Kristan Hanson

PhD Candidate
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Kristan M. Hanson specializes 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. Her 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, Kristan deepens understandings of gender, movement, and urbanism. To construct an original framework for interpreting horticulture-themed paintings, she uses 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 her 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.

Kristan was selected by HASTAC, an interdisciplinary digital humanities community, for their 2018-2020 Scholars Program. Her participation in the HASTAC Scholars Program is sponsored by the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities.

Fields of Study

Nineteenth-Century French Art and Visual Culture
Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art
Modern and Contemporary Art of Japan

Dissertation Title

In Bloom: Women and Horticulture in French Visual Culture, 1860s-1880s


MA School of the Art Institute of Chicago
MA University of Chicago
BA University of California, Irvine

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