2022 Art History Resident

The Association for Art History and the Ampersand Foundation are delighted to announce that Patricia Smyth has been awarded our second Art History Residency. The residency offers a researcher the opportunity for concentrated time to further their work in the tranquil Derbyshire countryside. It will run from October 2022 to January 2023.

Patricia’s research focuses on the affective response of nineteenth-century spectators to images, working across disciplinary boundaries to consider art, theatrical spectacle – in particular, the category of the ‘sensation’ scene – and new visual technologies such as the Diorama. Emphasis will be on the popular and commercial forms that are known to have appealed to the newly expanded, more socially diverse audiences that developed during this period. In tracing particular motifs as they were remediated between different art forms and absorbed into new narratives, she intends to demonstrate that it is possible to draw out the emotive power of certain images beyond the limitations of their ostensible message.

On being selected as our next resident, Patricia said, “I applied for the residency because it offered an amazing opportunity to begin my second monograph. The idea for this project comes out of my longstanding interest in the emotional responses of ‘ordinary’ audiences in the nineteenth century, who have for the most part left no direct testimony. The residency will give me the time I need, but would never otherwise have, to develop a book proposal and sample chapter in the peaceful environment of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.”

Following a competitive selection process, Gregory Perry, CEO of the Association for Art History notes: “The focus of Patricia’s research exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of art history and the panel felt that she was well placed to take full advantage of the residency to further her work. We are very grateful to the Ampersand Foundation for enabling us to help to facilitate art historical research and assist a scholar to work unencumbered by other demands.  It is a wonderful opportunity to offer to an individual and such a benefit to our field.

Patricia will be invited to give a lecture at the University of Nottingham on completion of the residency.

Image credit: Scene from The Colleen Bawn, 1861, Egron Sellif Lundgren, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022

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