Penn State Harrisburg

Robin Veder, Ph.D.

· Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture and Humanities, Humanities


Robin Veder teaches courses in art history, visual culture, cultural history, and interdisciplinary humanities. Prior to joining the Penn State Harrisburg faculty in 2004, she taught at California State University, Sacramento and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has conducted collections research and curated exhibits for the National Park Service’s Historic American Landscape Survey, the Smithsonian Institution’s Horticulture Services Division, Montpelier, the Stonewall Jackson House, and the Virginia Historical Society. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. from the american studies program at The College of William and Mary, and her B.A. in inter[disciplinary]-arts is from San Francisco State University. She grew up in San Jose, California.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Studies Association
  • College Art Association
  • American Historical Association
  • College Art Association

Research Interests

Robin Veder is an interdisciplinary cultural historian who researches American modern art, visual culture, history of the body, and landscape studies. Recent publications have appeared in the academic journals Visual Resources, American Art, Journal of Victorian Culture, Modernism/Modernity, and International Journal of the History of Sport. Veder’s first book manuscript, “The Living Line: Modern Art, Body Cultures, and Physiological Aesthetics in America,” is about how posture training, choreographed gestures, and breathing exercises shaped American production and consumption of modernist visual art. This project has received research awards from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Society for the Preservation of American Modernists, and Penn State’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture. Veder’s second project combines history of the body with landscape studies. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Veder is researching “‘Natural’ Performances: Early-Twentieth-Century Body Cultures in American Gardens” with the support of a fellowship in the Garden and Landscape Studies Program at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, in Washington, D.C.

Courses Taught

  • ART H 100 Introduction to Art
  • ART H 307 American Art
  • IHUM 300W Interpretations in the Humanities: Nature vs. Culture
  • IHUM 300W Interpretations in the Humanities: American Visual Culture
  • AMST 461 American Art and Architecture of the 19th Century
  • AMST 462 American Art and Architecture of the 20th Century
  • AMST 570 Topics in American Art: Race and Visual Culture
  • AMST 570 Topics in American Art: Approaches to Visual Culture
  • AMST 570 Topics in American Art: History of American Art History
  • HUM 460 Thematic Studies: Modernism/Modernity
  • HUM 500 Research Methods and Scholarly Inquiry in the Humanities
  • HUM 535 Topics in Cultural and Intellectual History: Visual Culture of the American Diaspora
  • HUM 535 Topics in Cultural and Intellectual History: Introduction to Critical Theory

Publications and Research

  • “The Joy of Breathing: Physical and Emotional Uplift in the Art of Arthur B. Davies.” In Gravity in Art: Essays on Weight and Weightlessness in Painting, Sculpture and Photography, edited by Mary Edwards and Elizabeth Bailey. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., forthcoming 2012.
  • “Seeing Your Way to Health: The Visual Pedagogy of Bess Mensendieck’s Physical Culture System.” The Visual Turn in Sports History. Special issue of International Journal of the History of Sport 28: 8 (May 2011): 1336 - 1352.
  • “The Expressive Efficiencies of American Delsarte and Mensendieck Body Cultures.” Modernism/Modernity 17: 4 (Nov. 2010): 819 - 838.
  • “Flowers in the Slums: Weavers’ Floristry in the Age of Spitalfields’ Decline.” Journal of Victorian Culture 14 (Autumn 2009): 261 - 281.
  • “Arthur B. Davies’ Inhalation Theory of Art.” American Art 23 (Spring 2009): 56 - 77.
  • Exhibition: “Breathing Motions: Figure Studies by Arthur B. Davies.” Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, University Park, February 2 - May 2, 2009
  • “Pestalozzi and the Picturebook: Visual Pedagogy in The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins.” Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation 24 (Dec. 2008): 369 - 390.
  • “The Gardener’s Exercise: Rational Recreation in Early-Nineteenth-Century Britain.” Sports, Exercise, and Recreation. Special issue of Proteus: A Journal of Ideas 25 (Oct. 2008): 53 - 59.
  • “Mother-Love for Plant-Children: Sentimental Pastoralism and Nineteenth-Century Parlour Gardening.” Australasian Journal of American Studies 26 (Dec. 2007): 20 - 34.
  • Exhibition: “Brian Selznick: The Art of the Picture Book.” Morrison Gallery, Penn State Harrisburg, March 16 - May 12, 2006.
  • "Color Gardens before Color Photography." Cabinet 2(spring 2002): 72 – 75.
  • "Yesterday's Forecast." (Interview with meteorological and climatological historian James Fleming) Cabinet 1 (summer 2001): 68 – 70.
  • Exhibition: “Exploring Garden Transformations, 1900 – 2000.” American Garden Legacy Series, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. September 30, 2000 – March 13, 2005.
  • "Working the Techno–Lawn." Review of The American Lawn: Surface of Everyday Life, exhibition catalog by Georges Teyssot, editor, and exhibition by the Canadian Centre for Architecture. American Quarterly 52 (June 2000): 344 - 63.
  • "Julia, Daughter of Stonewall." Virginia Cavalcade 46 (summer 1996): 2 – 19.
  • "Tableaux Vivants: Performing Art, Purchasing Status." Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance Studies 48 (1995): 14 – 29.