Faculty & Staff

photo of David Areford

David S. Areford, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Art, College of Liberal Arts
  • Telephone: 857.998.0387
  • Office Location: University Hall,04, 4242

Areas of Expertise

Late-medieval devotional art; early printmaking in Europe; the study of visual culture in terms of the body, gender, and sexuality


PhD 2001, Northwestern University

Additional Information

David S. Areford, Associate Professor of Art History, is a specialist in late-medieval European devotional art, especially early printmaking. His research and teaching interests include the reception of images in terms of the visual, physical, emotional, psychological, and spatial dynamics of the viewing experience, as well as the role of the body, gender, and sexuality in contemporary visual culture. He has published books, book chapters, and articles on the reception of fifteenth-century single-sheet woodcuts and metalcuts, as well as manuscript illumination. Dr. Areford is the author of the book The Viewer and the Printed Image in Late Medieval Europe (series: Visual Culture and Early Modernity, edited by Allison Levy) (Ashgate, 2010). His essay “Multiplying the Sacred: The Fifteenth-Century Woodcut as Reproduction, Surrogate, Simulation,” was published in The Woodcut in Fifteenth-Century Europe (Studies in the History of Art 75), edited by Peter Parshall (National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, 2009). He is the co-editor (with Nina A. Rowe) of Excavating the Medieval Image: Manuscripts, Artists, Audiences (Ashgate, 2004) and co-author (with  Peter Parshall, Rainer Schoch, Peter Schmidt, and Richard Field) of Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public (National Gallery of Art, 2005); German-language edition: Die Anfänge der europäischen Druckgraphik: Holzschnitte des 15. Jahrhunderts und ihr Gebrauch (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2005), a finalist for the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award for Museum Scholarship, College Art Association (2007).

Dr. Areford was a co-curator of the exhibition Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany, 2005-2006) and curator of the exhibition Queer Eye (Harbor Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts Boston, 2006). His current projects include the exhibition and catalogue The Art of Empathy: The Cummer Mother of Sorrows in Context (Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida, scheduled for 2012-2013) and an article “The Passion of the Christ Child: Woodcuts, Devotion, and Theology,” which explores images of the Christ Child that include prefigurations of the Passion. Dr. Areford’s next book project, preliminarily titled Embracing Vision: The Maulbronn Altarpiece and Late Medieval Piety, is a study of a little-known painted triptych originally located in the famous Cistercian monastery of Maulbronn in Germany.

Dr. Areford’s fellowships and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Germany, a Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Newberry Library’s Weiss/Brown Publication Subvention Award. In 2009, he was elected to the Board of Directors (3-year term) of the International Center of Medieval Art.