The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, announces the awarding of academic grants to five applicants for the 2008-2009 Swann Fellowship: Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire, Mazie Harris, Jared Richman, Christina Smylitopoulos and Veronica White.
Because of an unusually large number of strong applications, the foundation’s advisory board chose to support five applicants with smaller awards instead of selecting a single recipient of the fellowship.
Delamaire, a doctoral candidate in art history and archaeology at Columbia University, will receive an award of $3,000 to support her research on the influence of French academic painting traditions on the work of Thomas Nast, a predominant American political cartoonist in the second half of the 19th century. In her dissertation, titled “Transatlantic Encounters: Franco-American Exchanges in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era,” she will contend that Nast, who collected prints of paintings by such artists as Paul Delaroche and Jean Léon Gérôme, used pictorial and technical conventions that characterize these and other French artists’ work in his compositions.
Harris, a doctoral candidate in the history of art at Brown University, will receive $3,500 for research for her dissertation titled, “A Colorful Union: Patriotic Caricature and Characterization in Henry Louis Stephens’ Civil War Chromolithographs.” In her study of this underappreciated graphic artist, she will analyze the vacillation between caricature and characterization in Stephens’ two chromolithographic series, published in 1863, and clarify his struggle to portray race relations as a motivation for the Union cause.
Richman will receive $2,000 for research into political caricature as part of the visual culture that shaped popular attitudes toward America during the Romantic Era. He plans to study prints in the Library’s collection of British satires to illuminate the conceptual treatment of America during the period before, during and after the Revolutionary War. Analysis of this material will inform a key part of his dissertation titled “Transatlantic Realms: The Idea of America in the British Literary Imagination.” Richman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania.
Smylitopoulos, a doctoral candidate in art history and communication studies at McGill University, will receive $3,000 to support her research for her dissertation titled “A Nabob’s Progress: Graphic Satire, The Grand Master and British Excess, 1770-1830.” She intends to strengthen the broad art historical context for the figure of the nabob (a provincial governor in the Mogul empire in India, also often a person of great wealth or prominence) by conducting research in the Library’s outstanding holdings of British satires in the Prints and Photographs Division.
White, who will soon complete her doctorate in art history at Columbia University, will receive $2,000 to help underwrite work on postdoctoral research. Embarking on a new project titled, “Dangerous Domestics: Satirical Depiction of Wives in English Prints from 1745 to 1821,” she intends to identify and analyze the varied artistic treatments of married women during the Golden Age of British Satire through exploring the Library’s collection.
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.