Lawrence, Cynthia Miller

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LAWRENCE, Cynthia Miller


Female. Education: University of Chicago, Ph.D., 1978.


Office—Temple University, Department of Art History, Ritter Hall Annex, 8th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122. E-mail—[email protected].


Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, professor of art history.


Flemish Baroque Commemorative Monuments, 1566-1725, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1981.

Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde (1638-1698): Haarlem Cityscape Painter, Davaco (Doornspijk, Netherlands), 1991.

(Editor) Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1997.

Contributor of articles to Art Bulletin 80, June 1999; Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 45, 1994; and Crossways 3, December 1994.


Cynthia Miller Lawrence, art historian, and professor of early modern art in the Low Countries at Temple University's department of art history, specializes in post-Tridentine art and architecture, the work of Rubens, and northern baroque sculpture. Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs, edited and with an introduction by Lawrence, was designed to reflect the role women played in developing the aesthetic culture of the late medieval period through the early modern period.

In Renaissance Quarterly, Fredrika H. Jacobs began her review of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe by repeating the question posed by Joan Kelly-Gadol in her seminal essay in the 1970s: "Did women have a Renaissance?" This question sparked an explosion of interest among scholars—hotly debated even decades later—as to women's roles in early modern Europe. Lawrence's anthology is her effort to reveal the influence women exerted in that era by specifically addressing their involvement in the arts. "This focused concentration …has a broad chronological span, covering roughly 1350-1750. Lawrence's introduction provides a lucid over-view of the issues that define the collection as a whole: shared iconographies, gendered misperceptions, shared motives, and the effects of conjugal relationships," wrote Jacobs.

Alice E. Sanger wrote in her review for Burlington that "An important strength of this anthology must be its broad chronological and geographical range" and added that it "offers an opportunity to consider the diverse projects of figures such as Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France, Eleonora da Toledo, Duchess of Florence, and Hogarth's patron Mary Edwards."

While a reviewer for Virginia Quarterly Review felt that the essay selection in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe is "largely uninspired," the reviewer was also encouraged by the fact that the essays' subject matter is of considerable importance in expanding the knowledge and understanding of women's roles in the arts during the period under consideration. Julia A. De Lancey of Truman State University also reviewed the book in Sixteenth Century Journal. She wrote: "As Cynthia Lawrence promises in her introductory essay, Women and Art in Early Modern Europe presents important contributions in two growing areas in art historical scholarship: the history of the involvement of women in the arts, and the history of patronage and collecting."

In the anthology, born from a symposium held at Temple University in April 1990 titled "Matronage: Women as Patrons and Collectors of Art, 1300-1800," the author of each essay focuses on women in these roles rather than as actual artist. Contributing essayists are Carla Lord, Alexandra Carpino, Clifford Brown, Carolyn Smyth, Sheila Ffolliott, Alice T. Friedman, Geraldine A. Johnson, Marilyn Dunn, Kathleen Szpila, Magdalena Kasman, Elena Ciletti, Nadia Tscherny, and, of course, Lawrence. The volume includes a comprehensive bibliography and black-and-white illustrations.

Sanger noted in her review that by patronizing art and artists, including architects, women could "negotiate political and dynastic imperatives" and thus establish for themselves and their families "both devotional and secular spaces for these purposes."

De Lancey wrote: "Finally, the volume not only underscores the highly respected status of women patrons in the art world, but also provides insight into critical subjects such as new home designs, the collecting of antiquities, the creation of memorial monuments, and the amassing and care of important collections in which women played a recognized, leading, and defining role."



Burlington, October, 1998, Alice E. Sanger, review of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs, p. 702.

Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 1999, review of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe, p. 525.

Sixteenth Century Journal, summer, 1998, Julia A. De Lancey, review of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe, p. 591.

Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1997, review of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe, p. 92.


PennState, Our Books, (May 6, 2003), brief description of Women and Art in Early Modern Europe.

Temple University, (May 6, 2003), short biography of Cynthia Lawrence.*

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Lawrence, Cynthia Miller

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