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Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Art History Alexis Boylan has been named one of 39 international recipients of a 2004-05 fellowship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Boylan was awarded a Chester Dale Fellowship to support research she is conducting for an article on American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, famous for his civic monuments, most notably those of Civil War heroes, and his bronze bas-relief of author Robert Louis Stevenson.

The fellowship will enable Boylan to spend three months this fall in New York, studying at the Metropolitan Museum, which has two versions of the Saint-Gaudens’ sculpture of Stevenson.

Boylan’s article, “‘Not a Bit Like an Invalid:’ Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson,” examines the relationship between the sculptor and the famed Scottish novelist. She will focus on the artist’s decision to present Stevenson ill and in bed in his 1887 work, exploring the rationale behind Saint-Gauden’s decision to shift from his more typical style of portraying heroic men and instead sculpt Stevenson – a man he admired and considered a good friend — as weak and infirm in this piece.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art awards fellowships to scholars and graduate students from the United States as well as from around the world to undertake research projects at the renowned museum or abroad. Established in 1974, the program supports research in art history, archaeology and art conservation.

Among the 39 recipients, Boylan was the only scholar from a liberal arts college awarded one of the 2004-05 Metropolitan Museum fellowships, which also went to scholars at Columbia, Harvard and Princeton universities, as well as Oxford University and the University of the Sorbonne, among others.

A specialist in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, Boylan joined the Lawrence faculty in 2002. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. in art history at Rutgers University in 2001.


Art and Art History