Today, Natalie Dykstra of our English Department received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholar Fellowship for 2019. This is an impressive accomplishment for Natalie and the Hope community, as Public Scholar Fellowships are highly competitive–less than 10% of applicants receive an award. Natalie’s award demonstrates the high value of her humanistic work on the general public.
Natalie is under contract with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to publish a book on Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924) by 2022. Gardner was a woman whose personal story had been eclipsed by the fame of her eponymous museum in Boston and its many masterpieces. But Gardner’s life was one of dramatic adventure, high stakes, world-wide travel, unlikely twists, taste-making, and passionate relationships during the turn of the century America. Though Gardner has been written about in art histories and histories of collecting in America, there has not been a serious biography of her in over 50 years.
Congratulations on your NEH fellowship, Natalie!