Faculty News: Prof. Martha Buskirk Receives a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship

April 14, 2015

Congratulations to Martha Buskirk, Ph.D., Professor of art history and criticism at who has won a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. This award is highly competitive and is an outstanding achievement of the highest order.

The award is intended to recognize and support exceptional scholarship in the arts while allowing recipients to embark upon research for upcoming creative projects. With 3,000 applications for the award, the foundation elected to award 175 this year.

In Martha’s case, the fellowship will allow her to continue research on her next book, which examines issues pertaining to artist’s rights, proprietary culture and the public interest. The planned book will focus on the convergence of three factors over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One is the assertion of artists’ rights, also known as moral rights. The second is the impact of an increasingly expansive network of intellectual property (IP) claims. The third is transformations in the definition of authorship in the wake of widespread artistic as well as vernacular practices based on incorporating found material through strategies of appropriation, quotation, and sampling.

Over the course of her career, Martha has received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Clark Art Institute, and the Henry Moore Institute.

She is the author of several books including The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art (MIT Press, 2003) and most recently, Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art between Museum and Marketplace (Continuum, 2012). She writes about visual culture frequently in a variety of publications, including Artforum and Hyperallergic. Her essays in museum catalogues and anthologies, both in the United States and Europe, have explored the work of a wide range of artists, including Richard Serra, Janine Antoni, Hans Haacke, Hitoshi Nomura, Francis Alÿs, Carey Young, Liselot van der Heijden, Jason Rhoades, and Allan McCollum. During fall 2015, she will be co-organizing a Radcliffe Institute Workshop on art and intellectual property, and she will be presenting related talks in Amsterdam and Riga.

United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications each year. Although no one who applies is guaranteed success in the competition, there is no prescreening: all applications are reviewed.