Elizabeth W. Hutchinson

Elizabeth W. Hutchinson

North American Art to 1945; Feminist and Cultural Theory
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1999


Elizabeth Hutchinson is interested in the relationship between the visual culture of a variety of North American groups and its viewers. Taking as a starting point the ongoing impact of the colonial history of the Americas, her work uses the tools of close visual analysis, feminist and postcolonial theory, and cultural history to bring out objects' contributions to historical and current cultural debates. Key issues motivating her work include visuality and modernity, transculturation in the arts of the Americas, and comparative analyses of the visual culture of the United States and other colonial cultures. She has explored these topics in relationship to photography, painting, film, illustration, the built environment and the decorative arts.

Professor Hutchinson has recently held Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Winterthur. Professor Hutchinson has recently published a book on "The Indian Craze," a widespread interest in Native American art at the turn of the last century, which situates this American primitivist movement within the contemporary cultural, political and economic changes facing both Euro- and Native American people  during a period of rapid modernization.  Her current research projects focus on the issue of sovereignty over land and self-representation.  These include a book about the Pacific Coast landscape photography of Eadweard Muybridge, a photographer better known for his exploration of human and animal locomotion, and a series of articles on portraits of Native Americans from the colonial period to the twentieth century. Articles related to these projects have appeared in Third Text, Exposure, The Art Bulletin, American Art, October, The History of Photography, the New-York Journal of American History and in the recent anthologIES Seeing High & Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture and A Keener Perception:  Ecocritical Studies in American Art History.

Professor Hutchinson's teaching and mentoring has been recognized with a Gladys Brooks Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from Barnard College and a Star Teaching Award from the Barnard Office of Disability Services.


Professor Hutchinson teaches courses on American visual culture from the colonial period through the early twentieth century. Her classes focus on both fine art and mass culture and trace the material expressions of the diverse populations of North America, including Anglo-Americans, African-Americans and Native Americans.

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Lectures: North American Art and Culture, Native American Art and Introduction to Art History.

Undergraduate Seminars: The Visual Culture of the Harlem Renaissance and Methods & Theories of Art History - BC Art History majors requirement.

Undergraduate/Graduate Bridge Lectures: Colonial Portraitures and Tourism and the North American Landscape

Graduate Seminars: Native American Landscapes, The American 1870s and Colonialism & Postcolonialism in the New World