James Wehn ’19

James Wehn, a Mellon Fellow in the art history doctoral program conducted jointly by CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art, offered a glimpse into his last few days on campus. In an art/sci Instagram Takeover, he shares more about the program, his experiences and where he’s going next.

Where are you from?

I was born in Cleveland, but grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

What are you studying?

My major field is the art of German-speaking lands from 1400-1600, but I also specialize in the history of printmaking in Europe, especially before 1900.

Why did you choose to study this subject?

I have long aspired to be a curator of prints in an art museum.

What is your favorite class and/or faculty member, and why?

My favorite course was a semi-independent study of Rembrandt’s prints and drawings, which another art history graduate student and I took with Professor Catherine Scallen. Dr. Scallen, who is also my advisor, is a Rembrandt expert, so this was a particularly productive course.

Why did you choose CWRU?

I chose CWRU because I knew I wanted to eventually work in an art museum. The joint doctoral program between CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art was a perfect fit for me, and has been instrumental in helping me achieve my professional goals.

What do you like best about CWRU?

My advisor, Professor Catherine Scallen. Also, my colleague Kylie Fisher, another PhD candidate who also specializes in the history of printmaking.

What do you like best about living in Cleveland?

Hanging out in the backyard during summer, especially with my neighbor, Val. Also, CrossFit I/O, the gym where I got exercise while writing my dissertation. The coaches there are phenomenal, and so is the community of people who work out there.

Describe any research projects, study abroad, internship or other unique experiences and opportunities you have had as a result of being a CWRU student.

I made several trips to Europe to conduct research and present papers at international conferences. I am grateful for generous grants from the Olszewski Travel Fund, the Nancy and Joseph Keithley Institute for Art History, and the School of Graduate Studies at CWRU, that made many of these trips possible.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

Whenever I could, I enjoyed participating in events with the German Club.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I love to bake. Pies are my speciality, but I also learned to make croissants during my second year of coursework. I play the piano somewhat badly, but it’s a fun distraction when I need a break from research and writing.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Completing my dissertation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I have been appointed the Van Vleck Curator of Works on Paper at the Chazen Museum of Art, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.