History of Art and Architecture

The James and Susanne Wilkinson Research Prize for Outstanding Scholarship on Topics in Premodern Art

The Department of the History of Art and Architecture is pleased to announce a Research Prize in the amount of $4000.00 to be awarded each year to an outstanding graduate student paper on a topic in premodern art.  The award is named in honor of James and Susanne Wilkinson, whose generous support has helped the department to maintain its tradition of scholarly excellence.  The primary purpose of this award is to encourage and recognize superior scholarship on art produced in all regions of the world before the mid-19th century, or the advent of artistic modernism.  The award is also intended to support continuing research, including travel to sites, collections, and archives, as may be needed for the completion of the winning candidate’s graduate degree.  To that end, in addition to the paper, all submissions must include a one-page summary of the research the candidate intends to pursue with the award.  The summary should state how that research relates to the completion of the degree and the candidate’s pursuit of his or her scholarly goals.     

The Wilkinson Prize is open to all graduate students who are currently enrolled in the Department of History of Art and Architecture.  Submissions will be accepted February 1 of each academic year.  The chair of the department will appoint an ad hoc committee of three History of Art and Architecture faculty to evaluate the submissions.  The award winner will be announced by March 1 of each year and their name will be included in the list of honorees celebrated at the department’s annual graduation ceremony. 

James and Susanne Wilkinson have been long time patrons of the arts and art historical scholarship in Pittsburgh.  In 2011, James became CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra after enjoying a lengthy and illustrious career in law and finance.  While he was an adjunct lecturer for several years in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law, in 2001, he earned an MA in our graduate program with a concentration in the field of Italian Renaissance Art.  He shared his love of the arts with his wife, Susanne, who has served as President of the Women’s Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art and has devoted her time as a docent to the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art and Historical Center and the Duquesne Club.  In addition to establishing this research prize, James and Susanne have also helped to build scholarly excellence in our department for a decade through the generosity of the WilkinsonTravel Fund for the support of graduate student research travel.