Dr. Katherine Brion

Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies


Phone Number

Email Address



Ace 110


ACE 116


M.A., Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Special Diploma in Museum Studies, École du Louvre, Paris
B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Professor Brion teaches courses on modern and contemporary art, especially of Europe and the United States, as well as a selection of courses with a broader global and/or chronological focus. Her research examines the intersection of aesthetics and politics in key public art forms of Belle Époque (i.e. late 19th- and early 20th-century) France, whether decorative painting, posters, or public school imagery. Issues of race and representation constitute another area of interest. Dr. Brion’s current book project focuses on Belle Époque initiatives to democratize art and provide an aesthetic education to the working classes in collective spaces like the street, the school, and the museum.

Recent Courses

Global Perspectives in Art History
Ways of Seeing: Theory and Methods in Art History
Modernism in the Visual Arts, 1900-1940
Museum Studies in Theory and Practice
Revolution, Empire, Modernity: Art in Nineteenth-Century Europe and the United States
Public Art and Its Public(s) in the United States

Selected Publications

“Solidarity by Design: Legitimizing Jules Chéret’s Poster Aesthetic as Republican Civic Decoration.” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture 21, no. 1 (Spring 2022).

“Decorative or Didactic? Art à l’École and the Ambivalent Status of Aesthetics and Democracy in Belle Époque Primary Schools.” History of Education (2021). doi: 10.1080/0046760X.2021.1918274.

“Courbet’s Bathers and ‘The Hottentot Venus’: Destabilizing Whiteness in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Nude.” Word & Image 35:1 (March 2019): 12-32.

“The Fin-de-Siècle Poster: Modern Stimulus in the French Interior,” in Designing the French Interior: The Modern Home and Mass Media, edited by Anca Lasc, Georgina Downey and Mark Taylor (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).

“Paul Signac’s Decorative Propaganda of the 1890s,” RIHA Journal 0044 (July 14, 2012), Special Issue “New Directions in Neo-Impressionism.” doi:10.11588/riha.2012.1.69909.