Professor Emeritus of Art History

Emeritus Professor of Art, Art History, Psychology of Art, and the Study of Creative Process 

BA and PhD, Harvard University 

MA, Courtauld Institute, London 

Research Candidate, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute 

Research Candidate, Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute 

Jonathan Fineberg is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California Irvine, the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Art History Emeritus at the University of Illinois, and a Trustee Emeritus of The Phillips Collection in Washington where he was founding Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art. He is also a former Director on the Board of the College Art Association. 

He has curated more than a dozen museum exhibitions in the U. S. and Europe and taught on the faculty at Yale and the University of Illinois before coming to Irvine, and as a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Yale School of Art. Among his awards are: the Pulitzer Fellowship in Critical Writing, the NEA Art Critic's Fellowship, Senior Fellowships from the Dedalus Foundation and the Japan Foundation, the College Art Associations Award for Distinguished Teaching in the History of Art, and the International Association of Art Critics USA 2013 Award for Excellence. 

His two hour PBS television documentary Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art (with John Carlin) premiered on PBS in 2005 (and is available for free download at His books include: Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being, 3rd edition (Prentice-Hall/Pearson and Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press); Christo and Jeanne-Claude: On the Way to the Gates (Yale University Press and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); The Innocent Eye: Children's Art and the Modern Artist (Princeton University Press, the Kunstmuseum-Bern, and the Stdtische Galerie Munich); Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art (with John Carlin, Yale University Press); When We Were Young: New Perspectives on the Art of the Child (University of California Press and The Phillips Collection); Alice Aycock: Drawings, Some Stories Are Worth Repeating (Parrish Art Museum and Yale University Press); and A TroubIesome Subject: The Art of Robert Arneson (University of California Press). 

Professor Fineberg has a persevering interest in living artists and in the neural and psychological structures of creative thinking. His most recent books include Picasso & Jacqueline: The Evolution of Style co-author (Pace Gallery, 2014), Zhang Xiaogang: Disquieting Memories (with G. Xu, Phaidon, 2015), Modern Art at the Border of Mind and Brain (University of Nebraska Press, 2015). He is currently writing a three-volume Art of the Twentieth Century (for Prentice-Hall/Pearson). 

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