Orange Alert

Undergraduate Awards

Sidney Thomas Prize

The Thomas prize is awarded annually for best undergraduate student paper in art history. The award is named for Professor Sidney Thomas (1915-2009), a member of the department from 1961-1985. Initially trained in literary studies, Thomas began his academic career as a Shakespeare scholar before moving into art history upon his arrival at Syracuse University. Deeply devoted to humanistic scholarship, Thomas edited two benchmark publications in this area: The Nature of Art (with John Gassner, 1964) and Images of Man: Selected Readings in Arts and Ideas in Western Civilization (1972). 


2022 - Avery Colligan-Wild: Tracing the Metaphysical Journey of Vrubel's Demon

2021 - Grace McCormick: You Will Hear Me: Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Monument Projections as Critical History

2020 - Zora Ezawa: AN ADOLESCENT PARIS: The Role of Childhood in Luxemberg Gardens

2019 - Sophia Jactel: Domesticity and Diversions: Josef Israëls’ The Smoker as a Symbol of Peasant Culture and the Role of the Home in Nineteenth-Century Holland

2018 - Danielle Christine Edwards: Into the Liminal Space of the Quattrocento: Carlo Crivelli and His Lamentation over the Dead Christ

2018 - Zora T. Ezawa: The Role of Art and Activism in the Solitary Confinement Reform

2017 - Benjamin Farr: Whistler's Thames Police: A Visual Alleviant for Machine Age Anxieties

2016 - Sarah Poisner: Diana and Her Nymphs: The Mystery of Vermeer's Early Career

2015 - Alice Blank: Furnishing Helena's Conformist Hell: An Analysis of Gothic Tropes and the Captive Maiden Archetype in Mirrormask

2010 - Sarah Capper: Drawing through a Sculptor's Eyes: An Analysis of Half Figureby Henry Moore

2008 - Meghan Maher: Enamel Reliquaries: Chasse with Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty

2007 - Sarah Parker: Where the Rainbow Really Ends: An essay on Patrick Hughes' Painting The End of the Rainbows

2005 - Brendon Kean: The Transept of Notre-Dame

2004 - Jon Chonko: Boyd and Evans 22b Balcombe Street

2003 - Cara Coughlin: The Urban Worker: A Modern Interpretation of a Modern Theme

2001 - Jason Lamphier: Blessed or Oppressed?: A Look at Nelson's Junk Aesthetic

1999 - Elizabeth Manton: Patronage and Collectors of Bosch

1998 - Elizabeth Manton: The Iconographic Traditions of the Garden of Love and their Influence on 17th Century Dutch Garden Imagery

1997 - Sarah Murphy: Howard Hodgkin, Representationally Abstract

1996 - Robyn Fleming: The 'Noble Art of Painting: A Study of Self-Identity in the Works of Two Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painters

1995 - Stacy Gerber: Arthur B. Carles and Jonas Lie: A Comparison of Two Twentieth-Century American Painters

1993 - Jennifer Duehn: Frogs, Toads, and Bosch: an Examination of Selected Works

1991 - Michelle Langin: The Choir Screen of the Cathedral of Strasbourg

1990 - Melissa Joulwan: Capturing the Donna Mobile

1989 - Juanita Grupe: Bruegel's Enigmatic Dulle Griet

1988 - Gary Jones: The German Meistersinger Tradition and its Impact on the (Early 16th Century Protestant Reformation Borrowing, vis., Martin Luther and the Emerging) Lutheran Hymn Tradition

1986 - Stephen Bluto (co-winner): The Design Elements of the Cosmatesque Pavement

1986 - Julie Moffat (co-winner): Selected Iconographical Interpretations of the Van der Paele Madonna

1985 - Janet Kraus: Hector Berlioz's Personality and its Influence on his Musical Career

n.b. – prior to 2007, the Thomas Award was presented to both art history and music history papers

Abraham Veinus Prize

The Veinus prize is awarded annually to the best undergraduate student paper in music history & cultures. The award is named for Professor Abraham Veinus (1916-2002), who was one of the first faculty to join the Department of Art and Music Histories (at the time, Department of Fine Arts) in 1948, shortly after its founding. A musicologist by training, Veinus wrote an important monograph, The Concerto (1944), and collaborated closely with his colleague William Fleming on the landmark textbook Understanding Music (1958). Embracing the department’s interdisciplinary breadth, later in life Veinus also became an accomplished painter, with his works receiving an exhibition at the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival in 1973.


2023Kaycie Romano: Music for Resistance: Using African American Protest Music as a Tool to Teach Music and Civic Skills in the High School Choir Classroom

2022 - Tara Sandlin: Visions of Jeanne d'Arc: Mythologizing and Materializing a Queer Messianic Madonna in Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco

2021 - Samantha Ohlin: Storytelling with No Words

2020 - Hanna Dunakin: David Bowie Crossword

2019 - Gabrielle Sanft: Music by Design in Twelfth Night

2018 - Jacob Michael O'Shea: The Identities of Otello: Staging Practices in a Post-Blackface World

2017 - Sam Doucas: 'A New Face Hell': Pavement, The Fall, and the Nadir of Indie Rock

2016 - Samantha Skaller: Aristocratic abuse in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni

2015 - Carolyn Goldstein: Performance: The Fire that Ignited the Development of the Late Baroque Violin

2014 - Breanna Caires: The Raunchy Music of Cowboys: Exploring Sex's Role in a "Wholesome" Genre

2013 - Alex Lamport: Rap and Rave: The Collision of Hip-Hop and House Music

2012 - Anthony Beattie (co-winner): Discerning Landscape and Soundscape in Charles Ives' Orchestral Music: A Look at the Dichotomies Created by his Compositional Style

2012 - Aaron Pelc (co-winner): The Ainu of Japan: Ethnic Tourism, Music, and Negotiating Identities

2011 - Evan Wichman: Project-Based Learning in the Music History Classroom

2010 - Samantha Madonna: The Violin as a Symbol of Death in Mahler's Symphonies

2009 - Alec Sim: Lace to the Top: The Role of Corsets in Music Videos

2008 - Tiffany Newhill-Leahy: Composition and Copyright: Girl Talk's Feed the Animals and the History of the Mashup

2007 - Steven Kendrat: Lament Tradition and Conventions in Orontea