Each year the Rhonda A. Saad Prize honors one graduate or recent post-graduate paper that has made a substantial contribution to the field of modern Middle Eastern Art History. This year, we received a number of highly qualified papers from throughout the US and abroad.

It is with great pleasure that the Committee for the Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art has chosen to award Nisa Ari for her submission, “Painting After Photography: Nicola Saig, the American Colony Photo Department and the Art of the Copy in Palestine’s Early Twentieth Century Art World.” A PhD candidate in the History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture Program at MIT’s School of Architecture, Ari is currently completing a dissertation on the development of the visual arts in Palestine during the late Ottoman period and the British Mandate.

The Committee found that Ari’s paper not only expands on and compliments other studies of Modern Palestinian art (in general) and Nicola Saig (in particular), but also introduces a unique methodological framework in the study of Modern art in the Arab world.

The Committee also cited Anahi Alviso-Marino’s paper, “Collectifs artistiques et stratégies de valorisation et de commercialisation de l’art,” a chapter of a dissertation on contemporary Yemeni art submitted to the Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques at the Université de Lausanne, with honorable mention for its originality and significant contribution to Yemeni Studies.

The award will be publicly announced at the AMCA-Sponsored Session at the 105th Annual CAA Conference, to take place at the New York Hilton Midtown,February 15–18, 2017. This year’s session is “Getting Nude: Artists, Audiences, and the Present Past in the Middle East,” chaired by Kirsten Scheid, and will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the Madison Suite, 2nd Floor, New York Hilton Midtown. Ari will be presenting a version of this paper at CAA on a panel entitled “Modern Intimacies: Photography from Latin America and the Middle East,” on February 18 from 10:30-12:00 in Concourse G. For further details on the CAA conference, please visit http://conference.collegeart.org/about/.

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