Michelle Smiley (Ph.D. Candidate in History of Art) has accepted a position as the 2018-2020 Wyeth Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), located at the National Gallery in Washington DC. One fellowship is awarded annually for 24 months to support the advancement and completion of a doctoral dissertation on topics related to the art of the United States and the indigenous nations.
As a Wyeth Fellow Michelle plans to complete her dissertation on the development of photography in the United States. Her research seeks to de-center narratives that have emphasized Europe as the center of the development of the media. Instead, Michelle demonstrates the leading role of American artisans, chemists, and instrument-makers in making photography a media for mass-production. Focusing on artisans of the Philadelphia area, her work sees the development of the media as a practical work coordinating, rather than contrasting, the cultures of American science and art. Ultimately her dissertation illustrates the history of photography as a practice rather than a history of objects.
Before her fellowship begins, Michelle will present at a conference the conference ASAP/Amsterdam: As Slowly As Possible - A Symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam on May 26. Her talk, "Undoing Photographic Time: The Long Exposure and the Snapshot" looks at contemporary photographer Chris McCaw's long exposure photographs as a reception of Eadweard Muybridge's 1887 motion studies.