Lecturer and Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2014
Office: 202 Heyman Center
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 3-5
Maggie Cao is a scholar of American art and visual culture. She received her doctorate in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2014. Her current work focuses on the artistic negotiation of scientific and economic paradigm shifts during the long nineteenth century. Her book project, Episodes at the End of Landscape: Hudson River School to American Modernism, examines the dissolution of landscape painting as a major cultural project in the late nineteenth-century United States. By focusing the genre's unorthodox limit cases, from landscapes resembling banknotes to paintings made out of bird feathers, the book charts artistic attempts to resolve—at a pictorial level—the spatial, temporal, and relational problems arising with modernity. Dr. Cao is also at work on several new projects, including an essay on Canton Trade glass paintings and their theorization of reproduction and a longer study on painting and consumption in the Gilded Age, which explores such topics as ingestion and the still life, disposability and paper, and the materiality of gold.