Martha Bari

  • Undergraduate Faculty

Assistant Professor of Art History

Tatem Arts Center, Room 121
Office Hours

Thursday 1:00-2:00pm

and by appointment


My courses span Western art from the Renaissance to post-modernism, and Asian art from prehistoric times to the present. They reflect my lifetime fascination with the art of both the East and West. My master’s thesis and subsequent art exhibition and catalog were about the ex-patriot American Helen Ling, who was a dealer, collector and connoisseur of Chinese ceramics.

My dissertation, The Media is the Message: Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s 1969 Year of Peace, enabled me to track both Eastern and Western influences in the couple’s performance art in the late ’60s, as well as the legacy of this work in today’s culture. Using Ono and Lennon’s art as a touchstone, I additionally explored ideas about gender and ethnicity, the ’60s counterculture, the language of everyday life, the nature of celebrity, the psychology of marketing, the role of mass media in society, and the control and manipulation of imagery. Presently, my scholarly interests also include Yayoi Kusama and other Japanese women artists in New York during the 1960s.

My teaching philosophy of art history begins with the premise that art provides an invaluable gateway to knowledge. The question “How does this particular artwork convey meaning?” provides the stimulus for a broad range of ideas from the personal to the political, from the material to the spiritual, and from connoisseurship to critical theory. I use art to challenge my students intellectually and encourage them to think critically about the world around them. Additionally, I strive to impart a grammar of “looking” that will enable my students to enjoy and find meaning in art long after they have left Hood College.


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park
  • M.A., University of Maryland, College Park
  • B.A., The George Washington University