Undergraduate Research in Art History

One way that Pomona College provides opportunities for students to excel is through research opportunities. Below are recent summer projects, funded through our Summer Undergraduate Research Program, by art history students.

Monuments and Monumentality: Research and Curriculum Development

Ananya Goel ’24
Advisor: Victoria Sancho Lobis

For my project, I undertook informational research for the curriculum development of an ID1 class called “Public Art, Monuments and Monumentality.” The class is being taught in collaboration with the Pomona College Benton Museum and leverages its vast and unique resources to help students analyze the shift in the societal perception of public monuments as a consequence of social movements, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. I worked to incorporate the recently installed site-specific works of public art in the Benton Museum’s courtyard into my research for the class, including Alison Saar’s “Imbue,” and other works on campus, like Orozco’s “Prometheus.” I compiled bibliography of over fifty resources for the class. Along with my research, I authored the text for a micro website that will be used in the course. The website does a parallax view close analysis of “Prometheus” and covers a range of categories, including interpretation, mythology, history and creation process. This website will be added to the Benton Museum website.

Through Your Lens: A Photographic Taller

Maelvi Nunez ’22
Advisor: Rosalia Romero

“Through Your Lens” is inspired by the exhibition “CrossBorder Photography: Images of the U.S. and Mexico” in the Permanent Collection at the Benton Museum of Art, which I co-curated in summer 2020. The taller will focus on two artworks in the exhibition, specifically the Chicana artist Christina Fernandez’s photographic installation titled “Maria’s Great Expedition” (1995-1996) and works in the U.S. photographer Richard Ross’s Architecture of Authority (2004) series. These photographs were chosen on the basis of their relevance to the identities and lived experiences of the undocumented students; whether as expressions in art that depict their journey’s border crossing to the U.S. as seen in “Maria’s Great Expedition,” or their experiences in or with the immigration detention centers, border checkpoints and interrogation rooms pictured in the “Architecture of Authority series.” The activities in the taller aim to generate discussions and facilitate student engagement with these artworks as well as assist in the development of visual analysis skills and verbal and written interpretation exercises. The taller’s ultimate goal is to utilize art as a pedagogical tool to create community among the students and empower them as creators with the power to represent and depict their own border crossing experiences. The taller is meant to also encourage the students to consider art as a possible pathway to higher education by providing a space for healing, self-reflection and support.