Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Begley, John P.

Author's Keywords

Figurative art; Signifying; Appropriation; Figurative expressionism; Black art; Hite Art Institute


Thompson, Bob, 1937-1966--Exhibitions; Painting--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions


This thesis documents the research, development, and implementation of the exhibition Seeking Bob Thompson. The exhibition portion of this curatorial project was completed in the fall of 2012 using work in the Hite Art Institute collection as well as works borrowed from commercial galleries, art centers, and private collections throughout the United States. Intended to re-expose and reveal the well-known but little exhibited in his hometown, Louisville artist, Bob Thompson, the project focused on delineating reoccurring themes in Thompson's oeuvre that were pertinent to his own process of establishing and defining his artistic identity with particular attention to his appropriations of Old Master compositions. The exhibition provided the opportunity to make use of the university's archive on Thompson, the university's art collection, and its other resources and to extend access to these resources to the region. The exhibition fulfilled the three primary missions of the Hite Galleries: to showcase the artworks of university students and faculty, to present the university's art collection to the wider public, and to provide an exposure of significant art to the university's students and the local community. Both the written and visual components of this thesis project express a view of Thompson as driven by his pursuit and expression of his sense of freedom and his commitment to art history.