Kristina Wilson received a B.A in 1993 and Ph.D. in 2001 from Yale University. She joined the Clark faculty in the fall of 2004.
Wilson’s interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century painting and sculpture, modern design and architecture, and the history and methodologies of art history. Her scholarly research has focused on American painting in the interwar years, the birth of modernist design in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, and the history and criticism of museums. She is particularly interested in the roles museums have played in defining modern art, and in teaching modern art from a multi-disciplinary point of view.
Wilson’s current research projects include a theoretical meditation on the visual experience of salon-style painting hangs (especially in the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries); a study of the social politics of modernism in the suburban landscape of 1950s America; and the history and reception of cyanotype photography (part of an exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum).
Wilson has published two award-winning books. Her most recent book, about museums and the popularizing of American modernism, is entitled The Modern Eye: Stieglitz, MoMA, and the Art of the Exhibition, 1925-1934 (Yale University Press, 2009). The Modern Eye was awarded the 2011 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for distinguished scholarship in American art by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2004, Wilson published Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design During the Great Depression (Yale University Press), about the rise of American modernist design in the Depression years. The book won the Charles F. Montgomery Book Award from the Decorative Arts Society, and was accompanied by an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery in 2004-2005.
Wilson has written articles and reviews in a variety of publications, including The Art Bulletin, American Art, Journal of Design History, Studies in the Decorative Arts, Winterthur Portfolio, and Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. She has also contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues for institutions such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the RISD Museum of Art, the National Building Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.
At Clark, Wilson teaches lecture courses on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century art, as well as an upper-level course on modern design (ARTH 243: Design in the 20th Century: Arts and Crafts to Ikea). She also teaches seminars on gender in art, art and culture in twentieth-century America, and art history methods (ARTH 210, required for the art history major). She has worked with undergraduates on a variety of research projects. See the “Life of a Campus” tab on this page for an account of the research project she conducted with students in 2011-2012 on the architectural history of the Clark campus. See the “Cyanotypes” tab on this page for an account of the seminar (Fall 2015) and exhibition (spring 2016) on cyanotype photography with the Worcester Art Museum.
In addition to her collaborations with the Worcester Art Museum, Wilson is also involved with ArtsWorcester, an organization devoted to contemporary art practice in Worcester and the surrounding region. She has served on the Board of Directors for ArtsWorcester in various roles since 2012, and is currently President of the Board.