I am broadly interested in how the arts shape culture and how culture shapes the arts. My current research explores the links between archeology, museology, and neoclassicism in eighteenth-century Italy by following the changing forms and fortunes of a group of ancient statuary from its excavation near Tivoli through installation at the new Vatican Museum, seizure under Napoleon, and return to Rome after Waterloo. By reconstructing how and by whom these artifacts were unearthed, identified, acquired, restored, displayed, contextualized, published, reproduced, confiscated, and ultimately repatriated, I hope to shed light on the multiple meanings of antiquity at the end of the ancien regime. Other projects involve the diffusion and didactic display of plaster casts, the expressive role of costume in the theatrical pictures of Dutch artist Cornelis Troost, and the significance of Ovidian themes in the paintings of Giulio Carpioni. Teaching interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, colonial Latin America, the Grand Tour, and the commemorative monument.

Selected Recent Publications

“Pedagogy in Plaster: Ercole Lelli and Benedict XIV’s Gipsoteca at Bologna’s Instituto delle Scienze e delle Arti.” In Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment: Art, Science, and Spirituality, edited by Rebecca Messbarger, Christopher M. S. Johns, and Philip Gavitt, 391-418. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Five chapters on Europe from 1600 to 1830 and Spanish and Portuguese America from 1492 to independence in History of Design: Decorative Arts and Material Culture, 1400-2000, edited by Pat Kirkham and Susan Weber. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013.

“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, 112-143. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012.

“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, 187-214. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.

“Know Thy Time: Batoni and Pius VI.” In Intorno a Batoni: Atti del Convegno Internazionale, edited by Liliana Barroero, 107-130. Lucca: Fondazione Ragghianti, 2010.

“A través de la ventana: Pedro Friedeberg y la arquitectura sublime / Through the Window: Pedro Friedeberg’s Sublime Architecture.” In Pedro Friedeberg. Mexico City: Trilce Ediciones, 2009.

Selected Courses
[no-indent]500 Survey of the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture I[no-indent]522 Arts of the Baroque[no-indent]608 Western Europe in the 18th Century[no-indent]674 Society and the Arts in 18th-Century France[no-indent]675 Art and Court Culture at Versailles[no-indent]679 Neoclassicism and the Arts in Europe and America, 1740–1840[no-indent]763 The Monument: Designs and Meanings[no-indent]793 The Grand Tour[no-indent]888 Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800[no-indent]891 The England of William Kent[no-indent]911 From Ditch to Nitch: Making the Vatican Museum