Dr. Margo Hobbs

Professor of Art, Art History
Baker Center for the Arts > 163


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  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • M.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • B.A., St. John's College

Margo Hobbs CV

Teaching Interests

In art history classes, we devote most of our attention to primary sources: the art itself. Like all primary sources, artworks demand to be analyzed and interpreted. I am fascinated by the amount of information that is contained within a painting or sculpture, building or photograph: Our words inevitably fall short.

I try to guide students toward finding interesting questions to ask about art and locating the resources to answer them. Our first task is to learn to observe carefully and to describe what we see so that we have a common understanding. The object of our description must be put into historical context: Learning the politics, economics and social milieu surrounding art and architecture is essential to developing a plausible interpretation. Art never simply reflects its context, however. It shapes it, too. Helping students to think, talk and write about this complex relationship between art and its history motivates me as a teacher.

Prior to coming to Muhlenberg, I taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bucknell University, the University of Notre Dame, Illinois State University and the University of Vermont.

Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests

I research feminist art and artists of the 1970s and 1980s, with a particular interest in representing identity in photography. I have also written about graffiti art and public sculpture.

American Graffiti by Dr. Margo Thompson

 Courses Taught Include:

  • African American Art
  • Art History Ind Study/Research
  • Contemporary Art
  • CUE: Methods of Art History
  • Introduction to Art History I
  • Introduction to Art History II
  • Modern Art
  • Spc Arrangement in Art History
  • Washington Semester Internship

 Recent Publications, Presentations & Abstracts

“The Blatant Image, Lesbian Identity, and Visual Pleasure.” In “Queer Difficulty in Art and Poetry: Rethinking the Sexed Body in Verse and Visual Culture,” 87-106. Jongwoo Jeremy Kim and Christopher Reed, eds. New York: Routledge, 2017.