Rebecca Brienen, PhD

Vennerberg Department Chair, Professor of Art History
Art, Graphic Design, and Art History
Office: (405) 744-6016
Fax: (405) 744-5767
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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 2015, Dr. Brienen has also been Director of the School of Visual and Performing Art at OSU. 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.


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). More recently she has started to work on 20 th century American Art, specifically the work of painter and printmaker Doel Reed. She gave a talk, “Doel Reed’s WWI Diary,” at the Southwest Art History Conference in Taos, New Mexico in October 2016.

“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.
Dr. Brienen is Co-PI with Vicky Berry (Director of the OSU Museum of Art) on the Doel and Martha Reed Research Project. Brienen is working on a Catalogue raisonné and retrospective exhibition on Doel Reed (“Life and Nature: the Art of Doel Reed”). Exhibition date 2020.