Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

About Us: Faculty: Craig Hanson

Craig Hanson, Associate Professor, Art and Art History

Craig Hanson616-526-7544
Office: Spoelhof Center 209



MA, The University of Chicago
PhD, The University of Chicago

Research and Professional Interests

My research addresses the intersections of art, medicine and antiquarianism, ca. 1600-1820s. I'm especially interested in issues of collecting, patronage, institutional supports for the arts, national identity, art and fashion, and the history of taste. While most of my work up to this point has focused on Britan, the intersts of collectors in London ranged much farther afield. And so I follow. Intrigued by their ties to the continent, I'm currently working on a project that explores the close connections between England and the Netherlands.


Recent Publications

The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism, University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Current Project

Book on Anglo-Dutch relations along with an annotated edition of John Evelyn's "Sculptura"—one of the first histories of Europeanprints ever published.

Professional Associations

  • College Art Association (CAA)
  • Renaissance Society in America (RSA)
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS
  • Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture (HECAA)
  • Historians of British Art (HBA)
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Conference Presentations

“The American House Museum in Historical Perspective”
The Future of the Country House – conference marking the 60th anniversary of the Attingham Trust, London, Royal Geographical Society (October 2012)

“Anglo-Dutch Anatomical Illustrations and the Circle of Dr. Richard Mead, ca. 1724” Plenary address at the Association of Art Historians Student Symposium on Art and Science: Knowledge, Creation and Discovery, London, Linnean Society (June 2012)

“Collecting Virtue: The Patronage and Acquisitions of Dr. Richard Mead in Georgian London” Curious Specimens: Enlightenment Objects, Collections, Narratives – conference held in conjunction with the exhibitions, Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Mrs.
Delany and Her Circle, London, Victoria & Albert Museum (April 2010)

“Double the Pleasure: Rhinoceros Horns, the Royal Society, and Medical Erudition in Eighteenth-Century London,” plenary address
Midwest American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Fargo (October 2009)

“From Ancient Paintings to Illustrious Persons: Antiquarian Patronage and Illustration in the 1740s” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Williamsburg (March 2014)

“Accounting for the European Tent-Theory of Chinese Architectural Origins” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Cleveland (April 2013)

“From 100 to 10,000 Readers: Enfilade as a Case Study for Rethinking Audiences” Midwest Art History Society, Columbus, Ohio (March 2013)

“Looking to the Lowlands: Anglo-Dutch Relations and Artistic Continuities in the Decades after 1688” Histories of British Art, 1660–1735 – third conference for the Court, Country, City:
British Art 1660–1735 research project, University of York (September 2012)

“Zoffany’s Virtuosic Ambitions and the Theatre of Natural History”
Johan Zoffany and his International Contexts – conference held in conjunction with the exhibition, Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, London, Royal Academy (May 2012)

“British Worthies at Goodwood: Anglo-Dutch Relations, Italian Painters, and the ‘Great Men’ of 1688” Midwest Conference on British Studies, Terre Haute, Indiana (November 2011)

“From Scientific Illustration to the Painted Landscape: The Importance of Dutch Artists for British Visual Culture” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vancouver (March 2011)

"From the Netherlands to England: The Arts, Virtuosi Culture, and the Rhetoric of a National School in the Eighteenth Century,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Richmond (March 2009).

"Painting as Natural Philosophy in the Age of Feeling,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Portland (March 2008).

"Early Modern British Art and the Limits of Nationalism,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Atlanta (March 2007).

"Between Art and Science: Representation, Dr. Richard Mead, and the Royal Society in the Eighteenth Century,” Beyond Mimesis and Nominalism, London School of Economics, London (June 2006).

"Inspiring Reciprocal Emulation and Esteem’: The Case of Dr. Richard Mead and His Collection at Great Ormonde Street,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Montreal (March 2006).

"The ‘Royal Task’ of the History of Trades Program: Francis Bacon, His Legacy, and the Fine Arts in Seventeenth-Century England,” Renaissance Society of America, San Francisco (March 2006).

Public Presentations

“Zhang Huan: From Performance to Ashes,” in conjunction with the exhibition Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan
Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids (11 June 2013)

“The Horse in Art,” in conjunction with the exhibition, Essence: The Horses of Deborah Butterfield Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids (2 March 2012)

“Depicting the World in the Seventeenth Century: Wenceslaus Hollar and the Art of Printmaking,” in conjunction with the exhibition, A Celebration of Print: 500 Years of Graphic Art Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2 April 2011)