May 09, 2019

Getty Research Institute Announces 2019/2020 Scholars

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Amy Hood
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Getty Communications



Tavares Strachan will be the artist-in-residence for the scholar year, the theme for which is Art and Ecology



Tavares Strachan, ENOCH (display unit), 2015-2017, Isolated Labs, 

created in collaboration with LACMA as part of the Art+Technology initiative, 

photo © Museum Associates/LACMA   


Los Angeles, CA – The Getty Research Institute announced today the 43 incoming scholars who will be conducting research at the Getty under the theme Art and Ecology for the 2019/2020 scholar year. The artist-in-residence will be Tavares Strachan.

            “Every year the Getty Research Institute hosts an impressive, international group of scholars who use our resources to conduct fascinating research on a broad range of topics, enriching the field but also enlivening our scholarly community,” said Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research Institute. “This year’s theme addresses the urgency of today’s ecological issues as well as the history of visual culture as it relates to the natural world. I look forward to seeing the work our scholars generate in their time at the Getty.”

The 2019/2020 scholar-year theme invites scholars to address the strategies and forms through which ecological concepts are generated, adopted, staged, and negotiated in the realm of the visual arts and architecture. The intersections of art and ecology raise important questions about how artistic practices engage humanity’s place in nature and the deep entanglements of natural and cultural formations throughout history.
            “The Scholars Program, which is open to scholars of all experience levels, is very competitive. They bring a range of expertise and of interesting topics – from courtly art in 15th century Europe to art relating to the Amazon, from antiquities to modern architecture, and even projects that envision art and environment in the future,” said Alexa Sekyra, head of the Scholars Program at the GRI. “The scholars are a crucial part of daily life at the Getty Research Institute. We look forward to their insights and ideas and we strive to share our resources and expertise with them, giving them the space to conduct cultural research at the highest level.”

From Paleolithic figurines to sculptural interventions in the landscape, or from sacred gardens to the golden ratio in architecture, ecological considerations in art range from the stylistic to the geopolitical, from the material to the philosophical. This multivalent discourse on art and ecology incorporates conservation efforts in the age of the Anthropocene as well as critical endeavors to decentralize the human in favor of the animal, the natural, or the post-human. At the same time, technological advances in archaeology, climate science, and the digital humanities are opening new pathways to ecological understanding and merit scholarly reflection. 

Artist-in-residence Tavares Strachan (b. 1979 Nassau, The Bahamas) lives and works in New York. His ambitious and open-ended practice examines the intersection of art, science, and the environment, and has included collaborations with numerous organizations and institutions across the disciplines.

The 2019/2020 Scholars in Residence are:

Getty Scholars


Amanda Boetzkes is Associate Professor in the College of Arts at the University of Guelph, Canada. Her research focuses on theories of ecology and perception. 
Ecologicity, Vision and Art for a World to Come

Alan Braddock is the Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. His research focuses on American art and critical theory. 
Implication: Theory and Practice in Ecocritical Art History

Mónica Domínguez Torres is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware, Newark. Her research focuses on the early modern Iberian world. 
Pearls for the Crown: European Courtly Art and the Atlantic Pearl Trade, 1498–1728

Julia Drost is Director of Research at Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris, France. Her research focuses on the history of the avant-garde and art criticism. 
Utopias and Dystopias of Nature. Ecological Thought in Surrealism

Laura Frahm is Associate Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her research centers on film, media theory, architecture, and urbanism. 
Nature is Design: Living Architectures, Organic Design, and Ecological Media after the Bauhaus

Nazar Kozak is Senior Researcher in the Department of Art History in the Ethnology Institute at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Lviv. A specialist in Byzantine and post-Byzantine art in Eastern Europe, his research focuses on contemporary art. 
Surmounting the Chernobyl: Artistic Responses to Ecological Disaster

James Nisbet (Consortium Scholar) is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. His research centers on modern and contemporary art and theory with an emphasis on environmental history and the history of photography. 
Ecology against Modernism: Visual Media and the Vitality of Knowledge in the Transatlantic Nineteenth Century

Sugata Ray is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on South and Southeast Asian art and architecture. 
Matter, Material, Materiality: Indian Ocean Art Histories in the Early Modern World, 1500–1800

Postdoctoral Fellows


Grace Kim is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the anthropology of art and science. 
Cultures on Culture: Biofilm, Conservation, and the Interface of Art and Environment

Camila Maroja is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University, Canada. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art with emphasis on Latin America. 
Into the Amazon: Nature as a Model to Art

Jason Nguyen is a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on the history of architecture. 
Architecture in the Face of Disaster: Buildings, Cities, and Natural Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

Predoctoral Fellows


Sophia Farmer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 
Il Naturismo Futurista: Fascism, Ecology, and Nature 

Michaela Rife is a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art at the University of Toronto, Canada. 
Public Art, Private Land: Settler Colonialism, Art and Land Use on the Great Plains

Omar Olivares Sandoval is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 
Landscape Aesthetics and Humboldtean Science in the Americas: Félix Émile Taunay, Rafael Troya and José Maria Velasco

Volkswagen Foundation Fellow


Jesús Muñoz Morcillo is a Research Associate and Lecturer at the Institut für Kunst- und Baugeschichte at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany. 
Ecphrastic Ecology in Renaissance Visual Culture

Guest Scholars


T. J. Demos is Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on modern and contemporary art in relation to ecology, globalization, and political conflicts. 
Radical Futurisms: Contemporary Art, Political Ecology, and Worlds to Come

Denver Graninger (Villa) is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on the social and political implications of Greek religion. 
Thracian Shatter Zones: Empires and Resistance

Kellie Jones is Professor of Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, New York. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art of African American and African Diaspora artists, and of Latinx and Latin American artists.

Art is An Excuse, Conceptual Strategies


Barbara Murovec is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. Her research focuses on collecting and patronage, provenance research, artistic migration, art and politics, historiography and methodology of art history. 
Connecting Collecting and Provenance Research (Slovenia/Ex-Yugoslavia, Eastern Europe) 

Tavares Strachan (Artist-in-Residence) lives and works in New York. Strachan received a B.F.A. in Glass in 2003 from Rhode Island School of Design, and a M.F.A. in Sculpture in 2006 from Yale University. Strachan’s ambitious and open-ended practice examines the intersection of art, science, and the environment, and has included collaborations with numerous organizations and institutions across the disciplines.

His work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including Invisibles, Regen Projects; Always, Sometimes, Never, Frye Art Museum; Polar Eclipse, The Bahamas National Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale 2013; Seen/Unseen, Undisclosed Exhibition, New York; Orthostatic Tolerance: It Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea if I Never Went Home Again, MIT List Visual Arts Center.  Selected group exhibitions include May You Live in Interesting Times, 58th International Art Exhibition, 2019 Venice Biennale; Encyclopedia of Invisibility, 57th Edition Carnegie International; I AM, Desert X, You Belong Here, New Orleans Prospect 3. Biennale; The Immeasurable Daydream, Biennale de Lyon.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2018 Inaugural Allen Institute Artist in Residence, 2018 Frontier Art Prize Recipient, 2014 LACMA Art + Technology Lab Artist Grant, 2008 Tiffany Foundation Grant, 2007 Grand Arts Residency Fellowship, and 2006 Alice B. Kimball Fellowship.



Connecting Art Histories Scholars

Vera Beatriz Siqueira is Senior Professor in the Department of History of Art at Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil. She specializes in modern and contemporary art in Brazil.

Art and Nature: The Ecological Concept of Form of Roberto Burle Marx



Chen Liu is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Tsinghua University, China. She specializes in art, architecture and urbanism in early modern Europe and the reception of the Renaissance in twentieth-century China. 

Renaissance in Reflection: A Comparative Study of Modern Chinese and Western Interpretations



President’s International Council Scholars


Katherine Boo is an investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author based in Washington, D.C. Her work documents the experiences of the disadvantaged populace. 
Host Department: Office of the President

Sunil Khilnani is Professor of Politics and Director of King’s College London India Institute, England. His research focuses on intellectual history and the study of political thought. 
Host Department: Office of the President

Earl Powell III is Director Emeritus and the longest serving Director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
Host Department: Office of the President

Museum Guest Scholars


Desmond Shawe-Taylor is Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures in London, England. 
Host Department: Paintings

Matthew Hayes is Director of the Pietro Edwards Society for Art Conservation, New York, New York. 
Host Department: Paintings Conservation

Koenraad Brosens is Associate Professor and Chair of Art History at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. 
Host Department: Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Simone Porcinai is Director of Chemistry Laboratory II in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure at the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Florence, Italy. 
Host Department: Decorative Arts Conservation

Anastasios Antonaras is Head of Exhibitions, Communication and Education and Curator of Ancient and Byzantine Glass Collection at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece. 
Host Department: Antiquities

Hinrich Sieveking is an independent scholar based in Munich, Germany. 
Host Department: Drawings

Eva Hoffman is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. 
Host Department: Manuscripts

Philip Brookman is Consulting Curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
Host Department: Photographs

Petya Penkova is Assistant Professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria. 
Host Department: Antiquities Conservation

The Classical World in Context: Thrace (Villa)


The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2019/2020 term will consider the ancient culture of Thrace, in particular its relations to its southern neighbor Greece and, in a later period, Rome. The Thracians feature prominently in Greek history and are well attested in literature, art, and archaeology. No doubt interacting already in the Bronze Age, Thracians had particularly close relations with the Greek colonists who settled along the Black Sea coast in the seventh century BC, including those who took an interest in the gold and silver mines in Thracian territory. Although adversaries during the Persian Wars, Thracians were later employed as soldiers to fight beside the Athenians and became a familiar sight in Greece. The Odrysian kingdom united the various Thracian tribes in the mid-fifth century BC and survived into the first century AD. The rich archaeological remains of Thrace, including royal burials with superb gold, silver, and bronze works, attest to the sophistication of the culture, which combined local, Greek, and Persian elements. In turn, Thracian religion, including Orphic beliefs and the worship of the goddess Bendis, had a profound influence in Greece. 

Priority will be given to research projects that are cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, and that utilize a wide range of archaeological, textual, and other evidence. 

Getty Scholars


Zosia Archibald is Senior Lecturer in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Liverpool, England. Her research focuses on classical archaeology of southern Europe and the Aegean. 
Orphic Echoes: Divine, Human, and Animal Interactions in Ancient Thrace 

Amalia Avramidou is Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece. Her research focuses on cultural exchanges and appropriations of Thrace. 
Greek Theater and Ancient Thrace: An Overview of the Archaeology, Iconography and Literature

Dimitris Matsas is an independent scholar based in Komotini, Greece. His research focuses on Greek-Thracian cult relations, particularly in the area of Ismaros. 
Thracians and Greeks in Thrace and Samothrace: Aspects of Cult 

Emil Nankov is an independent scholar from Sofia, Bulgaria. His research centers on the effects of military mobility on local political and cultural landscapes. 
Within a Throw’s Reach: Sling Bullet Messages of Shared Pasts

Ivo Topalilov is Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at Shumen University, Bulgaria. His research focuses on ancient propaganda during the 2nd century. 
The Foundation Myth as a Source for the Ethnicity of the Intellectual Elite in Roman Thrace

Despoina Tsiafaki is Classical Archaeologist and Director of Research at the Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies, Marousi, Greece. Her archaeological research centers on ancient Greece, Thrace and the North Aegean area. 
Greeks and Myths Travel to Thrace

Julia Tzvetkova is Assistant Professor of Ancient History at Sofia University, "St. Kliment Ohridski," Bulgaria. Her research focuses on the historical geography of ancient Thrace and ancient settlement patterns. 
The Hemidrachms of the Thracian Chersonese: Iconography, Design and Interpretation

Predoctoral Fellow


Matthew Schueller is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Public Entertainment Venues as Urban Network Actors in Roman Macedonia and Thrace




The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library—housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier—is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library’s special collections include rare books, artists’ journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.


The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that include the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

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