Wells, Kay

Associate Professor, American Art and Architecture


  • PhD History of Art, University of Southern California
  • MA   History of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA   History of Art, Barnard College, Columbia University

Research & Teaching Interests:

  • American art and architecture
  • Modern design, craft, and decorative arts
  • Material and visual culture studies
  • Politics of artistic revivals

Courses Taught:

  • ArtHist 102: Renaissance to Modern Art and Architecture
  • ArtHist 250: Introduction to American Art
  • ArtHist 368: History of Modern Design
  • ArtHist 353: American Art: Colonial Period-1870
  • ArtHist 354: American Art: 1870 - Present
  • ArtHist 355: American Folk Art
  • ArtHist 459: American Architecture
  • ArtHist 501: Colloquium in Method and Theory
  • ArtHist 750: Revival! Visualizing the American Past
  • ArtHist 750: Japonisme—Japan and America in Artistic Encounter

Selected Publications:

Wells, K. L. H. Weaving Modernism: Postwar Tapestry between Paris and New York. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300232592/weaving-modernism

Wells, K. L. H. “Laboring Under Globalization: Tapestries by Contemporary Artists.” Art Journal 77, no. 4 (Winter 2018): 26-45. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00043249.2018.1549874

Wells, K. L. H. “Rockefeller’s Guernica and the Collection of Modern Copies.” Journal of the History of Collections 27, no. 2 (2015): 255-277. https://academic.oup.com/jhc/article/27/2/257/648384

Wells, K. L. H. “Cuttoli’s Postwar Legacy: Pictorialism in the Age of Abstraction.” In Marie Cuttoli: The Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray. Philadelphia and New Haven: The Barnes Foundation and Yale University Press, 2020. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300251319/marie-cuttoli

Wells, K. L. H. “Die Tapisseriekunst der Nachkriegszeit und der Vormarsch der modernistischen Abstraktion [Postwar Tapestry and the Rise of Modernist Abstraction].” In Die Fäden der Moderne: Matisse, Lurçat, Miró und die Französischen Gobelins [The Fabric of Modernity: Matisse, Lurçat, Miró and French Tapestry], 91-97. Munich: Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung and Hirmer Verlag GmbH, 2019. https://www.kunsthalle-muc.de/kh/leseprobe-faeden/

Wells, K. L. H. “Colonial Williamsburg from World Peace to World War,” Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports, posted 17 January 2010. https://rockarch.issuelab.org/resource/colonial-williamsburg-from-world-peace-to-world-war.html