Art History Faculty

Molly Emma Aitken

Associate Professor

ART HISTORY

Molly Emma Aitken is a specialist in Asian art history, in particular the arts of South Asia. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2001 with a concentration on the art of South Asia. She has curated traveling exhibitions on South Asian jewelry and contemporary folk quilts, and has published numerous articles on Mughal and Rajput painting. Aitken received CAA's Charles Rufus Morey book award in 2011 and the AAS Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize in 2012 for her book The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010). Currently focused on the late 16th and early 17th centuries, she is looking at Mughal receptions of Rajput court arts in the context of social pleasure.


Joshua I. Cohen

Assistant Professor

Art History

Joshua Cohen (B.A. Vassar College, Ph.D. Columbia University) is a historian of African art specializing in 20th-century cross-cultural exchange. His areas of interest include modernist appropriations of African sculpture; histories of West African national cultural policies and ballet performance; “primitivism” in art practice and discourse; postcolonial studies; museum studies; and global modernisms. He is the recipient of Fulbright, Lurcy, Kittredge, Dedalus, Mellon, Whiting, and other fellowships. His first book-length project tracks African and European modernist engagements with African sculpture between 1905 and 1980. A second project builds on research conducted in Guinea and elsewhere since 2002, examining international staged productions of West African dance, music, theater, and masquerade. An initial essay on Fodéba Keita and Les Ballets Africains was published in 2012.


Ellen Handy

Associate Professor

Art History

Ellen Handy is a historian, curator and critic of photography and modern art. She teachers courses in the history of photography, art of the United States, art criticism, and research methods in art history. Previously, she was Executive Curator of Visual Collections at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a regular columnist for Arts Magazine. She received her PhD from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University. Her research interest include landscape and urban imagery in photography and other mediums, intersections of art and science in 19th century photography, women and photography, connoisseurship in photography, printed ephemera, and early modernism in visual and literary culture in the United States.


Craig Houser

Lecturer

Art History

Craig Houser has a B.A. in art history from Carleton College, an M.A. from Hunter College, and a Ph.D. from the CUNY Grad Center. His scholarship focuses on modern and contemporary art in relationship to issues related to gender and sexuality, as well as institutional and social politics. He also has substantial experience working in museums as a curator and educator. He was a curatorial fellow in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and an assistant curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In addition, he was also an editor for College Art Association, which publishes The Art Bulletin and Art Journal. Houser’s publications include “Rachel Whiteread: Vienna Holocaust Memorial,” in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art (University of California Press) and “The Changing Face of Scholarly Publishing: A History of CAA’s Publications,” in The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: The College Art Association and the Visual Arts since 1911 (Rutgers University Press).


Anna Indych-López

Associate Professor

Art History

Anna Indych-López specializes in the modern art of Latin America, specifically Mexico. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University in 2003. Her work focuses on exhibition culture, cross-cultural perceptions, reception analysis, and the relationship between art and politics. A frequent contributor to exhibition catalogues on Modern Mexican and Latin American art, she has also published on contemporary Latino/a artists. She received the College Art Association's Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant for her book Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927-1940 published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2009 and is co-author (with Leah Dickerman) of Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art published by MoMA in 2011.


Lise Kjaer

Lecturer

Art History

Lise Kjaer received her Ph.D. in Art History from the Graduate Center, City University of New York in 2008. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in twentieth century and contemporary art, art history survey and MFA seminars. Her area of research includes issues of identity in modern and contemporary art, and global art history. Kjaer’s dissertation Awakening the Spiritual: James Turrell and Quakerism considered the artist’s light installations in view of his renewed interest in Quakerism, Quaker tenets, history and tradition. Current research involves an anthology (co-edited with Dr. Will Wroth) on the scholar Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s influence on twentieth century art, tracing the impact of the writer and curator’s publications, exhibitions and scholarly involvement with Southeast Asian art on twentieth century American, Asian and European art and art history. Kjaer has previously received an MFA with Distinction from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland in 1992. She has exhibited internationally in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland and the United States, and been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, Bamse Kragh-Jacobsen’s Award, and been a fellow of NIFCA, a Nordic artist in residency program in Helsinki, Finland. Along with her scholarly work in art history, Kjaer continues her art practice exhibiting sculptures and installation pieces that are often time-based, ephemeral and participatory inviting the viewer to become a part of the work.


Abby Kornfeld

Assistant Professor

Art History

Abby Kornfeld specializes in medieval art and architecture. She holds a joint appointment with the program of Jewish Studies in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University in 2013. Her work focuses on the intersections between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic art across the medieval Mediterranean. Her forthcoming book resituates three Hebrew illuminated manuscripts within the broader context of medieval art in late fourteenth century Spain. Her research has won the support of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Wexner Foundation. In addition, she curated an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles on the eventful and often tumultuous lives of medieval manuscripts after the rise of the printing presses.


Harriet F. Senie

Professor & Director of Museum Studies

Art History & Museum Studies

Harriet F. Senie is director of the MA program in art history and art museum studies and teaches the required museum studies seminars in that area. She also teaches Contemporary American Art at the CUNY Graduate Center. In Fall 2000, Prof. Senie was Visiting Distinguished Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She previously served as Associate Director of the Princeton Art Museum and Gallery Director at SUNY, Old Westbury.

Her chief research areas are public art, memorials, memory and material culture, the American landscape tradition (themes of the road in American art and culture), and contemporary pilgrimage practice. In 2008, she co-founded with Professor Cher Krause Knight (Emerson University), Public Art Dialogue, an international organization that is also a CAA affiliate. The journal, Public Art Dialogue, that she co-edits with Prof. Knight, appears twice annually and is the only peer review journal devoted to public art.

Publications:

Forthcoming:

  • Co-editor and contributor Museums and Public Art? Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017.
  • Windshield Visions: The Theme of the Road in American Art &em; in process.