MAA News – 2020 Belle da Costa Greene Award

We are very pleased to announce that the 2020 Belle da Costa Greene Award has been presented to Gabriela Andrea Faundez Rojas to support the completion of her dissertation, “Conquest and Hagiography: Rewriting Saints after the Norman Conquest.”

Belle Da Costa Greene (1883-1950) was a prominent art historian and the first manuscript librarian of the Pierpont Morgan collection. She was also the first known person of color and second woman to be elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1939). According to the Morgan Library & Museum website, “Greene was barely twenty when Morgan hired her, yet her intelligence, passion, and self-confidence eclipsed her relative inexperience, [and] she managed to help build one of America’s greatest private libraries.” She was, just as importantly, a black woman who passed as white in order to gain entrance and acceptance into the racially fraught professional landscape of early twentieth-century New York. Her legacy highlights the professional difficulties faced by medievalists of color, the personal sacrifices they make in order to belong to the field, and their extraordinary contributions to Medieval Studies. Click here to support the Belle da Costa Greene Fund in support of medievalists of color.

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