Art History

Vivien Green Fryd receives the 34th Eldredge Prize for her book Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art Since 1970 | Pro Club Bd

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has awarded Vivien Green Fryd the 34th Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for her book Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art since 1970 (Penn State University Press, 2019). Fryd was recognized by an independent jury for her innovative exploration of the social history of artworks dealing with pornography, domestic violence, incest and rape from the 1970s to the present day. The panel noted that the publication is characterized by “academic rigor, historical understanding, and contemporary relevance that characterize the highest achievements in our field.”

This year’s judges for the $3,000 award included Elizabeth Hutchinson, associate professor of American art history at Barnard College/Columbia University; Nizan Shaked, Professor of Contemporary Art History, Museum and Curatorial Studies at California State University, Long Beach; and Laura Kina, the Vincent de Paul Professor at DePaul University School of Art.

The judges described the book as “a groundbreaking and timely study of sexual violence in American art. Thoroughly researched and clearly written, this bold and difficult book offers a comprehensive history of this important artistic subject in the late 20’s of silence over sexual violence.”

Fryd is Professor Emeritus of Art History and Architecture at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Art and Empire: The Politics of Ethnicity in the United States Capitol1815–1865 (Ohio University Press, 2001; reprinted Yale University Press, 1992) and Art and the Crisis of Marriage: Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper (University of Chicago Press, 2003). She is currently writing another book manuscript with the tentative title Photographs by Henry Ries of iconic buildings and monuments in Berlin, 1937-2004. In addition, Fryd has published essays in Panorama, Art Bulletin, American Art Journal, American Art and Winterthur portfolio, among other publications. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1984.

In conjunction with the award, Fryd will deliver the annual Eldredge Prize Lecture on March 14, 2023. Details and further information will be available online.

The Eldredge Prize, named after the museum’s former director (1982–1988), is sponsored by the American Art Forum, a funder support organization. Established in 1989, this annual award recognizes originality and thoroughness of research, excellence in writing and clarity of method. Eligible are book-length publications by an author in the field of American art history that have appeared within the last three calendar years. The nomination period for the 2023 award ends on January 15, 2023.

Recent recipients of the Eldredge Prize include Cherise Smith (2021) for her book Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective, Linda Kim (2020) for her book Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public Sphere in Malvina Hoffman’s “Races of Mankind” and Nizan Shaked (2019) for her book The synthetic sentence: conceptualism and the political referent in contemporary art. A full list of previous winners is available online.

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum houses one of the most important and extensive collections of American art in the world. His artworks depict the rich artistic and cultural history of America from colonial times to the present day. The museum’s main building at Eighth Street and G Street NW is open daily from 11:30am to 7:00pm. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a contemporary crafts and decorative arts branch, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Find out online about the current opening hours and information on admission. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Museum Information (on file): (202) 633-7970. Website:

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