Jessica Fripp Receives Prestigious Franklin Research Grant for Sabbatical in France


Image of "Project for the Decoration of a Women’s Hospice" by Johan-Georg Wille. The piece is pen and ink wash. Located in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photographs.

Johan-Georg Wille, Project for the Decoration of a Women’s Hospice, undated, pen and ink wash, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photographs.

Jessica Fripp, Ph.D., associate professor of art history and graduate and undergraduate coordinator, received a prestigious Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society and a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Stipend to spend time in the archives and museums of Paris for her fall 2023 sabbatical.

She will explore the collections of 18th century plays and comic operas in France’s national library and the records of residents, inventories and budgets for convents and old age hospices in the National Archives. Her examination of texts and documents will be paired with research on related artworks in museums like the Musée du Louvre and the Musée Carnavalet to explore how visual representations and culture produced ideas about women aging during the 18th century in France.

Image of Jessica Fripp

Jessica Fripp

“My project asserts that old women were more prominent in visual culture than previously considered,” said Fripp. “This project also seeks to connect representations of 18th century women with contemporary feminist scholarship, including representation of older women in Hollywood, their reception in the media and the growing prominence of contemporary women’s accounts of aging and menopause.”