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Alan Wallach

Ralph H. Wark Professor of Art and Art History Emeritus and Professor of American Studies Emeritus, Professorial Lecturer in Art History, George Washington University

Email: [[axwall]]

Research Interests
The Hudson River School, the beginnings of American modernism, art museums (history, theory, practice), the social history of art, critical theory

1963   BA, Mathematics, Columbia College

1965   MA, History of Art, Columbia University

1973   PhD, History of Art, Columbia University

Awards, Fellowship, Service

Member, Editorial Board, Panorama, Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, 2018-2023 

2010 Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art, The John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies and the Art Historical Institute, The Free University, Berlin 

2008 Robert Sterling Clark Distinguished Visiting Professor, Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts

2007 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award, The College Art Association 

2006 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Graduate Program in the History of Art, University of Delaware

2000-2003 Member, Board of Managing Editors, American Quarterly 

1996-2000 Member, Board of Directors, The College Art Association

1994-1997 Member, Art Bulletin Editorial Advisory Committee

1985-1986 Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.


Selected Publications

“Philip Evergood: Universal Connotations,” in Charles Eldredge ed., Unforgettable: 65 American Artists Rediscovered (University of California Press, forthcoming 2022). 

Review of Maggie Cao, The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018) in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 19, no. 2 (Autumn 2020), 

“‘A Distasteful, Indelicate Subject,’” American Art 53, no. 3 (Fall 2019), 26-31. 

“Patron,” in Andrew Hemingway and Larne Abse Gogarty eds., Keywords for Marxist Art History, Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft 21 (2019), 107-111.

“Aestheticizing Tendencies in Hudson River School Landscape Painting at the Beginning of the Gilded Age” in Margaret R. Laster and Chelsea Bruner eds., New York: Art and Cultural Capital of the Gilded Age (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), 56-70.

“The Bully Pulpit: Patriotism,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art  (Fall 2017),

“For a Social History of the Hudson River School,” American Art 31, no. 2 (Summer 2017), 43-45.

“Rereading An Anti-Catalog: Radical Art History and the Decline of the Left,” in Mathieu Copeland and Balthazar Lovay eds., The anti-museum (London: Fri Art and Koenig Books, 2016), 451-460 (print version of essay published on the web in 2011).

“The Bully Pulpit: Connoisseurship,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art (Fall 2015),

“A Very Brief History of the Art Museum in the United States,” in Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius and Piotr Piotrowski eds., From Museum Critique to the Critical Museum (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2015), 15-36.

Co-editor with Andrew Hemingway, Transatlantic Romanticism: American Art and Literature, 1790-1860 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015)

“Thomas Cole and Transatlantic Romanticism,” in Andrew Hemingway and Alan Wallach eds., Transatlantic Romanticis: American Art and Literature, 1790-1860 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015), 206-226.

“On the Social History of American Art,” in John Davis, Jennifer Greenhill, and Jason LaFountain eds., A Companion to American Art (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, f 2015), 71-84.

“A Note on Aestheticizing Tendencies in American Landscape Painting, 1840-1880,” in Warren Carter, Barnaby Haran, and Fred Schwarz eds., Renew Marxist Art History (Festschrift for Andrew Hemingway) (London: Art/Books, 2014), 140-150.

“Rethinking ‘Luminism’: Taste, Class, and Aestheticizing Tendencies in Mid-Nineteenth Century American Landscape Painting,” in Nancy Siegel ed., The Cultured Canvas: New Perspectives on American Landscape Painting (Durham: University of New Hampshire Press, 2011), 115-147.

“The Birth of the American Art Museum,” in Sven Beckert and Julia Rosenbaum eds., The American Bourgeoisie: Distinction and Identity in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010), pp. 247-256.

“The Norman Rockwell Museum and the Representation of Social Conflict” in Patricia Johnston ed., Seeing High and Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 357-367.

“Norman Rockwell at the Guggenheim,” in Andrew McClellan ed., Art and Its Publics: Museum Studies at the Millennium (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2003), 97-116.

“Thomas Cole’s River in the Catskills as Antipastoral,” The Art Bulletin 84, no. 2 (June 2002), 334-350 and cover

Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States, University of Massachusetts Press, 1998 (remains in print)

“Thomas Cole and the Aristocracy,” in Marianne Doezema and Elizabeth Milroy eds., Reading American Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998): 79-108.  A revised version of an essay published in 1981 in Arts Magazine.

Co-editor with William H. Truettner, Thomas Cole: Landscape into History, National Museum of American Art and Yale University Press, 1994. Author of principal essay.

“Making a Picture of the View from Mount Holyoke,” in David Miller ed., American Iconology: New Approaches to Nineteenth Century Art and Literature (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993): 80-91, 310-312.

“The Universal Survey Museum,” Art History 3, no. 4 (Dec. 1980): 448-469; written in collaboration with Carol Duncan. Translations in French and Turkish.

“The Museum of Modern Art as Late Capitalist Ritual: An Iconographic Analysis,” Marxist Perspectives 1, no. 4 (Winter 1978): 28-51; written in collaboration with Carol Duncan. Translations in French, Spanish, and Russian.