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Melissa Meriam Bullard Delivers Talk on “The Secrets of a Renaissance Merchant in his ‘Studiolo’”

Melissa Meriam Bullard, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will deliver a lecture at Washington and Lee University on “The Secrets of a Renaissance Merchant in his Studiolo” on Friday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It also will serve as the keynote address of the Mid-Atlantic Renaissance-Reformation Seminar (MARRS) being hosted by W&L’s Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Department of History.

In the public talk, Bullard will explore aspects of Renaissance material culture, specifically the development of the studiolo (study) as a merchant’s private space within his palace, the uses to which it was put, and changing attitudes in the Renaissance towards private wealth and its display.

Bullard is the author of several books on Renaissance political finance and cultural patronage including “Filippo Strozzi and the Medici. Favor and Finance in Sixteenth-Century Florence and Rome” (Cambridge University Press, 1980) and “Lorenzo the Magnificent: Image and Anxiety, Politics and Finance” (Olschki, 1994).

Bullard recently completed a two-volume critical edition with extensive historical commentary on the letters of Lorenzo de’ Medici (Lettre di Lorenzo do’ Medici, vols x & xi, Instituto Nazionale di studi sul rinascimento and Guinti-Barbera, 2003-2004). She has published numerous articles concerning Renaissance patronage, family history, papal finance, diplomacy, psychology and culture.

She has been an expert commentator on several television series including the PBS miniseries on “The Renaissance and the Medici.”

She has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She has also been a research fellow at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti in Florence, the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio and the National Humanities Center.

At the University of North Carolina, Bullard teaches courses on the Italian Renaissance, medieval and early modern European economic history, Mediterranean economies and societies, Western civilization, and myth and history.

Bullard received her B.A. from Duke and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.