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Tulane Boasts Two Guggenheim Winners

April 26, 2000

Robyn L. Loda

Two faculty members have joined a select group within the Tulane community by receiving fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 2000, marking only the second time in the university's history that the award has gone to multiple recipients.

But then, these two are used to making history: Both William Craft Brumfield and Lloyd Bonfield are experts in historical aspects of lands abroad. Although the word "photographer" isn't part of Brumfield's title as a professor of Slavic studies, his life's work is documenting historic Russian architecture through a viewfinder.

From cathedrals to common homes-most in states of decay-Brumfield has recorded a vanishing Russia for almost 30 years.

"I was already a graduate student before I picked up a camera," says Brumfield. "And on those early trips to Russia, I discovered the power of what the eye could convey. Now my research and my photographs are inextricable parts of my work."

Teaching Russian art, literature, language and architecture at Tulane since 1981, Brumfield's achievements are as vast as his collection of photographs. His works have been part of the permanent collection of the Photographic Archives at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., since 1985. He also is the author of five books, including A History of Russian Architecture, a four-color text with photos that the New York Times Book Review placed on its notable books list in 1993.

In addition, Brumfield's photographs hang at numerous galleries and museums in the United States and Russia, including an upcoming exhibit at the house of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. His most recent commission involves photos documenting the architecture of northern Russia and Siberia for an online project by the Library of Congress.

It required a 5,000-mile excursion through Siberia last fall and is related to his Guggenheim proposal, "Architecture of the Russian North." Brumfield says he will use his fellowship to return to Siberia and the Russian north around the area of the White Sea in order to conduct his work during the 20002001 academic year.

A Tulane faculty member since 1983, law professor and Fulbright Scholar Lloyd Bonfield's research may sound more like history than law because he uses law as a portal into English history. In addition to directing Tulane's European Legal Practice Program for seven years and teaching wills and trusts in the law school, Bonfield is a founding editor of Continuity and Change, a journal of law and social structure in past societies.

And it is this role that most reveals his passion: understanding family relations through historical aspects of marriage settlements and inheritance in early modern England. His Guggenheim research project, "Litigants, Lawyers, and the Law in English Probate Courts, 1660-1700," will study the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and other probate courts to achieve a historical perspective on family relations.

Bonfield hopes to look at legal procedure, the way in which wills were probated, and the socio-economic context of death in that era. According to Bonfield, examining legal records illustrates individuals involved with the dying testator or testatrix of a will and gives particular insight into the roles of women; it also sheds light on disputes over family property.

"This material has a wealth of amazing contextual information," says Bonfield. "It's primarily a study in family relations for which there are very few other records. The legal disputes themselves shed a lot of light on aspects of a number of social relations, including inheritance patterns and household formation." A founding editor of Law and History Review, the journal of the American Society for Legal History, Bonfield is the author of five books and has published widely.

He will use his Guggenheim fellowship to travel to England and continue his research during the 2001 2002 academic year. The two Tulane professors were among 182 winners of Guggenheim fellowships selected from more than 2,900 applicants in the United States and Canada for awards totaling $6,345,000. Last year, Tulane boasted another Guggenheim winner, C. Christopher Soufas Jr., professor of Spanish, for his proposal, "Spanish Literature in Modernist Europe."

Past Guggenheim fellows
Harold E. Vokes, W.R. Irby Professor Emeritus of Geology, 1940 Joseph A. Ewan, Ida A. Richardson Professor Emeritus of Botany, 1953 W. Burlie Brown, professor of history, 1957 Charles T. Davis, professor of history, 1958 Donald Pizer, Pierce Butler Professor of English, 1962 Norberto A. Schor, professor of pathology, 1963 Manuel Lspez Ortiz, professor of medicine and director of the clinical immunology laboratory, 1964, 1965 Jeanne R. Monty, professor of French, 1968 Mary Elizabeth Smith, professor emeritus of art history, 1977 Victoria E. R. Bricker, professor of anthropology, 1982 William E. Cooper, dean of the Faculty of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1982 Lawrence N. Powell, professor of history, 1982 Bill C. Malone, professor of history, 1984 Henry W. Sullivan, professor of Spanish, 1984 Geoffrey G. Harpham, professor of English, 1988 Valerie D. Greenberg, dean of Newcomb College, 1992 C. Christopher Soufas Jr., professor of Spanish, 1999

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu