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Erin Benay

Prof. Benay’s first monograph, Faith, Gender, and the Senses in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art: Interpreting the Noli me tangere and Doubting Thomas, co-authored with Prof. Lisa Rafanelli of Manhattenville College was published by Ashgate in the spring of 2015 and has now been the subject of excellent reviews in Renaissance Quarterly and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. For more on Prof. Benay’s first monograph see The Daily article.

Her second book project, a theoretical and contextual study of the Crucifixion of St. Andrew by Caravaggio in the Cleveland Museum of Art will be released in the fall of 2017. The painting makes for an especially complex case-study because the picture was moved and copied several times over its complex life. These topics as well as the recent conservation treatment of the painting will be addressed by Prof. Benay at a session of the College Art Association conference in a paper titled “Cleveland’s Caravaggio: Relocation, Restoration, and the Crucifixion of St. Andrew In situ,” (New York, 2017).   In the meantime, Prof. Benay has been awarded two significant fellowships to work on her third book project, tentatively titled Italy by Way of India: Routes of Devotional Knowledge in the Early Modern Period. The fellowships, from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Institute of Indian Studies will  research and travel support and allow her to take a full-year leave from teaching and service. She gave a talk about this work-in-progress as part of her Baker Nord Center for the Humanities Affiliate Award in October 2016 and is scheduled to do so in a session on the history of collecting at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Chicago (spring, 2017).

During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years, Prof. Benay was nominated for the prestigious Carl F. Wittke award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, and she was named one of five CWRU Glennan Fellowship recipients. As a Glennan Fellow she will combine her research and teaching interests to develop an undergraduate and graduate curriculum in Global Renaissance and Baroque studies in art history. Prof. Benay also had a baby boy in the summer of 2015, her most exciting accomplishment of these two years.


Maggie Popkin

Maggie Popkin, Robson Assistant Professor of Art History published her first book, The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory, and Identity. The book appeared with Cambridge University Press in July 2016 with support from the Millard Meiss Publication Fund and Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award of the College Art Association and the AIA Publication Subvention from the Archaeological Institute of America. Professor Popkin has also published several articles recently: “Samothracian Influences at Rome: Cultic and Architectural Exchange in the Second Century B.C.E.,” American Journal of Archaeology 119.3 (July 2015), 343-373; “Decorum and the Meanings of Materials in Triumphal Architecture of Republican Rome,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74.3 (September 2015), 289-311; and “Symbiosis and Civil War: The Audacity of the Arch of Constantine,” Journal of Late Antiquity 9.1 (Spring 2016), 42-88.

Professor Popkin is a principal collaborator on the research project, “From the Vantage of the Victory: The Performative Heart of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace,” which received a three-year, $300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant for 2015-2018. Professor Popkin is working with a team of international scholars to publish the monuments of the western hill of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, the original home of the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

In Cleveland, Professor Popkin was voted onto the board of the Cleveland Archaeological Society, the local chapter of the American Institute of Archaeology. In addition to the scholars that CAS brings to Cleveland each year, Professor Popkin has been delighted to bring a number of eminent scholars of classical art to CWRU through the Julius Fund and Buchanan Lectures. Recent speakers have included Professor Chris Hallett of Berkeley, Professor Jas’ Elsner of Oxford, and Professor Brian Rose of UPenn. Professor Popkin is also the program chair for the upcoming annual conference of the Midwest Art History Society, which will take place in Cleveland in April 2017, hosted by CWRU and the CMA. She looks forward to welcoming art historians from around the country and showing them our vibrant art history community in Cleveland.

At the moment, Professor Popkin is researching her second book, which investigates the fascinating but often overlooked phenomenon of souvenirs, memorabilia, and miniatures in the Roman Empire. In spring 2017 she will be an inaugural Faculty Fellow at CWRU’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, which will grant her a leave from teaching and service to pursue her book project.


Catherine Scallen

In 2015-16, after five years as chair, Catherine Scallen was able to devote time again to her scholarship. In February she chaired a well-received session at College Art Association, “Connoisseurship? Or Connoisseurs,” and is now preparing the edited papers for publication. In April she delivered the paper “Bode and Duveen,” at the conference “Negotiating Art: Dealers and Museums 1855-2015,” held at the National Gallery, London, April 2016. Her examination of the relationship between the German art museum director Wilhelm von Bode and Joseph Duveen, the preeminent Old Master art dealer of the early twentieth century, is part of her ongoing research for her next book, “Duveen’s Men: Art Dealing and the Collecting of Experts.” While in London, she collaborated with fifteen other art historians from the US, UK and Europe to found a new scholarly organization, TIAMSA, the International Art Market Studies Association.

Less than a week later Scallen gave a paper “Rembrandt and the Polemical Monographic Exhibition: “Rembrandt, the Master and His Workshop” in Amsterdam, Berlin and London in 1990-91,” for the international conference “Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art,” held at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute in Florence; her paper will appear with the others from the conference in a publication from Routledge to appear in 2018.  She also has several articles in process related to the art market and to Rembrandt connoisseurship. With her former doctoral student, Amy Reed Frederick 14, Scallen wrote the entry on Rembrandt van Rijn for the Oxford Bibliography of Art that was posted in fall 2016. In 2015-16 she continued her work as an external evaluator of technical art history grant proposals for the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Scallen was delighted to be nominated for both the John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Teaching and the John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Mentoring at the end of the academic year; her pleasure in teaching and working with students has only grown during her years of administrative work. Finally in June she traveled to Berlin as one of two faculty lecturers (with her friend and colleague in the History Department, Ken Ledford) on a CWRU trip. Guiding friends and alumni of the university through some of the most important art collections in Europe in one of her favorite cities, while learning more about German and Berlin history from Ken Ledford, was a wonderful way to start the summer.  In June 2017 she will travel to Amsterdam to delver a paper in a conference on the museum professional and connoisseur, Max J. Friedländer.


Page last modified: June 30, 2017