Brittany Halberstadt ’19: Social Network Analysis, Data Visualization, and Abstract Expressionism

April 10, 2019
Christine Liu

Brittany Halberstadt is currently a senior majoring in Art History with a concentration in Museum Theory and Practice. Here she shares her distinction project and gives a preview into some of the visualization work she has created. 

My Graduation with Distinction project focuses on the use of Social Network Analysis, Data Visualizations, and Visual Analyses to understand influence, using the development of Abstract Expressionism in the United States as a case study. I use these three methods to suggest new lines of inquiry and to better understand the information gathered from my archival and scholarly sources.

Figure 2. Birth place of 77 individuals in my data set. Created using Tableau on October 10th, 2018.

My current project is a continuation of my work with Professor Paul Jaskot researching exile and émigré artists from Nazi Europe (Dictionary of Art Historians) who traveled to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. I created a database of exile and emigre artists using information pulled from Varian Fry’s Surrender on Demand, as well as additional scholarly sources.

Figure 3. Jackson Pollock, Troubled Queen, 1945, oil and alkyd (synthetic paint) on canvas, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Image Credits: Brittany Halberstadt