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linnea west, hungary, 2012-2013

Fulbright Year: 2012-2013
Country: Hungary
Proposal Type: Research in Art and Architecture History
Proposal Title: National Identity in the Contemporary Visual Arts
UGA Major/Department: English
Degree: B.A. in English, 2006
Hometown: Athens, GA

While conducting research on art and architecture during her Fulbright year, Linnea West will have at her disposal a most auspicious resource – the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary.

The museum, which was established in 1989 and overlooks the Danube River, has a collection that includes pieces by Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns, as well as significant avant-garde, action art and minimalist works.

Working with a thesis that examines the interpretation of national identity in the works of emerging artists, Linnea also has plans to immerse herself in the city’s art community.

“I am really looking forward to engaging with local artists and curators and the art scene there, and I hope to learn a lot about their concerns and interests – and just seeing a lot of great art,” said Linnea.

Linnea said she’ll document and host online images of Hungary’s contemporary visual art and its effect on national identity. She adds that her online display will be a lasting resource and a user-friendly gallery of images with basic information, written in clear language, cross-referenced and searchable by artist, date, place, theme and media.

“National identity is perhaps always a complex and divisive concept, but the current conditions in Hungary, as it is undergoing radical shifts economically and politically, make it particularly relevant,” she said. “I hope that my project will take some of the wealth of artist efforts accessible to a larger audience outside of Hungary.”

A 2006 graduate of UGA now living in New York City, Linnea’s first job was as a communications intern at the Georgia Museum of Art. She’s held a variety of writing, editing and marketing jobs (including stints with publishing titan Neal Schuman Publishers and social-media marketing company BlueGlass) and has been working as a freelancer in preparation for her move to Budapest.

She’s also considering a return to school – with a focus on contemporary art curation and criticism – after her Fulbright year.

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