Through monuments and artwork, Ruth D. Nelson retells the story of the 17th-century French Jesuit missionary-explorer, Father Jacques Marquette, the celebrated surveyor of the Mississippi River. But his expedition down the Great River was only part of the Marquette legacy, which began on the southern shore of Lake Superior and ended on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Searching for Marquette follows his journey through today’s cities and towns in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Arkansas to uncover French relics, Native-American royalty, and hearty settlers in a drama of faith, the fur trade and the future of America’s heartland.
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Ruth D. Nelson received her MA in Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For her thesis research on the Marquette Building in Chicago, she received the Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Research Grant. In 2018, Ruth was selected as a State of Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar.
Ruth teaches art history in the continuing education department of the College of DuPage and continues her research and writing on topics in American art history. Her study on the shipment of Michelangelo’s Pieta for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair will be published by Cornell University Press – Three Hills Division in 2024.
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