Graduate Student Events

Teresa M. Lundgren’s MFA Thesis Show April 18th

Congratulations to Teresa M. Lundgren! Teresa’s MFA Thesis show,  Lessons in Observation, will be held in the Pratt Institute Steuben Gallery starting next week.

The opening reception will begin this upcoming Monday, April 18th, from 5-8PM. Her show will continue to run April 19th-22nd, from 10AM-5PM.

Lessons in Observations is comprised of paintings, printmaking, and videos that focus on Teresa’s interests in philosophy, education, and the function of language in creating knowledge.

Teresa is completing her degree in MFA/M.S  Fine Arts and History of Art and Design. Let’s show her our support!





10th Annual Master’s Thesis Presentations

Victoria Boardman
A New Venetian Herbal: Depictions of Medicinal Plants in Carpaccio’s Cycle Paintings for the Scuola di Sant’orsola

Cynthia Brenwall
The Gilded City: Gold, Venice, and the Art Market, 1233-1500

Joseph Kopta
Greek Speakers and Eastern Martyrs: The Greater Contexts of the Theodotus Chapel, Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome (741-752)

Jennifer Poggiali
Ingres’s Inferno: Reading Paolo and Francesca

Q&A and refreshments will follow the presentations. For more information please email

The 10th Annual History of Art & Design Master’s Thesis Presentations
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 5pm
Myrtle Hall, Room 4E-3
Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn NY

Master’s Thesis Peek: A New Venetian Herbal

A New Venetian Herbal: Depictions of Medicinal Plants in Carpaccio’s Cycle of Paintings for the Scuola di Sant’orsola
Victoria Anne Boardman

Orderly rows of plants painted with botanical specificity by Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460-1526/1526 CE) were observed along the lower edges of several paintings within the cycle portraying the Legend of Saint Ursula, commissioned by the Scuola di Sant’ Orsola in Venice, Italy in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. At a time when painters generally followed Cennino Cennini’s advice to “ scatter occasional flowers and little birds over the foliage” to indicate spring, these plants by Carpaccio demonstrate remarkable attention to detail, suggesting they were drawn directly from nature or influenced by the burgeoning publication of medicinal herbal manuscripts in Venice and Padua. Series of these plants are identified and connected with their known medicinal uses from medieval and ancient Roman manuscripts. Further, analysis of the compositional devices and arrangement with relation to the narrative of the painting cycle reveals a program of imagery relevant to women’s health and the treatment of various reproductive concerns throughout a woman’s life cycle. A function of the Scuola di Sant’ Orsola and Angela Merici’s establishment of the Ursuline Order within the Catholic Church included tending to the sick, particularly orphans and single women. It is suggested that this use of herbal medicine gave women of the Ursuline Order some autonomy and agency to act independently within Venetian society, in a community of healing. The maintenance of medicinal herbal gardens and simple garden pedagogy is discussed in relation to Venetian and Italian garden architecture, particularly with regards to the church complex of SS Giovanni e Paolo directly adjacent to the Scuola di Sant’ Orsola.

Victoria Boardman completed her MFA in Painting and MS in Art History at Pratt in 2010. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She is currently studying Chemistry at Pace University in Manhattan, pursuing a career in art conservation science. She worked for over two years as a graduate research assistant for the Math & Science department at Pratt, using portable, non-destructive spectroscopy and methodology from analytical chemistry, combined with art historical research, to study artist’s materials, techniques, and the conservation state of works of art and architecture. This research included on-site analysis of mosaics and wall paintings in the Herculaneum and Volterra, Italy, resulting in publication in the Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Vicki’s independent research in dyeing textiles with materials from nature was featured in the September 2008 Journal of Chemical Education.

The 10th Annual Master’s Thesis Presentations will be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 5pm in Myrtle Hall, 4E-3.

Master’s Thesis Peek: The Gilded City

The Gilded City: Gold, Venice and the Art Market: 1233 – 1500
Cynthia Brenwall

The Gilded City : Gold, Venice and the Art Market: 1233 – 1500
In Venice, a city known for its splendor and luxury, gold took many forms; its value and importance to the Republic and the world of Venetian art cannot be overlooked. By investigating the various aspects of the market for this precious metal in the Late Medieval and Early Renaissance periods, it becomes evident that gold influenced not only general commerce but the art market as well.  My paper is an exploration of the many facets relating to the use gold in Venice from 1233 when the government firsts records statues relating to the orefici (the guild of goldsmiths) through 1500 when shifts in both the guild system and artistic styles take place.   By exploring such topics as the importation of the metal into the city, the role of mint, the gold sellers who brought the metal into the market place, and the various artistic trades who used gold within the city a fuller understanding of the Venetian art market can be made.
Through the investigation of government records and archival resources of the period we can find a dynamic interrelationship between the arts and the governing policies laid out by the Venetian Republic. As the gold ducat was the primary coin of the region, tight control of the metal by the government left us with excellent documentation of how the structure of distribution and use of the metal was carried out.  It was these records that also gave insight into the orefici and the challenging, but important, concepts involved in understanding of the guilds during the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
While Medieval and Renaissance Venice was renowned for luxurious gold thread, intricate filigree and shimmering golden paintings, one cannot forget all of the other uses to which gold was put.  Ranging from gilding on bronzes, glass, architecture, manuscripts, and wood to pigment powders, inks and the creation of secular objects and altarpieces, it is through these works that we can see the wider role of gold in Venetian art.  My hope is that by looking at these varied objects as well as the economic issues of the period, aspects of Venetian society and the materials and techniques involved with the metal that a broader understanding of the early Venetian art market as a whole will emerge.

Cynthia Brenwall is a recent graduate of both the Art History and Library Science programs at the Pratt Institute.  Cynthia is an alum of the Pratt in Venice program and in addition to her studies, completed internships at the Cortauld Institute of Art and the American Archives of Art while at Pratt.  Since graduation, she is still on the prowl for the perfect job and can often be found, resume in hand, studying Italian, exploring the city or in her studio learning the intricacies of working with gold leaf.

The 10th Annual Master’s Thesis Presentations will be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 5pm in Myrtle Hall, 4E-3.

Master’s Thesis Peek: Ingres’s Inferno

Ingres’s Inferno: Reading Paolo and Francesca.
Jennifer Poggiali

My thesis reads Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s 1819 Paolo and Francesca against its literary source, canto 5 of Dante’s Inferno, to learn both how the artist interpreted this text and how his own cultural context informed that interpretation. Chapter 1 explores how Ingres transformed Dante’s canto into a painting. Thematic interpretation and close reading of the text and formal analysis of the painting are my primary tools. I also parse the painting’s narrative strategies—for example, how pose, gesture, and facial expression can convey intentions, feelings, and relationships, how point-of-view can direct a viewer’s attention and sympathies, and how light, color, and form can be used to express a character’s inner state. When outside influences are discussed—for example, John Flaxman’s line drawings—they serve as counterpoints to Ingres’s painting, furthering the argument that his interpretation of Dante was unique and insightful. My conclusions in this chapter are of the kind to be expected: they shed what light they can on Ingres and Paolo and Francesca, and they propose a relatively simple relationship between the painting and the poem. Though small in scope, I think controlled studies such as this can result in deeper understandings of the works under comparison and, in this case, may actually reveal nuances in Ingres’s thinking not easily recognized by other approaches.

After this hermetic analysis, I attempt in chapter 2 to identify the cultural factors that shaped Ingres’s painting. In this chapter, I make the case that Ingres’s primary divergences from canto 5 were in part the result of the cultural climate in which he lived, which lacked sensitivity to the poem’s medieval Catholic morality. Here, along with thematic interpretation and formal analysis, I also bring a variety of cultural evidence to bear: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French literary criticism, Dante reception history, and the tenets of Romanticism. Again, Ingres’s work is compared to other depictions of the Francesca scene, this time as evidence that Francesca’s story was a cultural product invested with its own set of characteristics and meanings. Whether or not Ingres deliberately conformed to his culture’s interpretation is, of course, impossible to determine. Thus, my conclusions in this chapter reveal more about the way nineteenth-century France processed Dante’s Inferno and Francesca da Rimini’s story than they do about Ingres and his painting.

Jennifer Poggiali graduated in the summer of 2010 from Pratt’s dual-degree program in Art History and Library and Information Science. She read the first chapter of her thesis, part of which will be presented at today’s event, at Iowa University’s 2010 Graduate Art History Symposium, Art & Text. She has worked for five years as Web Content Manager at Lincoln Center Institute, an arts and education organization at Lincoln Center. In fall 2011 she will begin a new position as the Instructional Technology Librarian at Lehman College. Jennifer wishes to thank her advisor Prof. Morton for her assistance in developing this paper.

The 10th Annual Master’s Thesis Presentations will be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 5pm in Myrtle Hall, 4E-3, Pratt Institute.

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