M.A., Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Areas of Specialization: Contemporary Art, American Art, African American Art
Jessica Dallow's research and teaching areas are 19th- through 21st-century art and critical theory with emphases on race and gender, as well as the representation of animals in art.
Jessica is currently preparing a manuscript, tentatively titled The Sporting Life: Imagining Identity in American Equine Art, which provides a new understanding of the horse in American culture as it transformed from a working animal into a recreational pursuit. The manuscript examines a diverse range of visual evidence from the last two centuries and is organized as a series of case studies, including the nineteenth-century racehorse and jockey paintings of Alabama artist Edward Troye, an 1874 collection of photographic portraits by the Philadelphia firm Schreiber and Sons, turn-of-the-century equestrienne paintings by Edmund Tarbell, photographic postcards of female rodeo competitors from the 1920s and 1930s, and Richard McLean’s 1970s Photorealist paintings depicting contemporary horse show competitors. The Sporting Life explores how aspects of identity are defined and contested through these equine images and how as a genre, equine art reflects the ethical, gendered, and commercial formations of modern American sport and leisure culture. Essays related to the project have appeared in the journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide (2013) and the catalog Hoof Beats and Heartbeats: the Horse in American Art(University of Kentucky Art Museum, 2010). Research support includes grants from the Virginia Historical Society, Kentucky Historical Society, and UAB.
Jessica’s additional research interests involve theories of the family in the history of art and southern self-taught art. She co-curated the exhibition Family Legacies: The Art of Betye, Lezley, and Alison Saar for the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her essay, "The Art of Creating a Legacy," appears in the accompanying catalog (University of Washington Press, 2005). Her other essays on Betye and Alison Saar have been published in Feminist Studies (2004) and the anthology Reconciling Art and Motherhood (Ashgate, 2012). She has also written about murals by Clementine Hunter (in Sacred and Profane: Vision and Voice in Southern Self-Taught Art, University of Mississippi Press, 2007) and curated the exhibition Migration/s for the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at the University of Alabama.
At UAB, Jessica teaches Art Since 1945, Aspects of Contemporary Art, Art Criticism and Theory, Race and Representation, American Art to 1900, Modern Architecture, and special topics courses in her areas.