Wellesley Art Professor Patricia Berman Receives Fulbright Award

For immediate release:
Nov. 10, 2006
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Patricia Gray Berman, a professor of art at Wellesley College, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to do research at the University of Oslo, Norway, during the 2006-2007 academic year.
In addition, she also has won a fellowship from the American Philosophical Society to support the research.

Berman is a visiting scholar this year at the University
of Oslo’s Department of Philosophy, History of Ideas,
Art History and Classical Studies as well as a research-er at the Munch Museum.

“My project, entitled ‘Edvard Munch: Fashioning the Self and the Nation,’ is a book about the Norwegian artist’s murals for the University of Oslo (1909-1916), their cultural role in newly independent Norway and their critical reception,” Berman said. “The project is also an analysis of Munch’s career and the murals’ crucial place within it.”

Berman has been working for many years on her project on Edvard Munch, whose 1893 painting The Scream (also called The Cry) is regarded as an icon of existential anguish. This year, she was one of the contributors to the New York Museum of Modern Art exhibition, “Edvard Munch and the Modern Life of the Soul.”

“This year, I have the luxury to complete the work, and the timing of this project is ideal,” Berman said. “At the Munch Museum, I am able to consult with specialists in the art of Edvard Munch who are completing a systematic chronology of Munch’s paintings and who have just finished the dating and analysis of the hundreds of mural sketches.”

She works with a group of historians at the University of Oslo that will produce a multi-volume history of the university in preparation for its bicentennial in 2011, which is also the centennial of Munch's paintings there.

“The fellowships that I have been lucky enough to receive offer both financial support and further intellectual community,” Berman said. “The Fulbright office in Oslo is energetic about securing connections for its visiting scholars. Thanks to Fulbright, for example, I will attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in December—a privilege I never would have imagined having. The American Philosophical Society holds an annual conference for its fellows, and in April, I will have the opportunity to share my research and benefit from a broad multi-disciplinary critique. I could not have wished for a more welcome confluence of people and opportunities this year, nor, so far, a more concentrated working environment. The skiing is pretty good, too.”

Berman is one of about 800 U.S. faculty and professionals traveling abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program this year. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.