Grants & Awards

Marilynn Thoma Fellows

Thoma Foundation Announces 2024 Fellows of the Art of the Spanish Americas

May 1, 2024

This year, the Carl & Marilynn Foundation is pleased to award three scholars whose work advances our knowledge of viceregal South American perspectives on the artistic depiction of race during the 17th and 18th centuries, the reconstruction of a sculptural portrait of one of the last Inca rulers, and artistic patronage of diocesan clergy in the region of Cuzco.

Now in their sixth year, the Marilynn Thoma Fellowships and the Research and Travel Award provide the only unrestricted research funding in the United States devoted exclusively to the field of art of the Spanish Americas. Inspired by the Thoma Foundation’s collection of over 230 works of art from South America and the Caribbean, spanning the 17th to 19th centuries, these fellowships and awards promote original scholarship that significantly contribute to the understanding of the field.

Dr. Emily C. Floyd, Lecturer of Visual Culture and Art before 1700 at University College London and Editor at the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Culture of Religion (Yale University), has been awarded a one-year Marilynn Thoma Postdoctoral Fellowship to research and write several chapters of a manuscript that considers the intersecting ideas of sanctity, monstrosity, and the body in colonial South America. Floyd will access special collections, museums, archives and libraries in Peru and Ecuador to analyze both how race was visualized during the 17th and 18th centuries, and how historiographic approaches that consider race have shaped our present understanding of colonial art.

Kyle Marini, Ph.D. candidate at Penn State University, has received the Marilynn Thoma Predoctoral Fellowship to advance research and writing of his dissertation, which reconstructs the production and viewer experience of the textile sculpture-portrait of Huascar, one of the last Inca sovereigns. Marini’s research contributes to the field of viceregal South American art by providing insights into Inca abstraction and the ritual activation of portraiture. He is developing an interdisciplinary methodology for the analysis of artworks that consists of archival research informed by empirical insights from scientific analyses of extant textiles, including ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, radiocarbon dating, and stable isotopes.

Dr. Ewa Kubiak, professor at the University of Lodz (Poland) and a co-researcher at the University of Warsaw’s Center for Andean Studies, has received a Research and Travel Award to support the study of artistic patronage of diocesan clergy during the 18th century in the region of Cuzco. Kubiak will conduct research in the archives of Seville, Lima, Cuzco, Abancay, and Puno to recreate the institutional trajectories of six priests and their role as major artistic patrons in Southern Peru.

In addition, the Foundation has made its fourth round of Exploratory Travel Awards to support the work of graduate students embarking on initial dissertation research. This Spring, María Belén Ballesta (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero), Sofia Ortega-Guerrero (University of Chicago), Madelaine Benitez Daporta (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero), and Henrry Ibáñez (Stony Brook University) each received funding to facilitate travel to key archives and collections in Peru.

The fellows and award winners were selected from a competitive pool of international applicants based on their academic accomplishments, their scholarly commitment to the art of the Spanish Americas, and the merit of their projects. All awardees were chosen by a jury of undisclosed experts in the field. We celebrate the accomplishments of these awardees and take pride in supporting their scholarly endeavors.

Read the Full Press Release Here

Return to Foundation News