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I am a historian, student of material culture,  teacher, curator, and writer. At Johns Hopkins I have been an academic entrepreneur, founding and developing an innovative undergraduate program in the history, theory, and practice of museums. My research focuses on cultural exchange and its material expression–in collections, trade, and modern heritage practices.


Ph.D.     Art History (Honors), University of Chicago, 1995. Dissertation: “Translatio Sancti Marci: Displaying the Levant in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Venice”

M.A.     History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1989.  Thesis: “The Formation of Piazza della SS. Annunziata: From Republican Ideology to Medici Control”

B.A.      History; Italian Language & Literature; (with Distinction) University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1986;Università di Bologna: Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia (1984–85). Four-year Music Clinic Scholarship (viola).



Work in progress

Facing East: Gentile Bellini’s Portrait of Sultan Mehmet II, book-length study constructed as a methodological object reader.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections

 “Imitation as a Mercantile Strategy: The Case of Damascene Ware,” Typical Venice? Venetian Commodities, 13th-16th Centuries, Brepols Publishers (at press).

“Mobile Things: On the Origins and Meanings of Levantine Objects in Early Modern Venice,” Art History (on-line early view, July 2017)

“Preserving and Perpetuating Memory at the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris,” Journal of Museum History Journal 7: 1 (January, 2014): 36-54

“The Politics of Marriage in Carpaccio’s St. Ursula Cycle,” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8 (October, 2013): 85-117.  Winner, Best Article Prize, 2013

“Mapping the Provenance of Museum Objects,” solicited contribution to Archive, Issue 2, Fall 2012 (

“The Sultan’s True Face?  Gentile Bellini, Mehmet II, and the Value of Verisimilitude” in The “Turk” and Islam in the Western Eye (1453­–­1832), ed. James Harper, Ashgate, 2011

“The Ivory Tower and the Crystal Palace: Universities, Museums, and the Potential of Public Art History,” invited contribution to, (, Nov. 27, 2007

“Mapping Narrative at the Church of San Marco: A Study in Visual Storying,” Word & Image 14 (no. 4, 1998): 387–96

“Describing Narrative in Gentile Bellini’s Procession in Piazza San Marco,” Art History 21 (March, 1998): 26-44

Exhibition-related publications

 “Digging Collections: Lessons from Mark Dion’s ‘An Archaeology of Knowledge,” in An Archaeology of Knowledge: A Permanent Art Installation for the Brody Learning Commons, JHU: The Sheridan Libraries & University Museums, 2012, pp. 35–40.

Printed Sculpture/Sculpted Prints. Co-authored with JHU students, The Baltimore Museum of Art, 2007

The City Real and Ideal.  The Baltimore Museum of Art, 2006

Paper Museums: The Reproductive Print in Europe, 1500­­–1800.  Co-authored and edited with Rebecca Zorach.  Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2005

A Well-Fashioned Image: Clothing and Costume in European Art, 1500–1850.  Co-authored and edited with Elissa B. Weaver.  Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2002

“Signs in Stone: The Symbolic Value of Jewelry in Renaissance and Baroque Europe,” invited contribution to exhibition catalog La cultura ceñida: Las joyas en la pintura valenciana siglos xv a xviii. Translated by Roc Filella. Valencia: Centre Valencià de Cultura Mediterrànea, 2000, pp. 1725

“The Language of Stones” (essay) and catalog entries on Alsdorf Renaissance jewelry collection, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 25 (no. 2, 2000): 17–28, 68–78

Catalogs (production and copy editor)

 Confronting Identities in German Art: Myths, Reactions, Reflections. Reinhold Heller et al. Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2003

Pious Journeys: Christian Devotional Art and Practice in the Later Middle Ages and Renaissance. Linda Seidel et al. Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2001

The Theatrical Baroque. Larry F. Norman et al. Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2001

The Place of the Antique in Early Modern Europe. Ingrid D. Rowland et al. (author of three entries); Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 1999

Other publications

“A Sense of Place: Hidden Stories of the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus,” ICOM News, Special Issue: Museums and Cultural Landscapes, 2015 (vol. 68, no. 3): 1213.

Entries on “Jerusalem City Plans” and “Memory and Pilgrimage Maps.”  In Medieval Trade, Travel, and Exploration: An Encyclopedia. Edited by John B. Friedman. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000


Peer reviewer: Art History; Art Journal; Johns Hopkins University Press; Museum History Journal

Anne Collins Goodyear and Margaret A. Weitekamp, eds., Analyzing Art and Aesthetics, vol. 9 in the series Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology, in Museum History Journal, 2015 (vol. 8, no. 1): 114115

Rosamond E. Mack, Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300–1600, in Speculum; A Journal of Medieval Studies, Jan., 2004 (vol. 79, no. 1): 23638

Review, Deborah Howard, Venice and the East: The Impact of the Islamic World on Venetian Architecture, 1100–1500, in Speculum; A Journal of Medieval Studies, Apr., 2002 (vol. 77, no. 2): 558–60

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    CAA Museum Committee Sponsored Session 2018: Call for Papers

    Decolonizing Art Museums?

    Session Chairs: Risham Majeed (, Elizabeth Rodini (, Celka Straughn (

    The colonial history of museums is by now familiar, and institutional critiques of and within ethnographic and anthropological collections are fairly widespread. Indeed, many of the objects in these collections have migrated to art museums as a result of postcolonial thinking. But what about the art museum? How do these institutions, their collections, and practices continue to extend colonial outlooks for western and nonwestern art, perhaps silently, and what tools are being used to disrupt these both in the United States and abroad?

    This panel explores what decolonization means for art museum practices and the ways decolonizing approaches can move the museum field toward greater inclusion, broader scholarly perspectives, and opportunities to redress structural inequities. Topics to address might include: detangling collection objects from colonial collecting practices; decentering the status quo across museum operations; reconsidering the relationship between contemporaneity and historicism; alternative modes of presentation (breaking received hierarchies and narratives); embracing varied understandings of objects, materials, catalogues, and archives; polyphony and pluralism in museum rhetoric; and an understanding of “colonialism” that steps outside conventional definitions of this term.

    We invite papers that combine scholarship, practice, and activism, bringing together case studies with critical reflection on art museums to demonstrate what decolonized practices can and might look like and offer models for institutional change. Papers that explore diverse modes of practice within and outside the United States, that provide intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches, and/or papers that present alternative ways for people to use and reimagine art museums are especially welcome.

    Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a shortened CV to each of the session chairs by August 14, 2017.


    College Art Association; International Council of Museums; American Association of Museums; Association of Academic Museums and Galleries; Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

    Elizabeth Rodini

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