Chris Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History and Director of the Museum Studies Program
Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor, Department of Art History
Professor of Anthropology
Director of the Museum Studies Program
Joined Connecticut College: 1997
B.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Art Market and Collecting
Image of the Other in Visual Culture
Offbeat Museums and Visionary Art
Contact Chris Steiner.
Professor Steiner's research and teaching focus on non-Western arts and the visual image of non-Western societies in art and film. Much of his work examines the relationship between the local and the global, and the construction of value and meaning in art through transnational exchange.
He offers survey courses on the arts of Africa, Oceania, and Native America, as well as classes on "Imagining Otherness in the Visual Arts," "Authenticity in Art and Culture," and "Collectors and Collecting."
Steiner also directs the interdisciplinary Museum Studies Certificate Program. In conjunction with this program, he teaches an "Introduction to Museum Studies," as well as a course on recent museum controversies entitled "Debating Museums."
He served as Interim Director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum from July 2003-June 2004. Steiner is the author of the award-winning book African Art in Transit (Cambridge University Press, 1994), and co-editor of both Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation (Blackwell, 1997) and Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds (University of California Press, 1999). He was a Fulbright Scholar in Ivory Coast in 1987-88, where he conducted field research on the African art trade. Steiner has been a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, and a senior resident scholar at both the Getty Research Institute and the School of American Research. Before joining the faculty at Connecticut College, Steiner was curator of African and Oceanic art at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and taught art history and museum studies at the University of East Anglia, the University of Southern California, and the University of California - Los Angeles.
In 2002, Steiner saved the contents of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He and his students archived the papers and collections of the famous offbeat museum. A major exhibition on the history of the Nut Museum opened at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in 2004. Steiner is at work on a new book titled Performing the Nut Museum: Elizabeth Tashjian and the Art of Double Entendre.
View the art history department site and the museum studies certificate program site.
View Christopher Steiner's personal home page.