My research interests focus on hierarchies and boundaries in the art world, the women’s art movement of the 1970s and feminist art and theory generally, the history of fiber in art, the visual and material culture of the American counterculture, and contemporary art. My study String, Felt, Thread and the Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (Minnesota 2010), argues that the remarkable advance of various forms of fiber and fabric from the “low” world of craft to the “high” world of art in the 1960s and 1970s constituted a privileged locus of debate over the definition of art. My edited volume West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment, 1965-1977 (Minnesota 2012) brought together research on a wide range of visual, material, and performance-based practices of the American counterculture. I am also a curator, and this publication accompanied the eponymously titled exhibition organized around artist collectives of the American counterculture. Recently, I curated Pretty/Dirty the traveling retrospective exhibition of the painter and photographer Marilyn Minter. This project highlights Minter’s work with the female body and what she calls “the pathology of beauty,” a concept she has been exploring in her art since 1969. In addition, I am the co-curator of the traveling survey exhibition of the artist Senga Nengudi. My work in the area of feminist art and culture also includes co-direction of a public program called Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics. For the Museum of Arts and Design I have exhibitions opening in the near future on mid-century graphic design, the sculpture of Françoise Grossen, and the craft-inspired work of Miriam Schapiro, among other projects in the works.

Selected Recent Publications

“Sheila Hicks and the Consecration of Fiber as a Medium of Art.” Revising the Art Canon in a Globalizing World: Incorporating “Others” into Modern and Contemporary Art. Ed. Ruth Iskin. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2016.

“Gender.” Textile Terms: A Glossary for the series Textile Studies. Eds. Anika Reineke, Anne Rohl, Mateusz Kapustka and Tristan Weddigan. Zurich: University of Zurich, forthcoming 2016.

“The Improvisational Body in the Performances of Senga Nengudi.” Improvisational Gestures: A Survey of Sculptures and Performances by Senga Nengudi, forthcoming 2015.

“Marilyn Minter’s Politically Incorrect Pleasures.” Pretty/Dirty: The Painting and Photography of Marilyn Minter. Ed. Elissa Auther. New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co. in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2015.

“’He is survived by his longtime companion,’: Feeling in the Work of Josh Faught.”Nation Building: Craft in Contemporary Art and Culture. Ed. Nicolas Bell. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum and Bloomsbury Press, 2015.

“Sonya Clark’s The Hair Craft Project: Creative Collision and Overlap Between Artworlds,”

“Radical Craft as Temporal Drag: The Work of Josh Faught.” Sloppy Craft: Post-Disciplinarity and Craft. Ed. Elaine Cheasley Paterson. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2015. Co-authored with Elyse Speaks.

Selected Courses

920 Curating from the Crypt: The Permanent Collection Exhibition