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FT-270682-20

Julia Alice Sienkewicz
Roanoke College (Salem, VA 24153-3794)
Form in Transit and Translation: Sculptural Embodiments of Union, Disunion, and White Empire, 1836-1865

Research leading to a book on three sculptors who competed for a commission at the U.S. Capitol building in 1836.

This monograph project focuses on the sculpture of Horatio Greenough, Luigi Persico, and Ferdinand Pettrich. These three sculptors—the first born in the United States, the second in Southern Italy, and the third in Dresden—gathered at the United States Capitol in 1836, each intent on securing a federal commission. The story of the resulting monumental sculptures, commissioned from Greenough and Persico, is well known. In “Form in Transit and Translation,” though, I relocate these sculptures out of the familiar national context and into a complex network of transnational art, aesthetics, and politics. The project considers ideal sculptural bodies as agents of political union and white supremacy—concepts with equal appeal in Italy during the Risorgimento and in the United States leading up to the Civil War. Understanding the transnational iconography of these ideal neoclassical bodies permits a deeper exploration of white hegemony as an artistic force in both Europe and America.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2020