Jennifer Way, associate professor of art history, received a Terra Foundation for American Art Senior Fellow award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to support research for a book project.
Her book project is titled Politics of the Handmade: The Significance of Southeast Asian Handicraft for America, ca. 1955-1961. She will take the fellowship in late spring and summer of 2011.
The Terra Foundation for American Art, which funds the fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, seek to foster a cross-cultural dialogue about the history of art of the United States up to 1980. The fellowships support work by scholars from abroad who are researching American art or by U.S. scholars, especially those who are investigating international contexts for American art.
Way's book project is the first-ever research project to inquire about the political and cultural significance of making, circulating, exhibiting and consuming handicrafts as part of U.S.-Vietnam relations during a period marked by an intensification in Cold War diplomacy. This period was between the end of the first Indochina War, when the French departed Vietnam in 1954 and Vietnam divided at the 17th Parallel a year later, and the early 1960s, when the Vietnam War began.