Research Expertise and Interest
cultural history, American art, architecture, design
Margaretta Lovell is the Jay D. McEvoy Chair in Art History and a professor in the Department of Art History and in the American Studies Program. Her research focuses on interdisciplinary questions involving the arts in what is now the United States, mobilizing visual artifacts to answer cultural, social, political, and economic questions. Current research projects include a book on the transatlantic Gilded Age with an emphasis on artists, photographers, and architects whose work critiqued the dominant culture; an object biography of a pair of John Singleton Copley paintings involving eighteenth-century global peregrinations of the Scottish diaspora in the wake of the defeat at Culloden; and an edited memoire of an Antebellum African-American seamstress. Her book on landscape painter Fitz Henry Lane was published April 2023 by Penn State Press: the study of an artist deeply embedded in antebellum New England, this book investigates the nature of artmaking within the global perspectives of New England's links with China, Puerto Rico, Ireland, and California. As an advocate for public art history she teaches museum curatorship and object-based learning. As an advocate for public architectural history (or place-based public history) she is currently documenting, with cohorts of students, two residential areas in Berkeley—an historically non-white Redlined neighborhood and a neighborhood designed by women inspired by Progressive ideas about humans in nature.