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Art Historian Sally Promey Accepts Yale Appointments

Sally M. Promey, a highly regarded art historian currently at the University of Maryland, has been appointed professor of religion and visual culture in the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School, and professor of American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale, effective January 2007. Additionally, Promey will serve as deputy director of ISM for a three-year, renewable term, assisting in strategic planning, curriculum, and in program development in religion and visual culture, particularly among the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and other arts areas at Yale and beyond.

In announcing Promey's appointment, ISM Director Martin Jean said, "We are fortunate that Professor Promey will join the Yale faculty, and we are particularly proud to note that this is the first tenured senior appointment to be made to the ISM faculty since 1997, and the first-ever fully joint appointment made with a department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences."

Promey is currently professor of American art history and chair of the Department of Art History and Archeology at the University of Maryland. She holds the Ph.D. in history of culture from the University of Chicago and the M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, where she was a student of John W. Cook, former Director of the ISM, and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. Her scholarship explores relations between visual culture and religion in the United States from the colonial period through the present. Her work is defined by collaboration and interdisciplinarity.

Promey will arrive on the Yale campus in January 2008, following a year-long Guggenheim Fellowship to complete a book titled Religion in Plain View, a history of the public display of religion in he United States. Her most recently completed monograph, Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent's "Triumph of Religion" at the Boston Public Library (Princeton University Press, 1999) received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion. Her book Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth Century Shakerism (Indiana University Press, 1993) was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art and was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters.

Promey is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a residential fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, two Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships (1993 and 2003) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers.

She was co-director (with David Morgan, Valparaiso University) of a multi-year interdisciplinary collaborative project, "The Visual Culture of American Religions," funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Lilly Endowment Inc. Promey serves on the Advisory Committee of the Archives of American Art, the Editorial Board of Material Religion, and is Editorial Advisor to American Art as well as juror for the College Art Association's Wyeth Foundation Publication Grant in American Art.

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