Skip to content Skip to navigation

Marci Kwon

Marci Kwon

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor of Art History
Ph.D. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

On Leave Until January 2022 

A scholar of American Art, Kwon's research and teaching interests include the intersection of fine art and vernacular practice, theories of modernism, cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, critical race theory, and "folk" and "self-taught" art. Her book Enchantments: Joseph Cornell and American Modernism, forthcoming from Princeton University Press, explores Cornell’s attempts to figure enchantment—an ephemeral force that exceeds rational explanation—in his box constructions, assemblages, and cinematic experiments.  More broadly, this project uses Cornell’s artistic career and wide circle of acquaintances, which included artists, poets, writers, and filmmakers, as a lens through which to understand enchantment’s centrality to midcentury conversations about art’s relationship to the public, popular culture, and potential for moral authority.  This wide-ranging, interdisciplinary study explores Cornell’s engagement with a number of key episodes in American modernism, including the transatlantic migration of Symbolism, Surrealism, and ballet to the United States; the efflorescence of “folk” art in the 1930s; Abstract Expressionism; and the emergence of New York School poetry and experimental cinema. 

Sample Courses: 

Asian American Art, 1850-Present (undergraduate lecture)

American Mystics (graduate seminar)

American Art and Anthropology (graduate seminar)

Folk/Outsider/Self-Taught  (graduate seminar)

Migration and Diaspora in American Art (undergraduate lecture)

Objecthood (graduate seminar) 

Pacific Dreams: Art in California (undergraduate lecture)