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Frederick Bohrer

Frederick Bohrer

Professor of Art History

Tel: 301-696-3457
Office: Tatem Arts Center, Room 102
Office hours: Wednesday: 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

"You can observe a lot just by looking."-- Yogi Berra

As an art historian, I specialize in the art and visual culture of 19th century Europe. My research focuses on the European image of non-European cultures, particularly in relation to the Middle East. My book, Orientalism and Visual Culture: Imagining Mesopotamia in Nineteenth-Century Europe, was published in 2003. I have also organized an exhibition of photographs of Iran from around 1900, Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image for the Smithsonian Institution. It was shown in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass., and before going on a nationwide tour. Since then, I have become increasingly interested in photography.

My latest book, Photography and Archaeology, was published in 2012. Here's a description of it.

Having worked so much in museums, I teach museum studies as well as 19th and 20th century art. More generally, I am widely interested in contemporary art and theory, and strive to incorporate their insights into my teaching and research. Yogi was right!

Lecture courses taught

  • ARHN 319 Orientalism and Egyptomania
  • ART 360 19th Century Art
  • ART 361 20th Century Art
  • ART 358 Baroque Art
  • ART 221 History of Art II (Introduction to Art: Renaissance to Modern)
  • ART 215 Museum Studies
  • ART 201 Meaning and Method in Art
  • ART 305 History of Photography

Seminars taught

  • Realism: Theory and Practice
  • Postmodernism and Art History
  • Art and Gender Studies
  • The "New" 19th Century
  • The Methods of Art History
  • Photography in/and Art History
  • Ruin, Fragment, Monument: Chapters in the Aesthetic Imagination
  • Art, Archaeology and Orientalism: Cross-Cultural Imagining Across Space and Time

Degrees earned

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • B.A., St. Johns College

Selected prizes and fellowships

  • Canadian Center for Architecture, Senior Fellow, Summer 2010
  • Getty Research Institute, Senior Fellow, Spring 2006
  • Clark Art Institute, Fellow, Spring 2002
  • Getty Grant Program, Post-doctoral Fellow in the History of Art and the Humanities, 1992-1993
  • National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Samuel H. Kress Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 1985-1987.
  • University of Chicago, Baroque Studies Prize, 1981. Prize paper title: "Fuseli's Art Theory."

Selected publications

  • Photography and Archeology London: Reaktion Books, 2012 (Distributed in US by University of Chicago Press)
  • Orientalism and Visual Culture: Imagining Mesopotamia in Nineteenth-Century Europe New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Sevruguin and the Persian Image: Photographs of Iran, 1870 - 1930, Washington, DC: A. M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/University of Washington, 1999.
  • “Doors into the Past: W.J. Stillman (and Freud) on the Acropolis” Camera Graeca: Greek History Through the Lens, London: Ashgate, 2015
  • “Edges of Art: Photographic Albums, Archaeology, and Representation” Art and the Early Photographic Album , ed. S. Bann, (Series: Studies in the History of Art) Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2011, pp. 221-235.
  • "By the Sweet Waters of Asia: Representing Difference/Differencing Representation in the Nineteenth Century"Edges of Empire: Orientalism and Visual Culture, eds. J. Hackforth-Jones and M. Roberts, London: Blackwell 2005.
  • "Archaeology and Photography: The Image as Object", Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image, eds. S. Moser and S. Smiles, (Series: New Interventions in Art History), London: Blackwell 2004.
  • "Photographic Perspectives: Photography and the Institutional Formation of Art History" Art History and Its Institutions, ed. E. Mansfield, London: Routledge 2002: 246-259.
  • "Inventing Assyria: Exoticism and Reception in Nineteenth-Century England and France",Art Bulletin 80.2 (June 1998): 336-356.
  • "Eastern Medi(t)ations: Exoticism and the Mobility of DifferenceHistory and Anthropology" , 9 #2/3 (1996): 293-307.
  • Les antiquités assyriennes au XIXe siècle: émulation et inspiration De Khorsabad à Paris: La découverte des Assyriens, exh. cat., Paris: Musée du Louvre, 1994: 248-59.
  • “The Times and Spaces of History: Representation, Assyria, and British Museum", Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles,eds. D. Sherman, I. Rogoff, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1994, 197-222.
  • "Public Virtue and Private Terror: A Two-Sided Oil Sketch by Henry Fuseli",Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, vol.53 #1 (1990): 89-106.