Significant Other

Steven Hansen (Art & Design)

Significant Other: An Exploration of Western Art History Through the Paintings and Drawings Created by Artists of their Families and Lovers

Through teaching Art History courses I have become aware of numerous paintings and drawings created by artists of their wives, children and lovers. The nature of these artworks, alternately brutally honest, poignant, or gut wrenching; make for excellent lecture material. The stories behind these often intimate works are fascinating. From Albrect Durer's quick sketch of his teenage fiance with the inscription "My Agnes" to Frida Kahlo's self-portrait, with her husband's likeness tattooed onto her forehead, an exploration of Western art, through these intimate portraits and the stories that surround them, would make an excellent book. Found within these paintings of significant others, are stories of everlasting love, lust, betrayal, and death. I would like to use an Andrews University research grant to explore museum collections, and to see firsthand the places where these artists lived and worked. I will use those experiences and that research to write a book tentatively titled: Significant Other: The Art of Love, Lust and Betrayal. I plan to collaborate with the Head of Publishing for Florida Hospital, who has written numerous successful book proposals. He has offered his assistance in the creation of a book proposal and the procurement of an agent. The grant money would be used almost exclusively for travel.







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