Trinity’s Fine Arts Department takes great pride in its Art History Program. While small enough to offer students individual attention, it is also worldly enough to endow them with a breadth of knowledge essential to a career in art and architectural history and their related fields. The five full-time members of the department—and a fine cadre of adjunct professors—teach courses that span the globe.
Trinity’s art history faculty is one of the department’s strengths. Our most senior member, Alden Gordon, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts, teaches courses on 18th and 19th century European art, architecture, the decorative arts, the history of prints, and the history of collecting. Renaissance scholar Jean Cadogan teaches courses on European art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Her research focuses on Italian painting and graphic arts of the 14th and 15th centuries. She has published books on Florentine 15th century drawings, Michelangelo’s master Domenico Ghirlandaio, and the Italian paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum, where she was formerly curator of European paintings. Her current book manuscript considers monumental painting in public places, including the cathedrals of Prato and Spoleto and the Campo Santo in Pisa, exploring themes of civic imagery, artistic diplomacy, and the prestige of Florentine painting. Michael FitzGerald publishes and lectures widely on 20th century art. His teaching includes courses on the history of photography and film, as well as specialized courses on the art market. He has curated a number of major exhibitions and is currently working on a history of museums of modern art.
The Art History Program also includes two architectural historians. Kathleen Curran teaches courses in modern architectural history (19th and 20th centuries) and in American art. Her specialties include 19th century medievalism in Germany and the United States. In 2016 she completed a book “The Invention of the American Art Museum” published by the Getty Research Institute. Kristin Triff teaches courses on 17th century (baroque) art and architecture, and on Spanish Colonial art and architecture. Her forthcoming book on the Orsini Palace at Monte Giordano in Rome examines one of the city’s palaces in the contexts of political, social, and architectural history during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Professors Triff and Curran also direct a very popular minor in architectural studies.
The Art History Program’s strengths are enhanced by our outstanding visiting and adjunct professors. Kluger Visiting Assistant Professor Yunchiahn Sena teaches the introduction to Asian art, the arts of China and the arts of Japan, as well as seminars in Asian art. Her research centers on the relationship between art and antiquity. She has published several journal articles and book chapters on how Chinese intellectuals have dealt with this issue. Her most recent book, Bronze and Stone: The Cult of Antiquity in Song Dynasty China (University of Washington Press, 2018), is the first monograph in English to examine the changing notion of antiquity in Chinese art and material culture. Adjunct faculty enable the program to offer students additional areas of study. Among these, Rob Rothblatt, a practicing architect, teaches courses on architectural design, among a range of adjunct offerings.