Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, Art History
M.A., George Washington University, Art History
B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, Classics
I specialize in the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Renaissance and early modern Europe — especially in Italian art and architecture. My research centers on the design and reception of early modern (16th-17th-century) gardens and villas; the history of art collecting; and the artistic and urban history of Rome. In both my research and teaching, I examine how art, architecture, and landscapes created social meaning for those who viewed and experienced them.
I lead introductory survey classes on the History of the Visual Arts and the Architectural History, as well as courses on Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Art. I also offer the discussion seminars, Landscape & Art: Nature and Human Culture, Michelangelo and His World, and a seminar for Senior Fine Arts Majors. I lecture and and teach in the college's core Freshman program, Conversatio, and I team up with a colleague in the Chemistry Department to teach The Chemistry of Painting — a unique course investigating the principles of chemistry, technical art history, and conservation studies.
My courses always prioritize hands-on projects and incorporate films and digital assignments. This includes taking field trips to museums and key monuments around the New England region. Students in my classes receive close individual attention, and are encouraged to pursue creative, independent research. Because the ways we communicate and interpret the world are constantly changing, I believe that excellence in teaching requires a profound commitment to discovering innovative ways to engage and inspire students.
Before I joined the faculty at Saint Anselm, I taught at Columbia University, Emory University, and Penn State University's Study Abroad Program in Todi, Italy. I have won research fellowships and grants from several institutions, including Dumbarton Oaks, Columbia University and the Mellon Foundation, The Getty Research Institute, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS). From 2013-2014, I was Rush H. Kress Fellow at the Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy. My article, "The Afterlife of the Cesi Garden: Family Identity, Politics, and Memory in Early Modern Rome," (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 2013) received the 2016 Essay Prize from the Landscape History Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.
My current book project examines villa gardens around Rome built by cardinals of the Church during the Counter-Reformation period, and focuses on viewer reception and the social and health-related functions of these sites.