Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alexandra Laure Courtois de Vicose Humanities and Social Science

Artistic Bias and Class Restrictions: A History of Unknown Nineteenth-century Painter Marcelle Jullien

My goal is to investigate how a pastors wife, my great-great-grandmother (1867-1947), found the financial and technical means to paint and the significance of her work in the greater scheme of late 19th century artistic tradition. I will begin by gathering biographical information from archives, religious institutions and surviving relatives to create a psychological and chronological framework. Then I will examine her work contextually, contemplating the conditional education of middle-class nineteenth-century women, other female artists of her generation, and the tradition of still-life painting. Marcelle Jullien managed to carve a space for her creative expression despite the societal pressures and restrictions of a patriarchal world. Since Art is a reflection of the environment within which it was created, this study is about gender and class as much as it is about Art History.

Message To Sponsor

I believe this research project to be pertinent because, although Marcelle Jullien appears to fit within the tradition of 19th century female flower painters, there are several points of contention to dispute that assumption. Thanks to the SURF Program, Im awarded the very exciting chance to attempt to contribute to a scholarly body and disturb accepted notions about an art genre. However, that endeavor is a bit daunting, since I am not sure to find what I am looking for during my summer research. Although I place a great deal of faith in interviews and archival research, there is always a chance that the historical data does not exist. Ill cross my fingers it does.
Major: History of Art
Mentor: Todd Olson, History of Art
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