Department Chairs:
Erik Inglis, art history
Pipo Nguyen-duy, studio art

Administrative Assistant:
Jamie Jacobs, program coordinator

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8181
Fax: (440) 775-8969

Art Building 2, Room 166
91 N. Main St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: 9:00am-4:00pm

Christina Neilson

Christina Neilson

Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History

Contact Information


Art Building, 104A, On Leave 2016-2017
(440) 775-8667

Personal Office Hours:
On leave 2016-2017

Christina Neilson

Christina Neilson

Educational Background

  • Associate 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 Verrocchio’s techniques of making a silver panel for the altar of the Florentine Baptistery (The Burlington Magazine, Nov. 2012, no. 1316, vol. 154); on the meaning of wood in early modern European sculpture (in The Matter of Art: Materials, Practices, Cultural Logics, c. 1250-1750, co-edited with Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop (Manchester, 2014)); on drawings by Verrocchio (in Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors' Drawings from Renaissance Italy, ed. Michael Cole and Oliver Tostmann, exh. cat. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (London, 2014)); and on Renaissance artists' workshops as sites for the exchange of knowledge (I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance vol. 19, no. 1 (Spring 2016).

I co-organised the 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), at the University of Manitoba in September, 2014. And I co-curated the exhibition "A Picture of Health: Art and the Mechanisms of Healing" at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin in Spring 2016.

Currently I am working on a number of different projects: the significance of notes hidden within late medieval and early modern sculptures, polychromy as a mode of animation in sculpture, and visual translations of rhetorical structures in the art of Zurbarán.

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), the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Volkswagen Stiftung (at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).

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.”

Cultural Encounters and Shared Spaces in the Renaissance City, 1300-1700 - Christina Neilson

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