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Skidmore College
Art History

Seniors' Research Projects

Helena Meier Senior Research Project 

Helena Meier – student

Mary Cassatt's Representations of Modern Women

My project focuses on the Impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt, and her depictions of bourgeois women at the opera in Paris. Her work offers fascinating representations of modernity and also reveals how a female artist engaged with issues of female display and objectification.

Mary Cassatt
In the Loge, 1878
from the Hayden Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Laila Morgan Senior Research Project

Laila Morgan - student

Birthing Bodies: The Pregnant, Birthing, and Postpartum Body in Modern and Contemporary Art

My virtual exhibition comprises nine artworks that depict the pregnant, birthing, and postpartum body. The essays accompanying the exhibition put the biological facets of motherhood in dialogue with broader historical and cultural themes. Given how few artistic works exist on this subject, I seek to address the broader disconnect between feminism and motherhood, and motherhood and art.
Film still from Stan Brakhage's Window Water Baby Moving (1959)

Lindsey Poremba Senior Research Project

Lindsey Poremba - student

Photographing the “Foreign”: Portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants

My project analyzes the portraits by Augustus Sherman, a clerk and amateur photographer at Ellis Island at the turn of the twentieth century, as a reflection of prevailing thought about pseudoscience and race theory. Most notably, Sherman’s photographs were used by publications such as National Geographic to accompany articles expressing concern about the heavy influx of immigrants. His photographs of otherness and difference proved significant for contemporary readers.

Protestant Woman from Zuid-Beveland, Province of Zeeland
Date: 1905-1917
Gelatin Silver print
Image from: The Metropolitan Museum of Art