Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor

S. Hollis Clayson
2015 Varnedoe Visiting Professor
Professor of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern UniversityOpen link in new window

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe's friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and remarkable public presence. Past holders of this position include Briony Fer (2014), Thierry de Duve (2013), Okwui Enwezor (2012) Wu Hung (2011), David Joselit (2010), Alexander Potts (2009), Molly Nesbit (2008), and Jeffrey Weiss (2007).

Watch the public lectures of previous Kirk Varnedoe visiting professors.Open link in new window

Upcoming Lectures

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 6:00 PM
Speaker: S. Hollis Clayson
Title: Bright Lights, Brilliant Wit: Caricature and Electric Light in Paris
Watch this video online

Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 6:00 PM
Speaker: S. Hollis Clayson
Title: Charles Marville's Streetlights
RSVP Required
This lecture will be broadcast live

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 6:00 PM
Speaker: S. Hollis Clayson
Title: Absorption and Confinement: The Paris Threshold Pictures of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edvard Munch
RSVP Required
This lecture will be broadcast live


S. Hollis Clayson is a historian of modern art who specializes in nineteenth-century Europe, especially France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the United States. She is currently Professor of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University. Her books include Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist EraUnderstanding Paintings: Themes in Art Explored and Explained, and Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege (1870-71). In 2013, she curated the exhibition ELECTRIC PARIS at the Clark Art Institute.  Her related book studies the visual cultures of the City of Light in the era of Thomas Edison.