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Margaret Schmitz

Associate Lecturer, Art & Design


PhD, History of Art, University of Kent
MA, History of Art, Sotheby's Institute of Art
BFA, Painting/Art History, Aquinas College


Dr. Margaret Schmitz is an associate lecturer at UWM's Peck School of Arts where she is responsible for developing and teaching courses centered on art and design history and cultural theory. Her research and teaching interests center on the histories of Native North American art, artistic responses to various political and social debates, and transatlantic artistic exchange.

Her knowledge and interest in American and British modernisms, and their cultural exchanges in particular, developed while she completed her PhD thesis at the University of Kent between 2014 and 2018, which focused on the frequent presence of skyscraper imagery in both American and British art from the turn of the century to the Great Depression. The thesis argued that transatlantic artistic exchange helped develop a machine-age aesthetic around this shared subject matter through the reformulation of Romantic tropes. By applying an Anglo-American perspective on early depictions of skyscrapers, the project contributed a new element to scholarship on this topic, which has usually focused on skyscraper imagery from a more nationalist approach or has centered on certain French avant-garde émigrés’ interest in this iconography.

An interest in cross-cultural artistic exchange has introduced a specific set of convictions and intensions in Dr. Schmitz’s teaching. Her courses not only introduce students to major trends and theories in art history up to the present day, but she tries to formulate these lessons in a way that allows students to view the power dynamics at play during any given period.