- Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History with the following details: Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Sydney, 1997; Master of Arts, Johns Hopkins University, 2000; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2009
I write and teach on European art of the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries, with a special interest in the art of early modern Italy. My research tackles the relationship between theory and practice, especially the meaning of materials and techniques. My Ph.D. dissertation, and the resulting book manuscript, explores the significance of processes of making in the oeuvre of the fifteenth-century Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio, best known today as a sculptor but who was also a painter, draughtsman, and metalworker. I have published articles on the meaning of wood in early modern European sculpture (forthcoming in the volume Shaping Objects. Art, Materials, Making, and Meanings, ed. Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop, and Pamela H. Smith, University of Manchester Press) and on Verrocchio’s techniques of making a silver panel for the altar of the Florentine Baptistery.
Currently I am working on a number of different projects: the significance of notes hidden within late medieval and early modern sculptures, artists’ workshops as sites of intellectual and cultural exchange, polychromy as a mode of animation in sculpture, the role of the visual arts in healing the body, and visual translations of rhetorical structures in the art of Zurbarán. And I am co-organising an international conference, “Cultural Encounters and Shared Spaces in the Renaissance City, 1300-1700,” in memory of Shona Kelly Wray, with historians Roisin Cossar (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg), and Filippo De Vivo (Birbeck College, London), to be held at the University of Manitoba in September, 2014.
Before joining the faculty at Oberlin, I was an Andrew W. Mellon curatorial fellow at The Frick Collection, New York, where I curated, and wrote the catalogue for, the exhibition Parmigianino’s Antea: A Beautiful Artifice.
My research has been generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti, Florence), and the American Philosophical Society.
I teach intermediate-level classes on Italian Renaissance art, High Renaissance art and Mannerism, Baroque art, the seminars “Love, Lust and Desire in Renaissance Art” and “Wood, Flesh, Metal, Blood” (on the meaning of materials in early modern art), and the introductory class “Approaches to Western Art.”