Ashley Peterson

Mentor: Dr. Melissa Hyde
Fine Arts
"I really enjoy learning about new topics and familiarizing myself with artists and movements that I have otherwise not come across through course curriculum. As an art history major I have to write at least one research paper per course during the semester; after writing a few of them I began to realize how interesting and even fun they can be. The Emerging Scholars program gave me an opportunity to explore topics I am fascinated with under the supervision and guidance of a knowledgable professor. I will be able to research and write more extensively on my topic through this program and eventually be able to present my work to my peers."


Art History



Research Interests

  • Impressionism
  • Women artists
  • French art

Academic Awards

  • Emerging Scholars Program 2015-2016


  • Art History Association


  • 4Most Gallery Intern 2015
  • Harn Curatorial Intern 2016

Hobbies and Interests

  • Attending concerts
  • visiting museums
  • traveling
  • reading

Research Description

Les Trois Grandes Dames: The Forgotten Female Impressionists
My research project will explore the careers of the three great female Impressionists: Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot and Marie Bracquemond, who were instrumental in the development of the artistic period of French Impressionism, but are disproportionately celebrated today. My goal is to examine the social conditions and the relationships that shaped their careers, and informed their techniques, subject matter and careers, including the influences of their male peers, their marital status and the impact of these relationships. This project would focus on the women; any inclusion of male Impressionists would be directly linked to the reciprocal influences and friendships between artists. I wish to explore such questions as: Why was Impressionism open to women in a way that other movements were not, even with the strong social stigmas against female artists in the 19th century? Why were these three women equally successful in their own time, but are now unequally famous and written about? Did their various relationships with their “male counterparts” contribute to the disproportionate reverence between the women? Of these three women, Marie Bracquemond is far and way the most unheard of, why is that? How did Bracquemond’s marriage in particular hinder her artistic career and subsequent fame? In what ways does their gender affect their place in history? How did it affect their artistic practice and the reception of their work?