Campus & Community

National Gallery professor receives I Tatti Mongan Prize

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Caroline Elam, currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Studies for the Visual Arts at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., has been named the I Tatti Mongan Prize winner. The I Tatti Mongan Prize is given to a scholar of Italian Renaissance art, French art, drawings, and connoisseurship.

The winner carries into a new generation the qualities of imaginative scholarship, personal generosity and devotion to the institutions of art history that were exemplified by Elizabeth Mongan (1910-2002), a connoisseur of prints and drawings and the first curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald collection, and her sister Agnes Mongan (1905-96). Agnes Mongan was once the “keeper of drawings” for the Fogg (her Harvard career began in 1929), and eventually its only female director (from 1969 to 1971). Mongan’s curatorial and acquisitions acumen, as well as her training of young curators, has left an impact on museum practice in this country.

The award is conferred every three or four years, with the award ceremony being held in Villa I Tatti in Florence in mid-September.

Elam earned her B.A. from the University of Oxford (1967), her M.A. from the University of London (Courtauld Institute, 1970), and was a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge, from 1972 to 1976. She taught art history at Westfield College, University of London, before becoming editor of the Burlington Magazine in 1987, where she distinguished herself for her extraordinarily learned and skillful editorial work preparing the edition for publication.

In addition to her extraordinary output at the Burlington, Caroline Elam has contributed papers to Festschrifts and conferences, and has published in Renaissance Quarterly, the Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, and I Tatti Studies: Essays in the Renaissance (of which she is one of the founding editors).

Elam was a Fellow of the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in 1981-82. She is currently serving her second term on the I Tatti Advisory Committee, the group of senior scholars that chooses the I Tatti Fellows each year. Her prior term extended from 1991 to 1996.