Hyewon Yoon

Office: Art & Art History, Paul Creative Arts Center, Durham, NH 03824
Hyewon Yoon

Hyewon Yoon is a lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Hampshire. Her dissertation examined the emergence of photographic portraiture as a vehicle for illuminating the experience of European exiles and their cultural migrations under the threat of fascism. In this work, she argued that exile by fascist regimes prompted certain European photographers to resort to human figuration in order to reconsider the possibilities of historical subjectivity at its moment of crisis. Her argument is anchored in the work of three Jewish European women photographers who turned exclusively to portraiture while in exile. The German-born French Gisèle Freund (1908– 2000), influenced by American mass culture, was the first commercial color portraitist of the French literati in inter-war France. The Austrian-born American Lisette Model (1910–1983) developed a caricature style to critique the French bourgeoisie, which she later adapted to articulate the conditions of the American Lumpenproletariat. And the German-born American Lotte Jacobi (1896–1990), a master portraitist of Weimar cultural society, continued to apply her distinctive aesthetic stylization of the human figure, characteristic of Weimar, to her American subjects. As part of this work, Yoon received fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard, the National Gallery of Canada, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte. During three years of archival research in Europe and North America, Yoon started working on not only a group of exile photographers but also interwar European female photographers who have been largely overlooked in histories of interwar modern art, such as Ilse Bing, Alice Lex-Nerlinger, Eva Besnyö, Annelise Kretschmer, Lotte Reiniger, etc. In revising her book project, she brings discussions of gender to the fore. She will examine the ways in which interwar European female émigré artists introduced a gendered perspective on the experience of exile.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • B.A., Seoul National University

Research Interests

  • Critical theory
  • Exile and diaspora studies
  • Feminism
  • Film and media theory
  • Gender and race studies
  • Modern, postwar and contemporary art
  • Photography

Courses Taught

  • ARTH 400: Top in Art History/Portraiture
  • ARTH 444C: Honors/Seeing Gender
  • ARTH 480: Introduction to Art History
  • ARTS 400: Top in Art History/Portraiture
  • ARTS 444C: Hon/Seeing Gender:Feminist Art
  • ARTS 480: Introduction to Art History
  • ARTS 574: Intro to Architectural History
  • ARTS 688: Histories European Modernism
  • ARTS 689: Contemporary Art and Theory
  • HUMA 512A: Renaissance and Early Modern
  • HUMA 513A: Modern World