Oklahoma State University - College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Art

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Irene Backus photo

Irene Backus, PhD

University of Chicago
Assistant Professor
Art History
Office: (405) 744-6016
Fax: (405) 744-5767
Email: irene.backus@gmail.com
View CV


Irene Backus is a specialist in sixteenth century Italian art, with a secondary interest in later imperial Chinese art. Her current research integrates these major and minor fields of study by examining the perceptions of China in Renaissance Florence, specifically as mediated through imported Ming Dynasty materials. In addition to issues of cross-cultural exchange and international trade, her research interests include: alchemy, the history of medicine, the body and senses, and constructed gender roles.

She comes to OSU with substantial museum experience, having worked in various capacities at The Philips Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Smart Museum of Art.

Courses taught at Oklahoma State:

History of Italian Renaissance Art
Leonardo, Art, and Science
History of Baroque Art
East and West: Biases and Borrowings