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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 the principal investigator of the research initiative, Making Worlds: Art, Materiality and Early Modern Globalization, a multi-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 was 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. They organized four 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.


Books and Edited Volumes

Reanimating the Moving Statue: Labyrinths, Automata, Fountains, and Waxworks in 17th-century Amsterdam. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


Mapping Angels in early modern Amsterdam,” Journal of Early Modern History 23: 2-3, May 2019, 227-56.

Introduction: Making Worlds: Art, Materiality, and Early Modern Globalization,” Journal of Early Modern History 23: 2-3, May 2019, 103-20 (co-authored with Bronwen Wilson).

Spiritual Culture.” The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age, ed. Helmer Helmers and Geert Janssen. Cambridge University Press, 2018, 225-46.

“‘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.

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, 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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