Davis Art Prize for Writing


Wellesley students are invited to compete for a $300 cash prize by submitting a paper about any object or event associated with the Davis Museum. Topics may include:

  • Objects from the permanent collections or exhibited during temporary exhibitions
  • Any aspect of Museum programming
  • The Davis Museum itself


  • This competition is open to all Wellesley College students.
  • Papers written during the Spring 23, Fall 23, and Spring 24 semesters, including those written for independent studies, are eligible.
  • Each student may submit only one paper.
  • Honors theses are not eligible. A paper being submitted for another prize (e.g. sponsored by a department) is also ineligible.

Entries must include the paper and a cover letter that contains your name, class year, and campus  address; the name of the professor and course for which you wrote the paper; and a brief description  of the assignment and the date the paper was submitted. Send submissions as e-mail attachments to davis-art-writing-prize@wellesley.edu by Monday, April 1, 2024.

Questions? Email Yuhua Ding, the Kemper Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Affairs at the Davis Museum at davis-art-writing-prize@wellesley.edu


Prize Recipients:

2024:  Sofia Malika Djojonegoro '26, "Serpent's Way: Recarving the Tire Tracks of Colonialism,” for ARTH 225: Modern Art since 1945 (Art History)
Object: Betsabeé Romero, Serpent's Way, 2002, Etching on tire, Museum purchase, The Mary Clothier Slade Fund 2003.41

2023: Alex Cahn '24, Mirka Estrada '23 and Uvin Ko '23, “Decolonizing the Davis Museum: An Exploration of Decolonial Approaches in Shaping Narratives and Power in Space,” for SOC 312: De-centering and Re-centering: Social Theory Across the Globe (Sociology).
Museum programming: reframing space of the Davis Museum and proposing new installations

2022: Eleanor Mallett '22, "Ashes to Ashes: An Ethnography of The Steps at Wellesley College" for ANTH 277/WRIT 277: "True Stories: Ethnographic Writing for the Social Sciences and Humanities." Justin Armstrong (Writing and Anthropology).
Exhibition: "Like a Great Roman Ruin": The College Hall Fire and Anne Whitney at 100 (2014) 

2021: Annabel Brazaitis ’22, “Portraits, Pieces: The American ’90s and the Queer Collage,” for ENG 286: New Literatures: The Gay 1990s and Beyond, Octavio González (English).
Object: Nicole Eisenman, Happy Thoughts (Self-Portrait), 1996, Ink and collage on paper, Gift of Martina Schaap Yamin (Class of 1958) 2009.414

2020: Stephanie Fan ’22, “Connecting Tradition and Modernity: Yang Yongliang’s Artificial Wonderland II,” for ARTH 100: The Power of Images: Introduction to Art and its Histories, Margaret Carroll (Art)
Object: Yang Yongliang, Artificial Wonderland II—Travelers Among Mountains and Streams, 2014, Giclée print, AP 1/2, Museum purchase with funds given through the generosity of Linda Wyatt Gruber (Class of 1966) 2019.39