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For immediate release: December 8, 2003
Contact: Eric Quinones, (609) 258-5748, quinones@princeton.edu

Editors: A photo is available at: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pictures/s-z/sainsbury,willow/

Sainsbury awarded Rhodes Scholarship

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Willow Sainsbury, a Princeton senior from Auckland, New Zealand, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which will fund two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Sainsbury, a painter, is an art history major and a candidate for certificates in visual arts and European cultural studies. She will pursue a master's degree in material anthropology and museum ethnography at Oxford.

Sainsbury is the second Princeton student to be awarded a 2004 Rhodes Scholarship. David Robinson, a philosophy major from Potomac, Md., was announced last month as one of 32 American winners. Sainsbury is the first Princeton student from New Zealand to win a Rhodes.

In her postgraduate work, Sainsbury will continue her studies of the papers of Maori scholar Makereti Papukura. Sainsbury began the project while at Oxford on a Martin Dale '53 Summer Fellowship from Princeton following her sophomore year. She discovered the papers in the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford while cataloging artifacts of New Zealand's Maori people in research centers around England.

"People knew about these papers vaguely but no work has been done on them yet," Sainsbury said, noting that Papukura died three weeks before handing in her dissertation at Oxford. "These 12 boxes represent her personal writing, family trees and a collection of her manuscripts, which I fell in love with on the Martin Dale research project."

Eve Aschheim, director of Princeton's Program in Visual Arts, called Sainsbury "a deeply motivated student" and a passionate and resourceful painter whose landscape work often evokes the vistas of her native New Zealand.

"She is driven to explore ideas in multiple directions simultaneously, which allows her to generate lots of interesting work and to make unusual leaps in her work," said Aschheim, who has served as a faculty adviser for Sainsbury. "Her paintings in one year ranged from highly representational landscapes to pure abstractions, and many things in between. When her paintings are not working, she goes at them again with another approach.

"She has an insatiable appetite for new information and has the maturity to use criticism for positive results," Aschheim added.

Approximately 95 students worldwide are selected as Rhodes Scholars each year. Recipients were chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor. The awards were created in 1902 by British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. For more information, visit http://www.rhodesscholar.org/.


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