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About William T. Oedel

William T. Oedel received the Outstanding Teacher Award for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts in 1996. He offers lecture courses on American art and architecture to 1940 and seminars on nineteenth-century American painting. The seminars center on individual artists--including Cole, Mount, Homer, and Eakins--through whom one encounters the cultural and historical contexts. Professor Oedel is especially concerned with how artists participate in ideological and political discourse, and he has directed a good deal of student research into constructions of race, labor, class, the family, and gender, as well as issues bearing on spirituality, industrialization, the art market, and tourism. From time to time he offers the graduate seminar in museum studies alternately given by Walter Denny.
Professor Oedel received the B. A. magna cum laude from Harvard, the M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and the Ph.D. from the University of Delaware, where he was given the Wilber Owen Sypherd Award for the Outstanding Dissertation in the Humanities. He was Curator at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia before joining the faculty at Massachusetts. He has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a Smithsonian Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Much of his publishing has contributed to museum catalogues, recently The Peale Family and catalogues of the permanent collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Springfield Museums. The article on William Sidney Mount which he coauthored with Todd S. Gernes, then a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, appears in the anthology Reading American Art (Yale 1998). Professor Oedel is completing the book John Vanderlyn and the Art of Politics.
Students specializing in American art at Massachusetts have secured positions in museums, auction houses, secondary schools, slide libraries, and historic sites; many enter doctoral programs in art history, lately at Delaware, Michigan, Princeton, and California at Santa Barbara.


Present Associate Professor, Department of Art & Art History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Present Department Chair, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Contact Information

Fine Arts Center 365
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 0l003
Tel:413 545-6910


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