Kristan M. Hanson
I am a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. My dissertation is titled "In Bloom: Women and Horticulture in French Visual Culture, 1860s-1880s."
I work at KU's Spencer Museum of Art, where I am the Andrew W. Mellon Coordinator of Academic Programs.
My participation in the HASTAC Scholars Program is sponsored by the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities.
I specialize in nineteenth-century French art and culture, with a particular focus on exploring how relationships of gender and power shape social practices and visual representations. My dissertation examines paintings of Parisian women and horticulture by Paris-based artists of the 1870s. A sudden blossoming of interest in horticulture, the art of growing gardens and displaying plants, transformed the ways that women of different classes engaged with the natural world in the second half of the nineteenth century. By analyzing a selection of pictures that show the kinds of female florists, prostitutes, gardeners, and shoppers, who were known to participate in this fad, I deepen understandings of gender, movement, and urbanism. To construct an original framework for interpreting horticulture-themed paintings, I use emergent technologies to plot the locations artists portray, along with other urban green spaces, on an 1870 map of Paris. This use of mapping, to visualize part of France’s transcontinental horticultural network, enhances my argument that certain depictions of Parisian women and fresh blooms illuminate an understudied botanical entanglement of female mobility with local and global plant movement patterns.