UMArts Home

Valerie Hedquist, Professor

Art History & Criticism

office: Fine Arts Bldg 305A


I teach the introductory courses in Art History and Art Criticism, with a special emphasis on the art of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. I enjoy teaching and advising students, collaborating with colleagues, and writing about the art of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Gabriel Metsu. My current project is a book on Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy entitled, "Famous on Two Continents: The English Blue Boy and its American History."

Teaching Philosophy

To understand an art work requires a consideration of the maker, the visual presentation, and the audience. As an educator, my goal is to share my knowledge about the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of an art work with the collaborative contributions of students. A successful class session involves building a body of understanding about an artist and his/her visual construction in past and present cultural contexts.

Selected Curriculum Vitae


"Dutch Genre Painting as Religious Art: Gabriel Metsu's Roman Catholic Imagery," Art History, 31, 2008, p.159-186.

"Religion in the Art and Life of Vermeer," Chapter 7 in The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer, pp.111-30, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2001.

"The Real Presence of Christ and the Penitent Mary Magdalen in the Allegory of Faith by Jan Vermeer." Art History, 23, 200, 333-64.

Encyclopedia entries on 17th-century Dutch history painting, religious art and patrons, churches as patrons of art, Pre-Rembrandtists, and Gabriel Metsu in Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia, ed. Sheila Muller, Garland Publishing, New York, NY 1997.

"Rembrandt and the Franciscans of Amsterdam" Dutch Crossing, A Journal of Low Country Studies, Summer 1994, 20-49.

"A Testament of Seventeenth-century Netherlandish Catholicism in the Elvehjem Museum of Art," Elvehjem Museum of Art Bulletin, April 1992, 13-22.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to the Visual Arts
  • History of Art: Ancient through Medieval
  • History of Art: Early Modern to Contemporary
  • History of Ancient Art and Architecture
  • History of Medieval Art and Architecture
  • History of North Renaissance Art
  • History of Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture
  • History of Baroque Art and Architecture
  • History of Modern Art
  • History of Photography
  • Dutch 17th-century Painting
  • Art Theory and Criticism
  • Contemporary Art and Art Criticism

Professional Organization Memberships

American Association of Netherlandic Studies
College Art Association
Historians of Netherlandish Art
Midwest Art History Society


Ph.D with honors, University of Kansas, 1990
M.A., University of Kansas, 1984
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1979