Rebecca Peabody

Adjunct Associate Professor of Art History
Rebecca Peabody
Email Office VKC 351



Rebecca Peabody is the Head of Research Projects & Programs at the Getty Research Institute. Her work focuses on 20th century American art and culture, in particular the use of narrative in representations of race, gender, and nationality. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art and African American Studies from Yale, and an MA in the History of Art from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Peabody’s book Consuming Stories: Kara Walker and the Imagining of American Race was published by the University of California Press in 2016, and has been reviewed in the Oxford Art Journal, Women’s Art Journal, and Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. She is also the author of The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, & Other Success Stories (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), a collection of first-person stories recounted by former graduate students who have successfully reached the other side of a PhD – and are willing to speak frankly about the challenges and decisions they faced along the way. Peabody is the editor of Anglo-American Exchange in Postwar Sculpture, 1945 – 1975 (Getty Publications, 2011) and the managing volume editor of Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945 – 1980 (Getty Publications, 2011) and Lawrence Alloway, Critic and Curator (Getty Publications, 2015), as well as of the forthcoming Visualizing Empire: Africa, France, and the Politics of Representation (also Getty Publications). Her writings have appeared in journals such as Black Camera, Word & Image, Getty Research Journal, Comparative Literature, Ethnic & Racial Studies, and Slavery & Abolition, as well as in numerous edited collections and exhibition catalogs. She has been invited to deliver talks at institutions such as UCLA, UC Riverside, Tate Britain, and the Yale Center for British Art.

At the Getty Research Institute Peabody has been the leader of a number of collaborative research projects, including Producing Empire: Visual Culture and the Politics of Representation; Lawrence Alloway, Critic & Curator; and Surrealism in Latin America. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Getty Research Journal and of the curatorial committee of the Getty Research Institute. She has taught at Yale and more recently at USC, first in 2008 and then from 2017 to the present.


  • Ph.D. History of Art and African American Studies, Yale University, 2006
  • M.A. History of Art, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1999
  • Book

    • Peabody, R. (2016). Consuming Stories: Kara Walker and the Imagining of American Race. University of California Press.
    • Peabody, R., L. Bradnock, C. Martin (Ed.). (2015). Lawrence Alloway, Critic and Curator. Getty Publications.
    • Peabody, R. (2014). The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories. Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Peabody, R.. A. Perchuk, G. Phillips, and R. Singh, with L. Bradnock (Ed.). (2011). Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945 – 1980. Getty Publications.
    • Peabody, R. (Ed.). (2011). Anglo-American Exchange in Postwar Sculpture. Getty Publications.

    Journal Article

    • Peabody, R. (2013). The Art of Storytelling in Kara Walker’s Film and Video. Black Camera, International Journal of Film. Vol. 5 (1), pp. 140-163.
    • Peabody, R. (2013). Race and Literary Sculpture in Malvina Hoffman’s Heads and Tales. Getty Research Journal. Vol. 5, pp. 119-132.
    • Peabody, R. (2012). Kara Walker on the End of Uncle Tom. Word & Image. Vol. 28 (2), pp. 181-192.
    • Peabody, R. (2012). Strategies of Visual Intervention: Langston Hughes and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Comparative Literature. Vol. 64 (2), pp. 169-191.
    • Peabody, R. (2012). The Reassurance Project: William Pope.L, in the Archive. Getty Research Journal. Vol. 4, pp. 211-216.
    • Peabody, R. (2001). A Kinesthetic Aesthetic: Sense, Art and Liminal Experience. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art. Vol. 2 (1), pp. 135-146.
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