Caine College of the Arts Professor Awarded Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship

Marissa Vigneault, assistant professor of art history in the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The position is a research support fellowship that will provide Vigneault with the time and resources to complete the manuscript for her book about American feminist artist, Hannah Wilke, and the influence of New York City on her artistic production of the 1970s. 

This fellowship is for one academic year and was the result of proposals Vigneault generated with the support of a GEM grant.

“Senior associate dean in the CCA, Nick Morrison, encouraged me to submit a proposal, which was subsequently awarded,” Vigneault said. “I spent July-October 2018 contacting and meeting with curators at The Met and Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), drafting proposal narratives and working with my mentor, Wendy Katz (associate professor of art history at University of Nebraska, Lincoln), to compile application materials.” 

Simultaneously, Vigneault was also awarded a Senior Fellowship at the SAAM, which she declined in favor of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship.

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“We are so very proud of Dr. Vigneault,” Craig Jessop, dean of the CCA, said. “This fellowship is very prestigious and it’s rare to be awarded to someone so early in their career. It’s an extraordinary tribute to Marissa and the work she is doing.”  

Vigneault said she will trace the history of visual spectacle in New York City from vaudeville to burlesque strip clubs to situate Wilke’s critical feminist-based artistic practice as an interrogation of system exploitation of female pleasure. 

“I further position Wilke as feminist heir to the playful and sharply intellectual work of Marcel Duchamp, specifically in terms of gender performativity,” Vigneault said. 

The role of fashion and makeup in Wilke and Duchamp’s work will also be addressed in the book, Vigneault noted. She will also connect Wilke’s early use of video in the 1970s to the growing ubiquity of television commercials, especially for cosmetics. 

“This award reflects the tremendous support I continue to receive from my colleagues in the department, college and the university at large,” Vigneault said. “It is precisely the type of prestigious recognition we want associated with the CCA and USU.” 

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