Karl Kusserow John Wilmerding Curator of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum
Ph.D., Yale University, 2006
Karl Kusserow specializes in American art from the Colonial era through the mid-twentieth century, with a particular focus on portraiture and, recently, ecocriticism and its application to American visual culture.
Kusserow joined the Princeton University Art Museum in 2005 and was appointed the institution’s inaugural John Wilmerding Curator of American Art in 2013. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he received his doctorate from Yale University and has worked at the Art Gallery there, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and as art advisor to several major corporate collections. In 2010 he organized the in situ exhibition “Inner Sanctum: Memory and Meaning in Princeton’s Faculty Room at Nassau Hall,” and taught the related seminar, “Charged Space: Context and Setting in the Production and Interpretation of Art and Literature.” In 2013 he organized the loan exhibition “Picturing Power: Capitalism, Democracy, and American Portraiture,” which explored the changing uses of institutional portraiture and the dilemma of portraying power in a democracy. Its accompanying catalogue was named one of the year’s outstanding publications by the Association of Art Museum Curators.
Kusserow has served at Princeton as an Old Dominion Faculty Fellow and on the Council of the Princeton University Community. Currently, he is co-organizing a survey exhibition of American watercolor paintings for 2015 and, for 2017, “Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment,” a traveling exhibition broadly reinterpreting American art through the lens of ecology and environmental history.
Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, coedited with Alan C. Braddock (Yale University Press, forthcoming).
“Pride of Place: Selfhood and Surroundings in Early American Art,” in New England/New Spain: Portraiture in Colonial America, 1492–1850 (Denver Art Museum, forthcoming).
Picturing Power: Portraiture and Its Uses in The New York Chamber of Commerce (Columbia University Press, 2013).
Princeton University Art Museum Record 70 (2011); editor of special issue on American art.
Inner Sanctum: Memory and Meaning in Princeton’s Faculty Room at Nassau Hall (Princeton University Press, 2010)
“Technology and Ideology in Daniel Huntington’s Atlantic Cable Projectors,” American Art 24.1 (Spring 2010).