B.A., Wellesley College; M.A., Ph.D., Yale University
Rebecca BedellAssociate Professor of Art
Wellesley alumna; research explores the relations between art and science, and the place of sentimentalism in American art.
Much of my research and scholarly writing has focused on the relationship between art and science. My first book, The Anatomy of Nature: Geology and American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875 , explored the ways that a number of prominent landscape artists, including Frederic Church and Thomas Moran, were engaged with the then fashionable science of geology. I also was part of the curatorial team that produced the international exhibition Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science, and the Visual Arts (2009). My current book project, Moved to Tears: Sentimentality and Anti-Sentimentality in American Art, has taken my work in a new direction.
I teach a variety of courses in the art department, including ARTH 100, the first semester of our introductory art history survey, and classes in my area of special expertise, the art of the United States. I also teach in the Writing Program and the American Studies Program. My keen interest in American popular culture has led me to develop seminars on topics such as Disney and American Culture and American Pilgrimage Sites.
I love kayaking, hiking, bicycling, cooking with friends, and reading 19th-century novels.