Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Faculty and Staff Directory

Marilyn Dunn, Ph.D.

Title/s:  Associate Professor of Fine Arts in Art History

Office #:  Mundelein 905

Phone: 773.508.8307



Dr. Marilyn Dunn is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and an associate faculty member of the Women's Studies and Gender Studies Program. She teaches a wide range of courses from introductory surveys of various periods of western art to courses focused on Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Art, as well as courses on women and art, cross-listed with the Women's Studies and Gender Studies Program. Her areas of specialization include the Italian Renaissance and Baroque and issues of gender and art. She is also a regular faculty participant in Loyola University's Honors Program and serves on the Women's Studies and Gender Studies Steering Committee.

Professor Dunn's current research focuses on an investigation of the art patronage of women in 17th century Rome, with particular emphasis on the role of nuns as patrons.  Her projects have examined the patronage at specific Roman convents, the role of conventual architecture in the construction of gender, iconographic themes in art commissioned by nus and the construction of identity, the dynamics of family networks in convent patronage, nuns and intermediary agents, and convents within the urban fabric of Rome. She has published extensively on art patronage and gender in Renaissance and Baroque Italy, especially 17th century Rome and participated in numerous international conferences.

Her articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as The Art Bulletin, The Burlington Magazine, Römisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana, The Renaissance Quarterly, and Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art.  Among her book chapters are those in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe (ed. Cynthia Lawrence), Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe (ed. Helen Hills), Wives, Widows, Mistresses, and Nuns in Early Modern Italy (ed. Katherine A. McIver), and The Ashgate Research Companion to Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (eds. Allyson M. Poska, Jane Couchman, and Katherine A. McIver).  Her recent essay on “Nuns, Agents, and Agency,” appears in Patronage, Gender & the Arts in Early Modern Italy: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Valone ,eds. Katherine A. McIver and Cynthia Stollhans (New York: Italica Press, 2015).

Professor Dunn loves going to Rome and other centers in Italy to do research, study art, enjoy good food, and experience the vibrancy of Italian life.


Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., Villa Schifanoia (Dominican University, Florence, Italy) 
B.A., Muskingum College