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Ivan Gaskell

Professor of Cultural History and Museum Studies, Bard Graduate Center at Harvard University

Areas of expertise

  • Material Culture of North America and Europe, 16th through 20th centuries
  • Global Cultural Encounter
  • Philosophy of Museums and Material Culture: Epistemology, Ethics, Aesthetics

Major works

Vermeer’s Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory, and Art Museums. London: Reaktion Books; 2000.; The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish Painting. London: Sotheby’s Publications/Philip Wilson Ltd.; 1990

Social links

About Me

Ivan Gaskell is Professor of Cultural History and Museum Studies at the Bard Graduate Center. His work on material culture addresses intersections among history, art history, anthropology, and philosophy. His principal scholarly concern is to mobilize non-written traces of the past to illuminate aspects of the lives of human actors that would otherwise remain obscure. As well as writing individual historical case studies on topics ranging from seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, to Roman baroque sculpture, Native American baskets, and Congo textiles, Gaskell works on the philosophical plane of second order questioning. While on the faculty at Cambridge University, he collaborated with the late Salim Kemal to edit a ten book series of multi-author volumes, Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and the Arts. He has also organized numerous experimental exhibitions at Harvard University, where he taught and curated between 1991 and 2011. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven books, and have contributed to numerous journals and edited volumes in history, art history, and philosophy.

Courses and Programs taught by Ivan Gaskell