Martha Wolff

Biography

As a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and, before that, at the National Gallery of Art, Martha Wolff's work has been object-based, with a specialization in late Gothic and Renaissance painting in Northern Europe. She has written permanent collection catalogues and worked on exhibitions, notably one devoted to French art about 1500 shown in Paris and Chicago (there as Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France). Her last major project before her recent retirement from the Art Institute was the re-installation of the museum's collection of art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. She and her colleagues sought to make connections across conventional boundaries of medium and geography through juxtapositions based on use, combining paintings, sculpture, textiles, prints, jewelry and, not least, armor and arms. An object featured in this installation, a very rare textile altarpiece made for a Castilian bishop using an inventive array of embroidery techniques in silk and gold, is the subject of her most recent work, as a contributor to and co-editor of a volume of essays on this altarpiece to be published by the Abegg-Stiftung.

Martha Wolff brings her museum experience to her teaching, encouraging students to consider the individual history of objects, the worldly and spiritual ambitions that motivated their creation, and the manipulations, even dismemberment, that resulted from changes in their display. Looking at supports, framing, and preparatory drawing, often informed by recent advances in technical studies, all offer valuable and often surprising insights.

Profiles

Niall Atkinson
Niall Atkinson
Medieval and Renaissance Architecture and Urban History
Department Chair
CWAC 260
773.702.0270
Seth Estrin
Seth Estrin
Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology
MAPH Art History Advisor
CWAC 264
Wei-Cheng Lin
Wei-Cheng Lin
Chinese Art and Architecture
Architectural Studies Advisor
CWAC 268
773.702.0268
2006-07
Iowa State University
Assistant Professor, East Asian Art and Architecture
Potters Wheel
Richard Neer
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
CWAC 259
773.702.5890
Andrei Pop
Andrei Pop
Modern Art and Aesthetics
1130 East 59th Street
773.702.8410
Megan Sullivan
Megan Sullivan
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
CWAC 272
773.702.5126