2022–2023 Visual Culture Program Research Fellows

Andrea Krupp, Independent Scholar
Program in Visual Culture Terra Foundation Fellow in American Popular Graphic Arts

Andrea Krupp is an independent scholar and visual artist. Her current interdisciplinary visual arts project Seeing Coal examines the cultural and ecological meanings of coal across time to memorialize human/coal entanglement in new and productive ways. During her fellowship, Krupp will study the Library’s collections of 19th- and 20th-century photographs, lithographs, and maps that show Pennsylvania Anthracite coal above ground, displaced, and commodified as well as maps and other visual resources that show the rail and river networks that moved the material from upstate Pennsylvania into the city of Philadelphia.

Alexis Monroe, New York University
Program in Visual Culture Terra Foundation Fellow in American Popular Graphic Arts

Alexis Monroe is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. In her dissertation, “The Crisis of the 1850s: Western American Land and Landscape, 1848-1861,” Monroe contends that images of the American West must be understood in terms of the conflict over slavery extension that preceded the Civil War. These unstudied antebellum images were produced as part of government-sponsored surveys organized to assess, among other things, the viability of slavery in the West. During her fellowship, she will explore the work of Philadelphia-born artists Richard and Edward Kern, as well as views of well-known Philadelphia buildings in the Library’s collection, as part of an investigation into these survey artists’ incorporation of Philadelphia landmarks in their depictions of the Southwest.

Phillippa Pitts, Boston University
William H. Helfand Fellow in American Visual Culture

Phillippa Pitts is a PhD candidate in History of Art and Architecture at Boston University.  Her dissertation “Pharmacoepic Dreams: Art in America’s Medical Democracy, 1800-1860” uses insights from disability theory to explore how antebellum constructions of health and illness entwined with race, class, and gender, as well as assertions of democratic freedom, expansionist imperial desire, and rising ideals of self-reliance to afford artists a potent vocabulary with which to engage a vast cultural discourse. During her fellowship, she will examine the Library’s advertising and popular medicine collections to analyze medical metaphors in print culture and artistic constructions of medicinal botanical species.