The Meadows Museum Welcomes Three New Fellows

by Jessica Fuentes December 9, 2023

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas has welcomed three new fellows to the museum this fall. These salaried positions provide professional development and support for emerging scholars in the field of Spanish art history, a genre that is the museum’s specialty.

A headshot of art historian Dr. Patricia Manzano Rodríguez.

Dr. Patricia Manzano Rodríguez. Photo by Dr. Elisabetta Maistri.

Dr. Patricia Manzano Rodríguez, an art historian specializing in 17th century Spanish painting, will serve as the Mellon Curatorial Fellow from 2023 to 2025. She holds a PhD from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University, where her thesis focused on Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, a student and the son-in-law of Diego Velázquez. Ms. Manzano also holds an MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In her role as the Mellon Curatorial Fellow, Ms. Manzano will conduct original research, assist in the organization of special exhibitions, author a scholarly article, participate in public programs, and work closely with the museum’s curatorial staff on an array of projects.

A black and white headshot of scholar Cristina Sol A. Aldrich.

Cristina Sol A. Aldrich. Photo by Asución Arnedo.

Cristina Sol A. Aldrich, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (NYU) specializing in Medieval Iberian art, has been named the 2023-2024 Center for Spain in America (CSA) Curatorial Fellow. Ms. Aldrich’s dissertation, Inventing the Immutable Virgin: Medieval Sculpture for a Multiconfessional Castilian Society, is a study of Marian devotion in medieval Spain through investigating polychrome wood sculptures of the Madonna and Child. Ms. Aldrich also holds an MA in History of Art and Archaeology from NYU. As the CSA Curatorial Fellow, Ms. Aldrich will conduct research toward the completion of her dissertation, assist with special exhibitions, participate in public programs, and work with the curatorial staff on projects as assigned.

A headshot of scholar Dr. Agnieszka Anna Ficek.

Dr. Agnieszka Anna Ficek

Dr. Agnieszka Anna Ficek, a historian whose research addresses art, literature, science, and material culture, has been appointed the inaugural fellow of the museum’s recently launched Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture (CISAC). Ms. Ficek holds a PhD from the City University of New York, where she wrote a dissertation on 18th century French representations of indigenous South Americans, and how these images promoted or opposed colonial dynamics. She also holds an MA in Latin American Colonial Art from Hunter College. 

In her position at CISAC, Ms. Ficek will work with the faculty and staff of the institute and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH) at the University of Texas at Dallas. Specifically, she will work with art historians and experts in digital technologies on the research project Royal Power, Exoticism, and Technology: Porcelain Rooms from Naples to Madrid. According to a press release from the museum, the project will “create digital models of… the porcelain rooms that the Bourbon King Charles of Naples (later King Charles III of Spain) commissioned from his court porcelain manufactories for the royal palaces at Portici (10 km southeast of Naples) and Aranjuez (50 km south of Madrid).”

Dr. Amanda W. Dotseth, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum, commented, “I am thrilled to welcome Patricia, Cristina, and Anna as our incoming fellows. These scholars represent the bright future of Spanish art history, each bringing unique perspectives shaped by their multidisciplinary pursuits and dynamic research interests. Cristina’s work on medieval Castilian sculpture and Patricia’s focus on Velázquez’s milieu epitomize our commitment to spotlighting diverse voices and Spanish art’s enduring global impact.”

Dr. P. Gregory Warden, the Mark A. Roglán Director of the CISAC, added, “It is exciting to have Anna join the Institute as our first fellow, now that we have completed the work on our new space and are planning a diverse array of projects for the future.”

Learn more about the Meadows fellowship opportunities via the museum’s website.

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