Art History



Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work

Qualifying paper


Jayme Yahr

Second Advisor

Heather M. Shirey

Third Advisor

Craig Eliason


When Death Sleeps She Dreams Of You: Dario Robleto’s Semiotic Reworking of Sylvia Plath is an investigation into the ways in which a selection of Dario Robleto’s oeuvre: A Century Of November, No One Has A Monopoly Over Sorrow, A Homeopathic Treatment For Human Longing, Your Lullaby Will Find A Home In My Head, and She Can't Dream For Us All, represent an American version of memento mori and a semiotic reworking of Sylvia Plath poems. Each artwork’s surface-level iconography places it into a category of memento mori, recognizable through a semiotic study of Western death culture. However, the intentional alterations of ephemeral materials, inclusion of Plath’s poetry, and accompanying detailed object descriptions imbues each of Dario’s works with nuance and offers an emotional quality that adds to our collective American history of mourning hitherto unexplored by scholars. Dario Robleto has used Sylvia Plath as a beacon of understanding, harnessing the emotional qualities of her poetry in an attempt to place the heart back into the quiet, cold objects of mourning that make up his materials. Robleto’s use of Plath’s poetry creates space to explore the liminal qualities of memento mori unique to the relationship forged between these two artists.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.