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Anne L. Schroder: In Memoriam

posted by CAA — Apr 13, 2011

ulie-Anne Plax is professor of art history in the School of Art at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Anne Schroder

Anne L. Schroder (photograph by Chris Hildreth, Duke Photography, 2006)

Anne L. Schroder, curator and academic program coordinator at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art died on December 23, 2010, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after a brief, unexpected illness. She will be fondly remembered as a remarkable scholar and curatorial “sleuth” of eighteenth-century French art; a vibrant, generous member of the scholarly community; and a warm, kind, and cheerful friend. In the words of one colleague: “For a serious scholar, Anne Schroder certainly laughed a lot.”

Schroder published widely on Jean-Honoré Fragonard, the subject of her dissertation, and on gender issues, prints and the print market of the eighteenth century, and the debate over theories of copying, originality, and artistic property following the French Revolution. Her astute intellect, fertile imagination, and sheer love of her work are perceptible in all her writings.

Schroder’s keen curatorial eye led to the Nasher’s purchase of a late-eighteenth-century history painting, Clytemnestra Hearing the News of Iphigenia’s Impending Sacrifice (1787), attributed to the studio of Jacques-Louis David. Her painstaking scholarly detective work led to its attribution as an early work by François Gérard. She also curated and oversaw many installations from the permanent collection, including the inaugural exhibition Nature, Gender, Ritual (2005). With a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2009, she increased Duke faculty and student involvement with the museum’s collection.

Schroder received her BA at Smith College and her MA and PhD degrees in art history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, under the direction of Mary Sheriff. Before taking on her position at the Nasher, Schroder was curator of exhibitions at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida, and assistant curator at the Michele and Donald D’AmourMuseum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts. An adjunct faculty member at Duke, she had also taught art history at the University of Florida and the University of Minnesota.

Known for her professionalism and a willingness to serve, Schroder was the president of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, a CAA affiliate, from 2005 to 2009, and a member of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her warm connection with everyone endowed the organization with a sense of community and camaraderie.

Schroder is survived by her beloved husband Eric and her son Spaulding. We shall all miss her optimism, intelligence, and that great smile.

Filed under: Obituaries