Dr. Angelika Pagel

Professor of Art History


  • Ph.D. in Art History: University of California, Berkeley, May 1987.
  • Dissertation: European Art and Literary Reviews of the Fin-de-Siècle: A Comparative Study in the Social History of Art.
  • Teaching and Research Expertise: European Modernism, Contemporary Visual Culture, Native American Arts of the Southwest.


Is there a ‘pure art’ that exists in a vacuum, detached from allegory, extraneous meanings, social circumstances and contextual realities? Can any art truthfully claim to be informed by nothing other than its own materials, colors and forms? I do not believe so. I am not a ‘formalist’ art historian and Clement Greenberg is not my hero. Marcel Duchamp is. And my heroine is Frida Kahlo.

The ‘style’ of art is inseparable from content and context. The ‘history’ of art encompasses social, political, economic, intellectual and other cultural conditions and must be discussed in those contexts. I try to practice a global, multicultural approach to art history in my classes and encourage my students to embrace every possible form of artistic expression while developing an inquisitive and critical approach to art history, art criticism and cultural theories. As an art historian, teaching is my first passion, researching my second (or sometimes in reverse order, but always one informing the other).