April 23, 2001
Director of Media

AMHERST, Mass.— Catherine G. Pfaffenroth, a graduating senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for postgraduate study overseas. Pfaffenroth, daughter of Peter and Sara Pfaffenroth of Chester, N.J., will study the shifting boundaries between “fine art” and “crafts” in Vienna around 1900.

The Viennese Sezessionstil was the Austrian analogue of Parisian Art Nouveau: movements that “represented a change in approach to the creation of art,” as Pfaffenroth wrote in her Fulbright proposal. “There was significant public confusion as to whether this constituted a change in decorative style or a revolution in the methods of self-expression. Did individuals regard themselves as artists or craftsmen?”

Pfaffenroth plans academic study at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Vienna, with additional work at Secessionist Museum and the sterreichisches Museum fr agewandte Kunst. She hopes to work in the arts when she leaves Amherst and later attend graduate school in art history or decorative arts.

A European studies, fine arts and French major at Amherst, Pfaffenroth was the director of the Bluestockings, an a capella group, and also sang in the Amherst College Concert Choir. She worked as a yearbook photographer, and was a member of The Friends of the Amherst College Library and the Amherst Architecture Club.

Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program, the federal government’s premier scholarship program, funded by an annual Congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations.