Katherine Jentleson

PhD Candidate in Art, Art History & Visual Studies | Graduated 2016
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I am a PhD student in the department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. I specialize in the art of the United States, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. After my preliminary examinations in April 2013, I will officially begin my dissertation on the history of folk and self-taught art in the United States. Drawing on interdisciplinary methodologies, including Social Network Analysis, I hope to demonstrate and reflect on the evolution of the category of self-taught art in American institutions, beginning with the MoMA’s 1930s exhibitions and moving to current phenomenon, such as the Outsider Art Fair and the near-closure of the American Folk Art Museum. Before I came to Duke in 2010, I worked in the publishing industry, beginning at Harper’s magazine and spending several years as as editor at Art+Auction. I am currently part of a team at Duke that is developing a pedagogical game called Fantasy Collecting that will “gameify” the task of memorization associated with survey courses and teach students about the forces that govern the art market.


“Not as Rewarding as the North:” Holger Cahill’s Southern Folk Art Expedition

Publications & Presentations


Jentleson, Katherine. “Gatecrashers: The First Generation of Outsider Artists in America.” PhD dissertation, 2015.