When she first encountered the painting The Descent from the Cross by Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden in college, Mary Shepard was intrigued. In fact, she said, it started her thinking about becoming an art historian.
Flash forward: Dr. Mary B. Shepard, having completed her fifth year as the art historian at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, has a chance to fly to Spain for research, thanks to the Lucille Speakman Legacy Endowment. In Madrid, she stops at the Prado National Museum. There she sees in person The Descent from the Cross and realizes she is encountering it for the first time.