American and Contemporary Art
(On leave: Academic year 2018-19)
Jennifer L. Roberts is Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities and Johnson-Kulukunkdis Family Faculty Director of the Arts at the Radcliffe Instistute for Advanced Study. Focusing on British and American art from the colonial period onward, she has particular interests in print history, material studies, the theory and practice of making, and the history and philosophy of science. She received her A.B. in English and Art History from Stanford (1992) and her Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale (2000); she joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in 2002. The recipient of numerous external research awards, she will occupy the Slade Professorship in Fine Arts at Cambridge University in 2019, and give the Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art in 2021.
Roberts is the author of three books spanning American art from the 1760s to the 1970s: Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (2004), Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (2012), and Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America (2014). She is a co-author of the textbook American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity (2007). Her current book project, titled The Matrix: Contemporary Art and the Life of Print, explores the way artists after 1960 embraced the physical and philosophical fecundity of printmaking processes.
Roberts is also a founder, along with Ethan Lasser of the Harvard Art Museums, of the Minding Making Project, which aims to develop rigorous methods of incorporating technical and artisanal knowledge into the historical and interpretive disciplines.