Angela Vanhaelen



Professor Vanhaelen specializes in the study of early modern art and cultural studies. Current research projects include: seventeenth-century exhibitions of automata, clocks, hydraulics, and waxworks; Dutch garden and landscape architecture in a global context. She is currently the principal investigator of the research initiative, Making Worlds: Art, Materiality and Early Modern Globalization, a 5-year project based at McGill and supported by an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

In conjunction with this project, Vanhaelen has been chosen as one of two William Andrews Clark professors of 2018–19 at the University of Los Angeles’ Center for 17th- & 18th-century studies: Along with fellow art historian Bronwen Wilson, professor in the Department of Art History at UCLA, Vanhaelen will organize three conferences during the academic year investigating the Making Worlds theme.


Professor Vanhaelen has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the 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 by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. 



The Wake of Iconoclasm: Painting the Church in the Dutch Republic. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012; pp. 232; 27 colour, 29 b/w illustrations.

Comic Print and Theatre in Early Modern Amsterdam: Gender, Childhood and the City. Aldershot, England and Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003; pp. 231; 42 b/w illustrations.

Co-edited Volumes

The Erotics of Looking: Materiality, Solicitation and Netherlandish Visual Culture. Co-edited with Bronwen Wilson. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. (Originally published as Vol. 35, Issue 5 of Art History)

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

Articles and Reviews

Review of Elisabeth de Bièvre, Dutch Art and Urban Cultures, 1200–1700, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015. Art Bulletin, vol. 98, no. 3, September 2016, pp. 397–9.

“Boredom’s Threshold: Dutch Realism”, Art History, vol. 35, no. 5, November 2012, 1004-1023.

“The Erotics of Looking: Materiality, Solicitation and Netherlandish Visual Culture”, Art History, vol. 35, no. 5, November 2012, 874-885 (co-authored with Bronwen Wilson).

“Publishing the Private in Dutch Comic Culture”, History Compass, vol. 10, issue 9, September 2012, 652-666.

“Recomposing the Body Politic in Seventeenth-century Delft”, Oxford Art Journal. Vol. 31, no. 3, 2008, pp. 361-381.

“Utrecht’s Transformations: Claiming the Dom through Representation, Iconoclasm and Ritual”, De Zeventiende Eeuw. December 2005: 354-374.

“Iconoclasm and the Creation of Images in Emanuel de Witte’s Old Church in Amsterdam, Art Bulletin. Vol. LXXXVII, no. 2, June 2005: 249-264.

“Local Sites, Foreign Sights: A Sailor’s Sketchbook of Human and Animal Curiosities in Early Modern Amsterdam”, RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics. Vol. 45, Spring 2004: 256-272.

Street Life in London and the Organization of Labour”, History of Photography. Vol. 26, no. 3, Autumn 2002: 191-204.

Teaching and Supervision

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

Selected Graduate Seminars

  • 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)

Tomasz Grusiecki, “Globalizing the Periphery: Poland-Lithuania and Cultural Entanglement, 1587–1668” (2017)
Postdoctoral fellow, Central European University, Budapest
Associate Professor of Art History, Boise State University
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)
Conservatrice principale | Senior Curator, Dessins et estampes | Prints and Drawings, Musée des beaux-arts du Canada | National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Anuradha Gobin, “Representing the Criminal Body in the City: Knowledge, Publics and Power in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic” (2014)
FQRSC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of East Anglia, UK
Associate Professor of Art History, University of Calgary

Leah Clark, “Value and Symbolic Practices: Objects, Exchanges, and Associations in the Italian Courts (1450-1500)” (2009)
Senior Lecturer in Art History, The Open University, UK
McGill Faculty of Arts “Arts Insight Dissertation Award”
K.B. Jenckes Award for outstanding McGill graduate in the Social Sciences and Humanities