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June 14, 2005

Swann Foundation Announces Fellow for 2005-2006

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, announces the selection of Meredith M. Hale, a doctoral candidate in art and archaeology at Columbia University, to receive its 2005-2006 Swann Foundation fellowship.

The fellowship will support Hale’s research for her dissertation, "Romeyn de Hooghe and the Birth of Political Satire." The origins of political cartooning are often associated with prints produced in 18th century England by artists such as William Hogarth (1697-1764) and James Gillray (1757-1815). Hale, however, in her dissertation, contends that the earliest stages of the genre can be found in the late 17th century in the northern Netherlands in the work of Dutch printmaker Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708).

De Hooghe is well known for his political satires. Executed in the form of large allegorical prints, many feature caricatures of Louis XIV of France or glorify William III, Stadholder of the Netherlands and King of England. In his etchings, De Hooghe portrays contemporary public personalities with allegorical figures and employs a Baroque compositional style characterized by dynamic arrangements and strongly contrasting lights and darks.

The Library holds several examples of de Hooghe’s pictorial satires, in addition to 18 rare books that he illustrated. Hale’s plans include research in the Library’s outstanding collections of 18th and 19th century English and French political cartoons, which will enable her to investigate Romeyn de Hooghe’s impact on later cartoonists.

As a Swann fellow, Hale is required to make use of the Library’s collections and be in residence for at least two weeks during the award period. She will also deliver a public lecture on her work-in-progress during the award period.

New York advertising executive Erwin Swann (1906-1973) established the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon in 1967. An avid collector, Swann assembled a large group of original drawings by more than 500 artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in the 1970s. Swann’s original purpose was to build a collection of original drawings by significant creators of humorous and satiric art and to encourage the study of original cartoon and caricature drawings as works of art. The foundation’s support of research and academic publication is carried out in part through a program of fellowships. The Swann Foundation awards one fellowship annually (usually with a stipend of $15,000) to assist continuing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon.

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PR 05-141
06/14/05
ISSN 0731-3527

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