Sign In
  • UD Search
Toggle Navigation

Open the Navigation Management window, which can be used to view the full current branch of the menu tree, and edit it.

CONNECT
  • Donate
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Instagram

FACULTY Faculty

Image Picker for Section 0

​​​

 

 

Jennifer Van Horn
Assistant Professor of Art History and History
Early American Art and Material Culture
Ph.D. University of Virginia
University of Delaware
317 Old College
Newark, DE 19716

Biography

​Professor Jennifer Van Horn specializes in the fields of early American art and material culture. Her first book, The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America,  ranges from engraved city views to portraits to dressing furniture to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire. She has also written about early American prostheses (wooden legs and dentures) and women’s embroidery in the new American republic. Her courses encompass eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth-century decorative arts, material culture theory and methodology, museum studies, and the production of historical memory.​

Jennifer is spending 2018-2019 at the National Gallery of Art as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) to work on her second book project tentatively titled Resisting the Art of Enslavement: Slavery and Portraiture in American Art, 1720-1890. In 2015-2016 Jennifer was awarded a Postdoctoral fellow at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum to work on this project. The book examines the role enslaved African Americans played as producers and viewers of portraits in the plantation South, and uncovers the importance portraiture held for newly freed African Americans who engaged in acts of iconoclasm and patronage.

A graduate of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (M.A.), and the University of Delaware (Honors B.A. History and Art History), Jennifer received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.  She has published articles in American ArtEarly American Studies, and Winterthur Portfolio, and worked as an assistant curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Before joining the University of Delaware, she taught at George Mason University and held a Postdoctoral fellowship at Winterthur Museum.

Selected Publications

The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2017.

Finalist, 2018 George Washington Prize

Honorable Mention, 2018 Louis Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

Recipient of a College Art Association Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant

“‘The Dark Iconoclast’: Slaves’ Artistic Resistance in the Civil War South,” The Art Bulletin 99:4 (December 2017): 129-63.

“Prince Demah and the Profession of Portrait Painting,” Beyond the Face: New Perspectives on Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery volume (anticipated fall 2018).

“‘Painting’ Faces and ‘Dressing’ Tables: Concealment in Early Southern Dressing Furniture,” Faces and Places: The Life of Things in Early America. Ed., George Boudreau and Margaretta Lovell. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, (anticipated fall 2018).

"Regional Tastes in a Transatlantic Market: Joseph Blackburn in New England and Bermuda," New England/New Spain: Portraiture in the Colonial Americas, 1492-1850. Ed., Donna Pierce. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press for the Mayer Center for Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Art at the Denver Art Museum, 2016.

“George Washington’s Dentures: Disability, Deception, and the Republican Body,” Early American Studies 14:1 (Winter 2016): 2-47.

“The Mask of Civility: Portraits of Colonial Women and the Transatlantic Masquerade,” American Art 23: 3 (Fall 2009): 8-35.

“Samplers, Gentility, and the Middling Sort,” Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture 40:4 (Winter 2005): 219-48.

 

 

The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British AmericaVan Horn, JenniferUniversity of North Carolina PressChapel Hill2017https://www.uncpress.org/book/9781469629568/the-power-of-objects-in-eighteenth-century-british-america/<p>Over the course of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Americans purchased an unprecedented number and array of goods. <em>The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America</em> investigates these diverse artifacts—from portraits and city views to gravestones, dressing furniture, and prosthetic devices—to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire. In this interdisciplinary transatlantic study, artifacts emerge as key players in the formation of Anglo-American communities and eventually of American citizenship. Deftly interweaving analysis of images with furniture, architecture, clothing, and literary works, Van Horn reconstructs the networks of goods that bound together consumers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston.<br></p><p>Moving beyond emulation and the desire for social status as the primary motivators for consumption, Van Horn shows that Anglo-Americans’ material choices were intimately bound up with their efforts to distance themselves from Native Americans and African Americans. She also traces women’s contested place in forging provincial culture. As encountered through a woman’s application of makeup at her dressing table or an amputee’s donning of a wooden leg after the Revolutionary War, material artifacts were far from passive markers of rank or political identification. They made Anglo-American society.<br></p>

Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
Bio2
No
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
University of Delaware
<a target="_blank" href="/Lists/Bios/AllItems.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-pencil-square-o"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">EDIT LIST</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/cas-it/utility/ir-bio" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-crop"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">CROP IMAGES</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/Images%20Bios/Forms/Thumbnails.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-camera"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">UPLOAD IMAGES</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/Documents Bios CVs/Forms/AllItems.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-file-text"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">UPLOAD CV'S</span> </a> WebPartEditorsOnly hideHeader bioPages
  • Department of Art History
  • University of Delaware
  • 318 Old College
  • Newark, DE 19716 USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8415
  • arthistory@udel.edu