Dorothy Johnson

Roy J. Carver Professor of Art History
Division Head, Art History

Dorothy Johnson is the Roy J. Carver Professor of Art History. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her area of specialization is 18th and 19th-century French and European art. She is the author of Jacques-Louis David: Art in Metamorphosis (Princeton University Press, 1993), Jacques-Louis David: the Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis (Getty Museum Monograph Series, 1997), and David to Delacroix: the Rise of Romantic Mythology (UNC Press, 2011, Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2011). She was the editor and contributing author of Jacques- Louis David: New Perspectives (University of Delaware Press, 2006). She published a translation from the French in 1992: David d'Angers: Sculptural Communication in the Age of Romanticism by Jacques de Caso, trans. Dorothy Johnson and Jacques de Caso (Princeton University Press), 1992.

She has published articles on Chardin, Jacques-Louis David, Géricault, Delacroix, and David d’Angers, among others. In addition, numerous articles and book chapters engage issues and themes in art such as the Romantic child, Romantic landscape painting, myth in French art, art and the natural sciences, the boudoir in French visual culture, and art and anatomy. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Art History, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Master Drawings, The Cambridge Companion to Delacroix, Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, among others.

Recent articles and book chapters include “Mythologies of the Boudoir: Jacques-Louis David’s The Loves of Paris and Helen” in Intimate Interiors. Sex, Politics and Material Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Bedroom and Boudoir, Bloomsbury Press, 2023, 169- 196; “Anatomy Lessons: Teaching Anatomy to Artists in Eighteenth-Century France”, Education in the Enlightenment, Vernon Press, 2022, 1-22; “Fabulations of the Flesh: Géricault and the Praxis of Art and Anatomy”, in Visualizing the Body in Art, Anatomy and Medicine since 1800: Models, Modelling,(2019); “Visceral Visions: Art, Pedagogy, and Politics in Revolutionary France”, in Bellies, Bowels, and Entrails in the Eighteenth Century (Manchester University Press, 2018); “Food for Thought: Consuming and Digesting as Political Metaphor in French Satirical Prints”, in Gut Feeling and Digestive Health in Nineteenth-Century Literature, History and Culture”, (Palgrave, 2018); and “The Body Speaks: Anatomical Narratives in French Enlightenment Sculpture” (Body Narratives. Motion and Emotion in the French Enlightenment, Brepols Press, 2017),

Professor Johnson has lectured extensively nationally and internationally. In 2008 she gave the Bettie Allison Rand Lectures at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was a Camargo Foundation resident fellow and has taught as visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She served on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association. In 2005 she received the Regents’ Award for Faculty Excellence from the University of Iowa. Professor Johnson was the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award and the University of Iowa Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts.

Selected honors and awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Faculty Scholar Award, University of Iowa, 1990-1993
  • CIC Academic Leadership Fellow, 1997-1998
  • Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 2001
  • F. Wendell Miller Professor, University of Iowa, 2002-2006
  • Camargo Foundation Fellowship, 2003
  • Arts and Humanities Initiative Award, University of Iowa, 2004-2005
  • Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, 2005
  • Roy J. Carver Professor of Art History, 2006-the present
  • Professional Development Awards, University of Iowa, 1999, 2004, 2010, 2016, 2022
  • Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award , 2016
  • University of Iowa Graduate College, Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Humanities and Fine Arts, 2015-2016
Research areas
  • Art history
Dorothy Johnson is the Roy J. Carver Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Art History.
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

University of Iowa
222 Art Building West (ABW)
141 N. Riverside Drive
Iowa City, IA 52245
United States