Hadrien Viraben, a doctoral candidate at the Université de Rouen, was awarded the 2015 Terra Foundation International Essay Prize.

Stories & News / Press Releases

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

July 23, 2015

Washington, DC—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 twentieth century. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the École du Louvre, Paris. Please click here to view a complete list of past Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize winners. The next prize competition will be held in 2017.

American Art

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.

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.

Terra Foundation for American Art

Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With financial resources of more than $350 million, an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, supporting exhibitions, academic programs, and research worldwide.