JENNIFER Y. CHUONG

My research centers on the art, architecture, and material culture of the transatlantic world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly as they relate to histories of science, environment, and race. As the Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, I am working on a book manuscript, “Surface Experiments: Art, Nature, and the Making of Early America,” which recovers the artistic, scientific, and philosophical fascination with surfaces as sites of physical transformation in the eighteenth-century transatlantic world. In this project, I explore a range of experimental surface techniques, including mezzotint engraving, paper marbling, veneer furniture, and oil painting. A second project mines printed portraits to show how, over the long eighteenth century, printmaking’s strategies of representation evolved to materialize modern racialized subjects.

My scholarly work has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council for Learned Societies, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography, 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 Ph.D. from Harvard University, 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.

Publications


“Engraving's ‘Immoveable Veil of Black’: Phillis Wheatley's Portrait and the Politics of Technique.” The Art Bulletin (Forthcoming, June 2022).

“Contact, and Contact Again: Reflections on an Eighteenth-Century Powder Horn” (Co-authored with Kailani Polzak). Invited contribution to roundtable, “When and Where Does Colonial America End?” Panorama (Forthcoming, Fall 2021).

“The Nature of Early American Veneer Furniture.” Journal18 Issue 9, Field Notes (Spring 2020).

“‘A Gloss Equal to Glass’: The Material Brilliance of Early American Furniture.” In In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World, edited by Christopher Maxwell. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 2020.

Upcoming Presentations


Spring 2022, Clark Art Institute
Imprinting Race [workshop co-organized with Kailani Polzak]

November 4-5, 2021, Université de Paris
“The Unfaithful Surface: John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776," About Time: Temporality in American Art and Visual Culture

Past Presentations


2020

"Overmarbling and Paper’s Disorderly Metamorphoses," Ecologies of Paper in the Early Modern World, The Huntington

"The Yielding Surface: Mezzotints and the Material Representation of Skin in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Material Culture Lunch Group, Yale University

"Composing Type, Throwing Pigments: The Revolutionary Potential of Marbling in Early America,” CAA Annual Conference

2019

"Tacit Protest: Revolution and Materiality,” The Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Conference, City University of New York

"The Fluid Surface: Marbling and Overmarbling in Early America," History of the Book Seminar, Harvard University

“Witch Balls: A Study in Whimsey,” Stories in American Glass: New Research, New Perspectives, Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Memorial Symposium, Yale University Art Gallery

“The Colors of Race,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference [panel co-chaired with Oliver Wunsch]

2018

“Delineating the Shadows,” Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery

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

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

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

“‘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

“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