Applications Due September 30 for Downing Grants for HART Undergraduate Research and Travel

haleysouthafricaVanderbilt’s History of Art students are encouraged to apply for a fall 2016 Downing grant by Friday, September 30. The department awards these Downing grants for travel to exhibitions and research centers to supplement academic instruction for HART majors who are in the Honors Program, in senior seminars, or in “W” (writing) courses. These grants, which provide assistance for up to $1,500 in travel costs, are awarded in the fall and spring of each academic year.

Applications for the fall 2016 Downing grants—due Friday, September 30—should be addressed to the Downing Grants Committee, c/o Professor Elizabeth Moodey and submitted by email. Please email them to Professor Moodey (

The application should consist of a detailed proposal of one page explaining the purpose and rationale of the proposed travel; projected costs (accommodations, travel expenses, and research costs—–note that food is not included); and a supporting letter by the instructor in charge of the project.

Past Downing Grants have supported travel for research on photojournalism in post-war Berlin, a Marcel Duchamp installation in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon in the British Museum, and a Gothic reliquary in the Louvre.

One of HART’s Downing grant recipients last spring, Haley Brown, BA’17, spent two months in South Africa this summer, two weeks of which she was in Cape Town. Here she conducted research for her honors thesis at the Michaelis Fine Arts Library on the University of Cape Town’s campus and visited the Iziko South African National Gallery. Brown is writing about the works of four South African photographers—Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi, Zwelethu Mthethwa, and Santu Mofokeng—and their role in the socially tumultuous country.

“Through the generous aid from a Downing grant, I gained invaluable experience with the very subject matter I have been passionately researching over the past year,” said Brown. “To see these works in person has given my thesis argument so much more power in the sense that my personal experience will clarify and strengthen my writing.”

Entrance facade of the “Constitutional Court of South Africa,” written in South Africa’s 11 official languages and photographed by Haley Brown while in Johannesburg

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