Grad Art

Who We Are

The Program’s uncommonly wide range of instructors nurtures a rich and diverse intellectual climate encompassing wide disciplinary approaches to the history of art.

The constellation of instructors who participate in the Program is large. Faculty include professors, researchers, curators, and other staff at Williams, the Clark,  WCMA and MASS MoCA, along with the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professorship and other visiting appointments.

Marc Gotlieb

Marc GotliebDirector of the Graduate Program and Class of 1955 Memorial Professor of Art, Williams College Marc Gotlieb received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1990. He is the author of The Plight of Emulation: Ernest Meissonier and French Salon Painting and The Deaths of Henri Regnault as well as further essays on French Romantic art, on the image of the artist, and on Orientalist painting. He is also past Editor-in-chief of Art Bulletin, and is currently working on a book centering on “the Orientalist Sublime.” His graduate teaching encompasses nineteenth-century art, art historical methods and approaches, pedagogy in the visual arts, and related concerns.

Michelle Apotsos

ma11Assistant Professor of Art, Williams College After completing her Peace Corps service in Mali, West Africa, Michelle Apotsos received her M.A. from Tufts University and her Ph.D. from Stanford University where she specialized in the arts and visual cultures of Africa. She is a former Research Associate at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C.) and has contributed to a number of curatorial projects including NMAFA’s Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa and the Cantor Art Center’s Expanding Views of Africa. She is also an active contributor to various academic publications including the Journal of Architectural Education and African Arts. Following extensive fieldwork in Ghana and Mali, she is currently working on a manuscript detailing contemporary Islamic identity in West Africa as expressed through architectural form. Her teaching and research interests include African and Afro-Islamic architecture, systems of cross-cultural artistic exchange, materiality and medium-based analyses, and the material impacts of globalization on the developing world. 

Sarah Bassett

bassettCroghan Bicentennial Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies, Spring 2017, Williams College Sarah Bassett is Associate Professor of Medieval Mediterranean Art in the Department of Art History at Indiana University, where she teaches courses on the art and architecture of the later Roman and medieval Byzantine Empires. After receiving her BA from Smith College, she attained an MA from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D from Bryn Mawr College. While her teaching deals with materials from the second century through the fifteenth, her research focuses on artistic culture in late antiquity; that is, on the art and architecture of the Mediterranean world in the period between the fourth century and the seventh century, and in particular the shift from a predominately pagan to a largely Christian culture. Her book, The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople (Cambridge 2004) examines the reception of Greek and Roman sculpture in the early Christian world and its use in official public display. Her current project, Style and Meaning in the Visual Arts of Late Antiquity, suggests that 19th-century definitions of late antique style that define current understanding of the period are rooted in contemporary political and aesthetic concerns that bear little relation to ancient ways of thinking about art. As a corrective, it proposes new ways of considering the understanding of late antique and early Christian style on the basis of classical rhetorical tradition.

Tom Branchick

Director and Conservator of Paintings, Williamstown Art Conservation Center Tom_Branchik-newand Director, Atlanta Conservation Center After earning a BFA in printmaking from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI (1973), Tom Branchick received his M.A. and Certificate of Advanced Study from the State University College of Oneonta, Cooperstown Graduate Program. He completed an internship at the Williamstown Center where he subsequently joined the staff in 1981. Before coming to Williamstown, he was employed as a museum exhibit specialist for the New York State Museum. Appointed Director of the Center in 1997, Mr. Branchick continues to head the paintings department in Williamstown. He is a member of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Victoria Brooks

mail.googleChair, Contemporary Curatorial Workshop Victoria Brooks is curator of time-based visual arts at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Her 2016 commissions and co-productions include new works by Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, Hannah Rickards, Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne, Tarek Atoui, Patricia L. Boyd, and Martine Syms. Brooks is currently also producing four moving-image works for the Calder Foundation, New York with Ephraim Asili, Charles Atlas, Rosa Barba, and Lucy Raven.

Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen

Graduate Program Post-Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellow (2016-2019) Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen received a B.A. from Columbia University and PhD. from Princeton University in 2015. Most recently, her research has been supported by a fellowship in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and previously, by a three-year David E. Finley predoctoral fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. She specializes in 19th- and early-20-century European art, and has also published occasional essays and criticism on modern and contemporary art. Her current research and teaching interests include the history of art history and archaeology, the reception of antiquity in the modern era, artistic pedagogy and academies, the impact of art criticism and journalism on artistic practice in the 19th century, interactions between the visual and performing arts, early film, and psychology and psychoanalysis. She is currently at work on a book manuscript titled The Disposition of Persons: Posture and the Modernization of Figural Art in Turn-of-the-Century Europe.

Lauren Cannady

Manton Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Director of Research and Academic Program, the Clark Lauren Cannady received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she specialized in early modern European art and architecture. She previously held fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris. In addition to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European art and architecture, her research interests include landscape architecture, the history of science, and, more broadly, the history of ideas in the early modern period. She is completing an article on a Parisian cabinet de curiosités as a locus of artistic and naturalist discourse and preparing a book manuscript entitled Reflections on the Garden Landscape in Eighteenth-Century French Art and Architecture.

C. Ondine Chavoya

Ondine Chavoya Professor of Art, Williams College Ondine Chavoya is professor of art history and Latina/o studies. His current project is an anthology of Chicana art theory focusing on the four-member Los Angeles-based group, Asco. After earning his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Chavoya received his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester in New York.

Jay Clarke

Jay ClarkManton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, The Clark Jay A. Clarke received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1999 and served as a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1997 through 2009. Her publications include Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth (2009) and articles on the critical reception of Käthe Kollwitz and Max Beckmann, Julius Meier-Graefe as an art dealer, Munch’s use of repetition, and Munch’s reputation in Germany, among others. She was editor of Tradition, Innovation, and Nostalgia: The Manton Collection of British Art (2012), The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec (2013), and co-editor of The Spiritual Landscapes of Adrienne Farb, 1980-2006 (2006). Clarke taught graduate seminars at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2001 through 2008.

Sonnet Coggins

Sonnet CogginsAssociate Director for Academic and Public Engagement, Williams College Museum of Art Sonnet Coggins holds an MA in Teaching and an MA in French Language and Literatures, both from the University of Virginia.  Her research focused on interpretation at museums, historic sites, and memorials related to the Second World War in France. At WCMA, Sonnet develops interpretive approaches, exhibitions and programs to deepen and broaden student and faculty engagement with the museum and its collection. Prior to assuming this position, she was both Head of Adult & College Programs, and Master Teacher for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum, a role that blended curatorial and interpretive practice in exhibition making and program development.

Michael Conforti

Michael ConfortiFormer Director, The Clark Michael Conforti received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. An expert in sculpture, decorative arts and design as well as the history of museums and collecting, he was Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1977-80) and Chief Curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1980-94) before coming to the Clark in 1994. His tenure as Director ended on August 31, 2015. Currently he is a trustee of the Amon Carter Museum, MASS MoCA, the American Academy in Rome, and AAM/ICOM (the American Association of Museums’ International Committee on Museums). He is also a membre titulaire of CIHA (the Comité International d’histoire de l’art) and a member of the National Committee for the History of Art. From June 2008 to June 2010, he served as President of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).

Susan Cross

Susan CrossCurator of Visual Arts, MASS MoCA A graduate of the Williams College Graduate Program, Susan Cross was formerly a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she organized exhibitions around such artists as Daniel Buren, Bruce Nauman, and Pierre Huyghe. Cross also worked with the Young Collectors Council to make acquisitions for the museum’s permanent collection by contemporary artists such as Ricci Albenda, Stephen Dean, Koo Jeong-a, Jonathan Monk, Marjetica Potrc, Robin Rhode, and Alyson Shotz, among others. Cross organized the first museum survey of the artist Spencer Finch and published his first monograph. She is currently working on a commission and catalogue with Simon Starling, and co-editing a book on Sol LeWitt. At Williams she teaches a course on contemporary art writing, treating such issues as the projected image, collaborative art practices, and issues around globalization. She has recently been awarded Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award for a forthcoming project at MASS MoCA.

Nicole Desrosiers

Nicole DesrosiersLecturer in Romance Languages, Williams College Nicole Desrosiers teaches Intensive French Grammar and Translation (Fall) and Readings in French Art History and Criticism (Spring). She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, and an MA and a PhD in French Literature and Language from the University of Massachusetts, concentrating in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She has taught at Trinity College in Hartford and at Bennington College. Nicole is interested in translation, semantics and the pedagogy of language where culture, literature and art intersect. She is presently concentrating her efforts in writing the textbooks for her courses.

Lisa Dorin

Lisa DorinDeputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Williams College Museum of Art Dorin graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art. She received her master’s degree from Williams in 2000. Prior to WCMA, Dorin was associate curator of contemporary art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she organized dozens of temporary exhibitions featuring artists such as Pierre Huyghe, Alfredo Jaar, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Danh Vo, and Kara Walker. She has written extensively, including editing Film, Video, and New Media at the Art Institute of Chicago, a publication documenting the AIC’s time-based media collection, and Richard Hawkins: Third Mind (Yale University Press, 2010). She has served as a visiting lecturer and critic at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Columbia College, Chicago, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois-Chicago.

Samuel Y. Edgerton, Jr.

Sam EdgertonAmos Lawrence Professor of Art History Emeritus, Williams College Samuel Y. Edgerton is Amos Lawrence Professor of Art History Emeritus at Williams College where he taught for twenty-seven years. Before that Edgerton taught at Boston University for sixteen years. During those four plus decades his scholarly interests have ranged from studying the arts of medieval and Renaissance Europe to the arts of pre- and post-conquest America. Among his many publications are The Heritage of Giotto’s Geometry: Art and Science on the Eve of the Scientific Revolution (1991) and The Mirror, the Window, and the Telescope: How Renaissance Linear Perspective Changed our Vision of the Universe (2009).

Holly Edwards

Holly EdwardsSenior Lecturer, Williams College Holly Edwards has degrees from Princeton University (B.A.), University of Michigan (M.A. and Certificate of Museum Practice) and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU (Ph.D). Fieldwork in the Indus Valley and a fellowship at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. completed her training. Thus, she brings diverse experiences and interests into the classroom, offering courses that range from mosque architecture to Persian painting and photography. Much of her recent scholarship has taken curatorial form, resulting in catalogues devoted to American Orientalism (Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures, Princeton, 2000) and photography’s traffic in pain (Beautiful Suffering, Chicago, 2007). Currently, she is working on the history of Afghan photography.

George Ferger

George FergerSecretary George Ferger received his M.A. degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1968. After serving in the Peace Corps in Malawi, Central Africa, he settled in Montreal and studied at McGill University, then taught English Literature and Humanities for 25 years at Vanier College in Montreal. His interests vary widely (perhaps too widely) from natural history to horticulture, from art history to world literature.  He has written poems and published a few.  A long essay, “Who’s Who in the Sublimelight: ‘Suave John Ray’ and Lolita‘s ‘Secret Points’,” appeared in Nabokov Studies 8 (2004). In the Graduate Program, his main duties are in the areas of communications facilitation, scheduling, website management, and admissions.

Zirka Filipczak

Zirka FilipczakJ. Kirk T. Varnedoe ’67 Professor of Art, Williams College After undergraduate studies at Barnard, Zirka Filipczak did all her graduate work at Harvard. An expert on Flemish and Dutch art of the seventeenth century, her thematic research and teaching interests cover a wider chronological scope, and include the gendered roles given to men and women (the exhibition Hot Dry Men, Cold Wet Women); working methods of artists (articles about Leonardo, Vermeer, Dutch tonal still-lifes); the significance of poses and gestures (articles about Leonardo, Rembrandt, Rubens, portraits of unconventional women); art about art (Picturing Art and Artists in Antwerp: 1550-1700); and images depicting miracles and “miracle-working” sculptures of the Madonna (articles about both themes). Her current research project is on the relationship of altarpieces by Rubens and the cult of “miracle-working” Madonnas.

Brynn Hatton

Brynn Hatton headshotVisiting Assistant Professor of Art, Williams College Brynn Hatton received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She specializes in art and visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on the artistic and intellectual histories of contemporary global social movements and political activism. She was an international research fellow at the Social Science Research Council (2014-15), and her teaching and research are both rigorously interdisciplinary, incorporating thought from social movement mobilization theory, critical race theory, urban studies, transnational and postcolonial literatures. She is a contributing author to the forthcoming volume Imprints of Revolution: Visual Representations of Resistance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). In addition, she writes criticism for Artforum and MCA DNA, and has contributed to major curatorial projects, including the award-winning The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980 at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014-2015).

Charles W. (Mark) Haxthausen

Mark HaxthausenRobert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History, Williams College Mark Haxthausen received his B.A. degree from the University of St. Thomas (Houston) and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. After teaching at Indiana University, Harvard University (where he was also curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum), and the University of Minnesota, he joined the Williams faculty in 1993, serving as director of the Graduate Program until 2007. His teaching focuses on European modern and contemporary art and on art-historical method. He is editor of The Two Art Histories: The Museum and the University (2002) and co-editor of Berlin: Culture and Metropolis (1990). Current research interests include: the theory and criticism of Carl Einstein; the Bauhaus; Ernst Ludwig Kirchner; Paul Klee; Sigmar Polke; and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

Guy Hedreen

Guy HedreenProfessor of Art, Williams College An expert on the art of ancient Greece, Guy Hedreen’s courses are interdisciplinary, touching on literature, religion, mythology, and society as well as the art of antiquity. He also teaches the history and methodology of art history. He has published two books on Greek art, Silens in Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painting: Myth and Performance (1992), and Capturing Troy: The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art (2001). He has also published a number of articles on Dionysiac mythology, ritual, and drama; the Trojan War in Greek art and literature; and the nature of visual narration. He received his B.A. from Pomona College and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.

Christopher Heuer

s200_christopher.p._heuerAssociate Director of Research and Academic Program, the Clark Christopher P. Heuer holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. An expert in early modern art and theory, he comes to Williams after teaching at Princeton University (2007-2014) and Columbia University (2005-7). He is the author of The City Rehearsed: Object, Architecture and Print in the Worlds of Hans Vredeman de Vries, and co-editor of Vision and Communism. In addition to his two terms as a Fellow at the Clark, Heuer was Henkel-Stiftung Fellow at the Humboldt Universität, Berlin in 2009; Junior Fellow at the Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montréal in 2006; and Kress Fellow at the Kunsthistorisch Instituut, Leiden between 2000-2. In 2014-15 he was appointed a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC. Heuer’s publications include writings in Res, Art History, Artforum, Renaissance Quarterly, October, The Burlington Magazine, The Oxford Art Journal, Word and Image, and elsewhere. He served as the Northern European book review editor for (College Art Association) between 2010 and 2015. He is completing a book about the Renaissance Arctic, entitled Into the

Michael Holly

Michael HollyFormer Starr Director, Research and Academic Program, The Clark Michael Holly teaches critical theory, methodology, and historiography in art history. She was co-founder and chair of the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester. She is the author and editor of studies on the historiography of and theory in art history, including Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History (1984), Visual Culture: Images and Interpretations (1994), Past Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of Images (1996), The Subjects of Art History: Historical Objects in Contemporary Perspective (1998), and Art History, Aesthetics, and Visual Studies (2002) She is the recipient of a range of fellowships, including a Guggenheim, a Getty, and grants from CASVA, the ACLS, the NEH, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Her most recent book project on the history of art as a melancholy discipline, The Melancholy Art was published in 2013 by Princeton University Press.

Scarlett Jang

Scarlett JangProfessor of Art, Williams College Scarlett Jang received a B.A. from Cheng-chih University, Taipei, Taiwan, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. At Williams she has taught a survey of Asian Art as well as specialized classes, including “Images and Anti-images: Zen Art in China and Japan” and “In Pursuit of Clouds and Mists: Chinese Landscape Painting.” She has recently finished a book manuscript Art, Politics, and Palace Eunuchs in Ming China (1368-1644). She also investigates the chastity cult, courtesan culture, and illustrated erotic novellas in late Ming China. She is the author of The Eunuch Agency Silijian and the Imperial Publishing Enterprise in Ming China (2008); Form, Content, and Audience: A Common Theme in Painting and Woodblock-printed Books of the Ming Dynasty (1997); and Realm of the Immortals: Paintings Decorating the Jade Hall of the Northern Sung (1993).

E.J. Johnson

E.J. JohnsonAmos Lawrence Professor of Art, Williams College E.J. Johnson specializes in the architecture of the Italian Renaissance and the twentieth century. A graduate of Williams, he received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, where he studied with Richard Krautheimer and Wolfgang Lotz. Publications include Sant’Andrea in Mantua, The Building History (1975); Charles Moore, Buildings and Projects, 1949-1986 (1986); Memphis: An Architectural Guide (with Robert Russel, 1990); Style Follows Function: Architecture of Marcus T. Reynolds (1993); Drawn from the Source: The Travel Sketches of Louis I. Kahn (with Michael J. Lewis, 1996). Recent work has centered on sixteenth-century Venice, with essays in the JSAH, Renaissance Quarterly, Shakespeare Studies, and the Art Bulletin. Current projects include a study of the architecture of theaters in Italy and a textbook on world architecture.

Elizabeth Kieffer

ekiefferLecturer in German, Williams College Elizabeth Kieffer teaches German Reading for Art History. She is a translator, whose recent translations include contributions to Sol LeWitt: 100 Views, edited by Susan M. Cross and Denise Markonish. Kieffer also serves as a researcher for ARTstor. She received her B.A. from Douglass College of Rutgers University, with further study at the University of Tübingen.

Christophe Koné

Christophe KoneAssistant Professor of German, Williams College Christophe Koné holds a Masters degree in German Studies from Université Lumière, Lyon 2, France and will finish his Ph.D. in German Studies at Rutgers in 2014. Among his recent publications are “The Key to Voyeurism: Haneke’s Adaptation of Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher” with Fatima Naqvi in On Michael Haneke and “Aschenbach’s Homovisual Desire: Scopophilia in Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig” in Thomas Mann, Neue kulturwissenschaftliche Lektüren. His research interests include German Romanticism, Modernism, Film Studies, Art History, and Fashion Studies.

Karen Kowitz

Karen KowitzProgram Administrator Karen Kowitz, a proud Midwesterner, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1980. She has happily been a part of the Graduate Program staff for more than 30 years, getting to know hundreds of students and many professors in the process. Personal interests include travel, cooking, and making animal acquaintances. Karen’s role in the Graduate Program involves admissions, events planning, arrangements for the international study trip, administrative support for the director, and communication with current students and alumni.

Michael Lewis

Michael LewisFaison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art History, Williams College Michael J. Lewis has taught American art and architecture at Williams College since 1993.  He received his B.A. from Haverford College in 1980, and after two years at the University of Hannover Germany, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He has taught at Bryn Mawr College; McGill University, Montreal; and the University of Natal, South Africa.  His books include Frank Furness: Architecture and the Violent Mind (2001), The Gothic Revival (2002), and American Art and Architecture (2006). In 1995 he received the Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock award for his book August Reichensperger: The Politics of the German Gothic Revival, which was based on his dissertation. Among his research interests are architectural theory; utopian and communal societies; the meaning of monuments; and the problem of creativity and collaboration. He is currently writing City of Refuge: the Other Utopia under the auspices of a Guggenheim Fellowship. A critic of architecture, he writes for a wide variety of publications. Lewis was named Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art in 2008.

Peter Low

Peter LowChair of the Art Department and Professor of Art, Williams College Peter Low received his B.A. from the University of Toronto, his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, and his L.M.S. from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Low’s courses at Williams have covered art and architecture from the Early Christian to Late Medieval periods, and have addressed themes such as “Picturing God in the Middle Ages,” “Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture: the Medieval Church in Context,” “East Meets West in the Art of the European Middle Ages,” and “Representing Joan of Arc.” His research interests have centered on Romanesque portal sculpture considered within its original physical, functional, and ritual contexts, with special attention paid to the relationship at monastic sites of art, pilgrimage, and liturgy. The larger aims of his research have been to understand the role played by medieval religious art in general in activating communal worshipboth lay and monastic—within a church setting. Low has published in Jewish Art, Art Bulletin, and Word & Image, amongst other journals, and is currently writing a book entitled Building a Dwelling Place for God: the Narthex Portals at Vézelay and Ephesians 2:11-22 in Medieval Art.

Christina Mandt

Pic Mandt Williams IMG_20160424_094929Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Williams College Christina Mandt received her Ph.D. in German Literature from Rutgers University, where she pursued interdisciplinary work at the crossroads of adaptation, cinema, digital, and gender studies. Further research interests range from Baroque emblematics to the films of David Lynch. She also holds a joint B.A. and Master’s degree in German Literature and Linguistics, Media Studies, and Psychology from the University of Cologne, as well as a post-graduate certificate in German language pedagogy from the University of Bonn. Previous positions include appointments as a part-time lecturer in German and as the coordinator of interdisciplinary lecture programs at the University of Cologne. Christina Mandt is an alumna of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). Awards received include Rutgers University’s Dissertation Teaching Award and the University Award for Teaching from the president of the University of Cologne.

Elizabeth McGowan

emcgowanProfessor of Art, Williams College Liz McGowan received a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts. At Williams she has taught courses on ancient Greek art and architecture, from the Bronze Age through the end of the Hellenistic period. Her classes include “Greek Art and Myth,” the iconography of deities and heroes in ancient Greece, and “Body of Evidence,” a survey of sculpture that considers changing concepts of the body in ancient Greece from the Neolithic through the Hellenistic periods. She has taught seminars on Hellenistic sculpture, on sanctuaries, on ancient funerary art, and on monuments and memorials over time. She has published studies on Greek funerary monuments and on the architectural orders. Her current projects include the origins of architectural motifs and sculptural decoration in Archaic Greece, and a study on Greek funerary monuments, memory, and cognition.

Kathleen Morris

Kathleen Morris Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Curator of Decorative Arts, The Clark Kathleen Morris is the Clark’s Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Curator of Decorative Arts. Prior to joining the Clark staff, she was Associate Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, and Curator of European Sculpture, Decorative Arts, and Prints at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2005. Her dissertation dealt with contemporary sources on the life and art of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In 2004, she was project co-curator with VMFA Director Michael Brand on Van Gogh and Gauguin: An Artistic Dialogue in the South of France at the VMFA. Morris contributed several catalogue entries to Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin MurphyCurator of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art Kevin Murphy holds a B.A. from Pitzer College of The Claremont Colleges in California and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned a Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Murphy was most recently a curator and program manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Previously, he served as associate curator of American art at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Murphy has taught art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of California, Los Angeles, and San Diego Mesa College. He is the recipient of several fellowships and grants, including the Terra Foundation for American Art award and the Henry Luce Foundation Dissertation Research Grant. He is lead curator of the exhibition, American Encounters: Anglo-American Portraiture in an Age of Revolution, working in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. Murphy will author the main catalogue essay for this exhibition’s catalogue, as well as an essay on Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington, as part of the 2014 American Encounters series.

Christopher Nugent

cnugentAssociate Professor of Chinese, Williams College Christopher Nugent received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Chinese Literature from Harvard. His research focuses on the literary culture of Tang dynasty China (7th through 10th century) and he teaches a wide range of courses on Chinese literature, language, and culture at Williams. His 2010 book, Manifest in Words, Written on Paper: Producing and Circulating Poetry in Tang Dynasty China won the Association for Asian Studies Joseph Levenson Book prize for best book on China, pre-1900 category in 2012. His publications include articles in T’oung Pao and Asia Major and he currently serves as editor of the journal Tang Studies. Nugent has received grants from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and from the Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in Chinese Studies for his current research, which looks at the ways scholars in medieval China organized, learned, and used the literary inheritance.

Carol Ockman

Carol OckmanDennis Meenan ’54 Third Century Professor of Art, Williams College Carol Ockman is the author of Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies: Retracing the Serpentine Line (1995) and Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama (2005), a catalogue, co-authored with Kenneth E. Silver, of the major multimedia exhibition they curated at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2005-06. Ockman is also the author of studies on French art of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as contemporary art and culture, including such subjects as the nude, portraiture, stereotypes, and Barbie. Ockman also has a long held interest in live performance. She has been a resident at the Bellagio Center (Lake Como, Italy) and in New York, where she worked on two projects: Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief, a book about a handkerchief passed on to great actresses of the American theatre (Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, Susan Strasberg, and Cherry Jones), and “The Invention of the Modern Nude,” an essay about how the nude came to mean the female nude under the Napoleonic Empire.

Kristen Oehlrich

kristen16Interim Assistant Director, Research and Academic Program, The Clark Kristen Oehlrich received her doctorate in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Brown University. Her teaching and research interests focus on the history of photography, film, visual culture, and the intersections of modern and contemporary American and European art. Her dissertation examined Walker Evans’s formative years in photography, 1926-1938, in the context of transatlanticism, theory, literature, and politics. Oehlrich received her M.A. in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University (2002). She has held positions at the Museum of Modern Art, the RISD Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and has taught art history and theory at Parsons, The School of Visual Arts, Brown University, and RISD. Oehlrich was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in Critical Studies, and a selected member of the Beinecke Library Master Class at Yale University in photography and archival research. She has been a recipient of fellowships from the Victorian Society in America as well as the DAAD for research and teaching at the Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany. Most recently, she served as the Graduate Program Post-Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellow (2013-2016.)

Christina Olsen

Tina OlsenClass of ’56 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art Christina Olsen completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago. She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her directorship at WCMA, Olsen was the director of education and public programs at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon from 2008 to 2012. She was formerly a program officer at the Getty Foundation (2005-2008), where she oversaw the Foundation’s worldwide grants to museums and archives for scholarly catalogs and publications, archives, and interpretation, and launched an international initiative centered on developing prototypes for online scholarly catalogs for museums (the Online Scholarly Cataloguing Initiative). Prior to that she worked at the Getty Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Olsen has lectured and published on a wide range of topics, including secular painting in Quattrocento Florence, the rise of the tarot card deck, museum interpretation, and new social and pedagogical practices in museums.

Paul Park

Paul ParkLecturer in English, Williams College Paul earned his B.A. in Creative Writing at Hampshire College in 1975, and has an extensive list of publishing credits that includes poems, short stories, and novels.  A number of his works have been short-listed for such prizes as the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. In addition to teaching the Graduate Program’s expository writing class, Paul has taught a variety of literature and writing courses at Williams and at other venues across the country, and has participated in numerous literary conventions and conferences, often as a guest of honor.

Katarzyna Pieprzak

unnamedChair and Professor of Francophone Literature, French Language, and Comparative Literature, Williams College Katarzyna Pieprzak specializes in museum studies and contemporary North African art and literature.  Her book, Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Post-Colonial Morocco (Minnesota, 2010) explored the history and politics of art museums in Morocco.  She co-edited a special issue of the African Art History journal Critical Interventions on Africanity in North African cultural production, and has also written extensively on the Moroccan artist Hassan Darsi. She is currently working on a book-length project on the question of aesthetics and the bidonville [shanty-town] in North Africa and France.

Kailani Polzak

kpolzak crop edit 1C3 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor in Art History Kailani Polzak received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in European visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is particularly interested in the pictorial politics of race and colonialism in Oceania. To complement her research and writing in the United States, she has conducted research abroad in France, Germany, England, Aotearoa – New Zealand, and Australia with the support of fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the Georges Lurcy Foundation. She is currently preparing a book manuscript entitled, Inscribed Distances: Picturing Human Difference and Scientific Discovery Between Europe and Oceania regarding English, French, and Russian exploratory voyages in the Pacific and the pictorialization of race in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her interests extend well past the subject of this manuscript and she has taught courses on the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, French painting in the nineteenth century, and methods in the history of art.

Mary Roberts


Clark Visiting Professor 2015-2017 and John Schaeffer Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Professor Roberts works in the field of nineteenth-century global culture, Orientalism, imperial culture, and European-Ottoman relations. Her fall seminar is “Ottoman and Orientalist Visual Culture,” and in the spring she will teach “Art in the British Empire.” Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists and Nineteenth Century Visual Culture is forthcoming from the University of California Press this year. Other publications include: Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Duke, 2007) and four co-edited books: The Poetics and Politics of Place: Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism (Pera Museum and University of Washington Press, 2011) Edges of Empire: Orientalism and Visual Culture (Blackwells, 2005), Orientalism’s Interlocutors, (Duke, 2002) and Refracting Vision: Essays on the Writings of Michael Fried (Power Publications, 2000/2012).

Avinoam Shalem

imgresRobert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor 2016-17, Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art Avinoam Shalem studied history of art at the universities of Tel Aviv, Munich (LMU) and Edinburgh where he earned his PhD degree in the field of Islamic art. Prior to his appointment as the Riggio Professor of the Arts of Islam at Columbia University, Shalem held the professorship of the history of Islamic art at the University of Munich and taught at the universities of Tel Avi, Edinburgh, Heidelberg (Hochschule für jüdische Studien), Bamberg, Luzern and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He was Andrew Mellon Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2006 and Guest Scholar at the Getty Research Center in 2009. Since 2007, he is the Max-Planck Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence.

Shalem’s main field of interest concerns artistic interactions in the Mediterranean basin, migration of objects, and medieval aesthetics. He has published extensively on medieval Islamic, as well as Jewish and Christian art. Professor Shalem is the author and editor of nine books, including Islam Chistianized (Peter Lang, second ed. 1998); The Oliphant (Brill, 2004); Facing the Wall: The Palestinian-Israeli Barriers (Walter-König, 2011); and After One Hundred Years: The 1910 Exhibition >>Meisterwerke muhammedanischer Kunst<< Reconsidered (Brill, 2010). He has recently edited the book Constructing the Image of Muhammad in Europe (Walter de Gruyter, 2013), which introduces readers to the complex history of the conceptualisation and pictorialisation of the Prophet Muhammad in the West, from early medieval times to the 19th century.

Stefanie Solum

Stefanie SolumProfessor of Art, Williams College Stefanie Solum received the M.A. and Ph.D. from Berkeley, joining the Williams College faculty in 2001. Her courses range from geographically based surveys of the period to specialized courses on such topics as the domestic visual culture of the Italian Renaissance, and Michelangelo and the myth of the Renaissance artist. She also teaches courses in Women’s and Gender Studies and serves on the Advisory Committee for that program. Solum’s recent work explores issues of women’s patronage and power in fifteenth-century Florence, was supported by the Fulbright Program and the American Council of Learned Societies and has been published in the Art Bulletin. Her new book, Women, Patronage, and Salvation in Renaissance Florence: Lucrezia Tornabuoni and the Chapel of the Medici Palace (Ashgate, 2015)  provides a new model for understanding women’s contributions to the visual arts in Renaissance Florence, based on contemplative spirituality. Solum’s most recent project explores the intersection between Christian piety and innovation Renaissance art.