The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation in Chicago is giving $159,000 to fellowships and research grants for six scholars of Spanish colonial art. The organization has dedicated funds to two pre-doctoral fellowships of $45,000 each, one $60,000 post-doctoral fellowship, and three short-term travel awards of varying amounts. The Marilynn Thoma Fellowship and the Thoma Foundation Travel Awards are the first grants of their kind to dedicate unrestricted funds to scholars of colonial Spanish American art and history.
The recipient of the post-doctoral fellowship is Katherine Moore McAllen, assistant professor of art at the University of Texas Rio Grande. With support from the Thoma Art Foundation, she will work on a monograph about the ways in which the winemaking industries in colonial Mexico and Peru bolstered the production of art and decoration of missions.
The pre-doctoral fellows are Verónica Munõz-Nájar Luque, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Catalina Ospina, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. Munõz-Nájar Luque’s research project will focus on imagery in works produced by Amazon communities known as “Chunchos.” And Ospina will study the native Andean image-making technique mopa-mopa, which is more commonly called barniz de Pasto.
The winners of the foundation’s research and travel awards are Jennifer Baez, a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University; Emily Floyd, a lecturer at University College London; and Paul Niell, associate professor of art history at Florida State University.
Carl Thoma, president of the foundation, said in a statement, “After deliberate consideration, and in consultation with over 80 academics working with Spanish colonial art, we created these awards to directly respond to the needs of the field— resources we knew didn’t exist elsewhere, but were strongly desired by scholars.”