Visiting Fellows Announced for 2013-14

When did the aerial view develop? How was the Fascist regime’s obsession with youth and health reflected in its architecture? Beyond shelter, what other functions were served by the FSA migratory labor camps?

These are some of the topics that will be explored by the scholars who have been awarded research fellowships by The Wolfsonian for the 2013–14 academic year. Each scholar will be in residence at the museum for approximately three weeks in order to conduct research based on the museum’s collection.

“Our fellowship program is of great benefit to both the fellows and the museum. The fellowship allows scholars extensive access to the museum’s collection in order for them to conduct research that is singular to The Wolfsonian,” explains Jon Mogul, assistant director for research and academic initiatives. “The museum benefits from the scholars’ expertise—through their research and sharing their knowledge, we learn a great deal about the collection.”

The Wolfsonian’s Fellowship Program, continuously running since 1995, has hosted more than seventy scholars from universities and museums in the United States and elsewhere. Next year’s fellows were selected with the help of a panel of external reviewers. The fellows selected for 2013–14 and their projects are:

Patrick Ellis (Ph.D. candidate, department of film & media, University of California, Berkeley) is investigating various forms of popular and avant-garde visual culture from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s such as the post-Georgian painted panorama, the relief map that was a fad in Victorian times, and the aerial view. His interdisciplinary project, Aeroscopics: Technologies of Altitude and Vision, 1851–1915, has ties to the histories of cinema, architecture, and art.

Stephanie Pilat (assistant professor, college of architecture, University of Oklahoma) is planning to conduct research for her project Shaping the Body Politic: Architecture for Youth and Sports in Fascist Italy. Specifically, she intends to examine how the Fascist regime’s obsession with youth and health was translated into architectural projects through a study of sports complexes and colonie built in the interwar period.

Josi Ward (Ph.D. candidate, college of architecture, art, and planning, Cornell University) is a cultural historian of the built environment who is analyzing the sites of migratory labor camps constructed by the Farm Security Administration between 1936 and 1942. In her dissertation, A Place for Our Landless Farmers: Recovery and Reform in the FSA Migratory Labor Camps, she is considering the sites as both physical constructions and as mass mediated artifacts. She contends that the camps “were designed as much for the attention of the national audience as for the benefit of their migrant residents.”



Poster, Light. Rural Electrification Administration, 1937
Lester Beall (American, 1903–1969), designer
Rural Electrification Administration, Washington, DC, publisher
40 x 30 1/4 in (101.6 x 76.8 cm)
The Wolfsonian–FIU, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection