Paul Staiti

Professor of Fine Arts on the Alumnae Foundation
American art; cultural history; film studies

Paul Staiti teaches courses in American art, architecture and film, including seminars on the Gilded Age and reading the Hollywood film. He has published work on the artist and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse, still-life painter William Michael Harnett and American portraitists Gilbert Stuart and John Singleton Copley. He co-curated a 1995 exhibition on Copley at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has also written about the portraits of 19th-century American capitalists and the late sea pictures of Winslow Homer. Currently he is writing about the portraits Copley painted of American diplomats in London, including John Adams, at the end of the American Revolution.

Recent Campus News

Paul Staiti

Trump takes spot in National Portrait Gallery

The placement of Donald Trump’s presidential image invites “heated conversation,” says Mount Holyoke art professor Paul Staiti.

"History has its eyes on you:" The first president and the 44th.

Engaging with presidential portraits

View the new paintings of Barack and Michelle Obama through the eyes of Mount Holyoke’s Paul Staiti, an expert on presidential portraits.

Paul Staiti

MHC professor on presidential portrait artist

Art historian and portrait expert Paul Staiti says the Obamas’ selection of African-American artists for their official portraits is a political choice.

Recent Honors

Has been named to the Advisory Board of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History.