Dr. Stephen Petersen

Adjunct Instructor of Arts and Humanities
Degree programs: 
BA Art Studies

Personal Information

Dr. Stephen Petersen has a background in studio art as well as a doctorate in contemporary art history. He is especially interested in photography and has published reviews, articles, and essays on a variety of topics pertaining to photographic practice. His book Space-Age Aesthetics was published by the Penn State University Press in 2009. It deals with early examples of pop, new media, installation, and conceptual art in late 1950s and early 1960s Europe. Recently he curated and wrote the catalogue for Andy Warhol: Behind the Camera at the University of Delaware Museums (Spring 2011). At the Corcoran, Dr. Petersen has taught classes in the History of Photography, Art of the 1960s, Art Writing, History of Exhibitions, Installation Art, and New Media.

Degree Title: 
College or University: 
Williams College
Degree Title: 
M.F.A., Studio Art
College or University: 
Florida State University
Degree Title: 
Ph.D., Contemporary Art History
College or University: 
University of Texas at Austin

2005-2006 Mellon Postdoctoral fellowship, Penn Humanities Forum 


Dr. Petersen has published reviews, articles, and essays on a variety of topics pertaining to contemporary art and photographic practice in publications including Art in America, Sculpture, and Master Drawings. His book, Space-Age Aesthetics, was published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 2009. In 2011, he organized and wrote the catalogue for the exhibition, Andy Warhol: Behind the Camera, and in 2013 he was curator and editor of the catalogue for Gertrude Käsebier: The Complexity of Light and Shade, for the University of Delaware Museums. In 2014 he contributed catalogue essays to EXPO JORN—Art is a Festival at the Museum Jorn in Silkeborg, Denmark, and to Fashion, Circus, Spectacle: Photographs by Scott Heiser at the Delaware Art Museum.

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Dr. Petersen is a longtime member of the Reviews Panel for the journal Leonardo, and his book reviews appear frequently in the publication. He is also active as an artist working in digital photography. In 2013 he spent a weeklong residency as Visiting Artist at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT.