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Kenneth Haltman

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Kenneth Haltman, Ph.D.

Kenneth Haltman, H. Russell Pitman Professor of Art History at the University of Oklahoma, received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, and Translation (Phi Beta Kappa with Highest University Honors) and his Ph.D. from Yale University in American Studies with a concentration in Art History. Before coming to OU he taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of American art and material culture at Bryn Mawr, Emory, the University of Memphis, and Michigan State.

His numerous academic honors include Fulbright-Hayes, Andrew W. Mellon, and Henry C. Luce Foundation fellowships; research awards from Winterthur, the Huntington Library, the National Museum of American Art, the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society, and National Endowment for the Humanities; Senior Research fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Art Reference Library; a Terra Foundation Visiting Professorship in the History of American Art at Freie Universität-Berlin; Distinguished Visiting Lectureship at the University of Western Australia; and US-UK Fulbright Scholars Award at the University of York.

His teaching at OU has included introductory and advanced courses in American Art History and the Art of the American West, Undergraduate Methods, Graduate Methods, and a suite of rotating seminars in Visual Analysis, Material Cultural, and Critical Issues in Recent Art History at the core of the graduate curriculum. He developed and, beginning in Fall 2015, has been supervising as Instructor of Record the department’s innovative new team-taught Introduction to Art History thanks to a Faculty Fellows Award from OU’s Center for Teaching Excellence with additional funding through the OU Libraries’ Open Educational Resources initiative.

In addition to critical translations of major works (Earth and Dreams of Will, Fragments of a Poetics of Fire) by French phenomenologist of the imagination Gaston Bachelard and scholarly essays on the history of pictorial representation in the United States ranging from antipastoralism in early Winslow Homer to the art of the early American West, his publications include American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture, co-edited with Jules David Prown (Michigan State University Press, 2000), Looking Close and Seeing Far: Samuel Seymour, Titian Ramsay Peale, and the Art of the Long Expedition, 1818-1823 (Penn State University Press, 2008), Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale’s Lost Manuscript (Abrams, with the American Museum of Natural History, 2015), a critical edition and translation of René Brimo's classic study The Evolution of Taste in American Collecting, originally published in Paris in 1938 (Penn State University Press, 2016), with publishing subventions from the Society for the Preservation of American Modernists and College Art Association, and Colonization and Wilderness in Nineteenth-Century Australian and American Landscape, co-edited with Richard Read (Terra Foundation, forthcoming). He is currently completing Artists and Hunters: Figures of Predatory Looking in Nineteenth-Century American Art, a collection of essays.

Other recent publications include “The Pictorial Legacy of Lewis and Clark” in Knowing Nature: Philadelphia and the Visual Culture of Natural History, 1740 to 1840 (Yale University Press, 2011); “Picturesque Nostalgia as Ironic Dislocation: Joshua Shaw’s Unsettling Visions of the Old New World,” Art History (September 2011), reprinted in Anglo-American: Art between England and America, 1770-1970 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); “Flight and Predation: The Anti-Documentary Poetics of Alfred Jacob Miller,” American Art (Spring 2014); and “The Trouble with Bachelard,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art (November 2016).  

Essays forthcoming include “Predatory Vision in a Modernist Vein: William Michael Harnett’s After the Hunt,” featured “intersection” essay in Reflections: The American Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio University Press); “Cartographic Representation in the Age of Vernacular Landscape: Pictorial Metaphor in Stephen Long’s Map of the Country Drained by the Mississippi,” in Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of Cartographic Exploration in the Americas (University of Chicago Press); “The Art of Indian Affairs: Earth and Sky in Charles Bird King’s Keokuk, the Watchful Fox,” in Inventing Destiny: Non-Traditional Histories of United States Expansion (University of Kansas Press); “Predatory Looking in Antebellum American and Early Australian Landscape,” in Colonization and Wilderness (see above; Terra Foundation); and "Awakened Dream: Images of Reading and Beholding in the Work of Daniel Huntington and His Contemporaries," in For America: The Art of the National Academy (Yale University Press).

These and other publications can be consulted at