Shannon Bewley is a PhD student in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University, having earned her MA in the same department in 2021. Her research focuses on the exhibition histories of women sculptors in the United States and Latin America during the twentieth century. She draws on installation photographs, artist interviews, and institution archives to situate these artists’ careers within the professionalization of museum practice and the rise of alternative exhibition spaces. Bewley is currently the Co-President of Boston University’s Graduate Student History of Art & Architecture Association and a Junior Editor on the scholarly journal SEQUITUR.
Prior to entering Boston University, Shannon Bewley was Provenance Research Fellow at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama. She researched the ownership, publication, and exhibition histories of more than eighty painting highlights in order to better contextualize and expand the narratives of the Museum’s holdings. Her research can be found on the Museum’s website, such as the provenance text for L’Arabe Pleurant son Coursier (The Arab Lamenting the Death of his Steed) (about 1812) by Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse.
While at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Bewley co-curated For Freedoms: Civil Rights and Human Rights (2018) and two rotations of 20th-century modernist paintings and works on paper in the American galleries. She also managed the digitization of over 1,000 of Museum’s exhibition archives from 1951 to 2006.
In 2017, Bewley earned a BA in Art History, a BFA in Studio Art (Sculpture), and a minor in German from Auburn University. At Biggin Gallery, Alabama, she installed more than thirty-five exhibitions over four years. She exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Alabama. Her senior art history thesis, “The Part and the Whole: The Multiple Perspective of Tara Donovan’s Untitled (Plastic Cups)” examined how Donovan’s sculptures critique the proliferation of disposable goods through their own dependency on mass-produced plastics. Editions of this essay were published in the 2018 Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship and presented at the 2018 SECAC Conference.