Walter S. Melion of Emory receives Distinguished Scholar Award

2016 ACHA President Liam Brockey presenting the Distinguished Scholar Award to Professor Walter Melion of Emory University2016 ACHA President Liam Brockey presenting the Distinguished Scholar Award to Professor Walter Melion of Emory University
January 21, 2016

Professor Walter S. Melion, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History, at Emory University in Atlanta received the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award at the ACHA’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta.


Award Citation

The ACHA 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award is presented to Professor Walter S. Melion, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Professor Melion’s work has covered the field of Renaissance and early modern European visual culture broadly. He has demonstrated the links between image and spirituality, between representation and religious meaning. His works address how early modern people understood images and used art to convey profound messages, especially in the field of doctrine and exegesis. Melion has worked on art from across Europe, but especially printed images, showing the links between readers, viewers, and artists. In addition to monographs on Jerónimo Nadal’s Adnotationes et meditationes in Evangelia(2003-2007) and on Scriptural illustration in the 16th-century Low Countries (2009), his books include Shaping the Netherlandish Canon: Karel van Mander’s `Schilder-Boeck’(Chicago: 1991) and The Meditative Art: Studies in the Northern Devotional Print, 1550-1625 (Philadelphia: 2009).  

He has also been the patron of many scholars working in the field of Renaissance and early modern art history, organizing volumes of essays and promoting discussions across disciplinary boundaries. His work on devotional images has greatly enhanced our understanding of Catholic culture in the period of the Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Reformation, and has inspired a new generation of scholars to reconsider Catholic artistic culture at both elite and popular levels.  In 2010 he was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

For his contribution to the scholarly pursuit in Catholic research and writing, Walter S. Melion is awarded the 2016 AMERICAN CATHOLIC HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION’s Distinguished Scholar Award.