Jennifer Way


Art History
Job Overview: 
Jennifer Way's research and teaching explore the social meanings and uses people make of art, including visual art, craft, design, material culture, and exhibitions, emphasizing the period since the mid-20th century.
Contact Information
Art Building, Room 312
Areas of Expertise: 
20th and 21st Century Art and Art History

Jennifer Way is an art historian specializing in the 20th and 21st centuries, with emphasis on the period from 1945 to the present. Previously, she worked in the curatorial departments of art museums in Philadelphia and Detroit and as leadership for not-for-profit organizations.

Way's research discovers the meaning people made of art. Her publications explore late modernism, internationalism, and postindustrial western society in its geographic and neoliberal trajectories, as well as the global contemporary, economy and art, diplomacy and art, and art history methodology and historiography. Way uses historical texts and contemporary theory to illuminate archival materials, object practices, and discursive meanings that arise at the intersection of politics, economy and art.

Course topics Way teaches in relation to her research examine craft and decorative art in historiographies of modernism; visual culture, refugees and migrants; art and suffering; objects of diplomacy; heritage and memory; and the politics of exhibitions.


Way's research has been supported and funded by Craft Research Fund-Project Grant, Center for Craft, Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant, Terra Foundation for American Art Senior Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Design History Society, The Lemelson Center for the  Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, Clinton Institute for American Studies at the University College Dublin, Humanities Texas, Edward and Betty Marcus Digital Education Project for Texas Art Museums, Fulbright Senior Fellowship Award at Trinity College Dublin, and Yale Center for British Art.


Way has developed collaborative, interdisciplinary academic projects in partnership with members of her college and university, and with the greater Dallas Fort Worth community along with organizations located outside region. Selected examples include the series Conversations: Art, Politics & North Texas; Leadership Perspectives on Technology and Art; the Virtual Senior Center, NYC; and Collections Cultures and Collaborations, a student-research, collections-based project collaborating with local museums and collecting organizations.

She has supervised over 55 M.A. art history projects and created and taught over 30 seminar topics and 15 upper-level art history courses. More than 50 scholars and artists have visited with students enrolled in her courses. Way received a university award for mentoring students in research, and a university award for teaching.  She has served as PI and Co-PI for numerous external and internal grants and fellowships. Way serves in university leadership roles promoting diversity and gender equity, graduate studies, and the accessibility of information concerning the workplace environment. Working across her university she developed a cohort group to report on the status of women faculty. She developed the 4+1 B.A./M.A. degree track for the art history program. She has overseen merit, promotion and tenure processes for her college and program and mentored numerous probationary faculty through tenure. Way served as program coordinator for art history, chaired academic search committees, and supervised college academic, gallery, and ad hoc policy and grievance committees, among others.