"The fact that art history relies primarily upon seeing still does not mean that one has to avoid thinking" --Heinrich Woelfflin, 1908
"Is it hard to train a horse? If someone lacks the God-given physical and mental capacities necessary for it, then he should better study at the university and earn a doctorate because that's easier" --Ernst Abraham von Dehnen Rothfelser, 1637
My training is in the history of Northern Renaissance art (Northwestern University, Ph.D 1991). I have been at the University of Arizona since 1990 where I teach that subject as well as Italian Renaissance art. I offer classes from general-education-level to graduate (M.A. and Ph.D) seminars. Areas of research have included the art and chronicle of Joerg Breu the Elder of Augsburg (d. 1536), and art and politics in early modern Germany.
Since 2000 my work has focused on hippology (the culture of the horse) and I have published on early modern German veterinary texts, horsemanship manuals, and the production and reception of early modern equestrian iconography (for a list of my publications, please refer to the CV provided on this site. You will also find links to PDFs of some of these under the "Publications" rubric). Most of my research has been conducted at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuettel (Germany), although I have also worked at the Staatsbibliothek in Munich. I will be widening my research to include the holdings of the Niedersaechsiches Staatsarchiv as well. I am also a rider. Although to some the topic of early modern horsemanship may seem like nothing more than an eccentric professor's "pet" project, it actually provides the cultural historian with a gold mine of information. When early modern authors wrote about horses, they were also articulating their assumptions about a surprisingly wide variety of phenomena, such as nature, gender, technology, political power, social hierarchy, even theology and antiquity. And when early modern artists illustrated those texts and/or produced independent equestrian imagery, their work reveals much about artisanal practices and market expectations.