2023 Art History Resident

The Association for Art History and the Ampersand Foundation are delighted to announce that Susannah Thompson has been awarded our third Art History Residency.

The residency offers a researcher the opportunity for concentrated time to further their work at Wigwell Lodge in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. It will run from October 2023 to January 2024.

Susannah’s research during the residency will focus on the relationship between neo-classical sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907) and her patron, John Crichton-Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute (1847-1900). Lewis was a woman of African American and Native American Ojibwe heritage who worked primarily in Rome. Crichton-Stuart was a Scottish aristocrat and a Catholic convert. The research will focus on an object biography of Lewis’s Bust of Christ (1870), one of only two Lewis works in UK public collections and part of the collection at Mount Stuart, Scotland. The research will consider the reasons behind the work’s acquistion, disappearance from public view and eventual redisplay and the religious and artistic networks linking Lewis and Crichton-Stuart. The project aims to trace the sculpture’s journey from Lewis’s studio Rome in the 1870s to a neo- Gothic mansion on a small island off the west coast of Scotland.

Gregory Perry, CEO of the Association for Art History notes that: “Susannah’s research exemplifies the broad nature of art’s histories with the panel believing that the residency would be an opportunity for her to explore original research into this specific work by Lewis, who despite unprecedented contemporary success, sadly died in obscurity. The Association is grateful to the Ampersand Foundation for allowing us to help facilitate art historical research and assist a scholar.  It is a truly wonderful opportunity to offer to an individual and such a benefit to our field.”

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

Image credits:

Albumen silver print of Edmonia Lewis, Henry Rocher, National Portrait Gallery (United States).

Edmonia Lewis, Bust of Christ, 1870 (The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart: Photo by Keith Hunter Photography).

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