Olivia Crough is a PhD candidate studying modern and contemporary art and specializing in the inter- and postwar periods of the Soviet Union. Her dissertation, centered on the artist Varvara Stepanova, examines the intersections of abstraction, gender, nation-building, and the design of information within a broad range of artistic, institutional, and exhibitionary practices from the 1920s-1950s, with an emphasis on print media. Her research interests also include the experimental and political uses of video and broadcasting, the historiography of (reactionary) modernism and its institutions, and the visual culture of Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus.
While at Harvard Olivia has been a teaching fellow in VES, a research fellow at the CCVA, and a graduate curatorial intern at the Busch-Reisinger Museum/Harvard Art Museums, where she co-curated the exhibition Folding, Refraction, Touch: Modern and Contemporary Art in Dialogue with Wolfgang Tillmans and an accompanying film and video program. In 2016 she organized the sound installation MIAL, in which artists Eli Keszler and James Hoff used the CCVA’s original, dormant speaker system. Her research has been supported by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and a Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship. She has a BA in Philosophy and Cinema Studies from New York University.