Christopher Steiner

Christopher Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology, and Director of the Museum Studies Program

Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology
Chair of Art History and Architectural Studies
Director of the Museum Studies Program
Joined Connecticut College: 1997

B.A./M.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A./Ph.D., Harvard University

African Art
Art Market and Collecting
Images of Race in Visual Culture
Offbeat Museums and Visionary Art
Censorship and Museum Controversies

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Christopher Steiner teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses in art history, anthropology and museum studies. His classes cover topics on the traditional and contemporary arts of Africa; on the visual representation of race and ethnic identity in art and film; on the history of museums and on recent museum debates and controversies; and on kitsch or “bad” art emerging from the margins, cracks and corners of the canonical art world.

His field research in West Africa focuses on the construction of value and meaning in art through transnational exchange, resulting in numerous articles and his award-winning book African Art in Transit. He is also co-editor of both Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation and Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds.

Steiner is working currently on a book project about the Nut Museum – an “offbeat” outsider museum that he helped save in 2002. The contents of the museum are held at Connecticut College, where students have been actively engaged in archiving the papers, art objects, and ephemera belonging to the museum’s founder, Elizabeth Tashjian.

He is also developing a book project on the history and culture of Liberian masks and the collecting legacy of medical missionary Dr. George W. Harley.

View the art history department site and the museum studies certificate program site.

Christopher Steiner's personal home page.