June 14, 2006 Swann Foundation Announces Three Fellows for 2006-2007

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639 | Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, announces the selection of Sharrona Pearl, Katherine Roeder and Hope Saska to receive Swann Foundation fellowships for 2006-2007.

This year the foundation’s advisory board awarded three fellowships, at $7,500 each, instead of one (usually with a stipend of $15,000), due to an unusually large number of strong applications.

Pearl completed her doctorate in the history of science at Harvard University in 2005 and is now a lecturer for the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard. She will receive fellowship support for her research project “Caricature Representations of Irish-American Immigrants During the 1830s-1860s.” Pearl will draw on her training in the history of science and expertise in physiognomy in exploring caricature representations of Irish immigrants in the United States before, during and after the Irish potato famine. The Library’s collections of original caricature drawings and prints contain many relevant examples.

Roeder, a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Delaware, was awarded a fellowship that will support her work on her dissertation, "Cultivating Dreamfulness: Fantasy, Longing and Commodity Culture in the Work of Winsor McCay." She will research and analyze the work of cartoonist virtuoso Winsor McCay in relation to his times, with a specific focus on absorption with dream and fantasy in the rapidly expanding consumer culture of early-20th century America. The Library’s collections include excellent examples of McCay’s original work.

Saska, a doctoral candidate in the history of art at Brown University, will receive the fellowship to pursue research for hedissertation, “Staging the Page: Graphic Satire in Eighteenth Century England.” Saska will investigate the relationship between caricature and theater in late-18th and early-19th century Britain by developing the idea that printed satires were “theatrical” representations and that such prints played a role in forging general character types as well as caricatures of recognizable individuals. She will consult the Library’s collection of British satires, which is one of the finest in North America.

As Swann fellows, Pearl, Roeder and Saska are required to make use of the Library’s collections and be in residence for at least two weeks during the award period. Each fellow also will deliver a public lecture on her work-in-progress during the award period.

New York advertising executive Erwin Swann (1906-1973) established the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon in 1967. An avid collector, Swann assembled a large group of original drawings by more than 500 artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in the 1970s. Swann’s original purpose was to build a collection of original drawings by significant creators of humorous and satiric art and to encourage the study of original cartoon and caricature drawings as works of art. The foundation’s support of research and academic publication is carried out in part through a program of fellowships.

Swann’s collection of original cartoon and caricature drawings is located in the Prints and Photographs Division, which houses the Library’s outstanding holdings of original cartoon and caricature drawings and makes them accessible through its online catalog at www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html. These drawings and related prints of comic art represent a major strength within the division’s renowned collections of graphic art.

The deadline for the next round of Swann Fellowship applications will be Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007. More information about the Swann Foundation, its activities and programs can be accessed at www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/swannhome.html.


PR 06-130
ISSN 0731-3527