Dr. Jill Pederson, assistant professor of art history, was recently awarded two prestigious grants in support of her research on Leonardo da Vinci. Pederson received the Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society, which she used to support research on her forthcoming book Circles of Friendship: Leonardo da Vinci and the Academy in Fifteenth-Century Milan. During her sabbatical semester in fall 2014, Pederson used the grant, along with faculty development funds from Arcadia, to travel to Milan, Italy where she conducted independent research in local museums, libraries, and archives. A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet with professionals in charge of the current restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s celebrated paintings of an arbor of trees in the Sala delle Asse in the Castello Sforzesco.
During summer 2014, Pederson spent two months researching the work of Leonardo da Vinci at the University of California, Los Angeles. Pederson was the recipient of the Ahmanson Research Fellowship for the Study of Books and Manuscripts at UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. UCLA possesses the exceptional holdings of the Elmer Belt Library, one of the largest international collections of early printed books, manuscripts, and monographs dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. Pederson focused her research at UCLA on the relationship between Leonardo and the Renaissance mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli whose writings are extremely rare. Pederson is looking forward to sharing her exciting new findings on the friendship between Leonardo and this important mathematician in her book to be published next year.