Mary Ann Calo

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Mary Ann Calo

Batza Professor of Art and Art History, Emerita

Department/Office Information

Art and Art History


  • BS, Denison University 1971
  • MS, Syracuse University 1975
  • MA, Syracuse University 1981
  • PhD, Syracuse University 1991
  • Syracuse University
  • Florida State University (Florence, Italy)

American art, modern and contemporary art and art criticism

History of art criticism, American art and cultural history between world wars, visual art and the Harlem Renaissance

"Bernard Berenson, Modern Art, and Modern Criticism"

  • Resided and taught in Florence, Itay, 1984-1987
  • Director, Colgate Venice Study Group, Fall 1997
  • Director, Colgate Extended Study, "Modern Art in the Paris Museums," May 2000
  • Visiting Professor of Modern Art, Syracuse University in Florence, Spring 2003
  • Director, Colgate London Arts Study Group, Fall 2008
  • Registrar and curator, Syracuse University Art Collection, 1974-1978
  • Art librarian, Everson Museum of Art, 1978-1979

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 2005; Syracuse University Doctoral Prize 1992


African American Artists and the New Deal Federal Art Projects (forthcoming 2023).

Distinction and Denial: Race, Nation, and the Critical Construction of the African American Artist, 1920-1940 (2007)

Critical Issues in American Art: A Book of Readings (editor) (1997)

Bernard Berenson and the Twentieth Century (1994)


"The Significance of the Interwar Decades to Scholarship on African American Art," in The Routledge Companion to African-American Art History (2020).

"Expansion and Redirection: African Americans and the New Deal Federal Art Projects," Archives of American Art Journal 55 (Fall 2016).

Review of The Urban Scene: Race, Reginald Marsh and American Art, by Carmenita Higghinbotham, (2016)

"The Origins of World House Galleries" and "Herbert Mayer, World House Galleries, and the Arts at Colgate University," in Modernism at the Fringes: Herbert Mayer and the World House Galleries, Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University (2011)

"The Harlem Renaissance in Theory and Practice," in Harlem Renaissance, Oklahoma City Museum of Art (2009)

"A Community Art Center for Harlem: The Cultural Politics of 'Negro Art' Initiatives, 1920-1937," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, 29 (2004)

"Harmon Foundation" and "Art Criticism and the Harlem Renaissance," Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Routledge Reference, 2004)

"Alain Locke and American Art Criticism," American Art 18 (Spring 2004)

"Recovery and Reclamation: A Continuing Project," (contribution to "Commentary: Writing African-American Art History"), American Art 17 (Spring 2003)

"Seeing the Harlem Renaissance: Observations on the Position of Visual Art in Harlem Renaissance Studies," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 27 (2002)

"African American Printmaking: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond." In Life Impressions: 20th Century African American Prints from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University (2001)

"Modernism, Visual Culture and the Harlem Renaissance," Paideuma 29 (Winter 2000), reprinted in Ezra Pound and African American Modernism (2001)

"African American Art and Critical Discourse Between World Wars," American Quarterly 51 (September 1999), reprinted in The Harlem Renaissance: A Gale Critical Companion, Volume 1, (2003)

"Bernard Berenson," The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (1998)

"Modernity as Professional Liability: Bernard Berenson and America," Archives of American Art Journal 36 (1996)

"The 'protean acrobat of painters' and the 'ostentation of the obvious': Bernard Berenson on Picasso and Cubism," Archives of American Art Journal 34 (1994)

"Understanding American Art: Works on Paper," The Picker Art Gallery Journal (1992-1993)

"Winslow Homer's Visits to Virginia During Reconstruction," The American Art Journal 12 (Winter 1980).

Association of Historians of American Art (AHAA), National Co-chair and Editor of the AHAA Newsletter, 1998-2000.