The History of Art Department recently announced the recipients of the 2015 Downing Grants for the spring semester. They are Hannah Ladendorf, Sujin Shin, Emily Torres, and Erin Verbeck. The Downing Grant is a competitive award made in the fall and spring to juniors and seniors whose research in history of art courses would benefit from travel to museums, galleries, and other sites.
Ladendorf is researching Jean Honore Fragonard’s ensemble The Progress of Love, an iconic Rococo work rejected by its original patron, Louis XV’s mistress Madame du Barry, and now installed in its own room at the Frick Museum in New York. Ladendorf is taking the Art at the Court of Louis XV seminar taught by Christopher Johns, Goldberg Professor of History of Art.
Shin will work on material in the Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art Gallery in New York for her paper on the significance of religion in Alfredo Castañeda’s Libro de Horas (Book of Hours), a series of fifty-two illustrated poems named for the medieval prayerbook. Shin attends the seminar entitled Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: Painting, Cinema, and Literature, taught by Leonard Folgarait, professor of history of art.
Torres, who is writing on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, will travel to see the Detroit Industry murals and an exhibition of the couple’s work, both at the Detroit Art Institute. She will consult the Institute’s archives for photographs, recordings, correspondence, and preparatory sketches related to their work in the city. Torres is a student in Folgarait’s seminar.
Verbeck, also one of Folgarait’s seminar students, will travel to Dartmouth College for her examination of a mural by José Clemente Orozco, Gods of the Modern World from The Epic of American Civilization, focusing on the contrasting representation of women in Depression-era Mexico and the United States.