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 is the author of three books. Her most recent is titled Mid-Century Modernism and the American Body: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Power in Design and was published by Princeton University Press in spring 2021. It was featured in the spring Design section of the New York Times on May 9, 2021.
Her book about museums and the popularizing of American modernism is 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.
Her current research interests include the role of race in design consumption and production, and the intersections of race and abstraction in mid-twentieth-century painting and sculpture. During the summer of 2019, she was a George Gurney Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., where she conducted research in the papers of several African American artists who were profiled in Ebony magazine in the 1950s.
Wilson has written articles and reviews in a variety of publications, including The Art Bulletin, American Art, Journal of Design History, Archives of American Art Journal, 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 has worked with undergraduates on a variety of research projects. She co-curated an exhibition on the history and reception of cyanotype photography at the Worcester Art Museum in 2016 with Nancy Burns, Associate Curator of Prints Drawings and Photographs. Burns and Wilson received an Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators for the project. See the “Cyanotypes” tab on this page for an account of the student research seminar (Fall 2015) and exhibition (Spring 2016). 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. Wilson also teaches lecture courses on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century art, upper-level courses on modern design, gender in art, and art history methods.
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 served on the Board of Directors for ArtsWorcester in various roles from 2012 to 2019, and was President of the Board from 2015 to 2017.
Updated: May 2021