Irene Bierman-McKinney (1942-2015)

Served from 1982-2012 Irene Bierman-McKinney was a leading scholar in the field of Islamic art and architecture and treasured mentor to nearly a dozen Ph.D. students during her three decades at UCLA.  In addition to her active membership in many academic organizations, she served as both Director of the Middle East Center and Chair of the Department of Art History at UCLA and produced a broad range of publications including Writing Signs: The Fatimid Public Text (University of California Press, 1998), Napoleon in Egypt (ed., Ithaca Press, 2003), and Text and Context in Islamic Societies (co-ed., Ithaca Press, 2004).

Robert L. Brown

Served from 1986-2019 Robert L. Brown taught Indian and Southeast Asian Art at UCLA for over three decades, and was himself an alumni of the department having received his Ph.D. in Indian art history in 1981.  In 2001, he was appointed Curator in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Art at LACMA, a position he held jointly alongside his UCLA professorship. He curated such exhibitions as The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka (2018-19), the first comprehensive exhibition of Sri Lankan art by an American museum, which welcomed over 120,000 visitors during its run. His books include Art from Thailand (Marg 1999), Roots of Tantra (SUNY 2002), and the Encyclopedia of India, 4 vols. (senior editor Stanley Wolpert; Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005).  At UCLA, he trained over twenty graduate students who now hold positions in major museums and universities throughout the USA. Contact: rlbrown@humnet.ucla.edu 

Albert Boime (1933-2008)

Served from 1979-2008 Albert Boime was a noted scholar and Professor of Art History, serving in the department for nearly three decades.  Known for exploring the social and political contexts in which art is produced, he was an expert in 19th-century European art but his work crossed many genres, including work on outsider art, popular imagery in Europe and America, and significant national monuments.  He is particularly known for his seminal four-volume “Social History of Modern Art”,  (University of Chicago Press), spanning nearly 3,000 pages: “Art in an Age of Revolution, 1750-1800” (1987); “Art in an Age of Bonapartism, 1800-1815” (1990); “Art in an Age of Counterrevolution, 1815-1848” (2004); and “Art in an Age of Civil Struggle, 1848-1871” (2007).

Susan B. Downey

Served from 1965-2012 Susan Downey taught as Professor of Art History from 1965 until her retirement in 2012, during which time she also served as core faculty at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaelogy.  In addition to her scholarly research and teaching in Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology, she also undertook committed service to numerous UCLA academic organizations and committees.  Her publications include Terracotta Figurines and Plaques from Dura-Europos (University of Michigan Press, 2003) in addition to numerous articles.

Burglind Jungmann

Served from 1999-2017 Burglind Jungmann, Professor Emerita of Korean art history at UCLA, established the first graduate program in Korean art and visual in the USA in 1999 and taught at UCLA’s Department of Art History until 2017. From 1999 to 2003 she also served as Adjunct Curator of Korean art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Jungmann studied East Asian art history at the University of Heidelberg and at Seoul National University and received her Ph.D. (1988) and her second doctorate (Habilitation, 1996) from Heidelberg University. She wrote numerous articles and books on Joseon dynasty art, including Painters as Envoys: Korean Inspiration in Eighteenth Century Japanese Nanga (2004) and Pathways to Korean Culture: Paintings of the Joseon Dynasty (2014). Contact: jungmann@humnet.ucla.edu

Cecelia F. Klein

Served from 1976-2011 Cecelia Klein served as Professor of Art History from 1976 until her 2011 retirement as a leading scholar in Pre-Columbian, Oceanic, and Native North American Art.  In addition to her active leadership chairing symposia and academic programs for her field and many exhibition contributions, her writings included books and co-edited volumes and journal series, including The Face of the Earth: Frontality in Two-dimensional Meso-american Art, (Garland Publishing Co., 1976) and Depictions of the Dispossessed (co-ed., Art Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, 1990). Contact: cklein@humnet.ucla.edu

David Kunzle

Served from 1976-2009 David Kunzle taught at UCLA as Professor of Art History from 1976 until his 2009 retirement.  A prolific author and one of the founding fathers of contemporary comics scholarship, he has written articles and books on a diverse range of topics, many of them pertaining to popular, political, and public art, including From Criminal to Courtier: The Soldier in Netherlandish Art 1550-1670 (Brill, 2002) and an updated edition of Fashion and Fetishism, a Social History of the Corset, Tight-Lacing, and Other Forms of Body Sculpture in the West (Penguin Social History Classics, 2002). Contact: kunzle@humnet.ucla.edu


Miwon Kwon

Served from 1997-2023 Miwon Kwon is Research Professor and The Walter Hopps Chair Emerita in Modern and Contemporary Art.  Her academic career started and concluded at UCLA, where she established the department’s first curriculum in contemporary art history as an Assistant Professor in the late 1990s and served as the Department Chair for nine years prior to retirement. She is the author of the influential book One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MITPress, 2002) as well as numerous essays on the work of an extensive list of contemporary artists. In 2012, she co-organized the major historical exhibition Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and traveled to Haus der Kunst in Münich. The exhibition catalogue of the same title (published by Prestel) received the prestigious 2013Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association. Her research, scholarship, and interventions in contemporary art continues beyond UCLA.
Contact: mkwon@humnet.ucla.edu.


Donald McCallum (1939 – 2013)

Served from 1969-2013 Donald F. McCallum had a long distinguished career as a scholar of Japanese art history and beloved teacher who taught at UCLA until his 2013 retirement. His particular specialty was Japanese Buddhist art, an area in which he published three books: Hakuhō Sculpture (University of Washington Press, 2012); The Four Great Temples: Buddhist Archaeology, Architecture, and Icons of Seventh-Century Japan (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2009); and Zenkoji and Its Icon: A Study in Medieval Japanese Religious Art (Princeton University Press, 1994).


Steven Nelson

Served from 2000 – 2020 Steven Nelson served as Professor of African and African American Art for two decades before leaving UCLA to serve as the Dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work teaching and advising as part of the art history faculty, Nelson also served as director of the UCLA African Studies Center, advised on UCLA’s diversity and inclusion strategic planning, chaired the UCLA Graduate Council from 2009-11, and held numerous leadership, guest faculty, and fellowship positions outside of the university. His publications include the award-winning From Cameroon to Paris: Mousgoum Architecture In and Out of Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2007), and the forthcoming Structural Adjustment: Mapping, Geography, and the Visual Cultures of Blackness and On the Underground Railroad. Contact: nelsons@humnet.ucla.edu

Carlo Pedretti (1928-2018)

Served from 1960-1993 Professor Carlo Pedretti served as Professor of Art History and Armand Hammer Chair in Leonardo Studies at UCLA from 1960 – 1993.  Widely considered the leading authority on Leonardo Da Vinci and a highly sought after expert consultant in cases of disputed attributions, he has authored more than 50 books and 700 essays and articles in various languages including Leonardo da Vinci (Taj Books, 2005).  

Donald Preziosi

Served from 1986-2004
Donald Preziosi taught at UCLA for two decades as Professor of Art History, during which time he developed programs in critical theory and museum studies. During 2001-2002, he served as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University, and he held the title of Distinguished Research Professor in the department from 2015-2018.  His publications include Rethinking Art History: Meditations on a Coy Science (Yale, 1989), The Art of Art History (Oxford, 1998), and Art, Religion, Amnesia: The Enchantments of Credulity (Routledge, 2013). His research, teaching, and writing link together cultural studies, intellectual history, critical theory, and the arts and museologies of various ancient and modern societies. Contact: preziosi@humnet.ucla.edu

David A. Scott

Served from 2002-2017 David A. Scott held a joint appointment as Professor in Art History and in the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. He received his Ph.D.in ancient metallurgy from University College, London (1982) and taught at the Department of Conservation and Materials Science, Institute of Archaeology, London until 1987.  He was appointed Head of the Museum Research Laboratory at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1987 and served until 2002 when he joined the UCLA faculty. His book Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation won the prize from the Association of American Publishers as the best Scholarly/Art book (2002). He is the author of over 70 published papers and his most recent book Art: Authenticity, Restoration, Forgery was published in 2016; his current research interests focus on the problems of the identification of pigments, the metallography of art objects, and the conservation of ancient metallic artifacts. Contact: dascott@ucla.edu


Dell Upton

Served from 2008 – 2020. Dell Upton served as Distinguished Professor of Architectural History, joining the faculty in 2008 after teaching at UC Berkeley for two decades. He is a historian of architecture, material culture, and cities, with a longstanding interest in African-American history, architecture and material culture, and early in his career in studied landscapes of slavery. His many publications include What Can and Can’t Be Said (Yale University Press, 2015), Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic (Yale University Press, 2008) and American Architecture: A Thematic History (Oxford, 2019). He is currently serving as the Kress-Beinecke Professor at CASVA (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) during the year 2020-21.
Contact: dupton@humnet.ucla.edu 

Anthony Vidler

Served from 1993-2002 Anthony Vidler served as Professor of Art History and Chair at UCLA beginning in 1993, with a joint appointment in the School of Architecture from 1997 until he departed UCLA in 2002 to serve as Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.  He is a historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture, specializing in French architecture from the Enlightenment to the present; his publications include The Scenes of the Street and Other Essays (Monacelli Press, 2011) and Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism (MIT Press, 2008).


Joanna Woods-Marsden (1936-2023)

Served as Professor of Art History at UCLA from 1984 until her retirement in 2010, during which time she led the department in the field of Renaissance studies.  In addition to her work as a teacher and PhD advisor, she produced vital scholarship to the study of court art and Renaissance portraiture through such publications as Renaissance Self-Portraiture: The Visual Construction of Identity and the Social Status of the Artist (Yale University Press, 1998).  






Arnold G. Rubin

Dr. Arnold G. Rubin (1937-1988) taught art history in the Department of Art, Design, and Art History at UCLA from 1967 until his death in 1988. He was a leading scholar and innovator in the expressive arts of Africa, focusing on the Middle Benue River Valley in Nigeria. Professor Rubin’s work and teaching also extended to studies of popular culture in Los Angeles, including the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Forest Lawn Cemetery, and body art such as tattoo and piercing. He edited the seminal volume, Marks of Civilization: Artistic Transformations of the Human Body (Museum of Cultural History, 1988) and wrote the landmark essay, Accumulation: Power and Display in African Sculpture (Artforum, May 1975). The Arnold Rubin Papers — consisting of journals, correspondence, published articles, manuscripts, visual materials, and course materials produced and collected by Professor Rubin – are housed at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. For further information, see: https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0779n3nm/