Jennifer Olmsted

Jennifer Olmsted

Associate Professor, Art History

Schaver 304

Jennifer Olmsted


Jennifer W. Olmsted is Associate Professor of Art History at Wayne State University. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University in 2005 and holds an M.A. in art history from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in art history from Bryn Mawr College. Dr. Olmsted offers classes on 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century European art, including broad overviews as well as special topics like Impressionism, Orientalism, Vincent van Gogh, and the history of women artists from 1600 to the present.

In her research, Dr. Olmsted focuses on 19th-century French art with particular emphases on the fashioning of masculinity in French painting and on French representations of North African and Eastern Mediterranean cultures. Dr. Olmsted’s research has been supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the American Philosophical Society, as well as several grants from Wayne State University, including the Dean’s Creative/Research Grant, a University Research Grant, and the President’s Research Enhancement Program in the Arts. She has published essays and reviews in journals like The Art Bulletin, nonsite,, and Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. Her book Delacroix’s Moroccans: Art and Masculinity (forthcoming from The Pennsylvania State University Press in September 2025) examines the intersection of gender, race, and imperialism in Eugène Delacroix’s representations of Arab men from his famous trip to Morocco in 1832. She is currently working on a second book that explores how French artists and sitters used portraiture to stake claims to elite status during the tumultuous first half of the nineteenth century.


Degrees and Certifications

Ph.D. Northwestern University

M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.A. Bryn Mawr College

Courses Taught

AH 1120 Survey of Art History, Renaissance-Modern

AH 3650 Nineteenth-Century European Art and Architecture

AH 5560 Special Topics: Women Artists, 1600-2000

AH 5695 Art of Revolutionary Europe

AH 5705 Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

AH 5710 Trends in Nineteenth-Century Art

AH 5715 Modernism Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

AH 5735 Art 1900-1945

AH 5997 Seminar: Portraiture in the Modern Era

AH 5997 Seminar: Vincent van Gogh

Recent Publications

Forthcoming: Delacroix's Moroccans: Art and Masculinity (College Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming 2025).

Forthcoming: "The Form of Memory: Delacroix and the Sketchbook," Art History 47, no. 1 (forthcoming February 2025).

"Divided Allegiances: French Images of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1798-1848," in Near East to Far West: Fictions of French and American Colonialism, ed. by Jennifer R. Henneman (New Haven: Yale University Press for Denver Art Museum, 2023), 37-46.

“In Defense of Painting: Delacroix’s Lion Hunt at the 1855 Exposition Universelle,” nonsite 27, special issue: The Nineteenth Century: Part Two, February 2019.

“Public and Private Identities in Delacroix’s Portrait of Charles de Mornay and Anatole Demidoff,” in Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1780-1914, ed. by Temma Balducci, Heather Jensen, and Pamela Warner (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2011), 47-64.

“The Sultan’s Authority: Delacroix, Painting and Politics at the Salon of 1845,” The Art Bulletin 91, no. 1 (March 2009): 83-106.

“Du Maroc et de la modernité: les cavaliers arabes de Delacroix,” trans. by Paola Miglietti, Bulletin de la Société des Amis du Musée national Eugène Delacroix, no. 7 (2009): 19-24.


Member and Chair, Graduate Committe in Art History (August 2005-present)

Member, Services to the Historians of the Visual Arts Committee, College Art Association (February 2024-February 2027)

College Promotion and Tenure Committee (August 2022-August 2024)


Courses taught by Jennifer Olmsted

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022

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