University of Delaware
Kristin Mahoney

Mahoney named fellow

Library announces Mahoney as 2012 Fellow in Pre-Raphaelite Studies


1:07 p.m., Dec. 16, 2011--The University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum have announced that Kristin Mahoney, professor of English at Western Washington University, has been selected as the 2012 Fellow in Pre-Raphaelite Studies.

During her one-month residency in July 2012, Mahoney will make use of the extensive collections of British Pre-Raphaelite art, literature and archival documents found in the Delaware Art Museum and the University of Delaware Library.

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Mahoney, a Victorian literature scholar, was awarded the competitive fellowship based on her proposal to research Max Beerbohm and the Pre-Raphaelites for a chapter in her upcoming book, Old Guard-Avant-Garde: The Politics of Post-Victorian Aestheticism.

A renowned writer, caricaturist, broadcaster and wit whose career spanned the 1890s to the 1950s, Max Beerbohm had a harsh and sometimes adversarial view of the modern world in which he lived.

To escape the horrors of World War I, and to articulate a critique of the present, Beerbohm sought inspiration and refuge in the Victorian era. Retiring to the English countryside and taking no part in propaganda or war, he produced a masterwork, a series of caricatures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his fellow Pre-Raphaelite artists and writers published in 1922 as Rossetti and His Circle

During her fellowship, Mahoney will study original Pre-Raphaelite art and books in the museum and printed and archival materials in the library to place Beerbohm's vision of Rossetti's circle in a larger historical context and to gain further insight into how Beerbohm was influenced by ongoing conversations about the Pre-Raphaelites.   

Mahoney stated, "I am currently working on a book about the persistence of late-Victorian aestheticism in the early-20th century.  I focus in particular on figures who defiantly foregrounded their connections to the previous century in order to signal their dissatisfaction with the escalating militarism and aggression of the period.  The Pre-Raphaelite Studies Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to complete the research necessary for the third chapter of this book, which focuses on Max Beerbohm.  

"I'm interested in the manner in which Beerbohm relied on representations of the Pre-Raphaelites to at once escape from and critically engage with the violence of the World War I era.  I will be looking at the Beerbohm materials in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection as well as material concerning the exhibition of Rossetti's works in the early-20th century in the Bancroft collection, which will allow me to gain further insight into how Beerbohm was influenced by larger, ongoing conversations about the Pre-Raphaelite circle taking place during this period.  I am so looking forward to working with the material in the collections in Delaware, and I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this fellowship."

About the Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies

For 2013, the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum offer a joint Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite studies. This annual, short-term, one-month fellowship, to be awarded, is intended for scholars conducting significant research in the lives and works of the Pre-Raphaelites and their friends, associates and followers. 

The application deadline for the 2013 Fellowship is Oct. 15, 2012. More information about the Pre-Raphaelite Fellowship can be found at this Delaware Art Museum website or by contacting Margaretta Frederick, chief curator and curator of the Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite Collection, Delaware Art Museum, at 302-571-9590 or via email at, or Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, at 302-831-3250 or via email at

About the University of Delaware Library

The University of Delaware Library has broadly based and comprehensive collections—books, periodicals, electronic resources, microforms, government publications, databases, maps, manuscripts, media and access to information via the Internet—which provide a major academic resource for the study of literature and art. 

Many printed and manuscript items related to the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates are in the Special Collections Department, including major archives relating to the Victorian artist and writer George Adolphus Storey, and to the bibliographer and forger, Thomas J. Wise. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, associated with the Special Collections Department, focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and on the writers and illustrators of the 1890s. Its rich holdings comprise 5,000 first and other editions (including many signed and association copies), manuscripts, letters, works on paper (including drawings by Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti), and ephemera.

About the Delaware Art Museum

Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is home to the largest and most important collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art in the United States. Assembled largely by the Wilmington industrialist Samuel Bancroft, Jr., at the turn of the century (with significant subsequent additions), the collection includes paintings and drawings by all the major and minor Pre-Raphaelite artists, as well as decorative arts, prints, photographs, manuscripts, and rare books. The Helen Farr Sloan Library and Archives, with a reference collection of 30,000 volumes, holds Samuel Bancroft’s papers and correspondence, a rich source for the history of collecting and provenance which also contains significant manuscript material by and about the Rossettis.

The Delaware Art Museum has a website devoted to the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art.

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