February 12, 2019

Professor April Oettinger awarded fellowship at National Gallery of Art

Professor April Oettinger has been appointed a Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.

  • April Oettinger

Professor April Oettinger has been appointed a Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). The Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship supports research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts.

“I am honored, thrilled, and still in disbelief to be one of the 2019-20 CASVA fellowship recipients,” Oettinger said. “This is an extremely competitive and prestigious fellowship, and I am very excited to participate in the intellectual life of the center.”

As part of the fellowship, Oettinger will complete her book, Animating Nature: Lorenzo Lotto and the Sublime Turn in Venetian Landscape Art, 1500-1550. The book addresses the emergence of the natural world as a dramatic character in Venetian painting during the first half of the 16th century, when Lorenzo Lotto and his Venetian peers began to explore the lyrical, wondrous, and sometimes haunting aspects of nature’s fleeting life cycles.

The inspiration for her book began while developing her Goucher course Nature Into Art: The Cultural Dimensions of Landscape, which explores the cultural dimensions of the environment through the visual arts.  

“My conversations with students over the years have been invaluable to my thinking about the role of the visual arts in mediating the relationship between nature and human nature,” Oettinger said.

Oettinger has spent the past five summers in Italy researching her book and she hopes to secure a publisher and release date after completing the manuscript this summer at CASVA.

In addition to her book and the fellowship, Oettinger is helping to launch Goucher’s visual and material culture major. The new program is a 21st-century approach to art history and preservation and explores the stories of objects from diverse perspectives.