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Art and Music Histories Professor Recognized by American Philosophical Society

Wayne Franits awarded a Franklin Research Grant

May 6, 2014 | Article by: Sarah Scalese

Professor Wayne Franits


Nearly 30 years ago, Wayne Franits, now a professor of art history in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, arrived on the Syracuse campus fresh out of New York University with a Ph.D. in hand. Today, Franits is a world-renowned scholar, who has published dozens of articles, essays for international exhibition catalogues, and written or edited seven books. An expert in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, Franits was just awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society (APS).

Thanks to the Franklin Research Grant, Franits, who joined the Department of Art and Music Histories in 1987, will spend part of the fall semester in London, where he’ll work on his latest project focusing on the late 17th-century Dutch painter, Godfried Schalcken. 

“Schalcken may no longer enjoy the fame that his colleagues Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer do today, but he surely ranks among the most renowned painters of his era,” says Franits. “This grant is giving me an opportunity to really delve into research in London’s various archives and libraries that I suspect will shed further light on Schalcken’s work. New findings concerning his whereabouts, his commissions, the lives of his patrons will only deepen our knowledge of the artist’s murky English period, thus enabling us to comprehend more fully the state of painting in late 17th-century Britain.”

Franits’ research is being carried out in connection with two larger ventures, including an exhibition on the artist to open at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Germany to open in Cologne Germany in the autumn of 2015 and a book-length study of Schalacken’s English years.

This research grant is the latest in a long list of accomplishment for Franits, who has also served a lengthy term as chair of the Art and Music Histories department. In 2005, Franits received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship for a book on the paintings of Hendrick ter Brugghen.  More recently,  he also received a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend for a monographic study and catalog raisonne of the paintings of 17th-century Dutch master Dirck van Baburen.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Wayne on the Art and Music Histories faculty,” says Theo Cateforis, chair of the department. “His publishing record, combined with his passion and commitment to research is extraordinary and this grant represents his years of dedication to art history. We wish Wayne well in his time overseas and look forward to hearing about his adventures and reading his findings upon his return.”

An eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, the APS promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. The APS began awarding grants in 1933 to scholars in order to support the cost of research leading to publication in all areas of knowledge. 

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Contact Information

Sarah Scalese
315-443-8085
sescales@syr.edu