Melissa Geisler Trafton

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Visual Arts Department

Visiting Assistant Professor
Ph.D.,  University of California, Berkeley

Fields: 19th and 20th Century art history; American art and print culture


Contact Information

Office Phone: 
Office: Fenwick 431
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Box: 60A

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Melissa Geisler Trafton is an art historian of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly of American art. Her work explores the way in which art works were received in their own time and the social history surrounding those market forces. In her current research she is examining the taste for the paintings of American landscape painter, John Frederick Kensett.  She is also interested in the printed material of the nineteenth century, particularly those objects (like trade cards and almanacs) that were understood to be ephemera, a topic that she recently explored in a research fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society. Recent publications include articles for Drawn from Nature and on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, the Dublin Seminar at Historic Deerfield, and American Art. She also is the exhibitions coordinator for the Saint-Gaudens Historical Park in Cornish, NH, where she works with contemporary artists, and is curating a retrospective exhibition for fall of 2019, "On View in Cornish: American Art at the Picture Gallery, 1948-2019."