Jeffrey L. Collins

Professor and Chair of Academic Programs
17th- and 18th-century Art and Culture

Ph.D. Yale University, History of Art  
M.A. Yale University
M.A. University of Cambridge, History of Art
B.A. University of Cambridge
B.A. Yale University, American Studies 

I am interested in how the arts shape culture and how culture shapes the arts. My current research explores the visual and material cultures of neoclassicism by following an important nucleus of ancient statuary from its excavation near Tivoli in 1775 to its return to Rome from Paris some forty years later. By reconstructing the group’s complex trajectory (involving legal disputes over ownership, acquisition and restoration by the papacy, display in an innovative new museum at the Vatican, publication, reproduction, and confiscation under Napoleon), I hope to recover the diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings of antiquity at the end of the ancien regime. Other projects involve the role of costume in the theatrical works of Dutch artist Cornelis Troost, the diffusion and exhibition of plaster casts, and Ovidian themes in the paintings of Giulio Carpioni. Apart from early modern Italy, teaching interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, colonial Latin America, and the commemorative monument.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • “Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican City: Ideology and Aesthetics in the Age of the Grand Tour,” in The First Modern Museums of Art: The Birth of an Institution in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Europe, edited by Carole Paul (Los Angeles: Getty Publications), forthcoming
  • “Europe 1600-1830”; “Spanish and Portuguese America, 1500-1830” (42,000 words), in History of the Decorative Arts and Design, 1400-2000, edited by Pat Kirkham and Susan Weber (New Haven and London: Yale University Press), forthcoming
  • “A Nation of Statues: Museums and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Rome,” in Architectural Space in the Eighteenth Century: Constructing Identities and Interiors, edited by Denise Baxter and Meredith Martin (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 187-214.
  • “Know Thy Time: Batoni and Pius VI,” in Intorno a Batoni: Atti del Convegno Internazionale, edited by. Liliana Barroero (Lucca: Fondazione Ragghianti, 2010), pp. 107-130.
  • “A través de la ventana: Pedro Friedeberg y la arquitectura sublime / Through the Window: Pedro Friedeberg’s Sublime Architecture,” in Pedro Friedeberg, edited by Déborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena, texts by James Oles and Jeffrey Collins (Mexico City: Trilce Ediciones, 2009) pp. 245-344.
  • Papacy and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Rome: Pius VI and the Arts (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).


Read an interview with Professor Collins.

Jeffrey L. Collins's courses include:

500 Survey of the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture I
522 Arts of the Baroque
608 Western Europe in the 18th Century
674 Society and the Arts in 18th-Century France
675 Art and Court Culture at Versailles
679 Neoclassicism and the Arts in Europe and America, 1740–1840
763 The Monument: Designs and Meanings
793 The Grand Tour
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