University of Rochester

Author, Art Historian Janet Berlo Receives Fellowship to Clark Institute

May 4, 2004

Janet Catherine Berlo, professor of art history and visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester, has been selected as a fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. During the summer, Berlo will focus on 19th-century women’s textiles and their place in American culture.

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., is one of a small number of institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a complex of research and academic programs, including a major art history library. The Clark offers about a dozen fellowships each year for varied lengths of time.

Berlo, who is co-director of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University, has focused her research on the indigenous arts of the Americas, and on quilt history, folk art, and the construction of “otherness” in American culture in the 20th century.

Her most recent books include Wild by Design: 200 Years of Innovation and Artistry in American Quilts, (with Patricia Crews, University of Washington Press, 2003); Spirit Beings and Sun Dancers: Black Hawk’s Vision of a Lakota World (George Braziller Books, 2000); Native North American Art (with Ruth Phillips, Oxford University Press, 1998); and Plains Indian Drawings 1865-1935: Pages from a Visual History (Abrams, 1996). She also has written a memoir, Quilting Lessons (University of Nebraska Press, 2001). Her recent work has been supported by grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Getty Grant Program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Berlo has taught at the University of Missouri, UCLA, Harvard, and Yale universities. She received her doctoral degree from Yale.