Elizabeth Spear

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Elizabeth Spear
Graduate Student

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Research Interests


Elizabeth A. Spear is a Graduate Research Fellow and Ph.D. candidate specializing in the history of American art. She is currently writing her dissertation, “Re-framing Landscape: Spectacular Display and American Landscape Painting, 1840-1892.Through four case studies focusing on works by George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Dwight Tryon, this study demonstrates how close analysis of the physical and aesthetic environments in which landscape paintings were displayed can provide fresh perspectives on these works and what they meant to contemporary audiences.

Elizabeth has over four years of professional curatorial experience at institutions such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Colby College Museum of Art, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Her research has been supported by the Frick Center for the History of Collecting and the University of Iowa Graduate College. She has presented her work at venues such as the College Art Association and the Midwest Art History Society. Elizabeth holds a B.F.A. in Art History from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Art History from the University of California, Riverside.