Past IAS Travel Grant Winners


Rachel Boyd (PhD candidate, Columbia University) received an IAS Conference Travel Grant for Emerging Scholars to support travel to present her paper titled “Andrea della Robbia’s Bambini and Their Progeny: Glazed Terracotta Sculpture for Tuscan Hospitals” at the Renaissance Society of America meeting in Chicago in 2017. 
Katerina Harris (PhD candidate, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) received an IAS Conference Travel Grant for Emerging Scholars to support travel to present her paper titled “Italian Renaissance Effigies Neither Dead Nor Alive” at the Renaissance Society of America meeting in Chicago in 2017.  


Tenley Bick (doctoral candidate, UCLA), presented her paper “Anachronic Casts: Giulio Paolini’s Plaster Sculptures in the Years of Lead, 1968-1982,” at the annual meeting of the American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS) in Baton Rouge, LA, in April of this year.  The paper, awarded an IAS Travel Grant for Emerging Scholars, was in one of two Italian Art Society sponsored panels organized by Lucienne Auz (Memphis College of Art) and Adrian R. Duran (University of Nebraska at Omaha and chair of the IAS Membership, Outreach, and Development Committee) under the rubric “Anachronism and Historicism in Italian Modern and Contemporary Art.”

Angelica Federici (Cambridge University), “Female Religious Patronage in Late Medieval Rome ca. 1200-1400,” presented in the IAS-sponsored session “New Perspectives on Medieval Rome,” chaired by Alison Perchuk and Marius Haukness, at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo MI, 11-15 May 2016. [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close abstract”]Although the past two decades have witnessed a substantial rise in the study of women as patrons of art, no comprehensive, in depth study has ever been devoted to the area circumscribed by the Patrimonium Petri. Literature on the topic is divided into two large strands. Studies have either focused on single case studies and works of art or, have pointed to social and institutional aspects, rather than to artistic patronage.

Yet, evidence of female religious patronage in Rome during the Late Medieval period is conspicuous. Their neglect is possibly a consequence of the perceived dominance of both the papacy and the noble families in the scenario of Roman patronage. Indeed, for art historical historiography, the Rome of the Avignonese Captivity, corresponds to a sort of black hole that extends far beyond the reacquisition of the papal seat, and that negates all types of artistic production, and as a consequence, every possibility of cognitive research. However, the existence of an uninterrupted artistic production not only in Rome, but in the Provincia romana in general blatantly contradict this desolate scenario. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the study of female patrons, the paper I wish to deliver will contribute to the reassessment of artistic patronage in Rome in two crucial centuries of its history.

Due to the scarcity of medieval material, studies on female patronage have a tendency to focus on limited amounts of evidence. Thus they provide only partial and fragmentary accounts. On the contrary, the Roman area has an abundance and variety of sources, both artistic (epigraphic, sculptural, architectural and sepulchral) and documentary. This paper largely based on the research which is currently being conducted for my PhD (Female Religious Patronage in Rome, ca. 1200-1400; Supervisor: Dr. Donal Cooper, University of Cambridge, UK) will present a general survey of artistic commissions from Roman nunneries during the Late Medieval period, with particular focus on three convents; Sant’Agnese fuori le mura (Benedictine), SS. Cosma e Damiano in Mica Aurea (Clarissan) and San Sisto Vecchio (Dominican).

This paper will explore the various facets of these extensive programmes of artistic renewal, which were likely promoted by three abbesses Lucia (Sant’Agnese), Jacoba Cenci (SS. Cosma e Damiano in Mica Aurea) and Angelica Boccamazza (San Sisto Vecchio). Additionally, the material from Sant’Agnese includes a set of unpublished frescos from the convent portraying a Crucifixion and an Enthroned Christ of noticeable quality. These frescos share a strong stylistic resemblance to the ones present in the choir at San Sisto Vecchio dated 1295-1314 possibly of scuola cavalliniana.

The surviving evidence present in these nunneries provides us with a tantalizing glimpse of patronage in Rome by nuns on a large scale. These far-reaching enterprises can give some idea of the extent and quality of the mural decoration within conventual/clausura spaces. Indeed, by ensuring that their own conventual spaces were decorated by leading painters in the latest style these high quality decorative programs confirm the nuns’ role as catalysts for a significant operation of artistic renewal in the city of Rome.[/wpex]

Kristin deGhetaldi (University of Delaware), “Tracing the Evolution of Oil Painting in Renaissance Italy: Previous Assumptions and New Approaches,”presented in the IAS-RSA joint session, “Artistic Exchange between Italy and the Netherlands, 1300–1700,” chaired by Sheryl Reiss, at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 31 March-2 April 2016. [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close abstract”]The adoption of Netherlandish oil-painting techniques by early Italian artists has been explored through both research and analysis of relevant works. This cross-cultural exchange had a significant effect on certain Italian artists, causing them to gradually incorporate drying oils into their daily workshop practices. Scholars have attempted to trace the dissemination of oil painting during the Quattrocento through the results of scientific studies; however, more recent research has exposed problematic and even incorrect assumptions that were generated by earlier examination methods. Newly recognized inaccuracies have prompted scientists to develop more sophisticated methods for distinguishing egg tempera from oil paints; early technical studies must be re-evaluated regarding artistic dialogue between the north and south. A new discourse is now needed to develop a more informed understanding of Quattrocento painting techniques in order to shed light on workshop practices, attribution, and north-south relations.[/wpex]

The first recipient of the IAS International Conference Grant for Modern Topics in the amount of $1000.00 was Angelika Schnell (Professor, Akademie der bildenden KĂŒnste, Vienna) who presented a paper titled “Paolo Portoghesi’s and Aldo Rossi’s Visual Historiographies of Italian Architecture” at the Annual meeting of the American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS) in Baton Rouge, LA in April 2016. The paper was part of an IAS-sponsored session “Anachronism and Historicism in Italian Modern and Contemporary Art,” organized by Lucien Auz (Memphis College of Art) and Adrian R. Duran (University of Nebraska at Omaha).


Jennifer Griffiths, Iowa State University College of Design, Rome and American Academy in Rome, “Savage Beauty: A Futurist Legacy of Self-Design” at the 103rd College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, 11-14 February 2015. [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close abstract”]

In his founding manifesto F.T. Marinetti cast aside the delicate curves of the Victory of Samothrace and in her place he erected the hard angles of a “roaring motorcar.” Woman as Romantic icon, as symbol of art, beauty, and purity, was dethroned in favor of a beautiful machine subject whose divine birth heralded the death of time and space. Italian Futurism aspired to nothing less than a total aesthetic revolution that would remake mankind superhuman in the image of a mechanized world. Futurism’s violent rhetoric of machine optimism has consistently been seen as heralding right-wing despotism and patriarchy. Christine Poggi (Inventing Futurism 2008) and Roger Griffin (“Multiplication of Man” 2009) have seen Futurism’s “dreams of metallized flesh” as those of Italy’s New Man. Hal Foster has insisted, “Even more than creative or destructive, technology is phallic for Marinetti, and desire for phallic power governs not only his machinic fantasies, but his misogynist outbursts as well. This misogyny is more fundamental than either the absence of women in futurism or its attacks on feminism and femininity alike.” (Prosthetic Gods 2006: 120). Reading the movement through the lens of postwar politics, these scholars preemptively dismiss Futurism’s postmodern legacy, but in this paper I propose to explore how Futurism’s “radical irreverence” and “paradoxical feminism” (Lucia Re 1989) prefigured an alternatively progressive narrative, namely, that bodies are not fixed, but constructed, evolving, and expanding possibilities for self-design.

Speaking in February of 2009, almost exactly on the centennial anniversary of the publication of the Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, Aimee Mullins delivered a talk in which she asserted, “People that society once considered disabled can now become the architects of their own identities… By combining cutting edge technology, robotics, bionics with the age-old poetry we are moving closer to understanding our collective humanity.” F.T. Marinetti’s metaphorical description of art as “the prolongation of the forest of our veins, which spreads outside the body, into the infinity of time and space,” (Technical Manifesto of Literature 1912) seems to presage this experience of biotechnology. In novels like Mafarka il futurista (1909/10) or manifestos like Extended Man and the Kingdom of the Machine (1915) Marinetti dreamt of a man/machine hybrid, imagining the day when man would “externalize his will.”

When Mullins, actress, model, paralympian and bi-lateral amputee, made her modeling debut on legs carved of ash designed by Alexander McQueen in his 1999 runway show, she embodied the hybrid identity that had been mere fantasy for the Futurist avant-garde. The legs and corresponding ensemble were subsequently shown at the Metropolitan Museum exhibition Savage Beauty in 2011 following McQueen’s suicide. Precisely for the ways that this runway encounter between art, technology and the body seem to be reversals of the patriarchal despotism of the Futurist superman, they ultimately reveal a surprising genealogy of materialism leading from the philosophy of Elizabeth Grosz or Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto (1985) to Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) and back to Futurism.[/wpex]

Andaleeb Banta, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, “Simultaneous Vision in Oberlin’s ‘Holy Family over Verona,'” to be presented in Italian Painting at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, 26–28 March 2015.  [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close abstract”]

Since its arrival at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in 1961, “The Holy Family over Verona” has intrigued viewers and confounded interpretations of its unusual appearance. Two overlapping, semi-transparent compositions—a nocturnal view of the city of Verona and a depiction of the Holy Family in a garden—are concurrently joined and separated by the illusionistic rendering of a canvas rolling down to reveal the image beneath. A cartellino offers information about the work’s creation, but fails to reveal the artist’s name or its patron. Instead, it is just one of many illusionistic layers that destabilize a cohesive interpretation of the work, including its categorization as a trompe l’oeil. Rather than trick the eye, this work challenges the viewer to contemplate these interwoven, yet seemingly incompatible, images simultaneously. This paper will consider the work’s relation to simultaneous vision and the visual rhetoric of veiling and revelation in illusionistic Renaissance painting.[/wpex]


Francesca Borgo, Harvard University, “The Beast Within, the Beast Without: Animality and Hybridity in Early Modern Armor Ornamentation,” Presented in Armor as Art at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, New York, 27-29 March. [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close Abstract”]

Drawing from and accentuating classical motifs, the surfaces of all’antica armor are inhabited by grotesque heads and hybrid creatures such as harpies, medusas, and centaurs, as well as by an impressive variety of animal exuviae: leonine protomes and paws, ram’s horns, shells, tails, beaks, and wings. In pictorial and sculptural representations, and especially when depicted in battle scenes, such ornaments are often endowed with the appearance of autonomous life, becoming animated through color and movement. Interest in the apotropaic value of animal forms, as well as in the blurring of boundaries between species, finds radical expression in Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari, where the exercise of war leads to a metamorphosis of the warriors’ bodies. Bringing into focus early modern ideas about the behavioral and morphological proximity of living beings, this paper considers zoomorphic armor ornamentation as a space for exploring the intersections between human and animal, animate and inanimate forms. [/wpex]

Kristen Streahle, Cornell University, “TABIMUROLLI MUIDEM REP: PseudoKufic, Retrograde Latin, and the Crusades Remembered on the Chiaramonte Steri Ceiling,” Presented in the IAS-sponsored session “The multiethnic and multi religious environment,” 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 8-11 May. [wpex more=”Read abstract” less=”Close Abstract”]

Adultery, beheadings, vendetta—the painted narratives, ornament, and inscriptions of the Great Hall ceiling, or Sala Magna, at the Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri compete with each other for the viewer’s attention. The reception room in Palermo, Sicily, generates multiple interpretations, a stunning monument of fourteenth-century baronial art in Italy. This paper addresses the abundant use of retrograde Latin and pseudo-Arabic inscriptions as meaningful decorative devices on the ceiling, uncovering the vast use of Arabic and pseudo-Arabic as an intellectual sign of conquest and faith in the context of fourteenth-century art and culture—even in a society that no longer spoke it. Demonstrating the complexity of text/image associations and highlighting the power of the visualized and culturally encoded word, I argue that these painted texts did not serve a marginal role in the program of the Sala Magna, but rather encoded the didactic messages of the painted narratives, which were consumed by a highly cultivated audience. Furthering Fedinando Bologna’s suggestion that these texts could be apotropaic, this paper uncovers the religio-magical properties inherent in foliated verses and both familiar and imagined alphabets. I will situate the inclusion of such texts within the surrounding pictorial narratives on the ceiling, focusing specifically on the graphic Crusader imagery and other demonstrations of, what I consider here, “noble violence.” The use of written Arabic and pseudo-Arabic as a powerful visual vehicle of meaning in southern Italian artistic productions has been well-documented for the Islamic, Norman, and Hohenstaufen periods (roughly late eighth—mid-thirteenth centuries). Additionally, the polyvalent meaning and use of Arabic is familiar to those studying quattrocento art, especially that of Florence. A vast lacuna exists, however, for the appropriation of pseudo-texts and their significance in the artistic and architectural commissions of fourteenth-century southern Italy and Sicily. Using the Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri as a case study, this paper helps remedy that lack. [/wpex]


Joanne Anderson, Visiting Lecturer, University of Warwick, “Coloring the Magdalene in the Early Renaissance,” 59th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, 2013, 4-6 April, San Diego.

Valentina Pugliano, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Max-Planck Institut fĂŒr Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin,“‘Subjects which painting may serve’: How Botany met Renaissance Art,” 59th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, 2013, 4-6 April, San Diego.

Karen Lloyd, Visiting Assistant Professor, Tulane University, “A New Samson, Scipione Borghese and the Representation of Nepotism in the Vatican Palace,” 100th College Art Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, 22-25 February

Kristin Huffman Lanzoni, Visiting Assistant Professor, Duke University, “Ducal Fraternity and Family Glory: Girolamo and Lorenzo Priuli’,” Renaissance Society of America, Washington, D.C., 22-24 March

Jasmine Cloud, Temple University, PhD Candidate, “Reviving the Heart (of the City):  The Renovations of the Churches on the Roman Forum,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Montreal, 24-26 March

Rebekah Perry, University of Pittsburgh, PhD candidate; “Civic Landscape, Sacred Journey:  Tivoli’s Savior Triptych and the August Procession of the ‘Inchinata,’” 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

ZoĂ« Willis, University of Warwick, PhD candidate; “Of Saints and Empire: Venice, Hungary and Dalmatian Zadar 1350-1450,” 98th College Art Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, 10-13 February

Jessica Richardson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, CASVA, National Gallery of Art; “Pilgrims, Prisoners and Holy Liberations: The North Portal of San Leonardo in Lama Volara (Apulia) and the Cult of Saint Leonard of Noblat in Twelfth-Century Italy,” 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

Andrew Casper, Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University of Ohio; “The ‘Greek Style’ in Italian Art and Theory of the Sixteenth Century,” 97th College Art Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, 25-28 February

Christopher Lakey, University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. candidate; “Practical and Theoretical Geometry in Medieval Art,” 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

Alexandra Hoare, University of Toronto, Ph.D. candidate; “Fortitude, Fortune and Fame:  The Celebration and Commemoration of Male Friendship in Two Works by Salvator Rosa,” 96th College Art Association Annual Meeting, Dallas-Fort Worth, 20-23 February

Meredith Fluke, Columbia University, Ph.D. candidate; “Religious Rebuilding and Liturgical Reform in Twelfth-century Verona,” 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

Ittai Weinryb, Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. candidate; “Present Progressive: Techniques for Meaning at San Zeno in Verona,” 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

Ashley Elston, University of Kansas, Lawrence, PhD candidate, “Storing Sanctity: The Function and Iconography of Tuscan Painted Reliquary Cupboards,” 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

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