Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Fine Arts

Paula Wisotzki, Ph.D.

Title/s:  Professor of Fine Arts in Art History; Interim Faculty Coordinator of Art History

Office #:  Mundelein 904

Phone: 773.508.8306

Email: pwisots@luc.edu


Paula Wisotzki is Professor of Art History in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Loyola University Chicago, where she is a member of the graduate faculty and is affiliated with the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Program. She also teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Honors Program.

She was named a "Master Teacher" in Loyola's College of Arts and Sciences for 2006-2007. She is a long time board member of the Midwest Art History Society and served a term as President of this regional professional organization of academics and museum professionals. She was an area editor for the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (5 vols. Oxford University Press, 2011), and co-editor with Helen Langa of the anthology American Women Artists, 1935–1970: Gender, Culture and Politics (Ashgate, 2016). She has published articles exploring David Smith’s art through the lens of his political engagement, including “Artist and Worker:  The Labour of David Smith” (Oxford Art Journal, 2005).  In addition, she has written on Dorothy Dehner’s early career with her essay “Dorothy Dehner and World War II: Not Just ‘Life on the Farm’” appearing in Archives of American Art Journal (2016).  

Some of her recent scholarship explores early twentieth century collaborations between visual artists and choreographers.  With her DFPA colleague Sandra Kaufmann, Director of Dance, she received an Academic Program Grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art to support the 2016 international symposium “Framing Justice:  Modernism and Social Advocacy in American Visual Arts and Dance, 1929-1945.”  Her article “Art, Dance, and Social Justice:  Franziska Boas, Dorothy Dehner, and David Smith at Bolton Landing, 1944-1949” appeared in the fall issue of Panorama:  Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art (2021).  Currently she is writing a piece about painter/designer Anton Refregier and dancer/choreographer Anna Sokolow.  

Other recent publications include a brief essay in the exhibition catalogue Double Vision:  Art from Jesuit University Collections (Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, 2021) and a lengthy article, “Visual Arts: Abstraction,” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion and the Arts in the West:  Renaissance to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Having graduated magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark College in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, she earned her Ph.D. at Northwestern University.  She is enjoying a research leave during academic year 2021-22 and is pleased to be learning new things to incorporate into her teaching when she returns to the classroom next year.  


Ph.D., Northwestern University

B.A. (magna cum laude), Lewis and Clark College

Research Interests

Modern and Contemporary Art
American Modernism
Women Artists and Feminist Art History
Strategies of Museum Display and Artifact Interpretation

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Board member and former President, Midwest Art History Society
  • Area editor for the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (5 vols. Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Co-edited with Helen Langa for American Women Artists, 1935-1970: Gender, Culture and Politics (Ashgate, 2016)