PLAN 75: Article
Smentek Honored For 'most Distinguished Dissertation'

Research on Transformation of Art as Intellectual and Commercial Pursuit

Kristel Smentek has received an award for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation in North America from the Council of Graduate Schools, an organization of over 500 institutions of higher education in the US and Canada; their Distinguished Dissertation Awards are the nation’s most prestigious honor for doctoral dissertations.

Recently appointed Assistant Professor of History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art in the Department of Architecture, Smentek received the 2009 Award in Humanities and Fine Arts for her dissertation Art, Commerce and Scholarship in the Age of Enlightenment: Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Making of Art History.

Her research analyzed the scholarly and business careers of a celebrated 18th century French art collector, dealer and historian as a microcosm of the transformation of art as both an intellectual and commercial pursuit. Smentek earned her doctorate in Art History from the University of Delaware in 2008.

Bestowed annually since 1982, the CGS awards recognize recent doctoral recipients who have already made unusually significant and original contributions to their fields. The awards are sponsored by the dissertation publisher ProQuest and an independent committee from the Council of Graduate Schools selects the winners; two awards are given each year, rotating among four general areas of scholarship. The winners receive a $2K honorarium and travel to the awards ceremony.

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