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Skidmore College
Art History

HellmanMimi Hellman

The Charlotte Lamson Clarke '53 Chair in Art History


Office:  Filene 118B
Phone: 518-580-5058

Spring 2024 Office Hours:
Wednesdays, 4:00 pm-5:30 pm
Thursdays, 4:00 pm-5:30 pm
And, by appointment.


  • Ph.D., Art History, Princeton University, 2000
  • M.A., Art History, Smith College, 1992
  • B.A., Religion and Art History, Smith College, 1985


  • European art between the 17th and 19th centuries
  • 18th-century France: visual and material culture, social practice, modes of perception
  • The reception of 18th-century art and culture in the modern period
  • The cultural history of decorative art, interior design, and domesticity
  • The history of art history as a discipline
  • Films about art and artists
  • The cultural history of food


  • Scribner Seminar:  BUZZ: The Visual and Material Culture of Caffeine
  • Ways of Seeing: The Domestic Interior (AH107)
  • Practices of Art History (AH221)
  • Surveys of 17th, 18th, and 19th-century European art (AH253, AH254, AH257)
  • Rococo Art and Design (AH345)
  • Visual Culture of the French Revolution (AH355)
  • History of Photography (AH321)
  • Art History seminars: Women of Versailles; Impressionism (AH375)
  • Honors Forum courses: The French Revolution on Film; Van Gogh on Film



  • "Tapestries and Identities at the Hôtel de Soubise: Figuration, Embodied Vision, Intercorporeality." In Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion in the French Enlightment, ed. Susanna Caviglia, 81-117. Turnhout: Brepols, 2017.
  • "Staging Retreat: Designs for Bathing in 18th-Century France." In Interiors and Interiority, ed. Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Beate Söntgen, 49-72. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016. 
  • "Enchanted Night: Decoration, Sociability, and Visuality after Dark." In Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Charissa Bremer-David, 91-113. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.
  • "The Nature of Artifice: French Porcelain Flowers and the Rhetoric of the Garnish." In The Cultural Aesthetics of Porcelain in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Alden Cavanaugh and Michael E. Yonan, 39-64. Burlington, Vermont and London: Ashgate Publishing, 2010.
  • "The Decorated Flame: Firedogs and the Tensions of the Hearth." In Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts, ed. Martina Droth, 176-85. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008.
  • "The Joy of Sets: The Uses of Seriality in the French Interior." In Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us About the European and American Past, ed. Dena Goodman and Kathryn Norberg, 129-53. New York and London: Routledge, 2006.
  • "Object Lessons: French Decorative Art as a Model for Interdisciplinarity." In The Interdisciplinary Century: Tensions and Convergences in 18th-Century Art, Literature, and History. Special issue of Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, ed. Julia Douthwaite and Mary Vidal, 60-76. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2005.
  • "Furniture, Sociability, and the Work of Leisure in 18th-Century France." Eighteenth-Century Studies 32 (Summer 1999): 415-45.


  • "Making Coffee at Home in America: Episodes in Cultural History of Design." In Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate: Consuming the World, ed. Yao-Fen You, 100-125. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 2016.
  • "Chocolate Pots and Cups." In The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, ed. Darra Goldstein, 154-56. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • "Scents and Sensibilities." In 30 Objects, 30 Insights: Gardiner Museum, ed. Rachel Gotlieb and Karine Tsoumis, 104-11. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2014.
  • "Elusive Temptations." Gastronomica: A Journal of Food and Culture 11 (Summer 2011): 7-11.
  • "Up the River: Touring Sing Sing." In Lives of the Hudson, ed. Ian Berry and Tom Lewis, 148-152. New York: Prestel Publishing, 2010.
  • "Interior Motives: Seduction by Decoration in Eighteenth-Century France." Introduction to Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century, by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, 15-23. New Haven: Yale University Press for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006.
  • "Of Water and Chocolate." Gastronomica: A Journal of Food and Culture 4 (Fall 2004): 9-11.
  • "Domesticity Undone: Three Historical Spaces." In Undomesticated Interiors, ed. Linda Muehlig, 9-39. Northampton, Massachusetts: Smith College Museum of Art, 2003.


  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2017)
  • University of Chicago (2015)
  • University of Georgia, Athens (2013)
  • Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (conference held in Berlin, 2012)
  • Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2011)
  • Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design, Material Culture, New York (2011)
  • Harvard University (2010)
  • University of California, San Diego (2009)
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2009)
  • Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2008)
  • University of Hamburg, Germany (2007)


  • The Hôtel de Soubise: Decoration and Dynasty in a Rococo Interior (book project).

  • “Lost in Decoration: Design, Visuality, and the Power of the Glance in the 18th-Century Interior” (article project).