April 27, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 15

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    Art History faculty members capture large percentage of Guggenheims

    By Arthur Fournier
    News Office

    For the second year running, University faculty members in Art History have captured 40 percent of the Guggenheim fellowships offered in the field.

    Every year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation extends a total of five awards to art historians in the United States and Canada. With recipients Michael Camille, Professor in Art History, and Ingrid Rowland, Associate Professor in Art History, announced as fellows for the 2000 award year; Wu Hung, the Harrie H. Vandersteppen Distinguished Service Professor in Art History, and Robert Nelson, Professor in Art History, announced in 1999; and Thomas Gunning, Professor in Art History, in 1998, the department currently boasts five faculty members who have won Guggenheim fellowships in the past three years.

    Joel Snyder, Chairman and Professor of Art History, said the department’s Guggenheim fellowships are just one indication of the high level of scholarship being pursued across the department.

    “The department and the University provide an excellent environment for writing, teaching and research. We sometimes forget that there is an important linkage between teaching and research,” said Snyder. “Our graduate students are among the best in the nation, and their serious and challenging approach to classes provides a constant forum for the testing of new faculty research. This sort of research stimulates exciting ideas.

    “From my own experience, I can certainly say the students here take a serious and challenging approach to the material. It seems to me that the faculty respond with an equal degree of seriousness, but without ever becoming vituperative or ideological,” he added.

    Snyder also pointed out that the department has excelled in other notable award competitions. During the past two years alone, department faculty members have been awarded two Getty Research Institute fellowships, two ACLS fellowships, one J. Paul Getty Senior Research Grant, and a Permanent Senior Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

    According to Janel Mueller, Dean of the Humanities Division and the William Rainey Harper Professor in English Language & Literature, the recent spate of awards strongly confirms the Department of Art History’s growing national reputation for fostering important research by some of the top scholars in the field.

    “This is a remarkable tribute to the quality of the art history program at Chicago by one of the most prestigious fellowship-granting organizations in North America,” said Mueller. “The department really has quite a cause for celebration.”