Elizabeth Childs

Etta and Mark Steinberg Professor of Art History

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Childs’ field is modern art, encompassing late eighteenth- through early twentieth-century European art and visual culture, broadly defined. She is a specialist in European avant-garde modernism (particularly painting, photography and prints). She has published on key figures including Daumier, Degas, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, as well as on selected chapters of American art, including the photography of exploration, the earth works of Robert Smithson, and the exoticism of John La Farge and historian Henry Adams.

In her work on Gauguin, Childs has focused on Gauguin’s relationship to indigenous Tahitian and Marquesan culture as well as to colonial society, his work as a writer, his uses of photography, his interests in world religions and theosophy, and his construction of a primitivist identity.

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