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Faries, Molly

    Full Name: Faries, Molly

    Other Names:

    • Molly Ann Faries

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 1941

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): Northern Renaissance


    Scholar of Northern Renaissance art, professor and early exponent of reflectography for the study of art. Faries graduated from Wooster College, Wooster, OH, in 1962 with a A. B. and an A. M. from the University of Michigan the following year. She entered Bryn Mawr for graduate work, spending the years 1966-1968 doing field reseach at the Rijksmuseum. Faries worked as an instructor at Swarthmore College between 1969-1971. She studied infrared imaging under J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer. Faries received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr in 1972 writing a dissertation on Jan van Scorel under James E. Snyder. Receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, she returned to the Netherlands and Amsterdam in 1973 to study Scorel more. In 1975 she was appointed to the faculty of Indiana University. The same year she again worked with Asperen de Boer at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht using sterescope technology on paint samples. The result of this research was an article for the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek in 1976 and a 1977 exhibition on Scorel in Utrecht. Promoted to associate professor in 1978, she was appointed a senior fellow at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) for the 1981-1982 year, studying the Netherlandish paintings in the Gallery’s collection using dendrochronology and reflecography. A National Endowment for the Humanities grant allowed Faries, beginning in 1984, to examine paintings throughout the midwest. In 1985 she rose to full professor at Indiana. Faries purchased reflectography equipment through the university, becoming the first scholar in the United States to do so. She was a fellow at the National Humanites Center, NC, for the 1990-1991 year. Beginning in 1990, she used a Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant and funds from her university to establish a doctoral fellowship in reflectography. In 1998 Faries added to her duties as professor of Technical Studies in Art History at Groningen. She retired from both universities in 2005. Her life partner P. Eileen Fry, was an image curator at the Indiana University. Her students included Julien Chapuis. Faries was a leader in infrared reflectography. Her discoveries using this process included confirmation that Hans Memling had been a member of Rogier van der Weyden’s workshop (underdrawing confirmed his hand), and that patrons, such as Jan van Eyck’s Nicolas Rolin, had advised on paintings before they were complete.

    Selected Bibliography

    [bibliography:] “Chronological Bibliography of Molly Faries.” Chapuis, Julien, ed. Invention: Northern Renaissance Studies in Honor of Molly Faries. Turnhout: Brepols, 2008, pp. xiii-; [dissertation:] Jan van Scorel: his Style and its Historical Context. Bryn Mawr College, 1972;


    Chapuis, Juline. “Molly Faries: Scholar and Mentor.” and van Aperen de Boer, J. R. J. “Laudatio Molly Faries.” in Chapuis, Julien, ed. Invention: Northern Renaissance Studies in Honor of Molly Faries. Turnhout: Brepols, 2008, pp. vii-ix, xi-xii; Kennedy, Janet. “Molly Faries.” Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Indiana University [website] ; CV


    "Faries, Molly." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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