Skip to content
Department of History

Thor-Oona Swanhild Pignarre-Altermatt wins the 2024 James Kaye Memorial Prize

The EUI Department of History announces that researcher Thor-Oona Swanhild Pignarre-Altermatt has won the 2024 James Kaye Memorial Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in History and Visuality.

22 May 2024 | Award

James Kaye Memorial 2024_news banner

Thor-Oona Swanhild Pignarre-Altermatt defended her thesis The House of the Virgin: visual culture, devotion, and society in the Low Countries, 15th-early 16th centuries, at the History Department in November 2022.

“This work was born of the idea that paintings are not just beautiful objects displayed in museums, but have their own history and can be considered as historical sources” she explained, noting that Flemish Annunciation paintings “offer contemporary viewers a compelling insight into the past”, evoking a sense of familiarity even if they were created 500 years ago.

Pignarre-Altermatt felt pleased and honoured to be nominated for the award. She sees the recognition as an encouragement to continue her research on visual culture, bearing in mind that “paying attention to how societies produce and make use of images is a fruitful approach to the understanding of past cultures and the writing of history”.

In receiving the award, she extends her sincere thanks to James Kaye’s family and friends, to the selection committee, and to the EUI History Department.

Since 2012, the James Kaye Memorial Prize is awarded every two years to the best EUI PhD thesis combining the study of historical and visual sources. The crossroads of ‘History and Visuality’ is a growing interdisciplinary area that EUI researcher James Kaye was keen on exploring. The prize exists today thanks to the generosity of James’ family and friends, who wanted to honour his memory by paying tribute to his work and passions, particularly his interest in the intersection of history and art.

Last update: 22 May 2024

Go back to top of the page