Angela Vanhaelen

Prof. Vanhaelen profile pictureProfessor

Research and teaching focus: early modern art and cultural studies, specializing in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic and its colonial empire.

Vanhaelen is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture. Her book The Wake of Iconoclasm: Painting the Church in the Dutch Republic (Penn State University Press, 2012) was awarded the Roland H. Bainton Book Prize in 2013. A new book, The Moving Statues of Seventeenth-century Amsterdam: Automata, Waxworks, Fountains, Labyrinths has been published by Penn State University Press (2022). Engaged in overlapping programs of research, Vanhaelen’s work is attentive to the mobilization of artistic technologies in the histories of globalization, colonization, urbanization, religious conflicts, and the power dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the seventeenth century.

Publications and Programs of Research

Early Modern World Making: Colonial and Anti-Colonial Practices

Book cover Making WorldsBook Manuscript (in progress)

Making Black Worlds: Black Lives against Transatlantic Slavery in the Art of the Dutch Republic

Co-edited Book

Making Worlds: Global Invention in the Early Modern Period. Co-edited with Bronwen Wilson. UCLA Clark Memorial Library Series, University of Toronto Press, in production, 2022.

Co-edited Journal Issue

Making Worlds: Art, Materiality, and Early Modern Globalization. Special issue of Journal of Early Modern History. Volume 23, Issues 2-3, May 2019. Co-edited with Bronwen Wilson.

Articles and Chapters

Grants & Fellowships

Principal investigator, Making Green Worlds: Early Modern Art and Ecologies of Globalization, SSHRC Insight Grant, 2021-2026; SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2011-14; SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (UC Berkeley), 1999-2000

Conferences organized

  • Making Worlds Core Program, UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies & William Andrews Clark Memorial Library:
  • The Art of Peace: Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ new Pavilion for Peace / L’Art de la paix: Peintures hollandaises et flamandes au nouveau Pavillon pour la paix du Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, 2017

Art and Technology: Automata, Cities, and Power

The Moving Statues of Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam book coverBook

The Moving Statues of Seventeenth-century Amsterdam: Automata, Waxworks, Fountains, Labyrinths. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2022.

Art Bulletin Magazine cover Sept. 2021Articles and Chapters


SSHRC Insight Grant, principal investigator, 2015-2022; SSHRC Individual Standard Research Grant, 2011-14; SSHRC Partnership Grant, co-applicant, 2013-17

Making Publics: Art, Iconoclasm, and Religious Conflict

Book cover Wake of IconoclasmBook

The Wake of Iconoclasm: Painting the Church in the Dutch Republic. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.

Co-edited Book

Making Space Public in Early Modern Europe: Performance, geography, privacy. Co-edited with Joseph P. Ward. New York and London: Routledge, 2013.

Articles and Chapters

  • Spiritual Culture.” The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age, ed. Helmer Helmers and Geert Janssen. Cambridge University Press, 2018, 225-246. (translated edition: “Spirituele kunst en cultuur.” De Zeventiende Eeuw, ed. Helmer Helmers, Geert Janssen and Judith Noorman, Leiden University Press, 2021, 290-311. Cambridge University Press, 2018. Translated by Frits van der Waa.)
  • “Calvinism and Visual Culture: The Art of Evasion.” Cultures of Calvinism in Early Modern Europe, ed. Graeme Murdock and Crawford Gribben. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 138-158.
  • “Painting the Visible Church: The Calvinist Art of Making Publics” in Making Space Public in Early Modern Europe: Performance, Geography, Privacy, Routledge, 2013, 223–240.
  • “Religion Inside Out: Dutch House Churches and the Making of Publics in the Dutch Republic.” Co-authored with Steven Mullaney and Joseph Ward in Making Publics in Early Modern Europe. People, Things, Forms of Knowledge, edited by Paul Yachnin and Bronwen Wilson. Routledge, 2010, 25–36.
  • Recomposing the Body Politic in Seventeenth-century Delft,” Oxford Art Journal 31:3 (2008): 361-81.
  • Utrecht’s Transformations: Claiming the Dom through Representation, Iconoclasm and Ritual,” De Zeventiende Eeuw 21 (December 2005): 354-74.
  • Iconoclasm and the Creation of Images in Emanuel de Witte’s Old Church in Amsterdam,The Art Bulletin 87: 2 (June 2005): 249-64.


Painting Modernity.” Episode 5 of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio series “The Origins of the Modern Public,” produced by David Cayley for the CBC program Ideas. April 30, 2010.

Grants, Fellowships, Awards

  • Invited Guest Scholar, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Theme: Iconoclasm, 2018
  • Roland H. Bainton Book Prize for The Wake of Iconoclasm
  • Visiting Research Scholar, Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2007-2008
  • SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative, co-applicant, 2005-2010; SSHRC Individual Standard Research Grants, 2002-2005; 2005-2008; FQRSC Programme d'établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs, 2004-2007

Gender, Sexuality, and Private Life


Comic Print and Theatre in Early Modern Amsterdam: Gender, Childhood and the City. Aldershot, England and Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003.

The Erotics of Looking book coverCo-edited Journal Issue

The Erotics of Looking: Materiality, Solicitation and Netherlandish Visual Culture. Special issue of Art History. Volume 35, Issue 5, November 2012. Co-edited with Bronwen Wilson.

Articles and Chapters

  • “Vermeer’s Secret Sphere: The Privations of Private Life,” commissioned chapter in Handbook of Early Modern Privacy, ed. Mette Birkedal Bruun and Sari Nauman. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • Vermeer’s Secret Sphere: Privacy, Publicity, Sexuality.” Foreword, special issue, “Bodily Privacy,” European Data Protection Law Review 6:3 (2020): 346-51.
  • Sekse cover image“‘Jan moet zitten spinnen, wiegen, want Griet heeft hem overmant.’ Seksestrijd in de Jan de Wasserprenten” (“‘Jan must sit spinning and rocking, because Griet has the upper hand.’ The Battle of the Sexes in the Jan de Wasser Prints”). Sekse. Een Begripsgeschiedenis (Sex. The History of a Concept), ed. Myriam Everard and Ulla Jansz. Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis / Yearbook of Women’s History 38 (2018): 40-56.
  • The Erotics of Looking: Materiality, Solicitation and Netherlandish Visual Culture,” Art History 35:5 (Nov. 2012): 874–85 (co-authored with Bronwen Wilson).
  • Publishing the Private in Dutch Comic Culture,” History Compass 10: 9 (Sept. 2012): 652-66.
  • “Public and Private Intercourse in Dutch Genre Scenes: Soldiers and Enigmatic Women / Painters and Enigmatic Paintings.” Forms of Association: Making Publics in Early Modern Europe. Eds. Paul Yachnin and Marlene Eberhart. U Massachusetts Press, 2015, 115-132.
  • “Stories about the Gallows Field: Power and Laughter in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam.” Power and the City in the Netherlandic World, 1000-2000, edited by Wayne ter Brake and Wim Klooster. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006, 176–204.
  • “Dutch Culture and the Politics of Difference.” Review of Wayne Franits, Paragons of Virtue and Els Kloek et al, eds., Women of the Golden Age. RACAR 21: 1-2 (1994), 137-43.

Teaching and Supervision

Professor Vanhaelen’s teaching overlaps with her research interests. She offers courses on early modern art and visual culture, historiography, methodology, and theory. She supervises graduate and postdoctoral students who specialize in early modern art and visual culture (1500-1700).

Selected Graduate Seminars

  • Making Worlds. Art, Materiality and early modern Globalization
  • Caravaggio, Caravaggisti, Caravaggio-mania: Painting the Destruction of Painting
  • The Moving Image
  • Advanced Pro-Seminar: Historiography and Methodology
  • Between Worlds: Visual Strategies and Cross-cultural Mediations
  • Boredom
  • Making Publics / Producing Spaces
  • The Disenchantment of Vision
  • Iconoclasm and the Re-formation of Art
  • Print and Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe
  • The Visual Culture of Everyday Life

PhD Supervisions (graduates)

Isabelle Masse, “Médium du portrait, portrait du médium. Les spécificités historiques du pastel dans le long XVIIIe siècle” (2019)

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Dora Wiebenson Prize, awarded by the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, 2017

Tomasz Grusiecki, “Globalizing the Periphery: Poland-Lithuania and Cultural Entanglement, 1587–1668” (2017)

  • Associate Professor of Art History, Boise State University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Central European University, Budapest
  • Emerging Scholars Prize, awarded by the Historians of German, Scandinavian and Central European Art, 2017

Liana Bellon, “Souvenirs of Venice: Reproduced Views, Tourism, and City Spaces” (2016)

  • Faculty member, Department of English, Dawson College, Montreal.

Sonia Del Re, “Re-forming Images: Caravaggism in Utrecht and Half-Length Single-Figured Genre Imagery” (2014)

Anuradha Gobin, “Representing the Criminal Body in the City: Knowledge, Publics and Power in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic” (2014)

Leah Clark, “Value and Symbolic Practices: Objects, Exchanges, and Associations in the Italian Courts (1450-1500)” (2009)

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