Ashley Lazevnick

Ph.D., 2018


Ashley Lazevnick is the 2018–2019 University of Maryland/Phillips Collection Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern & Contemporary Art. She specializes in American art, with particular focus on the visual and literary cultures of modernism. Her research examines the intersections of art and literature, the history of science, and philosophies of pragmatism.

Her dissertation, supervised by Rachael DeLue, reconsiders a loose group of painters and writers, known as the Precisionists, through an investigation of the meanings and metaphors associated with the term “precision” in the early twentieth century. In a forthcoming issue for American Art, “What’s in a Name?” she explores the challenges of stylistic and chronological categories in the discipline of art history.

Prior to the Phillips Collection, Ashley was the Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research has been supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the American Council of Learned Societies, The Harry Ransom Center, and the Terra Foundation.

Selected Publications

“Precisionism—What’s in a Name?” Special issue of American Art, 2019.

“Inhuman Portraits: The Machine-Man in American Modernism,” in Hermeneutik des Gesichts: Aktuelle Positionen der Porträtforschung, Schriften des Internationalen, Warburg Kollegs 5, ed. Uwe Fleckner, Hamburg: Akademie Verlag, 2016.

“Impossible Descriptions: Mina Loy and Constantin Brancusi’s Golden Bird,” Word & Image, special issue on ekphrasis, Spring 2013.

“The Soul in the Machine: Charles Sheeler and his Classic Landscape,” Athanor 31, Gainesville: Florida State University Press, 2013.

Selected Conference Papers

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellows Presentations
“The Survival of Ancient Punctilio: Still Life Painting out of Time”
American Literature Association, San Francisco,
“Precisians and Precisionists: Moore and O’Keeffe”

Modern Language Association, Philadelphia,
“Wiping Soiled Words Clean”: The Poetics of William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore
“Learning to be Precisians: Poetics of Precision in the 1920s”

Washington University in Saint Louis Graduate Student Symposium, Endurance and Ephemerality: Art and the
Passage of Time
“A Picture of Storage: Precisionism in the Long 1920s”

Rutgers Graduate Student Symposium, Languages of Art
“Terrific Threshold of the Prophet’s Pledge: Managing the Brooklyn Bridge”

The Matter of Writing, co-organizer, Princeton University