People

Laura Smith

Assistant Professor, Fixed Term
Art History & Visual Culture

P 517-884-4099
smit1550@msu.edu

600 Auditorium Road, 105E Kresge Art Center

 

BIO

 

Laura Smith is an art historian with specializations in North American art, Native North American art, and photography. Her recent research has focused on modern and contemporary Native American art, but she teaches a broad range of courses in American art up to 1945, Native American art and photography, the Western art survey, art historical research and methodologies, professional development, and the history of photography. She received a Ph.D. in Art History from Indiana University in 2008, completing a dissertation entitled Obscuring the Distinctions, Revealing the Divergent Visions: Modernity and Indians in the Early Works of Kiowa Photographer Horace Poolaw, 1925-1945. She holds a MA in art history from the University of New Mexico (2002). Upon receiving her BFA in Painting from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia in 1996, she worked at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology as a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) project assistant. As a curator, artist, collections manager, and teacher, she has engaged the research, care, and/or exhibition of artworks since 1993.  Since August of 2009, she has served as Assistant Professor of Art History at MSU. Her research has been supported by a number of grants, including the Association of Historians of American Art, the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship, the Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Museum of American History and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., and most recently the Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) from Michigan State University.

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity, University of Nebraska Press, Spring 2016.

 

"Complex Negotiations: Beadwork, Gender, and Modernism in Horace       Poolaw's Portrait of Two Kiowa Women," in Locating American Art:  Finding Art's Meaning in Museums, Cynthia Fowler, ed., Ashgate Press. January 2016

 

 “Beaded Buckskins and Bad-Girl Bobs: Kiowa Female Identity, Industry, and Activism in Horace Poolaw’s Portraits,”  in For the Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw, exhibition catalogue.  New York and Washington, D.C.: The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, in association with Yale University Press, 2014.

 

 “Modernity, Multiples, and Masculinity:  Horace Poolaw’s Postcards of Elder Kiowa Men,” Great Plains Quarterly31 (2), Spring 2011.

 

 “Picturing Zuni in the New Deal Era: The Clara Brignac Gonzales Collection of Zuni Day School Drawings and Paintings, 1925-1945,” American Indian Art Magazine, Spring 2005.

 

 “Photography, Criticism, and Native American Women’s Identity: Three Works by Jolene Rickard,” Third Text, 19:1, 2005.

 

 

COURSES TAUGHT

 

HA 102 Renaissance Through Modern Art

HA 250 American Arts

HA 251 Histories of Photography

HA 291 Native North American Arts and Architecture

HA 453 American Arts 1875-1940: Modernities and Modernisms in the Americas

HA 491 Public Art and Popular Visual Media in the US

HA 499 Senior Research and Professional Development

 

IAH 211c Indigenous Peoples of North America as Subjects and Makers of Photographs

IAH 211c Indigenous Visualities in Film, Video, and New Media

IAH 209 Race and Representation: America in Red, White and Black

Portfolio