Dean of StudentsAssistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture
Katherine Smith Abbott has been teaching in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College since 1996. Her research focuses on the production and reception of devotional painting in early fifteenth-century Florence.
Professor Smith Abbott received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she wrote her dissertation on Titian and the development of portrait painting in Venice. She recently served as Guest Curator for the exhibition, The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art in Fall, 2009, and at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in Spring, 2010. Professor Smith Abbott organized and contributed extensively to the exhibition catalogue for the Art of Devotion.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FYSE 1146 - The Italian Renaissance Artist
The World of the Italian Renaissance Artist
Even as a complex guild system, wealthy patrons, and the church directed the fates of many 15th-century artists, these artists shaped the visual language of Italy’s city-states. In this course, we will explore training, technique, patronage, and artistic rivalry in the early Renaissance. A major resource for our discussions will be the exhibit, The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art in the fall of 2009. First-hand study of works in this exhibit, coupled with readings from important primary documents such as Cennino Cennini’s Craftsman’s Handbook and Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, will bring us closer to understanding the place of the artist at a pivotal moment in the history of art.
HARC 0201 - Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance Art: 1350-1550
This course will focus on the art produced in Italy during the late fourteenth through the early sixteenth centuries. In addition to studying the chronological development of painting, sculpture, and architecture, we will consider such issues as artistic training, patronage, domestic life, and the literary achievements of this period of "rebirth." Focusing on urban environments such as Florence, Siena, Padua, Venice, Rome, and Urbino, we will give special attention to the manner in which artistic production was shaped by place. 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
HARC 0209 - Venice in the Renaissance ▲
Venice in Renaissance
Venetian art was long shaped by its unique setting, distinctive political structure, and a collective identity enforced by its patrician leaders. In this course, we will engage in a close consideration of the socio-political conditions that both reinforced tradition and ultimately made way for a "golden age" in Venetian painting, sculpture, and architecture. Topics will include individual artists, such as Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Palladio, as well as artistic training and workshop practice, patronage, and the rise of Venetian humanism. 3 hrs. lect.
HARC 0510 - Advanced Studies ▲ ▹
Supervised independent work in art history. (Approval Required)
Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
HARC 0711 - Senior Thesis: History of Art ▲ ▹
Senior Thesis: History of Art *
This course is a continuation of HARC 0710 which consists of ongoing, supervised independent research with an advisor, plus organizing, writing, and presenting a thesis, which will be due on a Friday, two weeks before the end of classes. (HARC 0301 and HARC 0710)
Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014