Louise Siddons is an art historian specializing in American art and the visual culture of modernity. She teaches courses in American, Native American, Modern and Contemporary art history at OSU. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University in 2005, and taught at San Francisco State University and Michigan State University before joining the OSU faculty in 2009.
Siddons has maintained an active curatorial practice throughout her career. Prior to coming to Oklahoma State, she was adjunct curator at Michigan State University and the Kresge Art Museum for two years. From 2002-2007, she was a graduate fellow and assistant curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Siddons continued to have a museological role at OSU, where she was the founding curator and co-director during development of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art from 2010-2014. The OSU Museum of Art opened in January of 2014, at which point Siddons returned to her full-time faculty responsibilities.
Siddons' research interests focus on the history of printmaking and photography, particularly in relation to representations of race, racialization, sexuality and the family. She is also interested in the history of modernism in the margins, both socially and geographically speaking. Her book manuscript, currently in progress, is a monograph that situates Oklahoma modernist painter and printmaker J. Jay McVicker in the broader context of postwar American abstraction—a project which requires substantial revision of the canonical story of American modernism centered on New York City. Her other current projects include research on early 20th-century artist Bertha Lum's printmaking in Japan and China, and photographs of Navajo women by Laura Gilpin.
Her research and teaching are centered in the early twentieth century, but her theoretical interests in phenomenology, gender and sexuality, medium-specificity and memory have led her to consider the broader genealogies of printmaking and photography. For example, she has written several articles on the ideological connections between mezzotint and power in eighteenth-century Britain; and she is engaged in curatorial projects that examine the work of contemporary photographers who work in historic photographic media in the context of a broader American craze for re-enacting, homesteading, and crafting. Siddons’ concurrent research and practice in dance history and performance contributes to her interest in these theoretical and historical phenomena.
Siddons has been the recipient of research and writing support from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, the Newberry Library, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, among others.
Recent and forthcoming publications include:
J. Jay McVicker, Oklahoma Modernist [working title]
Forthcoming 2017, under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press.
“Seeing Interracial Romance in the 1930s: Ernest Crichlow’s 1938 Lithograph, Lovers”
Article under review.
“The Language of Line: Negotiating German-American Identity in John W. Winkler’s San Francisco Chinatown Etchings” Panorama (in press, Fall/Winter 2014)
“Sensibility and Science: Motherhood and the Gendering of Knowledge in Two Mezzotints after Joseph Wright of Derby,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (in press, Fall 2014)
“Sublimate: The Landscape Photography of Bryan Cook,” in Art 365 (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, 2014): 15-17.
Sharing a Journey: Building the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Collection [exhibition catalogue] (Stillwater: Oklahoma State University, 2014): 160pp.
“Finding Their Place: The Regional Landscapes of Jacques Hans Gallrein and Doel Reed,” Great Plains Quarterly 34.1 (Winter 2014): 63-90.
"'An English Art’: Nationalist Rhetoric and Civic Virtue in Valentine Green’s Mezzotint Portrait of John Boydell (1772)” British Art Journal XIV.1 (Fall 2013): 71-80.
“African Past or American Present? The Visual Eloquence of James VanDerZee’s Identical Twins” African American Review 46.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2013): 439-459.
“Teaching American Art History With Social Dance,” in The Country Dance and Song Society News 207 (March/April 2009): 11-12.
“The Joy of Vision: California Watercolor Painting, 1900-1945,” in Pacific Light: California Watercolour Refracted, 1907-2007 [exhibition catalogue] (Skärhamn: Nordic Watercolor Museum, 2008)