Stephanie Porras is the recipient of the 2021 Publication Grant from the Association of Print Scholars (APS) to support her forthcoming book, The First Viral Images: Maerten de Vos, Antwerp Print, and the Early Modern Globe.

Paintings and sculptures after Hieronymus Wierix after Maerten de Vos, St Michael the Archangel, engraving, 1584

The book, to be published by Penn State University Press, “considers how a single engraving, the painting upon which it is based, and an illustrated book, traveled and functioned across the globe.” Porras cites examples of the engraving’s influence as a model for Spanish and American painters, Chinese printmakers, and Filipino ivory carvers. She proposes that, “more than a story of migrant artists and objects, this book reconsiders the role of images in the uneven processes of globalization, beyond the transmission of artistic styles, ornament, or iconographic motifs.” The publication aims to test “art historical notions of copying and agency, context and viewership.” The funding supplied by the grant will provide resources for indexing, photography costs, and image rights acquisition. The $2,000 award is funded by the Association of Print Scholars and through the generosity of C.G. Boerner and Harris Schrank, whom APS thanks for their continued support of the organization and its mission.

Once again APS received a strong pool of applications for the Publication Grant, and the selection process was extremely competitive among many deserving projects. The jurors agreed that Porras’s proposal was compelling and well-articulated with the potential to appeal to a wide audience. They were particularly swayed by Porras’s ability to trace the impact of “a single print to weave together stories and connect artworks around the globe” and saw the “potential for significant reception of new ideas about the active role of prints in culture, commerce, and religion.”

APS would like to thank Nancy Burns, Stoddard Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at the Worcester Art Museum; Im Chan, Paper Conservator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; and Helena Wright, Curator Emerita of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, for their diligence and enthusiasm in reading the submissions.

Stephanie Porras is Associate Professor of Art History at Tulane University. She is the author of Pieter Bruegel’s Historical Imagination (2016), Art of the Northern Renaissance: Courts, Commerce and Devotion (2018) and co-editor of The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure (2013). She currently serves as Reviews Editor for The Art Bulletin and is on the editorial board of the Nederlands Kunsthistorisches Jaarboek. Her forthcoming book, The First Viral Images: Maerten de Vos, Antwerp Print, and the Early Modern Globe, considers how a single engraving, the painting upon which it is based, and an illustrated book, circled the globe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Please contact grants@printscholars.org with any questions regarding this announcement. To learn more about the APS Publication Grant online, click here.