Amy Werbel FDGA 2016

Report on Faculty Development Grant, Center for Excellence in Teaching

July 17, 2015

Dear C.E.T. administrators and committee members,

Thank you very much for your support for research and publication fees for my forthcoming book L11st 011 Tiia!.· Avmica11 A11, Law, and C11/ttm d111i11g the Re11 of Anthony Comstock (forthcoming, Columbia University Press). My C.E.T. grant of$1500.00 paid for travel by automobile to the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana; three nights at the Showers Inn in Bloomington; and $210.00 to pay for images and the rights to reproduce four works in the collection of the Kinsey Institute. These images will be used as illustrations for Chapter Three of my book: "Men will be Men: The Visual Culture of Bookstore Backrooms, Saloons, and Brothels." These fees arc a normal part of publication expenses for art history books.

Because I drove rather than flying, I was able to visit, examine, and photograph art and architecture at several museums and historic sites relevant to my American Art and African American art courses, including Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bear Run, Pennsylvania; the Allegheny County Courthouse by Henry Hobson Richardson in Pittsburgh; the Greek Revival Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio; murals, paintings, and sculpture by Robert Scott Duncanson, Edmonia Lewis and other artists in the Taft Museum of Art and Cincinnati Art Museum; and architecture and decorative arts in the historic Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati. I additionally visited the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Museum and Rookwood Pottery.

Thank you once again for your generous support, which I will be happy to acknowledge in my book.

December 8, 2015
Amy Werbel, Associate Professor, History of Art Department

Report on Faculty Development Grant for Research to Aid Book Project: Lust on Trial: American Art, Law, and Culture during the Reign of Anthony Comstock

Dear Members of the Faculty Development Committee and Academic Affairs Office,

Thank you so much for funding my request for research funds to examine, select, and obtain the illustrations for Chapters Three and Four of my forthcoming book, Lust on Trial: American Art, Law, and Culture during the Reign of Anthony Comstock. I conducted this research as planned at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, November 19-22, 2015. The American Antiquarian Society has an unparalleled collection of rare American books, prints, and ephemera, including many unique surviving examples of materials that were censored in the 19th century, or depict censored spaces. My selections included:  

  • “The Egg Dancer” from F.G. Fontain, The Hoffman House (1885)  
  • Circular advertising The New York Museum of Anatomy (1880)
  • “He Drew Nearer to the Girl” from Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (1871) 

The Hoffman House Hotel and the numerous anatomy museums operating in the city during the Gilded Age are examples of controversial spaces for the display of images of the body, catering to differing segments of New York society based on class, sex, and ethnicity. Boccaccio’s Decameron is an example of the many illustrated “classical” texts that Comstock argued should be censored despite their long history and inclusion in elite libraries. Research funds made it possible for me to use databases available only on site at the Society, and to examine these materials in person. None of this would have been possible without your help.

Please accept my thanks for your approval of my application and your support for my scholarship,

Amy Werbel