Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research centers on the role of visual and material culture in the interactions between the diverse cultural groups of the American west, using close visual analysis, feminist and postcolonial theory, and cultural history to interpret the contributions of art objects to current and historical cultural debates. She was one of the first academics to recognize the significance of the Acequia Madre House™ archives.
Elizabeth W. Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Art History, joined the Barnard faculty in January 2001. In addition to her teaching duties for the Department of Art History, she is affiliated with Barnard’s American Studies Program.
Elizabeth’s research centers on the role played by visual and material culture in the interactions between the diverse cultural groups of the American west, using the tools of close visual analysis, feminist and postcolonial theory, and cultural history to interpret the contributions of art objects to current and historical cultural debates. She has written extensively on how Native Americans used “modern”art to negotiate a place for themselves within modern industrial culture at the turn of the twentieth century. More recently, she has turned her attention to the role of photography in documenting and defining the topographical and cultural landscape of the West in the nineteenth century. Professor Hutchinson’s research and scholarship have received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and Winterthur Museum and Country Estate.
Her publications include: The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism and Transculturation in Native American Art, 1890-1915 (Duke University Press, 2009); The exhibition catalog for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Native American Collections at Laurelton Hall,” Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall, (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2006): 177–191; “Image Peddling,” New-York Journal of American History (Summer 2006): 64-74; “Native American Art and Modern Indian Identity,” Seeing High and Low: Representing Cultural Conflict in American Visual Culture, Patricia Johnston, ed., (Berkeley: University of California Press, April 2006): 194–209; and “They Might Be Giants: Galen Clark, Carleton Watkins and the Big Tree,” October Vol. 109 (Summer 2004): 47–63.
Elizabeth’s courses examine American visual culture from the colonial period through the early twentieth century. She has developed specialized classes on Native American art, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Hudson River school, all of which make use of the rich resources of New York City as well as the American Southwest. Her teaching and mentoring at Barnard have been recognized with the Gladys Brooks Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and the Star Teaching Award from Barnard’s Office of Disability Services.