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Art History Colleagues Brimming with Accolades and Awards

Kress Fellowship, forum presentations, a book and a commemorative trip to Austria

Current and former students of the SMU Meadows Art History Department are popping up on the East Coast, the Midwest, Texas and Austria as they pursue their specialized areas of study and are recognized by art historians in many fields:


Second-year M.A. student Brittany Luberda has been awarded the Kress Fellowship for Language Study by Middlebury College in Vermont. Luberda, one of five students from across the nation to receive the 2012 Fellowship, will attend the Middlebury Language School summer program to further her studies of German.

Luberda has held internships at the Dallas Museum of Art (McDermott Curatorial Internship in European and American Art), the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum.


Ph.D. student Joseph Hartman has been selected to present a research paper examining postcolonial Caribbean states at Harvard’s “Reconsidering Caribbean Diaspora” conference in September 2012.

Second-year M.A. student Emily Anderson (’13) will present a research paper at the national Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October 2012.

Doctoral student Marianna von Hartenthal will present a research paper at the 3rd International Forum for Emerging Scholars at the University of Texas at Austin in October 2012. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Synchronicity. Contacts and Divergences in Latin American and U.S. Latino Art. 19th Century to the Present." 


Debra DeWitte, M.A. ’02, has co-authored a college textbook, Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts (Thames and Hudson, 2011), now in its second printing after selling over 50,000 copies. Gateways contains short, modular chapters on clearly defined topics, allowing professors to teach the topics in any order and give emphasis where they wish. Over 1,000 illustrations covers famous works of art such as the Pyramids of Giza, Goya’s Third of May 1808, Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanazawa and more.

Hear a recent interview with DeWitte on Dallas classical music station WRR.


Self-Portrait, Egon Schiele, 1912

Dr. Alessandra Comini, SMU University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita, will be honored at a symposium in Neulengbach, Austria, for her 1963 discovery of the village prison cell where Viennese artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was once held for 17 days. A protégé of artist Gustav Klimt, Schiele was incarcerated in 1912 on charges of seduction and abduction of an underage child. Although the original charges were dropped, authorities found him guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children. The cell has since been turned into a museum, commemorating an artist known for nudes and portraits.

In addition to Comini’s appearance at the "Alessandra Comini und Neulengbach” symposium, other speakers include Renée Price, director of New York’s Neue Galerie Museum, and the son of Rudolf Leopold, founder of Vienna’s new Museum Leopold.

Author of such books as Schiele in Prison (New York Graphic Society, 1973) and The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in Mythmaking (Sunstone Press, 2008), Comini is currently working on Killing for Klimt, a murder-mystery novel.

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