Art, Art History, and Film Faculty

Nancy Netzer

Professor, Art History

Inaugural Robert L. and Judith T. Winston Director, McMullen Museum of Art

Professor by Courtesy in History


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, metalwork, and sculpture of Britain, Ireland, and the Continent in the early medieval period and on the reception, collecting, publication, and display of medieval art from the early modern period to the present. She is currently collaborating on a European-wide project of publications on Insular manuscripts from Ireland, Britain, and Francia in the Age of Charlemagne. Lead by Prof.Joanna Story of the University of Leicester, the project combines art historical, paleographical, textual, and codicological analysis with new scientific technologies for analyzing pigment and parchment with the aim of providing a more accurate picture of the development and practices of manuscript production in the eighth and ninth centuries.

She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London; in 2000, she received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in recognition of her contribution to the study of Irish art. As director of the University’s McMullen Museum she has curated several exhibitions on medieval art and organized more than eighty loan exhibitions in a broad range of areas. Currently, she heads the Museum Studies concentration within the department’s Art History major.

Professor Netzer has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation and the American Council for Learned Societies, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other foundations She has served as chair of the board of Mass Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and remains a member of several of foundation’s committees. In 2018 she received the foundation’s Massachusetts Governor’s Award for contributions to public humanities enhancing civic life in the Commonwealth.