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AJ 401 Phone: 765-285-5838
School of Art
Art and Journalism Building (AJ) Room 401
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Lara Kuykendall received her M.A. at the University of Texas, Austin, and her Ph.D. in American Art History from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Professor Kuykendall’s research explores issues of national identity in American visual culture and examines ways in which artists have used heroic (and anti-heroic) imagery to understand and critique the changing social and political fabric of the United States. A chapter on African American artist Palmer Hayden’s paintings of folk legend John Henry will appear in the book, Buried Treasures: Locating American Art Outside of the Predictable Art Museums, and an essay on John Steuart Curry’s World War II war bonds posters is included in the catalogue of the traveling exhibition, Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000. My essay, “There’s Something Happening Here: Peter Saul’s The Government of California,” which places a very irreverent painting of Ronald Reagan into the context of the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s was published in the journal Art Review in 2013. Kuykendall was a Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Scholar in Santa Fe, NM in 2010. She is currently preparing articles on Florine Stettheimer’s Dada patriotism during World War II and Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas’s 1931 painting of Harriet Tubman. She also writes for the innovative online art history textbook, Smarthistory (smarthistory.khanacademy.org/).
Professor Kuykendall teaches courses on American art, the history of photography, museum studies, and art criticism and theory. In 2015 she co-taught an innovative course with Jacinda Russell called Space, Land, and Concept in Art of the American West, which will culminate in a two-week sojourn to visit Native American sites like Acoma Pueblo, the landscapes that inspired the Taos Society of Artists; earthworks by Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria; Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX; and beyond.
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