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Harris, Ann Sutherland

    Image Credit: Art Insights

    Full Name: Harris, Ann Sutherland

    Other Names:

    • Ann Sutherland Harris

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 1937

    Place Born: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: United Kingdom

    Subject Area(s): Baroque, feminism, and Modern (style or period)


    Feminist art historian of the baroque and modern era art. Harris was the daughter of Sir Gordon B. B. M. Sutherland (1907-1980), a physicist, fellow and lecturer of Pembroke College and master of Emmanuel College. Her mother was Gunborg Wahlstrom (Lady Sutherland) (1910-2001), an artist originally from Sweden. Sutherland attended the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, graduating with first class honors in 1961. She achieved her Ph.D., from the same institution in 1965, writing her dissertation on Andrea Sacchi. She married the historian William V. Harris in 1965, joining the department of Art and Archeology, Columbia University the same year as an assistant professor. Between 1971-1973 she was Assistant Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York, then Associate Professor, Art Deptartment at the State University of New York at Albany. In 1971, too, she helped found the Women’s Caucus for Art of the College Art Association. After the 1972 meeting of the Association in San Francisco, she and fellow feminist art historian Linda Nochlin were commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to mount a show on important women artists. Harris served as president of the Women’s Caucus until 1974 when she was elected a member of the board of directors of CAA, 1975-1979. Nochlin’s and Harris’ show, Women Artists, 1550-1950 and book, 1976, became the cornerstone for feminist research in art history. In 1977 she accepted the Arthur Kittredge Watson Chair for Academic Affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which she held until 1981. After two years of research, first as a Senior Research Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1982) and the Amon Carter Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History, University of Texas at Arlington in 1982, Harris joined the University of Pittsburgh as the Mellon Professor of Art History. Her husband is Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University and Director of the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean. Harris made the case in the first half of Women Artists: 1550-1950 (part two written by Nochlin) that the artwork of women between the middle ages and the French Revolution was seldom preserved and as a result their accomplishments little chronicled. Harris’ review of the festschrift for Walter Friedlaender in the Burlington Magazine brought an illuminating and caustic exchange between Denis Mahon and herself on a Poussin painting.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Andrea Sacchi, 1599-1661. Courtauld Institute, University of London, 1965; Selected Drawings of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. New York: Dover Publications, 1977; Andrea Sacchi: Complete Edition of the Paintings with a Critical Catalogue. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977; Landscape Painting in Rome, 1595-1675: a Loan Exhibition. New York, NY: R. L. Feigen Gallery, 1985; Women Artists, 1550-1950. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art/New York: Random House, 1976; Elizabeth Murray: Drawings, 1980-1986. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Art Gallery/New York: Harper and Row, 1986; and Schaar, Eckhard. Die Handzeichnungen von Andrea Sacchi und Carlo Maratta. Volume 1 of Kataloge des Kunstmuseums Düsseldorf: Handzeichnungen. Düsseldorf: Das Kunstmuseum, 1967; “In Honour of Walter Friedlaender.” Burlington Magazine 109 (January 1967): 36-9, reply, Mahon, Denis. “Poussin and his Patrons.” Burlington Magazine 109 (May 1967): 304 ff., [reply by Harris, p. 308].


    Ann Southerland Harris Curriculum Vitae.


    "Harris, Ann Sutherland." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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