Patricia Junker Receives Seventh Annual Frost Essay Award

April 21, 2011
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The Smithsonian American Art Museum has awarded the 2010 Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award to Patricia Junker, the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Junker is the first curator to receive the award. Her article, “Childe Hassam, Marsden Hartley, and the Spirit of 1916,” appeared in the fall 2010 issue (vol. 24, no. 3). The article presents a close contextual study and comparative analysis of Hassam’s impressionist paintings of American flags with Hartley’s abstractions of German military motifs exhibited in the spring of 1916 when American sentiment about World War I had reached a fever pitch.

Junker is the seventh annual winner of the $1,000 award, which recognizes excellent scholarship in the field of American art history by honoring an essay that demonstrates original research. The annual award, established in 2004, is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to the journal. Funding for this award is made possible by the Patricia and Phillip Frost Endowment.

“The Smithsonian American Art Museum has a long history of encouraging new research and fresh ideas through awards and publications such as the American Art journal,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “I am pleased that the 2010 Frost Essay Award goes to Patricia Junker for her excellent essay on two important American painters, Marsden Hartley and Childe Hassam.”

Each year, three members of the journal’s editorial board select the winner from articles, interviews and commentaries published in the journal during the previous calendar year. The 2010 jurors are Wendy Bellion, associate professor in the department of art history at the University of Delaware; Michael Leja, professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania; and Sylvia Yount, chief curator and the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art at the VirginiaMuseum of Fine Arts.

“Thoroughly researched and carefully constructed, Junker’s argument is fresh, surprising and relevant in its connection to contemporary political culture,” said the panel. “Junker brings the spring of 1916 to life in a vivid and engrossing way. Her significant and memorable essay presents a model of crisp expression and persuasive argumentation that adds a new dimension to our understanding of American art production at a particular time and place.”

Junker is the author most recently of Edward Hopper: Women (2008), and she has contributed to the exhibition catalogs George de Forest Brush: The Indian Paintings (2009) and Casting a Spell: Winslow Homer, Artist and Angler (2004).

A complete list of past Frost Essay Award winners and additional information about the award is available at

The museum’s research programs include fellowships for pre- and postdoctoral scholars, extensive photographic collections documenting American art and artists, and unparalleled art research databases. An active publications program of books, catalogs and the journal American Art complements the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs. Information about subscribing, purchasing single issues or submitting articles to American Art, which is published by the University of Chicago Press, is available at

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. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Dec. 25. Admission is free. Metro station: Gallery Place/Chinatown. Find the museum on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, ArtBabble, iTunes and YouTube. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 633-5285 (TTY). Website:

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