Erik Gustafson, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor

Erik Gustafson, PhD

Wilson Hall Room 3017

Erik Gustafson received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2012. Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Washington and Lee University, he has taught at George Mason University, Fordham University, and the University of California, Berkeley, and held a Rome Prize fellowship at the American Academy in Rome from 2007-2009. An architectural historian of medieval and renaissance Europe and the Mediterranean, Erik is broadly interested in the engagement of historical viewers with architectural space. He is particularly interested in the phenomenology of historical religious experience, and in how the constant dialogue between traditions of the past and the needs of the present produced architectural culture. Erik has forthcoming articles on Franciscan architecture as charismatic space and on a Crusader portal reused on a Mamluk madrasa in Cairo, and is completing a monograph entitled Building Franciscanism: Space, Tradition, and Devotion in Medieval Tuscany.


Ph.D. 2012 Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Dissertation: “Tradition and Renewal in the Thirteenth-Century Franciscan Architecture of Tuscany”

M.A. 2004 Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

B.A. 2001 Wesleyan University, Department of Art & Art History, with High Honors 


2017-2018      Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, Washington & Lee University

•   Survey of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval

•   Medieval Art in Southern Europe

•   History of Architecture

•   History of Islamic Art and Architecture

•   Whose Fault was the Renaissance? Medieval Romes and Modernity

•   When Jesus was Zeus? From Pagan to Christian Art

2016-2017      Adjunct Professor, George Mason University

•   Survey of Western Art Part 1

2014-2016      Adjunct Professor, Fordham University

•   Introduction to Art History: Europe

2012, Spring   Visiting Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley

•   Introduction to Italian Renaissance Art

Selected Publications

Book Manuscript in Preparation:

Building Franciscanism: Space, Tradition and Devotion in Medieval Tuscany

Peer Reviewed Articles:

“Roman versus Gothic in Trecento Architecture,” in conference proceedings for the 2016

Andrew Ladis Trecento Symposium, edited by Holly Flora & Sarah Wilkins, Brepols,

2018 (accepted, volume in preparation).

“Medieval Franciscan Architecture as Charismatic Space,” in The Faces of Charisma, edited by

Martha Rust & Brigitte Bedos-Rezak, Brill, 2018 (volume in production).

“The Palimpsest-ing of a Crusader Portal on a Cairene Madrasa,” in The Monument as Palimpsests: Buildings, Sites, Time, edited by Nadja Aksamija, Clark Maines & Philip Wagoner, Brepols, 2018 (volume in production).

Solicited Articles:

2017    “How Urban was Urban for the Mendicants in Medieval Tuscany?” in Medieval Urban Planning: The Monastery and Beyond, edited by Mickey Abel, 148-173 (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017).

2007    “Architecture and the Image of Architecture: Documenting, Teaching and Photographing the Built Environment.” Visual Resources Association Bulletin 34, no. 2 (2007): 34-50.

2006    “Documents and Images: Animating the Institute of Fine Arts’ Lantern Slide Collection.”

Visual Resources Association Bulletin 32, no. 3 (2006): 23-25; 35-36; 40-55.3

Manuscripts in Preparation:

“Building the Apostolic Ideal in Central Italy,” to be submitted to Art History

“In the Footsteps of the Common Woman: Gender Segregation or Inclusion in Medieval

Mendicant Churches,” to be submitted to Speculum

Invited and Guest Lectures

2017    Saint Bonaventure University, The Franciscan Institute, “The Senses and the Experience of God in Art in the Franciscan Tradition.”  September 15-17, 

2017    Invited Paper: The Perscrutator in the Depths of Franciscan Architectural Space.”

2014    Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, “Art, Architecture and the Friars: New Work and Future Prospects” Symposium.  May 23, 2014.  Invited Paper: “Architecture and Franciscan Identity in Medieval Tuscany.”

2014    Saint Bonaventure University, The Franciscan Institute, Art History 

Program & University Honors Program.  March 11, 2014.  Invited Lecture: “Transgression or Inclusion: How the Medieval Franciscans Changed Religious Space.”

2014    Wesleyan University Department of Art & Art History Symposium “The Monument as Palimpsest,” Middletown.  March 1, 2014.  Invited Paper: “The Palimpsest-ing of a Crusader Portal on a Cairene Madrasa.”

2011    Memory and Identity Working Group, University of California, Berkeley.  March 9, 2011.  Lecture: “A Crusader Portal on a Mamluk Madrasa in Cairo.”

2009    American Academy in Rome, Italy.  April 21, 2009.  Lecture: “Phenomenology and Architectural History?”

2008    University of Warwick in Venice 40th Annual Conference, Venice.  December 3, 2008. Paper: “The Repetition of Nothing in the Franciscan Churches of Tuscany and the Veneto.”

2008    American Academy in Rome, Italy.  March 4, 2008.  Lecture: “The Augustinian Hermit Church of Santo Spirito in Florence.”

2006    University of Richmond, Richmond, VA.  November 10, 2006.  Guest Lecture: “Yes, Rita, there is a Portuguese Gothic.”

2006    Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY.  March 6, 2006.  Guest Lecture: “Medieval Dutch Religious Architecture in the North European Context.”

Awards, Fellowships, & Honors

2012-2013      Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley 

2010-2012      Visiting Student Researcher, University of California, Berkeley

2009-2010      Resident Affiliate, American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), Luxor, Egypt

2007-2009      Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome

2002-2007      Institute of Fine Arts, Erwin Panofsky Fellow in the History of Art

2002-2005      Institute of Fine Arts, Leo and Karen Gutmann Foundation Grant

2002                Institute of Fine Arts, Shelby White and Leon Levy Travel Fellowship

1999-2001      Monastic Archaeology Project (MONarch) at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons, France.  Summer 1999: Excavator.  Summers 2000-2001: Trench Supervisor