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Julie Marie Johnson
University of Texas, San Antonio (San Antonio, TX 78249-1644)
Hiding in Plain Sight: Maria van Oosterwyck (1630-1693) in the Habsburg Collections

Research and writing leading to a book about Dutch Golden Age painter Maria van Oosterwyck (1630-1693), her painting Vanitas Still Life (1668), and its display in museums from the seventeenth century to the present.

This study uses the example of Dutch Golden Age painter Maria van Oosterwyck (1630-1693) and her 1668 masterwork, Vanitas Still Life, to demonstrate the power of popular visual representations of art history. This power has been underestimated, due in part to the lingering myths associated with autonomy. It is assumed, for example, that systems for framing art display are neutral and that the quality of an artwork rises to visibility on its own merits. If some works have been expected to "speak for themselves", clearly others were not, in the new museum age of the twentieth century. The changing fate of Van Oosterwyck's painting as it made its way through various display systems demonstrates how these systems worked as mediators of knowledge and suggests that framing (in both literal and metaphorical senses) both constructed and was constructed by concepts of gender, authorship, genre, and autonomy.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; European History; Gender Studies

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2020 – 7/31/2021