January 24, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Martha Sandweiss, a professor of American studies and history at Amherst College, has been selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as a scholarly resident in the social sciences at its Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. Sandweiss will use the residency to work on her forthcoming book, “Passing Strange: The Secret Life of Clarence King,” about a pioneering 19th-century American geologist and explorer.

A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1989, Sandweiss was also the director of the Mead Art Museum from 1989 until 1997, and was formerly the curator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. degrees in history from Yale University, and a B.A. from Radcliffe College. She is the author of Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986) and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), co-author of Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (1989), editor of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (1991), co-editor of The Oxford History of the American West (1994) and a contributor to numerous volumes on the art and photography of the American West.

A Bellagio residency provides four weeks for critical thinking, disciplined work, individual reflection and collegial engagement, uninterrupted by the usual professional and personal demands. Sandweiss will be one of 47 residents this year, chosen from among 431 applicants, who come from 15 different countries and work in a variety of disciplines in the social sciences, physical sciences, humanities, creative arts and the non-profit sector. Detailed information about the Bellagio residency program can be found on the center’s Website.