July 22, 2016 Swann Foundation Announces Awards for 2016-2017

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

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, is awarding fellowships to two applicants for the academic year 2016-2017. The recipients are affiliated with Duke University and the University of Michigan.

Kathryn Desplanque, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University, employs social and cultural approaches in researching French caricature in her dissertation "Art, Commerce, and Caricature: Satirical Images of Artistic Life in Paris, 1750-1850." Her study focuses on satirical representations of the era that highlight such themes as the shifting status of the artist, visual tropes of the French Revolution, aesthetic debates (i.e. Classicism versus Romanticism), and the impact of the art critic and connoisseur on the artist’s autonomy.

Desplanque has selected 600 visual satires for analysis and plans to explore the collections of French and British political cartoons in the Prints and Photographs Division in expectation of adding to this number. In order to work with such a large volume of images, she utilizes qualitative data analysis software.

Elizabeth Nijdam, a doctoral candidate in the Department of German Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan, investigates the impact of unification on German comics in her dissertation "Shadows Cast: German Comics after 1989 and the Legacy of East German Practice." She focuses on two important figures in the field, Anke Feuchtenberger and Henning Wagenbreth, both of whom pushed German comics into a new realm, redefining the medium on cultural, political and aesthetic terms. Nijdam contends that Feuchtenberger and Wagenbreth drew upon such East German artistic sources as socialist theater, Soviet poster design and renewed interest in German expressionism to develop original visual and narrative strategies. Nijdam also maintains that American alternative and underground comics scenes, specifically Art Spiegelman’s and Françoise Mouly’s Raw magazine, proved essential in these artists’ development.

During the coming academic year, the two recipients will conduct research at the Library in the Prints and Photographs, Rare Book and Special Collections, and Serial and Government Publications divisions.

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 over 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.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history. For more information, visit loc.gov/rr/print/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 16-120
2016-07-22
ISSN 0731-3527