Matthew C. Hunter

Associate Professor
Department Chair

Matthew C. Hunter researches visual art and architecture of the long eighteenth century, with particular emphasis on their interactions with science and technology. Trained in studio art, Hunter ranges in his research and teaching between the early modern period and the contemporary moment. Some current interests include “elemental” methods in art history, the intertwined histories of photography and combustion engines, and the place of insurance in Anglo-American art. Hunter’s publications include Painting with Fire: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Photography and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object (UChicago, 2019) and Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (UChicago, 2013). An editor of Grey Room, he has co-edited The Clever Object (Wiley, 2013) and Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science (Springer, 2010). His work has been supported by Fonds de recherche du Québec–Société et Culture, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, among others. For more information, please see:

Course Offerings and Supervision

Closely related to his research, Hunter’s teaching aims to integrate analysis of visual artifacts with broader historical, theoretical and interpretive problems. Hunter welcomes students at the M.A. and Ph.D. level who are interested in pursuing projects on relations between art and science, the early modern period/“long” eighteenth century or other related concerns. Some recent seminars offered include “An Engine, Not a Camera: Photography in/as the History of Combustion” (Fall 2018); “Risk, Negligence, Indemnity: Art and the Actuarial Imaginary” (Winter 2018); and “Elements of Art History: Propositions” (Fall 2017).

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