B.A., University of Virginia, 1988
Associate Professor, American art and Material Culture
Maurie McInnis’s main research interest is in the cultural history of American Art in the colonial and antebellum South. Much of her work has been focused on the material culture of Charleston including the exhibition catalogue In Pursuit of Refinement: Charlestonians Abroad, 1740-1860 (1999) and the book The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (2005) which has won the George C. Rogers Jr. Award from the South Carolina Historical Society and the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Essays on topics ranging from colonial portraiture to neoclassical furniture have appeared in Winterthur Portfolio, American Furniture, American Art, and Historical Archaeology.
Her current book project, Remembering the Revolution: Pictures, Politics and Memory, is interested in shifting meanings of the American Revolution in the 19th century and the cultural constructions of memory. In the antebellum period, cherished myths were retold, refashioned, and ultimately, reshaped by North and South as sectional tensions flared. The book will explore how those representations changed over time with the rise of sectional partisanship and how even today our vision of the Revolutionary past is shaped by iconic images like Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851). This book will question how such images came to be so venerated and how changing contemporary cultural politics shaped our key American myths.
Ms. McInnis teaches several large undergraduate lecture courses including a survey of American Art from the colonial period through 1945, and (with Louis Nelson) “Arts and Cultures of the Slave South.” Her undergraduate and graduate seminars often engage questions of material culture method, or American constructions of race (“Race and Place in American Art”), or American constructions of regional identity (“Imagining America’s Wests” and “The Old South in Myth and Memory.”)
McIntire Department of Art