Kelvin Parnell, Jr.

PhD Student


Kelvin graduated cum laude from Duquesne University where he earned his bachelor's degree in history and art history and received the Giorgio Vasari Award for Excellence in Art History. He completed his senior thesis on David Gilmour Blythe's paintings of president Abraham Lincoln. Kelvin is a current doctoral student studying 19th century painting and sculpture with a focus on race and identity under the direction of Carmenita Higginbotham. Kelvin recently finished his qualifying paper entitled "Lasting Legibility: An Examination of Function and Authorship in Selma Burke's The Four Freedoms" which examines the negotiations of authorship between artist and the federal government in New Deal art production. 

His dissertation project will explore sculptural theory and the intersections of race and bronze in constructing national identities in 19th century American bronze sculpture through the works of Henry Kirke Brown, John Quincy Adams Ward, Thomas Ball and Meta Warrick Fuller. At the University of Virginia, Kelvin has served as a teaching assistant for "Art Since 1945" and "Art and Money". In the summer of 2018, Kelvin attended the Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory, a summer school funded by the University of Virginia, Duke University, Brown University and the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory at the University of Bologna.