Associate Professor Anne Burkus-Chasson, Art History Program, received a 2017-2018 Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Professor Burkus-Chasson is researching and writing a book, entitled "Engaging Artifice: Chen Hongshou (1598/99-1652) and the Illustrated Book." Her project involves a study of the intersection between Chen's work as a painter and his work as a designer of narrative woodblock-printed illustration, with special attention given to the frames that typically enclosed printed illustration. She hopes to understand and answer why his contemporaries perceived his paintings as "odd and startling." Professor Burkus-Chasson argues that the frame and framing devices that he appropriated from contemporary printmakers both separated the image from the viewer's space and emphasized its artifice. Treating the image as an artificial construction, Chen juxtaposed incongruent genres and styles within the same image. She argues that juxtapositions of this sort created the "odd and startling" effect that viewers admired in his painting during his lifetime and continue to admire today.
The Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships are intended to support research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, prints and drawings, film, photography, decorative arts, industrial design, and other arts) of any geographical area and of any period.