Rebecca Brienen, PhD
Vennerberg Chair of Art
Professor of Art History
Head, Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History
Rebecca Parker Brienen is Vennerberg Chair of Art and Head of the Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History at Oklahoma State University. Since 2017, Dr. Brienen has also been Director of the Prairie Arts Center, an OSU-City of Stillwater partnership. Dr. Brienen came to OSU from the University of Miami in 2013.
Dr. Brienen is an art historian who specializes in 17th century Dutch Art, internationalism, and the history of museums and collecting. She received her BA in Art History from Wellesley College in 1989. She holds an MA in Theology from Harvard University and an MA and a Ph.D. in Art History from Northwestern University.
Dr. Brienen has done extensive research on the images (paintings, drawings, prints) produced as a result of the European colonization of Mexico, Brazil, and Africa. In particular, she has studied in depth the works of art created by the Dutch artists Albert Eckhout, Frans Post, and Dirk Valkenburg in Brazil, Surinam, and Europe. More recently she has started to work on 20th century American Art, specifically the work of painter and printmaker Doel Reed.
Her publications include the 2010 catalogue raisonné (in English and Portuguese) Albert Eckhout: Visões do Paraíso Selvagemi (Capivara Press), which is a revised and expanded edition of her 2006 book Visions of Savage Paradise: Albert Eckhout, Court Painter in Colonial Dutch Brazil (Amsterdam University Press).
"Nicolaes Witsen's Collection, his influence, and the Primacy of Visual Knowledge," The Primacy of the Image in Northern European Art, 1400-1700: Essays in Honor of Larry Silver, ed. Debra Cashion (Leiden, Brill Press, 2017) 222-238.
“Joanna and her Sisters: Mulatto Women in Print and Image, 1602-1796,” Early Modern Women: an Interdisciplinary Journal Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 2016): 65-94
“Dutch Art and Artists from a Global Perspective: State of the Research,” Ashgate Research Companion to Dutch Art of the Seventeenth-Century, ed. Wayne Franits. (London and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2016).
“Martha of Taos: Broomstick Skirts, Concho Belts and the History of Southwestern Fashion,” curated with students in the Museum Exhibition class (Spring 2016). May 31, 2016 –September 2016, Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, Stillwater, OK.
Brienen is working on a Catalogue raisonné and retrospective exhibition on Doel Reed (“Life and Nature: the Art of Doel Reed”). Exhibition date 2021.