WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian American Art Museum
has awarded Hadrien Viraben the 2015 Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize. Virabens prize-winning essay, Achille Segard Interviews Mary Cassatt: A Living Master of Impressionism, Her Biographer and the General Audience, considers the French critic Achille Segards 1913 biography of Cassatt as an important document of an artists attempt to influence the reception and legacy of her work. The essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of American Art, the museums peer-reviewed journal for new scholarship.
Viraben, a French citizen, is the sixth winner of the prize, which recognizes excellence in research and writing by a scholar in the field of American art history based outside of the United States. Established in 2009, this award supports essays that advance the understanding of historical American art and demonstrate new findings and original perspectives.
An international review panel evaluates essays submitted for the prize following a call for papers. The 2015 readers were Eric C.H. de Bruyn, assistant professor of film and photographic studies at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands; Michael Lobel, professor of art history at State University of New York, Purchase; and Angela Miller, professor of art history at Washington University in St. Louis. The final decision was made from among the panels top-ranked candidates by American Arts executive editor Emily D. Shapiro in consultation with Elissa Auther, the Windgate Research Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design and the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and a member of the journals editorial board.
Viraben is a doctoral candidate at the University of Rouen, pursuing research on the historiography and reception of impressionism during the first half of the 20th century. He holds a bachelors degree and a masters degree from the École du Louvre, Paris.
The essay prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art, which also supports fellowships at the museum for pre-doctoral, postdoctoral and senior scholars. A complete list of past Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize winners and additional information about the award are available here. The next prize competition will be held in 2017.
American Art is produced by the museums Research and Scholars Center, which also administers fellowships and offers unparalleled research databases and extensive photographic collections documenting American art and artists. The journal is published for the museum by the University of Chicago Press.