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Distinguished Endowed Chair of Art History Roberto Tejada Awarded Fellowship at The Clark

Award given to scholar whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to the visual

Roberto Tejada

Meadows Distinguished Endowed Chair of Art History Roberto Tejada has been named the recipient of a fellowship from The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (in conjunction with the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences) at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. This recognition - The Clark's most distinguished - is awarded to a scholar in the humanities whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of the visual.  Along with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and the Getty Research Center, the Clark’s fellowship program is recognized as one of the most crucial centers for the cultivation of original thinking in the visual arts in the United States. Tejada joins a line of esteemed thinkers, critics and historians who have been Clark recipients, including such scholars as W.J.T. Mitchell, Kobena Mercer, Griselda Pollock, Serge Guilbaut, Lowery Sims and others.

During his Clark fellowship, Tejada will conduct research and interact with scholars from art history and other fields. In addition, Tejada, author of books such as National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and Celia Alvarez-Muñoz (UCLA/CSRCP; University of Minnesota Press, 2009) will be working on a new book.  “I’ll be looking through the lens of three metropolitan centers – Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Los Angeles – at art produced there between 1965 and 2011,” says Tejada.

Tejada recently returned from a semester in São Paulo, Brazil, as the Fulbright-FAAP Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts. There, he worked as an advocate for SMU Meadows’ RASC/a (Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture) art history graduate program by raising the international visibility of the art history department and by pursuing potential partnerships with various cultural institutions in Brazil, while promoting Meadows’ reputation as a leader in the study of Latin American art history.

“We now have four Latin Americanists in the art history department,” says Tejada. “Three of us are scholars who focus on Brazilian art. Dr. Amy Buono specializes in early modern Latin America and the Atlantic world, including colonial Brazil and Mexico. We are fortunate recently to have recruited Dr. Beatriz E. Balanta from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia; her scholarship compares 19th century visual culture between Colombia and Brazil. We have Dr. Adam Herring, whose first book is on Mesoamerican art and writing, and who works as well on vision and spatial experience among the Inca of Andean South America. Another area of my research is on art and image technology in 20th century and contemporary Mexico. No other university in the United States offers this breadth and depth in Latin American art history.”

During his academic year at The Clark (2013-14), Tejada will again serve as Meadows’ Art History cultural ambassador, advancing opportunities for graduate students and faculty alike. His fellowship begins in September.

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