Scholarship 2022. “Research and Rewriting for Contemporary Art History: The Representation of Women in Italian Art of the 1920s and 1930s: Iconographies, Meanings, Ways of Seeing.

The 2022 edition of the scholarship “Researching and Rewriting Contemporary Art History” is titled Women’s Representation in Italian Art in the 20s and 30s: Iconographies, Meanings and Ways of Seeing. The theme invites the applicant to explore works and subjects recurring in the art history of such a significant period, during which confirmations, transformations, technical innovations, cultural, linguistic and historic events have marked, transformed or consolidated the artists’ consciousness and choices. Investigating this subject involves reconsidering, perhaps with new methodologies, both the individual artist’s iconography and his or her artistic research. This process aims not so much to elaborate the question of the “representation of women” but rather to capture the work’s construction itself, through the points of view it requires, the ways of representation and interpretation that may emerge from the analysis and the aspects that intertwine instances (and “counter-instances”, as Linda Nochlin pointed out in her book Representing Women, 1999) of social, cultural, historical-artistic aesthetic. The Call’s objective is to return old, new or revived stereotypical images of women to the poetic, to the collective imagination and to formal solutions. The “maternal womb”, for example, was the point of departure for much of Arturo Martini’s sculpture, meanwhile maternity is a subject that appears in several paintings, sculptures and even photographies of this period. The Call presents some issues that might be considered starting point for the research and the rereading of artworks or specific historical circumstances; this, in order to understand how the representation of women can rise questions in reiterations, social and cultural conformisms, innovation and contradictions. The proposals can refer to a single work, a series of works, a comparison, an artist’s onto, an artist’s writing, a critical reading, an exhibition and other related aspects.




Some examples and some fitting works:
– Maternity, the woman-mother, the family.
-The possibility to grasp the coexistence of conformity and non-conformity
in painting (Alessandro Pomi, Ascoltazione alla radio di un discorso del Duce, 1939): expressions, gestures, intimacy of women.
– Brides, wives (Ubaldo Oppi, Autoritratto con la moglie, 1920), sisters (Felice Casorati, Doppio ritratto, 1924), Peasant Women (Predali), Workers (Cagnaccio di San Pietro): tradition and innovation.
-The feminine nude in painting and in sculpture, and its relationship to sexuality and pornography (Felice Casorati, Cagnaccio di San Pietro, Arturo Martini).
– The portrait.
– Illness and folly.
– Women in advertising, photography and painting.
– Masculine heroism and sad women, alone or naked (Mario Sironi, Virgilio Guidi). – The male gaze on the emancipated woman (Piero Marussig, Donne al caffè, 1924). – What women paint (Edita Broglio).
– The painter that paints or sculpts a woman.




It is required to write an abstract (300 words) that illustrates the project and, in case of winning the fellowship, an essay of maximum 6000 words.




The Call for Submissions is intended for students who have already graduated, postgraduates or PhD students. The scholarship will be awarded to a young scholar whose research and analytical skills will be assessed by a Commission formed by:
Giovanna Coltelli, Art Historian at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome; Sharon Hecker, Art Historian and Curator specialised in Modern and Contemporary Italian Art;
Federica Muzzarelli, Professor of History and Ideas of Photography at the Department of Arts, University of Bologna;
Carla Subrizi, Professor of Contemporary Art History at the Sapienza University in Rome and President of Fondazione Baruchello.




The applicant must possess one or more of the following qualifications:
– Master’s degree or equivalent qualification.
– Graduate level of specialisation in the history of contemporary art or other specialisation in the field.
– PhD in Art History or current PhD student.
– Publications demonstrating that the applicant has carried out research and study in the field of contemporary Italian art.



Deadline and sending forms

Proposal deadline: 15th September Ranking: 25th September
Essay deadline: 31st December
Applications must be received using the attached form, to be sent to the following email address:



Publication of the essay

The essay will be published in Italian and English (publication with ISBN).