Department of Art History
Assistant Chair, Department of Art and Art History
M.A./Ph.D. – The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Room: Hunt-Cavanagh 206
Area(s) of Expertise:
Italian Renaissance Art, Baroque Art, Interpretive Methods of Art History, Rembrandt seminar, Art History Survey.
Paul Crenshaw was graduated by Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, before going on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. from The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He held research and lecturing positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Art Reference Library, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and the International Foundation for Art Research. Prior to joining the faculty of Art History at Providence College in 2009, Professor Crenshaw served as Assistant Professor of Art History and Assistant Curator of The Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Crenshaw’s primary research field is Dutch art of the seventeenth century. In particular he studies aspects of the life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn, including biographical material, economic and market studies, iconology, and material process in painting, printmaking and drawing. His broader interests include themes of unusual and esoteric subject matter in early modern European art, the history of prints and drawings, early modern theories of art and the artist’s place in society.
Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art and Art History, Providence College.
Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art History & Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis. Also Assistant Curator, Kemper Art Museum, 2008-2009.
Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Ph.D. thesis: “Rembrandt’s Bankruptcy.”
Authentication Research Associate, International Foundation for Art Research, Inc., New York, NY.
Assistant Photoarchivist, The Frick Collection, The Frick Art Reference Library, New York, NY.
Visiting Lecturer, Division of Art History, School of Art, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Research Assistant, The Robert Lehman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
MA, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
Lecturer, Education Department, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.
Lecturer, School Programs, Education Department, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
BA, cum laude, Carleton College, Northfield, MN.
Current Interests and Research:
Professor Crenshaw’s primary research field is Dutch art of the seventeenth century. In particular he studies aspects of the life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn, including biographical material, economic and market studies, iconology, and material process in painting, printmaking and drawing. His broader interests include themes of unusual and esoteric subject matter in early modern European art, the history of prints and drawings, the material process of early modern artists, and early modern theories of art and the artist’s place in society.
Art History Survey
Italian Renaissance Art
Interpretive Methods of Art History
The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no body yet has thought about that which everyone sees. -Arthur Schopenhauer
We live in a world dominated by images. It is imperative to understand how they are created, how they operate in a social context, and how they incorporate traditions. This comfort level and knowledge about visual signs and images establishes an appreciation of cultures removed from our own by time or distance, allows students to grow as citizens of the world, and enables them to think critically about modern society and to contribute to the creative and technological developments of the present and future.
Discovering Leonardo: The Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Leonardo da Vinci’s Masterpieces. New York: Universe/Rizzoli, 2011 [co-author with Rebecca Tucker].
Discovering the Great Masters: The Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Symbols in Paintings. New York: Universe/Rizzoli, 2009 [lead author, with contributions by Rebecca Tucker and Alexandra Bonfante-Warren].
Rembrandt’s Bankruptcy: The Artist, His Patrons, and the Art World in Seventeenth-Century Netherlands. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Rembrandt: Master Etchings from St. Louis Collections. exh. cat. St. Louis (MO): St. Louis Art Museum, 2006 [co-curator and co-author with Francesca Herndon-Consagra].
Rembrandt, Beyond the Brush. Master Prints from the Weil Collection. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. exh. cat. Montgomery (AL): Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1999. [co-author with Susan D. Kuretsky and Stacey Sell].
The Book and The Arts in Seventeenth-Century Holland. exh. cat. Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University, 1996. [co-author with Elizabeth Wyckoff and Dulce María Román].
“Did Rembrandt Travel to England?” in In His Milieu: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias, ed. Amy Golahny, Mia Mochizuki and Lisa Vergara. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006: 123-132.
“Rembrandt’s Declaration of Bankruptcy,” in Rethinking Rembrandt, ed. Alan Chong and Michael Zell, Boston and Zwolle: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Waanders Publishers, 2002: 159-172.
“Rembrandt’s Disputes with His Patrons,” Dutch Crossing: A Journal of Low Countries Studies, 25 (no. 2, 2001): 162-199.
Review of Jonathan Bikker, Willem Drost (Yale University Press, 2005), David de Witt, Jan van Noordt (Queen’s University Press, 2007) and Arthur Wheelock, Jr, et al, Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master
Rediscovered (National Gallery Washington, DC, 2008), Historians of NetherlandishArt Newsletter and Review of Books 27 (no. 1, April 2010): 24-26.
Review of Konraad Jonckheere, The Auction of King William’s Paintings 1713: Elite International Art Trade at the End of the Dutch Golden Age (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008), Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter and Review of Books 26 (no. 1, April 2009): 33.
Review of The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt. exh. cat. Amsterdam: Museum het Rembrandthuis, 2002. Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter and Review of Books 21 (no. 2, November 2004): 31-32.
“Rembrandt’s Three Crosses,” Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Spotlight Series: October 2008.
“A Virgin of Sorrows by Il Sassoferrato,” IFAR Journal, 1 (no. 3, 1998): 11-13.
“Two Would-Be Titian Emperors Arrive at IFAR,” IFAR Journal, 1 (no. 2, 1998): 6-9.
[co-author with Mara L. Hermano]
“New Perspectives on an Old Form (New York Views: The Gubbio Studiolo),” Design & Architecture, 6 (no. 1, 1997): 96-98.
“Face-to-Face with The Last Judgment,” Art & Antiques, 17 (no. 4, 1994): 81-83.
Curated exhibitions and workshops (without publications):
“Special Viewing: 19th-Century French Prints and Drawings,” Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, Fall 2008.
“Hidden Treasures: Old Master Prints,” Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, Fall 2008.
“Rembrandt and Dutch Art,” Washington University Gallery of Art, Fall 2003.