Dr. Wilson received a B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University in 1993 and 2001, respectively. She joined the Clark faculty in the autumn of 2004.
Current Research and Teaching
Wilson's interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century painting and sculpture, modern design and architecture, and the history and methodologies of art history. Her scholarly research has focused on American painting and photography in the interwar years, the birth of modernist design in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, and the history and criticism of museums. She is particularly interested in the roles museums have played in defining modern art, and in teaching modern art from a multi-disciplinary point of view.
Wilson teaches lecture courses on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century art, as well as an upper-level course on modern design (ARTH 243: Design in the 20th Century: Arts and Crafts to Ikea). She also teaches seminars on gender in art, art and culture in twentieth-century America, and art history methods (ARTH 210, required for the art history major)
Wilson’s book about museums and the popularizing of American modernism came out in 2009, entitled The Modern Eye: Stieglitz, MoMA, and the Art of the Exhibition, 1925-1934 (Yale University Press). The Modern Eye was awarded the 2011 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for distinguished scholarship in American art by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
In 2004, Wilson published Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design During the Great Depression(Yale University Press), about the rise of American modernist design in the Depression years. The book won the Charles F. Montgomery Book Award from the Decorative Arts Society, and was accompanied by an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery in 2004-2005.
Wilson has contributed articles and reviews to a wide variety of publications, including journals such The Art Bulletin, Winterthur Portfolio, and Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and exhibition catalogues at the RISD Museum, National Building Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. A selected list includes:
“Ambivalence, Irony, and Americana: Sheeler’s American Interiors.” Winterthur Portfolio 45, no. 4 (Winter 2011): 249-276.
“‘The Happiest Party in Town’: Cocktail Accessories and American Culture, 1945-1965,” in Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion, 1920-1980, ed. Joanne Ingersoll (RISD Museum, 2011), 75-87.
“Designing the Modern Family at the Fairs,” in Designing the World of Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s, eds. Laura Schiavo and Robert W. Rydell (Yale University Press and the National Building Museum, 2010), 141-157.
“The Intimate Gallery and the Equivalents: Spirituality in the 1920s Work of Stieglitz.” The Art Bulletin 85, no. 4 (December 2003): 746-68.