Our Faculty

Cynthia Fowler

Professor of Art


Contact Information

617-975-9110


Office Hours

Office: Administration Building, Room 524

Office hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.; Thursdays, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Education

Ph.D., University of Delaware; A.L.M, Harvard University; B.A., University of Massachusetts Boston


Bio

As an art historian with a focus on American art, I've traveled quite a bit around the United States.  The Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite parts of this country.  I am amazed by the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, from the ocean's coastline to rainforests and the snow-capped mountains, and I'm always impressed by how environmentally conscious the people who live there are.  That being said, there's nothing like a visit to Manhattan, Chicago or Washington, D.C., to energize the spirit.

slideshowWhat I'm Working On


What I Love About Emmanuel:

Boston has a rich and vibrant art community.  I love that Emmanuel College students have access to all that this community has to offer, from art exhibitions to lectures by preeminent artists from around the world.  I love that Emmanuel College faculty and students contribute to this community as does  the Emmanuel College Artists Residency Program.

Courses I Teach

  • ART 1203: Art of Resistance: Social Justice and the Visual Arts
  • ART 2201: Visual Constructions of Gender
  • ART 2204: From Globalization to Transnationalism: Art in the Contact Zone
  • ART 2213: History of Photography
  • ART 2215: Modern Art
  • ART 2217: American Art to 1940
  • ART 2221 Contemporary Art and Artistic Practice
  • ART 2223: The Catholic Art Tradition
  • ART 2224: Irish Art
  • ART 3209: Art Since 1940
  • ART 3391/2: Special Topics in Art History

Publications & Presentations

Forthcoming Publications:

  • "Marguerite Zorach's Modernist Embroideries."  To be included in exhibition catalog on Marguerite Zorach organized by the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME in 2017.
  • The Modern Embroidery Movement: Marguerite Zorach, Georgiana Brown Harbeson and Their Collaborators (Bloomsbury, 2018)

Most Recent Publications:

  • Locating American Art:  Finding Meaning in Art Museums. Editor. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2016. For more information, click here
  • "Gender, Modern Art and Native Women Painters in the First Half of the Twentieth Century." In American Women Artists, 1935-1970. Helen Langa and Paula Wisotzki, eds. Burlington, VT:  Ashgate, 2016. For more information, click here.
  • "A Progressive View on Religion and Modern Art:  The 1944 Religious Art of Today Exhibition at Boston's Institute of Modern Art."  Religion and the Arts (spring 2016).
  • "Brenda Miller and Post-Minimalist Art."  Woman's Art Journal 36, no. 2 (fall/winter 2015): 12-19.
  • "A Sign of the Times:  Sheila Hicks and the Fiber Arts Movement."  Journal of Modern Craft 7.1 (March 2014):  33-52.
  • Hooked Rugs:  Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2013. For information, click here
  • "Herman Trunk's Cubist Crucifix: A Case Study." Religion and the Arts 15.5 (December 2011): 628- 647.
  • "Aboriginal Beauty and Self-Determination: The Photographic Projects of Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie." In Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art. Denise Cummings, ed. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2011.
  • "Materiality and Collective Experience: Sewing as Artistic Practice in Works by Marie Watt, Nadia Myre, and Bonnie Devine." American Indian Quarterly 34, no. 3 (fall 2010): 344-364.
  • "Hooking Magic: Transforming Women's Handicraft into Art." In Threading Women: Gender and the Material Culture of Textiles. Edited by Maureen Goggin and Beth Tobin. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009.
  • "Strategies for Self-Determination in American Indian Art." Social Justice 34 (2007): 63-79. (Special edition on art and social change).
  • "Oklahoma: A View from the Center." Co-authored with Maria DePriest and Ruthe Blalock Jones. Studies in American Indian Literature 19 (fall 2007): 1-44.
  • "Representations of the Female Nude by Women Artists of Generation X." In Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism. Edited by Karen Frostig and Kathy Halamka. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.
  • "Gender Representation in the Art of Jaune Quick To See Smith." Aurora: The Journal of the History of Art VI (2005): 79-85.
  • "Book Review of Irene Avaalaaqiaq: Myth and Reality, by Judith Nasby." Native Arts Council Newsletter 2 (Summer 2004): 7.
  • "The Embroideries of Marguerite Zorach and the Development of Early American Modernism." In The Most Excellent Women Artists, edited by Liana de Girolami Cheney. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2003.
  • "Dorothy Dehner." In Encyclopedia of Sculpture, edited by Antonia Boström. London: Routledge, 2003.
  • "The Greatest Show on Earth: Visual Images of Women Circus Performers in Post World War I America." Mid-Atlantic Almanack 10 (2001): 7-28.
  • "The Intersecting of Theosophy and Modernism: Katherine Dreier and the Modern American Woman." Oculus 3, no. 1 (2000): 2-15.

Emmanuel Publications

  • Mary Reardon:  Catholic Art in the Twentieth Century.  Boston:  Emmanuel College, 2013. This book is a compilation of student essays based on research that students completed using archival material from the Emmanuel College Archives on artist Mary Reardon.
  • A Bridging of Art and Faith: Sister Vincent de Paul Curran, SND de Namur.  Boston:  Emmanuel College, 2012.
  • Herman Trunk:  Catholic Modernist.  Boston:  Emmanuel College, 2010. 

Most Recent Presentations

  • The American Reception of Irish Textiles in the First Decades of the Twentieth Century, 2016 Biannual Conference of the Textile Society of America, Savanah, Georgia
  • "Georgiana Brown Harbeson:  Modern Embroidery and the Amateur/Professional Divide," 2015 Annual conference of the Southeast College Art Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
  • "The Modern Embroidery Movement in Early 20th-Century America," 2014 Annual Feminist Art History Conference,  American University, Washington, DC
  • "Gendering American Indian Modernism" Panel chair  2013 Biannual Conference of the Native American Art Studies Association (October 2013), Denver, CO
  • "The Feminist Threads of the Fiber Arts Movement"  2012 Biannual Conference of the Textile Society of America (September 2012), Washington, DC
  • "Native Women Artists and American Modernism" 2011 Biannual Conference of Native American Art Studies Association (October 2011) Ottawa, Ontario.
  • "Modernist Hooked Rugs at the New Age School in North Carolina" 2010 Annual Conference on American Material Culture (October 2010) Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, GA.
  • "Herman Trunk's Cubist Crucifix" 2010 Annual Conference of The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945 University of Portland, Portland, OR.
  • "Religion and Modernist Art in 1920s and 30s America"  Panel organizer and chair 2009, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA.
  • "Suturing Old Wounds: The Act of Sewing in Works by Contemporary American Indian and First Nations Women Artists" 2008 Annual Textile Society of America Symposium, Honolulu, HI.
  • "Remedies for Healing in the Art of Jaune Quick To See Smith" 2008 Annual Native American Literature Symposium, Minneapolis, MN

Grants & Recognition

  • Research Grant, Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, 2009. Award for research on modernist hooked rugs.
  • Founding Presidents' Award Nominee, Textile Society of America, 2008. Recognized for outstanding scholarship in textile studies.
  • James Renwick Fellowship in American Craft, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Summer 2007. Awarded for three months of research on craft production and its relationship to modernism in early twentieth century American art.
  • Winterthur Fellowship, Winterthur Museum, Wilmington, DE, Summer 2005. Awarded for one month of research on the hooked rug tradition in early twentieth-century American art.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Evergreen College, Olympia, WA, Summer 2003. "Working from Community: American Indian Art and Literature in a Historical and Cultural Context," six weeks of intensive study of American Indian art and literature to further more thoughtful scholarship on native culture and to encourage teaching strategies that integrate native topics into general courses on art and literature.

Research Focus

My area of specialty is American art from the first half of the twentieth century, and my scholarship focuses on American women artists and craft production from this time period.  I have also written on American Indian art and the relationship between American modern art and Catholicism.

My book titled The Modern Embroidery Movement: Marguerite Zorach, Georgiana Brown Harbeson and Their Collaborators will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing with a release date of November 2018. The book examines the modernist inspired embroideries of a group of American women artists who argued through their embroideries and their writing that embroidery should be taken seriously as an art form. I have developed a new course on the History of American Craft in which I will have an opportunity to share this research with students.