Hannah Wirta Kinney


  • Curator of Academic Programs


  •  DPhil, history of art, University of Oxford
  • MA, decorative arts, design history, material culture, Bard Graduate Center
  • BA, liberal arts, Sarah Lawrence College 


Hannah Wirta Kinney is an object-based educator and historian of art and material culture. As Curator of Academic Programs she collaborates with faculty members and partners across campus to make works of art central to liberal arts learning at Oberlin through teaching, programs, and exhibitions. In 2021, Kinney launched the Shared Art program, an initiative that uses a single work of art from AMAM’s collection to foster community among incoming students. Her recent exhibitions, co-curated with Alexandra Letvin, have reinterpreted canonical works of American art to highlight their role in reinforcing settler colonialism and suppressing Indigenous agency.

Kinney is a specialist in early modern sculpture and the Grand Ducal Medici court. Her research in this area has focused on material innovations in casting, particularly by Pietro Tacca and Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, as well as notions of artistic ownership and authorship in the long 17th century.

  • Objects of Encounter: American Myths of Place, with Alexandra Letvin, Lucy Haskell, and Audrey Libatique, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Fall 2022
  • DIS/POSSESSION, with Alexandra Letvin, Allen Memorial Art Museum, 2021-2022 academic year
  • Signatures, Invention, and Agency in 16th-Century Prints, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Spring 2022
  • Shared Art: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Fall 2021

  • Intellect and Property in Giambologna's Borgo Pinti Palazzo in Spaces of Making and Thinking: Environments of Creative Labor in the Early Modern Period edited by C. Murray, S. Pitman, and T. Achacz (University of Chicago Press, in press).

  • “The Fleshiness of Bronze: Massimiliano Soldani Benzi and Pietro Cipriani's Copies After the Antique”   in The Matter of Mimesis: Mimesis and Materials in Nature, Art, and Science, edited by E. Spary and M. Bol (Brill, in press).

  • “Transcribing Material Values in Doccia’s Medici Venus,” in Creating Nothing New: Perspectives on the Faithful Copy: 1300-1900, edited by A. Putzger, M. Heisterberg, S. Müller-Bechtel (De Gruyter, 2018), pp. 71-92.

  • Object-based pedagogies and research
  • History of museums and collecting
  • Artisanal epistemologies
  • Material histories of making
  • Reproductive artistic practices

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