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Art, Art History and Film

Nancy Netzer

fine arts department

Nancy Netzer

Professor of Art History
Director, McMullen Museum of Art

Ph.D., Harvard University


Fields of Interest

Professor Netzer teaches courses on European medieval art of the first millennium and the history and philosophy of museums from the classical period to the present. Her research focuses on illuminated manuscripts and metalwork of Britain, Ireland, and the Continent in the early medieval period and on the collecting, publication, and display of medieval art from the early modern period to the present. She has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation and the American Council for Learned Societies, as well as numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Selected Publications


  • Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century: The Trier Gospels and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Metalwork. Boston, 1991.
  • With Hanns Swarzenski, Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:
    Enamels and Glass
    , Boston, 1986.
  • Editor with Virginia Reinburg. Memory and the Middle Ages, Chestnut Hill, 1995.
  • Editor with Virginia Reinburg. Fragmented Devotion: Medieval Objects from the Schnutgen Museum in Cologne, Chestnut Hill, 2000.
  • Editor, Secular/Sacred, Chestnut Hill, 2006.

Recent Articles

  • "Displaying Roman Britain in the British Museum" in Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of Empire, Lisa R. Brody and Gail L. Hoffman, eds., Chestnut Hill, MA, 2014, pp. 195-214.
  • “The Design and Decoration of Insular Gospel-Books and other Liturgical Manuscripts” in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, volume I c. 400-c. 1100, Richard Gameson, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 225-243.
  • “New Finds Versus the Beginning of the Narrative on Insular Gospel Books”, in Insular and Anglo-Saxon Art and Thought in the Early Medieval Period, Index of Christian Art Princeton University, Occasional Papers, 13, Colum Hourihane, ed., Princeton, 2011, pp. 3-13.
  • “The ‘Celtic’ Bronzes from Dura Europos: Connections to Britain,” in Dura Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity, Lisa Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Chestnut Hill, MA, 2011, pp. 283-294.
  • Framing the Book of Durrow inside/outside the Anglo-Saxon World”, in Shaping Understanding: Form and Order in the Anglo-Saxon World, ed. L. Webster., Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 16, 2009, Oxford, pp. 65-78.
  • “The Rise of the Study of the History of Christian Art” in M Brown, The Lion Companion to Christian Art, Oxford, 2007, pp. 297-299.
  • “Insular and Islamic Cosmophilic Responses to the Classical Past” in S. Blair and J. Bloom, Cosmophilia: Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2006, pp. 39-44.
  • “Secular” and “Sacred” Objects from the Middle Ages: Illuminating the History of Classification” in Secular/Sacred: 11th – 16th Century Works from the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, ed. Nancy Netzer, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2006, pp. 11-18.
  • "Art Full Ground: Unearthing an Irish Past," in Vera Kreilkamp, ed. Eire/Land,
    Chestnut Hill, MA, 2003, pp. 49-56.
  • "Style: A history of uses and abuses in the study of Insular Art," in Redknap, Edwards, Youngs, Lane and Knight, eds. Pattern and Purpose in Insular Art, Oxford, 2002,
    pp. 169-177.
  • "Collecting, Re/collecting, Contextualizing and Recontextualizing: Devotion to Fragments of the Middle Ages," Fragmented Devotion: Medieval Objects from the Schnütgen Museum, Cologne, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2000, pp. 17-30.
  • "Die Arbeitsmethoden der insularen Scriptorien Zwei Fallstudien: Lindisfarne und Echternach," in J. Schroeder, ed. Die Abtei Echternach 698-1998, Luxembourg, 1999,
    pp. 65-83.
  • "The Book of Durrow: The Northumbrian Connection," in J. Hawkes ed. The Golden Age of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1999.
Secular Sacred
Medieval Objects: metalwork
Fragmented Devotion
Medieval Objects: Enamels and Glass
Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century