noah Dassinger (University of Georgia) “Epigraphic Disparities in the Tomb of Leonardo Bruni: Understanding Tradition and its Relation to the Tomb’s Iconography and Choice of Lettering Style”
  • Honorable Mention: Meghan Ruyle (The University of Alabama) “In the Spotlight: The Enterprise of “Madame d’Ora” in Fin-de-siècle Vienna”

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Associate Professor Dr. Lucy Curzon reported that online hosting of the symposium allowed the organizers to present a greater range of topics to a much larger number of participants. “While academia has faced many challenges resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic,” Curzon explained, “this symposium has passed a significant and hopeful milestone: our meeting this year has the largest participation in terms of panelists and registrants in the conference’s history.”

The Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History was organized by the departments of art and art history at The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995. The schools have alternated hosting campuses each year. The symposium provides MA students an opportunity to present research, critically engage with one another, and hear and be heard by eminent scholars working in the field of art history. The symposium is part of UA’s and UAB’s Joint Program for the MA in Art History. For more information, go here.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in art history and studio art, visit our Degree Programs page.