School of Art Design and Art History

Dr. John Ott Receives NEH Award


We are excited to announce that School of Art, Design and Art History faculty member, Dr. John Ott, received a Summer Stipends award from the National Endowment for the Humanities! 

This year, over eight hundred applications were received; only ten percent were funded, making it a very competitive program.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

Dr. Ott’s project is “Mixed Media: The Visual Culture of Racial Integration, 1931-1954.” The project investigates black and white artists' efforts towards racial integration, both in terms of imagery and within art institutions, during the decades just before the Civil Rights movement: from the infamous 1931 trial of the Scottsboro Boys until Brown v. Board's desegregation of public schools in 1954. Individual chapters address images of racial solidarity produced within the arts programs of the New Deal, graphics commissioned by multiracial labor unions, Jacob Lawrence’s paintings of the desegregation of the military in the late 1940s, the "enlightened capitalist” vision of integration in mass-market magazines like Life, Fortune, Ebony, and Sepia, and efforts by black modernists like Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Hale Woodruff to claim abstraction as an integrationist visual style.

The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency, the first grand public investment in American culture.  The law identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America’s rich history and cultural heritage, and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines.  The Endowment awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.  

Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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