Hadrien Viraben Awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2015 Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize

July 22, 2015
News Release

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has awarded Hadrien Viraben the 2015 Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize. Viraben’s prize-winning essay, “Achille Segard Interviews Mary Cassatt: A Living Master of Impressionism, Her Biographer and the General Audience,” considers the French critic Achille Segard’s 1913 biography of Cassatt as an important document of an artist’s attempt to influence the reception and legacy of her work. The essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of American Art, the museum’s peer-reviewed journal for new scholarship.

Viraben, a French citizen, is the sixth winner of the prize, which recognizes excellence in research and writing by a scholar in the field of American art history based outside of the United States. Established in 2009, this award supports essays that advance the understanding of historical American art and demonstrate new findings and original perspectives.

An international review panel evaluates essays submitted for the prize following a call for papers. The 2015 readers were Eric C.H. de Bruyn, assistant professor of film and photographic studies at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands; Michael Lobel, professor of art history at State University of New York, Purchase; and Angela Miller, professor of art history at Washington University in St. Louis. The final decision was made from among the panel’s top-ranked candidates by American Art’s executive editor Emily D. Shapiro in consultation with Elissa Auther, the Windgate Research Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design and the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and a member of the journal’s editorial board.

Viraben is a doctoral candidate at the University of Rouen, pursuing research on the historiography and reception of impressionism during the first half of the 20th century. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the École du Louvre, Paris.

The essay prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art, which also supports fellowships at the museum for predoctoral, postdoctoral and senior scholars. A complete list of past Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize winners and additional information about the award are available here. The next prize competition will be held in 2017. 

American Art is produced by the museum’s Research and Scholars Center, which also administers fellowships and offers unparalleled research databases and extensive photographic collections documenting American art and artists. The journal is published for the museum by the University of Chicago Press. Information about subscribing, purchasing single issues or submitting articles to the journal is available here.

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Follow the museum on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, iTunes U and ArtBabble. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: americanart.si.edu.

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