Alexis Kelly

BA Honors | Art History


I have a double major in art history and psychology with a minor in German, and I am originally from Newport Beach, California. While at Notre Dame, I have enjoyed working at the Snite Museum of Art as a research assistant to Dr. David Acton, Curator of Photographs, and as the leader of the Student Programming Committee. After graduation, I will be spending a year in Germany as the recipient of a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange fellowship. During this time, I will be taking masters-level courses in art history at a German university and pursuing an internship in an art museum or gallery. I would like to thank the entire Art History faculty at Notre Dame for their support and inspiration over the past four years. I am especially grateful for the guidance I received from my thesis advisor, Dr. Tatiana Reinoza, during this project.


Framing Graciele Iturbide: Representations of Indigeneity in Mexican Photography from the 19th Century to the Present

This paper examines the work of contemporary Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and contextualizes her practice in the longer history of Mexican photography. I address her oeuvre in three sections: landscape, portraiture, and travel photographs. In each, I discuss the ways that Iturbide engages with historical tropes about Indigeneity, such as notions of the Indian as static, timeless, exotic, and intrinsically tied to the ahistorical landscape. My central argument is that Iturbide embraces the Indigeneity of her subjects and represents them in a dignified manner. In doing so, she responds to and seeks to negate notions of the Indian as timeless and primitive, which she accomplishes through citation and subversion of tropes from earlier Mexican photography.