Janet Flanner, 1927, by Berenice Abbott. Janet Flanner moved to Paris in 1922, and penned her "Letter from Paris" column in The New Yorker for almost fifty years. With its campy style and concentration on queer figures, the column, like this portrait, limned an existence between the queer and straight worlds, at a time such representations were rare. Here inventing one of the earliest specifically lesbian photographic iconographies, Abboott's portrait, with its lifting of the masks off the face, at once acknowledges the larger context of enforced constraint and policed silence, while at the same time pointedly refusing it. 


December 8, 2021

The Alphawood Foundation has underwritten the very first dedicated graduate fellowship program in Queer Art History in the nation, if not the world. Named the James D. McDonough Fellowship in Queer Art History in honor of the foundation’s outgoing director, the fellowship will sponsor one additional MA and one additional PhD student in the Department of the History of Art. 

For the 2021-22 Admission Cycle, and for the next five years, students may pursue any field in queer art histories, from ancient to contemporary, across any geographical region. The McDonough Fellowship covers full tuition and living expenses for five full years in addition to funding for a summer internship. Support also includes the costs of either a travel seminar to an international queer exhibition or hosting a queer conference locally.

Applicants to the Department of the History of Art should indicate on their statement of purpose that they wish to apply for The McDonough Fellowship, and their application essay and writing sample should ideally reflect an interest in queer art history. Please write the Interim Chair of Graduate Studies, Professor David Young KIM (davik@sas.upenn.edu) with additional questions.