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Anne Strachan Cross

Assistant Teaching Professor of American Art
Headshot Anne Cross

Anne Cross (she/her/hers) is an art historian specializing inAmerican Art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on the histories of photography and the material culture of illustrated newspapers and magazines. In her writing and teaching, Cross critically engages the impact racial and gender bias has on the archival and narrative practices of history, and she employs innovative methodologies that create space for themes of recovery and redress, and the dynamics of absence and presence.

Her current book project examines photographs of atrocity and their publication as wood engravings within Harper’sWeekly’s illustrated reporting of the American Civil War.During the Civil War, Harper’s increasingly relied on photographic sources for its illustrated reporting, and this included images of abused enslaved persons, disabled soldiers, and other injured bodies. At Harper’s these photographs were manually transformed from their original medium into wood engravings, a necessary step in the publication process until the 1880s. In her book, Cross examines how this popular NewYork-based newspaper used images of atrocity to both report the news and to further the journal’s political and rhetorical position. In so doing, this project grapples with timely issues such as the social construction of violence as news, the role of the media as moral arbiter, and the ethics of reproducing images of violence, particularly racialized violence, in mass visual culture.

Cross also has extensive curatorial experience and welcomes students who are interested in museum practices.

  • Education
    • PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware
    • MA in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University
    • BA from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University
  • Courses Taught
    • ARTH 1.S.20
    • ARTH 307
  • Honors + Awards
    • Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship on the Civil War, Its Origins, and Consequences, The Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Athenaeum (2021 – 2022)
    • Luce / ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, The American Council of Learned Societies (2020 – 2021)
    • Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship, The American Antiquarian Society (2020)
    • Joan and Stanford Alexander Award, Sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2019 – 2020)
  • Exhibitions + Productions

    Jazz Age Illustration, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE, October 2024 – January 2025 (Co-curator)

  • Publications + Presentations
    • “Questions of Recovery in Photographic History,” in Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in Early American Vernacular Art (New York: The American Folk Art Museum, 2023) (Forthcoming). “
    • ‘The Pictures Which We Publish To-Day Are Fearful to Look Upon’: Images of Atrocity and Their Circulation During the American Civil War,” History of Photography 45, no. 1 (December 2021): 20–33. “
    • ‘The Time Has Now Gone by When Things of This Nature Are to be Hidden from the Public’: Mediating Bodily and Archival Violence,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 6, no. 2 (November 2020)