Staging Modernism at the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History and Archaeology


This project considers how the fine arts exhibition at the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) responded to the Armory Show of 1913, as well as other exhibition venues for contemporary art in America, in order to promote a broader definition and understanding of "modern" art to a mass audience. Drawing upon theories concerning visuality, spectatorship, consumption, and the institutionalization of culture, the study examines the ways in which the installation and interpretive practices employed at the PPIE made modern art accessible and acceptable to American viewers. The project includes analyses of fine art guidebooks and how they organized, controlled, and encouraged certain kinds of viewing experiences of the exhibition; the Sargent and Bellows galleries as case studies in how the single-artist rooms were organized and received; the commercial aspects of the art exhibition at the PPIE; and the influence of the Exposition on the acquisition and exhibition practices of American museums.