Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Hollis Clayson

photo of Hollis Clayson

Hollis Clayson is an art historian, trained at Wellesley College (B.A.) and UCLA (M.A. and Ph.D.), who specializes in Paris-based art practices of the 19th century. She is Professor Emerita of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor Emerita in the Humanities at Northwestern University, where she was also the founding Director of the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. In 2014 she was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French Ministry of Education.

Her books include studies of art entangled with prostitution (Painted Love), the Franco-Prussian War (Paris in Despair), and artificial illumination technologies (Illuminated Paris). Her book underway is entitled The Dark Side of the Eiffel Tower. Her research has been supported by the ACLS, the Clark Art Institute, the Getty Research Institute, CASVA (Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington DC), the INHA (National Institute of Art History, Paris), and the Huntington Library (San Marino CA), where she was the R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow in 2022-23.

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