Ewa Lajer-Burcharth is the William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Her research in 18th-century art and visual culture and contemporary art focuses on the relation between art and politics; the question of subjectivity, interiority, and gender; and the problem of materiality and the medium. She is the author of Necklines: The Art of Jacques-Louis David after the Terror (Yale University Press, 1999); Chardin Material (Sternberg Press, 2011); and the forthcoming “Paint and Painters in Eighteenth-Century Art.” She is currently coediting two volumes, “Interiors and Interiority” and “Painting beyond Itself.”
At Radcliffe, Lajer-Burcharth is working on a project that examines the invention of drawing as a modern medium in 18th-century France. Considering drawing as a material and theoretical entity, Lajer-Burcharth seeks to reconstruct the connections between its artistic, epistemological, cultural, and commercial uses in this period, focusing specifically on its capacity to represent time. Investigating the moment when drawing first became the object of aesthetic attention and historical study, she also hopes to shed more light on the function and meaning of the medium in the discipline of art history.
Lajer-Burcharth earned her MA in art history from the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw, Poland, and her PhD from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.