Art History Faculty

Full Time Art History Faculty

William Clark

Professor in Medieval and Gothic Art

Art History Graduate Advisor

William Clark is a professor of Art History and an internationally recognized scholar of medieval art and architecture who has published in the major journals in the field, authored four books (so far) and numerous scholarly papers published here and abroad. Clark presents three to four papers at conferences and meetings every year. He has appeared in the PBS series "The Art of the Western World," which is regularly rebroadcast, and on a Nova program with Robert Mark. His major interests focus on the conceptual thinking of medieval builders, artists and patrons, as is revealed in the works of art, revival elements in medieval architecture, and the beginnings of architectural photography in Europe.


Michael Nelson

Associate Professor in Ancient and Classical Art

Art Department Chair

Michael Nelson is an art historian and an active field archaeologist studying the ancient architecture of the Mediterranean. Since 2001, he has been a member of an international team of scholars excavating at Omrit, a Roman and Early Byzantine site in northern Israel. Currently, his research focuses on the well-preserved temple complex at Omrit and its three Corinthian temples. His interests include the use and reception of Roman religious architecture and temple sculpture in the fringe areas of the empire and the transmission of stoneworking techniques. He also recently completed an archaeological field survey at Leukos, a Roman and Early Byzantine port settlement on the Greek island of Karpathos in the Dodecanese. His research here explores insular settlement archaeology in relation to seaborne trade.


Edward Powers

Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Art

Edward Powers is an associate professor of modern and contemporary art. He received his PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts. Prior to Queens College, he taught for a number of years at the Pratt Institute, and was also a museum lecturer in the Education Department of the Museum of Modern Art. With Sarah Ganz Blythe, he coauthored Looking at Dada, which was published in conjunction with the 2006 Dada exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. His essays on Symbolism, Dada / Surrealism and Pop art have appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals both here and abroad. He recently completed a book on Andy Warhol, entitled Are You "Different?" Andy Warhol, the Age of Consensus and American Modernism. He is currently working on another book, tentatively entitled Veiled-Erotic: Max Ernst's Fetishes and Feints.

Judy Sund

Professor in Modern Art

Undergraduate Art History Advisor

A native of Southern California, Judy Sund earned her BA at San Diego State University, and her PhD in art history at Columbia University. She is a modernist who specializes in the art and architecture of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries in Europe and the United States. She is particularly well known for her work on Van Gogh, having published two books on that artist (True to Temperament: Van Gogh and French Naturalist Literature, 1992, and Van Gogh: Art and Ideas, 2002), in addition to several essays. Professor Sund's secondary field of interest is the art and architecture of the Pre-Columbian Americas. Her current research interests include exoticisms in Western art, visual artists' responses to texts, and intersections of "high art" and popular culture (e.g. advertising, fashion, popular entertainment).


Lawrence Waldron

Assistant Professor in Latin American Art

Lawrence Waldron received an M.F.A. in Illustration from School of Visual Arts in 1998 before going on to earn a Ph.D. in Art History from the CUNY Graduate School and University Center in 2010. His doctoral studies covered a range of pre-Columbian topics, with secondary concentrations in Non-Western and Latin American art. His dissertation focused on zoomorphic iconography in ancient Caribbean ceramics. Waldron has taught studio art and art history at the university level since the late 1990s. He has presented and published papers on the art and architecture of the pre-Columbian Americas, the Caribbean, Hindu and Buddhist Asia, and Islamic Africa. He is the author of Handbook of Ceramic Animal Symbols in the Ancient Lesser Antilles (2016) and Pre-Columbian Art of the Caribbean (2019).

Warren Woodfin

Assistant Professor in Byzantine Art

Warren Woodfin's research focuses on the art and archaeology of Byzantium and its cultural sphere in the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. For the past several years, he has been collaborating with a research team of U.S. and Ukraine based scholars to study a medieval burial complex in the Black Sea steppe. The site, called the Chungul Kurgan, yielded a trove of medieval textiles, precious metalwork, and other artifacts interred with a nomadic leader of the thirteenth century. His recent article on the project (co-authored with Renata Holod and Yuriy Rassamakin) appears in Ars Orientalis 38 (2010), pp. 153-184. He has also published articles in the journals Gesta and Dumbarton Oaks Papers, and has contributed essays to various edited volumes. He is also the co-editor (with Mateusz Kapustka) of Clothing the Sacred: Medieval Textiles as Fabric, Form, and Metaphor (Berlin: Edition Imorde, 2014). His book on Byzantine textiles and their role in ritual and hierarchy, The Embodied Icon: Liturgical Vestments and Sacramental Power in Byzantium, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. Prior to joining the faculty at Queens College as Kallinikeion Assistant Professor of Byzantine Studies, Woodfin held teaching and research posts at Duke, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Metropolitan Museum, and, most recently, a European Research Council-sponsored fellowship at the University of Zurich.

Adjunct Art History Faculty

Claire Bishop

Adjunct Professor

Professor Claire Bishop joined the CUNY Graduate Center in 2008, after teaching at Warwick University (UK) and the Royal College of Art, London. Her books have been translated into over seventeen languages, and she is a regular contributor to Artforum. Her current research addresses the impact of digital technologies on contemporary art, as well as questions of amateurism and 'de-skilling' in contemporary dance and performance art. Current dissertations under her supervision focus on art and pedagogy, performance art, exhibition history, Eastern European art, and theories of authorship.

Evan Freeman

Adjunct Professor

Evan's research interests include art, ritual, and cross-cultural exchange in the medieval Mediterranean. His dissertation, “Ritual Object, Ritual Space: Art, Agency, and Performance in the Middle Byzantine Liturgy,” focuses on the ritual use and experiences of portable objects such as the Eucharistic chalice during the Middle Byzantine period. He is Assistant Director of the Sacred Arts Initiative at St. Vladimir’s, and has organized an academic workshop and conference on “Byzantine Materiality.” He is also interested in Byzantium’s influence on medieval Russian art and architecture, and has published on the twentieth-century “rediscovery” of the icon and subsequent receptions of the icon by Pavel Florensky and other thinkers of the Russian Silver Age and Russian Religious Renaissance.

Herb Hartel

Adjunct Professor

Herbert R. Hartel, Jr. is adjunct associate professor of art history at Queens College.  He is particularly interested in twentieth century American painting and sculpture.  He received his B.A. in studio art and art history from Queens College, his M.A. in art history from Queens College, and his doctorate in modern, contemporary and American art history from the CUNY Graduate School.  He has also taught at John Jay College, Baruch College, Hofstra University, Parsons School of Design, Fordham University and York College.  He has published articles in Source: Notes in the History of Art, the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, the Journal of the American Studies Association of TexasNew York HistoryThe Brooklyn Rail and Art in America.  He has presented papers at the College Art Association, the Southeast College Art Conference, the Southwest Art History Council, the American Culture and Popular Culture Associations and the National New Deal Preservation Association.  He is a former curatorial and research intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rose Ojo-Ajayi

Adjunct Professor

Ojo-Ajayi received her PhD and MA from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, African Studies. She received her BFA from the The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Arts, and currently lectures at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bard Early College, and Pratt Institute of Art. She has published a collection of children's books about Yoruba language and culture, and lead programming events at Sugar Hill Children's Museum.

Kristen Racaniello

CUNY Graduate Center Teaching Fellow

Racaniello is a Medieval art historian whose primary research centers on the late Ottonian and Romanesque periods in France, Germany, and Spain. She focuses on bodily performance in spaces of ritual and in public interactions with objects of devotion, monumental sculpture, and the built environment. Materiality, process and issues surrounding gender and production in the Middle Ages inform and shape Racaniello's research interests. Racaniello taught art history survey classes at Hunter College, has taught practical lost wax Bronze casting classes and stone sculpture, and pursued an apprenticeship in Florence for fresco restoration. She currently works at Les Enluminures, a gallery specializing in rare manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as rings and jewelry of the same periods.

Faculty Emeritus

Anna Chave

Professor Emeritus, Modern Art

A professor of Art History at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, Anna Chave has also taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. She has published many essays concerned with issues of reception, interpretation, gender, and identity, mainly with respect to 20th century art. Recent writings include "Dis/Covering the Quilts of Gee's Bend" (Journal of Modern Craft [Victoria and Albert Museum], July 2008) and "Figuring the Origins of the Modern at the Fin de Siècle: The Trope of the Pathetic Male," in Making Art History, ed. Elizabeth Mansfield (2007). Her artist subjects have ranged from early Picasso and O'Keeffe to Pollock and Hannah Wilke. She is known as well for her revisionist readings of Minimalism, including "Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power" (Arts, January 1990), "Minimalism and Biography"(Art Bulletin, March 2000), and "Revaluing Minimalism: Patronage, Aura, and Place" (Art Bulletin, September 2008). In addition, Chave has authored monographs on Rothko and Brancusi (Yale University Press, 1991 and 1993). For fuller information and downloadable versions of her writings, visit her website,

Barbara Lane

Professor Emeritus, Northern Renaissance

A professor of Northern Renaissance Art, Barbara Lane has published widely on fifteenth-century Netherlandish painting, illuminated manuscripts, and printed books. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970, and taught at the University of Maryland and Rutgers University before joining the faculty at Queens College in 1979 and the CUNY Graduate Center in 2000. She received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers and was a research associate at UCLA. Lane has chaired four sessions at CAA meetings. She is the author of The Altar and the Altarpiece (New York: Harper and Row, 1984) and numerous articles in Art Bulletin, Oud-Holland, Simiolus, and other publications. Her monograph devoted to a reappraisal of the work of Hans Memling, which investigates his sources in Flemish and German painting and his influence on Italian painting of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, was published in July 2009.

James Saslow

Professor Emeritus, Renaissance

James Saslow previously taught at Columbia University, where he received his PhD in 1983, and at Vassar College; in 2004 he was the Kennedy Visiting Professor in Renaissance Studies at Smith College. His teaching and research focus on the Italian Renaissance and Baroque period, with special interests in gender and sexuality, global cross-cultural exchange, and the visual aspects of the theater. His first book, Ganymede in the Renaissance (Yale, 1986), helped open the field of art history to serious consideration of the role of homosexuality and gender in the art and society of the early modern period. A co-founder of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY and a two-term co-chair of the College Art Association's Gay and Lesbian Caucus, he has lectured nationwide on homosexuality and art, particularly on Michelangelo, whose poetry he translated (1991).

Saslow specializes further in early modern architecture, particularly theatrical design; he has created costumes and backdrops for a Baroque opera production and wrote and directed a staged adaptation of Castiglione's famous Renaissance etiquette guide, Book of the Courtier. While a Mills Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he completed The Medici Wedding of 1589. His most recent book, Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts (Viking-Penguin, 2001), received two awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Saslow is currently co-editing The Blackwell Companion to Renaissance-Baroque Art, scheduled to appear in 2012, and is working on a memoir of the early decades of gay and lesbian culture in the United States.

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