February 08 2017
Dr. Mark G. Pitner, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies, is the recipient of The Malcom and Virginia Marsden Award. The fund for this award was established with gifts from members of the Class of 1958 to support faculty development for professors and instructors in the Humanities. This support covers expenses for travel, research or study projects, and educational conferences. The class members wished to honor the Marsdens who were Patron Saints for the Class of 1958. Dr. Marsden is the Dana Professor Emeritus of English.
“This research will not only explore the vagaries of the collection as it has resided at Elmira College, but explore the motivations and interests of the original collector, Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, who has long been overlooked and at times dismissed as a serious collector of art. The Elmira College collection is the largest intact portion of what was once a massive collection of art,” said Dr. Pitner.
Dr. Pitner continues to research a collection of Chinese porcelains that was given to the College by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge. Based on an extensive examination of the Elmira College archives, research at the Rockefeller Archives, and consultation with a number of experts, Dr. Pitner will conduct additional research in Madison County this summer to fill gaps in the history that he is writing.
Another important component of the project is engaging Dr. Pitner’s students in the research, both in the classroom and individually. Using research materials collected by Dr. Pitner, students wrote a compelling narrative to accompany a full exhibition of the Dodge Collection including an exhibition catalogue of the Chinese porcelain collection.
Dr. Pitner joined the history faculty at Elmira College in 2011. Before coming to Elmira College, Mark taught at the University of Tennessee, the University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts. He is also currently an Associate in Research at Cornell University. Mark completed his dissertation work at the University of Washington. He has also spent numerous years working with the East Asian art collection at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) as a Blakemore Curatorial Fellow (2004-2008) and in recent years on the Getty Foundation Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative at SAAM. Mark has lived in China, Taiwan, and Japan, most recently as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan (2008-2009). He has written on developments in Ruism (Confucianism), the history of natural science in China, and is currently working on a number of projects that explore the role of place in the intellectual history of China.