Monica Jovanovich is an art historian whose research into early 20th-century American art and architecture focuses on the intersection of corporate cultural philanthropy and public art. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History, Criticism, and Theory from the University of California, San Diego in 2016. Her dissertation, â€œPower and Patronage: Public Art and Corporate Mural Commissions in Los Angeles, 1928-1936,â€ explored how corporations were able to strategically shape their image through commissions of public art. The resulting artworks had carefully constructed narratives of local history that celebrated the corporation as a protagonist and were marketed as lasting investments in Los Angelesâ€™ cultural heritage that also countered fears around capitalism. Her publications include â€œThe Apotheosis of Power: Corporate Mural Commissions in Los Angeles during the 1930s,â€ Public Art Dialogue (Spring 2014) and a forthcoming co-edited volume with Bloomsbury Academic, Corporate Patronage in the United States, from the Late 19th-century to the Present. Other research interests include Conrad Albrizioâ€™s fresco cycle for the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and Monsantoâ€™s corporate sponsorship of rides at Disneyland. Her current project explores the patronage of African-American artists in Los Angeles prior to 1970 by private collectors, corporate sponsors, and African-American womenâ€™s groups like the League of Allied Arts.
Monica is currently an Instructor of Art History at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA. Prior to this she was a Teaching Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. From 2008-2014 she was the Managing Director of the Haudenschild Garage, a San Diego-based alternative art space. Monica has been a guest lecturer for the Mississippi Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, and Timken Museum. She served as Treasurer and Board Member for the Association of Historians of American Art from 2013-2017 and was a former co-coordinator of the Los Angeles History and Metro Studies Group (a Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West research group).