Charles C. Eldredge

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - History of Art
Hall Family Foundation Distinguished Professor of American Art and Culture
Primary office:
Spencer Museum of Art
Room 209E
University of Kansas
1301 Mississippi Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7500

Expertise and Current Research Activity

Art historians examine the works of fine and folk artists in order to understand the human experience. To illuminate and interpret this record of creativity, they employ skilled eyes, scientific tools and myriad research methods, working in the college classroom or the museum gallery. In my roles as KU professor and Smithsonian Research Associate, I work in both settings to explore three related aspects of American visual culture: 19th-century painting, early 20th- century modernism, and contemporary art. The publications and museum exhibitions that result reach audiences in the region, across the nation, and beyond--as well as KU students in my classes, which are informed by my decades-long engagement with museum collections. By acquiring, preserving and exhibiting unique works of art, and now by teaching about their history, I aim to foster awareness and understanding of the nation’s artistic legacy. That, of course, includes Kansas, which is central to much of my teaching and research; for instance, regional artists figure prominently in my course on “Kansas Art and Popular Culture,” which introduces young Kansans to the rich cultural traditions of their home state. Through my instruction and the research that shapes it, I aim to engage a rising generation of teachers and curators and to develop an informed audience for our cultural institutions and traditions.

Why come to study your field at the University of Kansas?

KU Art History offers:

  1. an outstanding resident faculty, plus Lecturers from curatorial staff at Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art;
  2. exceptional opportunities for learning, with access to distinguished collections at Nelson-Atkins and Spencer Museum of Art, and with museum internship opportunities;
  3. funding for dissertation and faculty research and for series of distinguished visiting lecturers


Ph.D., American Art History, University of Minnesota

B.A., American Studies, Amherst College

Teaching Interests

  • American art
  • Modern art

Research Interests

  • American art

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