Amy Knight Powell

Associate Professor of Art History
Amy Knight Powell


On Leave: July 2022 – January 2024 
Interim Chair, Department of Art History, Spring 2024


  • Ph.D. , Harvard University
  • B.A. , University of California, Berkeley
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Northern European art and visual culture, late medieval through early modern (1400 – 1700), with an emphasis on painting, from early Netherlandish to baroque, in a global context. Issues of particular interest include untimeliness, iconoclasm, abstraction, technology, economy, and the gendered and racialized ideologies of shape, format, genre, and size. All this seen from the perspective of the present.

    Detailed Statement of Research Interests



    • Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum (Zone Books / Princeton University Press, 2012)
    • Picture Box: A Small History of the Easel Painting (under contract Zone Books)
    • War, Iconoclasm, and Landscapes in the Dutch Republic (in progress)



    • “Zoe Leonard’s Suitcases” in Is Medieval Art Contemporary? ed. Charlotte Denoël, Larisa Dryansky, Isabelle Marchesin, and Eric Verhagen, Brepols, 2023.
    • “Life and Death According to the ‘Episteme’ of the Fort: A Picture of the Slave Trader Dirck Wilre in Elmina, 1669,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 72 (2022).
    • “If a Painting is Like a Window, Is It a Means of Ventilation?” Grey Room 83 (2021).
    • “Bruegel’s Dirty, Little Atoms,” in Contamination and Purity in Early Modern Art and Architecture, ed. Lauren Jacobi and Daniel Zolli, Amsterdam University Press, 2021.
    • “Porcelain White,” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 73/74 (2020).
    • “A Short History of the Picture as Box,” Representations 141 (2018).
    • “Images (Not) Made by Chance,” Art History 40 (2017).
    • “Bread/Head,” postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 7 (2016).
    •  “Squaring the Circle: The Telescopic View in Early Modern Landscapes,” Art History 39 (2016).
    • “Segers’ Iconoclastic Vernacular,” Oxford Art Journal 38 (2015). 
    • “A Machine for Souls: Allegory Before and After Trent,” in The Sensuous in the Counter-Reformation Church, ed. Marcia Hall and Tracy Cooper, Cambridge University Press, 2013. 
    • “Late Gothic Abstractions,” Gesta 51 (2012).
    • “Painting as Blur: Landscapes in Paintings of the Dutch Interior,” Oxford Art Journal 33.2 (2010).
    • “Caught Between Dispensations: Heterogeneity in Early Netherlandish Painting,” Journal of Visual Culture 7 (2008).
    • “The Errant Image: Rogier van der Weyden’s Deposition from the Cross and its Copies,” Art History 29 (2006). Reprinted in Location, ed. Deborah Cherry and Fintan Cullen, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
    • “A Point ‘Ceaselessly Pushed Back’: The Origin of Early Netherlandish Painting,” Art Bulletin 88 (2006).