Collegiate Affiliation

Forms of address: Dr. Marshall, Professor Marshall, Jenn. 

Jennifer Marshall (Ph.D., UCLA, 2005) specializes in the art and visual/material culture of the United States (colonial period to 1960s). In her classes, Professor Marshall uses images as a fresh way to understand America’s complex cultural history. Courses include ArtH 3005 "American Art," ArtH 3577, "Photo Nation: Photography in America," ArtH 5565, "American Art of the Gilded Age," ArtH 5575, "Boom/Bust: American Art from the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression," and graduate-level seminars. Professor Marshall’s research focuses on issues of materiality and modernity in early twentieth-century American art and aesthetics. In her first book, Machine Art, 1934 (University of Chicago Press, 2012), she offers a critical history of the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark Machine Art show. An exhibit of airplane propellers, ball bearings, pots, pans, and Petri dishes, Machine Art offered Depression-era Americans a concrete way of coming to terms with modern abstract value. (This book was awarded the Dedalus Foundation's 2013 Robert Motherwell Book Award.) Professor Marshall’s other publications include, “Toward Phenomenology: A Material Culture Studies Approach to Landscape Theory“ (Landscape Theory, eds. James Elkins and Rachel Ziady DeLue, Routledge, 2007), “Clean Cuts: Procter & Gamble’s Depression-Era Soap-Carving Contests“ (Winterthur Portfolio, Spring 2008), “In Form We Trust: Neoplatonism: the Gold Standard, and the Museum of Modern Art’s Machine Art Show“ (Art Bulletin, December 2008). Prior to joining the Art History Department at the University of Minnesota, Professor Marshall served as Acting Assistant Professor of American Art History at Stanford University (2006-08), and held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2005-06).

She is accepting Ph.D. students for Fall 2023. In mentoring graduate students, she emphasizes a student-centered and whole-person approach to advanced scholarship in the humanities. In addition to helping PhD students discern their individual creative and intellectual missions, she also works closely and collaboratively to hone the academy's many practical skills, including: grant-writing, life/work balance, teaching (lecturing, grading, teaching for equity), and writing for clarity, purpose, and voice. Her motto for her own disciplinary practice is "do history, but artistically." Working along graduate students with this goal in mind is one of the greatest joys of her career. Previous Ph.D. advisees under Dr. Marshall have received grants including but not limited to, the American Antiquarian Society Research Fellowship; the Chipstone Foundation, Charles Hummel Fellowship; the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts, UMN; the Hella Mears Fellowship for German & European Studies, UMN; Seminar Participant, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library; Short Term Fellowship, Huntington Library; the Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art, Harvard University; and the Winterthur Postdoctoral Fellowship. Advisees of the past have also gotten prestigious employment positions, including Assistant Professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, Associate Curator with Boston Athenaeum, and Director of Engagement at Iowa City Summer of the Arts. Prospective graduate students may email Dr. Marshall directly to schedule a phone call or Zoom interview, or may schedule a meeting directly through her calendly link: .

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Art History, UCLA, 2005


  • Art and Visual/Material Culture of the United States