Adam Jasienski wins Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize

February 16, 2021
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Adam Jasienski, HAA 2008 (BA), 2016 (PhD), who is currently Assistant Professor of Art History at Southern Methodist University, has been awarded the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from the College Art Association for his article “Converting Portraits: Repainting as Art Making in the Early Modern Hispanic World.”

"The Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize was established in 1957, in memory of a founding member of the CAA and one of the first American scholars of the discipline. This award seeks to encourage high scholarly standards among younger members of the profession. The prize is awarded for a distinguished article published in The Art Bulletin during the previous year by a scholar who is under the age of thirty-five or who has received the doctorate not more than ten years before acceptance of the article for publication. One of CAA’s longest-running awards, the Porter prize has been awarded to superb articles in Western European art and architecture but has increasingly recognized a wider range of topics (in American, Chinese, Japanese, and Assyrian art) since the 1990s"

The jury (Susanna Berger, University of Southern California; Rachel Miller, California State University, Sacramento; and Nathan T. Arrington, Princeton University) wrote:

"Drawing our attention, as never before, to how a few strokes of paint could transform secular portraits into something new, something sacrosanct, Adam Jasienski unveils the long, multifaceted lives of paintings in the early modern Hispanic world. He deftly challenges conventional notions of the portrait as a stable and consistent representation of a recognizable figure. Careful and persuasive analyses of works of art emerge from a thorough and sensitive understanding of the social and religious context of art making and viewing. The border between secular and religious was porous, and over time the import of objects could shift dramatically. Jasienski resists facile explanations to illuminate how repainting and overpainting, guided by multiple motivating factors, changed not only the appearance of images but also their ontological status and cultural functions. He shows how efforts to police the portrait’s fluctuations comprise early attempts to institute categories known today as artistic genres."