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Zolli and Moses awarded Getty/ACLS postdoctoral fellowships in the history of art

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Getty 2019

Daniel Zolli, assistant professor of art history, and Art History alumna Kelema Moses have been named as recipients of the 2019-2020 Getty Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art, awarded to encourage projects that make substantial and original contributions to the understanding of art and its history.

Zolli and Moses are two of just 10 international recipients of the fellowship and part of the group of five scholars from the United States to receive the honor.

Each 12-month, non-residential fellowship includes a $60,000 stipend and an additional $5,000 for travel and research. All awardees will convene at the Getty for a week-long residency upon completion of their fellowships, creating a community of scholars connected to one another.

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Getty Foundation and the ACLS, which comes with many benefits,” Zolli said. “The fellowship will allow me to devote an entire academic year to work on my book manuscript without other obligations. But just as importantly, the award offers me a great deal of intellectual encouragement.”

Zolli is a scholar of early modern European art, with a focus on art in 14th-, 15th- and 16th-century Italy. His research interests include the materials and techniques of art, workshop practice, art literature, the interfaces between art and law, and the afterlives of Renaissance culture. 

The fellowship will allow Zolli to continue working on “Donatello’s Promiscuous Technique,” the first book-length study devoted to the sculptor’s lifelong preoccupation with material experimentation. The study offers a new approach to 15th-century Italy’s foremost sculptor by drawing attention away from his well-known intellectual influences and considering instead how his unusual approach to facture arose from concerns particular to his artisanal milieu. It also reshapes narratives about artistic innovation at the dawn of Italian modernity, demonstrating that new representational possibilities in the period were not only the consequence of individual accomplishment, or of the fine arts’ intellectual separation from craft traditions, but also of collaborative transfers of skill and craft know-how between makers.

Prior to his arrival at Penn State in 2017, Zolli was a postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute, a visiting lecturer at Tufts University and a curatorial assistant in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His work has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Andrew Mellon, Gladys Krieble Delmas, and Samuel H. Kress Foundations, among other organizations.

Moses is an assistant professor of art and art history at Occidental College in Los Angles, California, where she specializes in the history of architecture and urban design. Her teaching and research combines historical perspectives with discussions about critical contemporary issues related to the built environment of the United States and Asia-Pacific region. 

She will use the 12-month fellowship to work on her book project, “Island Modernism/Island Urbanism: Encountering Statehood in Honolulu, Hawai'i.” The book examines the design processes, political actors and policies involved in the creation of the 1969 Hawai’i state capitol building that served as a stage on which U.S. (neo)colonialism and native Hawaiian self-determination encountered each other in the Pacific. 

“I'm honored to receive the 2019-2020 Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship from two organizations that support global approaches to thinking critically about art and the built environment,” Moses said. “The award affords me the space and time to expand the work I first cultivated as a doctoral student at Penn State under the mentorship of Drs. Craig Zabel, Madhuri Desai, and Nancy Locke.”

After completing her undergraduate work at the University of Virginia, Moses earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at Penn State and joined the Occidental faculty in 2014.

“Penn State’s art history department encouraged me to explore the complexities and contradictions within the discipline, all while fostering a supportive environment to develop both professionally and personally,” Moses said. “This fellowship is largely the result of faculty conversations and writing workshops I attended as a graduate student at Penn State and, more recently, as an assistant professor of art history at Occidental College.”

ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 75 national scholarly organizations, is widely recognized for its administration of fellowship programs, offering over $25 million in fellowships and grants to support more than 350 scholars worldwide. These fellowships provide a range of opportunities for scholars in all fields of the humanities and at all career stages, from graduate students and distinguished professors to independent scholars.

More information on the recipients and their projects can be found here.