Jennifer L. Roberts is the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts and plans cross-disciplinary arts programs and exhibitions for the Radcliffe Institute.
Roberts is the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. An art historian focusing on American art from the colonial period onward, she has particular interests in print history, material studies, the theory and practice of making, and the history and philosophy of science. She received her AB in English and art history from Stanford University and her PhD in history of art from Yale University; she joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in 2002. The recipient of numerous external research awards, she will occupy the Slade Professorship in Fine Arts at the University of Cambridge in Lent term 2019 and give the A. W. Mellon Lecture in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art in 2021.
Roberts is the author of three books spanning American art from the 1760s to the 1970s: Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (Yale University Press, 2004), Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (Hatje Cantz, 2012), and Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America (University of California Press, 2014). She is a coauthor of the textbook American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity (Pearson, 2007). Her current book project, titled “The Matrix: Contemporary Art and the Life of Print,” explores the way artists after 1960 embraced the physical and philosophical fecundity of printmaking processes.
Roberts is also a founder, along with Ethan Lasser of the Harvard Art Museums, of the Minding Making project, which aims to develop rigorous methods of incorporating technical and artisanal knowledge into the historical and interpretive disciplines.