JENNIFER CHUONG

My research centers on the art and material culture of the transatlantic world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly as it relates to histories of science, environment, and race. As a doctoral candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, I am writing a dissertation titled “Surface Experiments in Early America,” which recovers the artistic, scientific, and philosophical fascination with surfaces as sites of physical transformation in the eighteenth-century transatlantic world. Examples of “surfacist” arts include mezzotint engraving, paper marbling, veneer furniture, and oil painting. A second project mines author frontispiece portraits to show how, over the long eighteenth century, printmaking’s strategies of representation evolved to produce modern racialized subjects.

My research has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council for Learned Societies, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the American Antiquarian Society, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Winterthur Museum and Library, and the Yale Center for British Art.

In addition to a master's from Harvard, I hold a master’s of science in architectural history from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s of architecture from Cornell University. Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I taught architectural design and worked at the Boston firm, Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

Upcoming Presentations


March 2019, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference
Panel: “The Colors of Race” [co-chair with Oliver Wunsch]

December 14, 2018, National Portrait Gallery
“Delineating the Silhouette,” Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture

November 2, 2018, Southern Methodist University
“Wood in Transition: Veneer Furniture in the Early American Republic,” Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture at 25.

Past Presentations


2018

“Engraving’s ‘Immoveable Veil of Black’: Phillis Wheatley’s Portrait and the Politics of Technique,” College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles

2017

“Printerly Protest in Revolutionary America,” The Art of Revolutions, American Philosophical Society, The Museum of the Revolution, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

“Fast and Slow Printing: Paper Marbling and Letterpress in Early America," Good, Fast, Cheap: The Printed Word & Image in America Before 1900, American Antiquarian Society

“Banking on Surfaces: Benjamin Franklin’s Marbled Bills," Fellows Lectures, Smithsonian American Art Museum

[Invited] “‘That Immoveable Veil of Black’: Engraving and Epidermal Expression in the Eighteenth Century," Works in Progress Series, The McNeil Center for Early American Studies

2016

“The Nature of Marbled Surfaces in Early America,” Early American Material Texts, The Library Company of Philadelphia, The McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the University of Pennsylvania

“Engraving’s Paradoxical Grounds: Print and Colonial Settlement in Eighteenth-Century British America," Placing Prints: New Developments in the Study of Early Modern Print, The Courtauld Institute of Art

“‘Chargeable Ground’ and ‘Shaking Meadows’: New Models of Land Cultivation in Eighteenth-Century New England,” Brown-Bag Lunch Program, Massachusetts Historical Society

2015

“Corn Cob, Tobacco, Magnolia: The Ambitions of Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s American Orders,” New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Student Symposium, Harvard University

2014

“Suspended Centers: Nineteenth-Century Witch Balls in the Manufactory and Home,” Transparency (American Art Graduate Symposium), Yale University

“The Palms of New England: Some Unexpected Geographies in the Eighteenth Century,” New Eyes on the Eighteenth Century Dinner Symposium, Harvard Humanities Seminar on Eighteenth-Century Studies

2011

“Settling and Unsettling: William Bartram’s Strategic Natural Histories,” Graduate Symposium: Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art, City University of New York