The Imperfect History digital catalog creatively engages with the exhibition’s theme of (un)conscious bias and multiple viewpoints. Four guest catalogers from the curatorial, art history, and studio art fields have authored concise descriptions of the same visual material, from their individual perspective as affected by their discipline. A traditionally standardized, “objective” process made pro-actively subjective and diverse.
The digital catalog further showcases the Imperfect History theme that the graphic arts can be viewed from a multiplicity of perspectives and that the curator (or cataloger) is not necessarily the final or only arbiter in deciding an item’s meaning.
Lauren B. Hewes, Vice President for Collections and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society
In her role as Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, Ms. Hewes builds and cares for the Society’s collections of prints, broadsides, ephemera, and photographs and works closely with the curatorial team, the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC), fellows, and outside scholars to make connections between American history and the visual resources of the Society. Ms. Hewes has previously held positions at the Print Council of America, the National Park Service, and the Shelburne Museum, and she has published widely on American printmaking and portraiture. She has a B.S. from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Art History from Williams College.
Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphic Materials, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
Mr. Lewis oversees the William L. Clements Library’s collection of historical prints, photographs, artwork, illustrated sheet music, ephemera, and other visual materials. He assists researchers; promotes the use of visual materials as a source for advanced scholarship; directs cataloging and digitization of the division; and builds the collection for future scholars. Mr. Lewis holds a B.F.A. from Swain School of Design (1982) and an M.F.A. from Parson School of Design (1985).
He worked as adjunct faculty to the University of Michigan School of Art and in the field of commercial printing before becoming the first Curator of Graphic Materials at the Clements in 2002. Mr. Lewis is the author of numerous articles and curator of exhibits on various historical subjects including vernacular photography, early racial satire, popular and patriotic music, wartime art, and American leisure travel.
Tanya Sheehan, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art, Colby College
Tanya Sheehan is Director of Research at the Lunder Institute for American Art, and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art at Colby College. She is the author of Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (2011) and Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, Humor (2018). Her edited books include Photography, History, Difference (2014), Photography and Its Origins (2015, with Andres Zervigon), Grove Art Guide to Photography (2017), and Photography and Migration (2018). Her current book project examines modernist art by African Americans that explores black agency through the subjects of medicine and public health. Since 2015 she has served as executive editor of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art Journal.
Joy O. Ude, Art Teacher, Howry STEAM Academy
Joy O. Ude is a mixed-media artist and designer. In her artwork, she explores Black culture as a subset of American culture. As an American-born child of Nigerian immigrants, she also reflects on the concept of duality. Ms. Ude earned her B.F.A. in Fashion Design in 2005 from the University of North Texas. After working in the fashion industry, she attended grad school and earned an M.F.A. in Fiber Arts from the University of North Texas in 2013. Her work has been included in several regional and national shows including: CraftTexas, Fantastic Fibers, Fiberart International, and ArtSeen. Ms. Ude also teaches fiber-based workshops, most recently at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Ms. Ude currently teaches art at Howry STEAM Academy in Texas and is a member of FJORD Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.
Imperfect History is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, Walter J. Miller Trust, Center for American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jay Robert Stiefel and Terra Foundation for American Art.