NCSA 2012 President's Award Minimize
Phylis Floyd
Associate Professor, Department of Art, Michigan State University

The 2012 conference of  NCSA in effect began two years ago in Tampa, Florida, when Phylis Floyd announced excitedly that, given all the talk about 2012 and the Mayan calendar, a conference on spirituality might be appropriate for that year, and she would be happy to chair the program committee.  This was the first I heard about 2012 in the Mayan calendar, a topic that would of course gain considerable traction in subsequent weeks and months.  But the idea of spirituality and matters of spirit instantly caught my imagination and that of the Board to which it was proposed, and it resulted in our conference today, the largest in NCSA history.  

Our conference is but the most recent achievement in a career of participation and service that goes back to Phylis's first paper at SENCSA (as it was then known) in 1995.  Only two years later, Phylis was program chair for the NCSA conference "Ordinary People, Everyday Lives," and she chaired the program again in 2000 for our conference on "Visions, Dreams, and Nightmares."  In 1998, after serving on the NCSA Board of Directors, Phylis was elected Vice President of the Association, and in 2001 she became Treasurer, serving in that position for six years and keeping our finances on a solid footing.  Our current Treasurer, Drew Hubbell, recently reported to the Board on how the investments Phylis made during her terms of office still provide important funding for NCSA programs.   Most recently, Phylis served a term on the Emerging Scholars Award Committee, which she chaired last year.

Phylis's first SENCSA paper was on American perceptions of Asian art, just one aspect of an intellectual engagement with 19th-century art, in particular Impressionism and Japonisme, that goes back to her dissertation research and forward to her current book project on the discovery of Asian art by American artists.  In between, she has published articles on artists ranging from Rodin and Manet to Ivan Albright and Betye Saar, as well as on Japonisme, Orientalism, and electronic resources for 19th-century art research.  She has curated, co-curated,  and written the catalogues for numerous exhibitions, including Seeking the Floating World: The Japanese Spirit in Turn-of-the-Century French Art, an exhibition that began at Rutgers University and traveled throughout Japan and the United States between 1989 and 1993.   Her grants received and papers presented display an equally impressive range.  

Phylis Floyd's extraordinary service now and over the past two decades, together with her major contributions to the study of nineteenth-century art, make her an outstanding candidate for the President's Award.  It is my pleasure and honor to present it to her, as I look forward to the ways in which she will continue to enrich the life of NCSA in the years ahead.


Meri-Jane Rochelson

President, NCSA