Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Smith College
Website URL
Art history, visual culture, art and medicine, visual and material culture of science and medicine, medical humanities, history of medicine, history of public health, modernist painting, cubism, skin and surface, gender, race, history of syphilis, nineteenth-century France, French empire.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Kathleen Pierce received her Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University. Her research explores histories of art, visual culture, medicine, and public health in the nineteenth- and  twentieth-century French empire. From 2018-2019, Kathleen held an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. She was previously a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis, an interdisciplinary research center at Rutgers University, under the annual theme of the Medical Humanities. She has also held a short-term fellowship at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine at McGill University. Her writing has appeared in venues such as Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Medical History, and Nursing Clio.

Recent Publications

Journal articles:

“Photograph as Skin, Skin as Wax: Indexicality and the Visualisation of Syphilis in Fin-de-Siècle France,” Medical History 64 no. 1 (2020),

“Scarified Skin and Simian Symptoms: Experimental Medicine and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 17 no. 2 (2018),


Reviews and other writing:

“Using (or Losing) the Art History Textbook: SECAC Conference Panel Review,” Art History Teaching Resources Weekly,

“Exhibition Review: Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis, Nursing Clio, 2019,

“An Interview with the Material Collective,” Rutgers Art Review, vol. 33/34, 2018,

“Are Our Genes Really Our Fate? DNA’s Visual Culture and the Construction of Genetic Truth,” Nursing Clio, 2018,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
French Empire
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Colonialism, Family, Gender, Material Culture, Medicine, Pedagogy, Race, Science, Sexuality, Women