History of Art and Architecture

Brooke Wyatt

Area of Specialization

Modernism and Self-Taught Art in and between Europe and the Americas


Brooke Wyatt studies the work of artists whose training and life experiences defy and exceed conventional fine art categories and trajectories. Her research foregrounds the contributions that self-taught artists have made to the past, present, and future of what we understand as modern and contemporary art, despite being categorically marginalized and relegated to the sidelines of mainstream cultural narratives. Brooke is Luce Assistant Curator at the American Folk Art Museum, where she is currently working on a series of exhibitions drawn from the Museum's collection.

Brooke's doctoral dissertation, titled "Séraphine Louis and French Self-Taught Art in Transatlantic Modernist Discourse," explores the material and representational strategies, artistic innovations, and studio practice of the French painter Séraphine Louis, while examining the work's exhibition and reception history in Europe and the Americas from a perspective drawn from critical race, gender, class, and disability studies.

Prior to joining HAA, Brooke worked with children, youth, and families as a clinical mental health therapist in community-based centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a teaching artist and art teacher in contexts including the Philadelphia Freedom Schools movement, emergency housing shelters, queer youth arts organizations, and elementary and middle school public education. Brooke worked for the commercial gallery Taxter & Spengemann and held internships at the non-profit contemporary art spaces PARTICIPANT INC and Exit Art in New York City, and also completed internship programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Museum.

Education Details

University of Pittsburgh, History of Art and Architecture
PhD, in progress
MA, 2020
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
MPhilEd Professional Counseling and Psychology, 2009
MSEd Psychological Services, 2008
University College London, Slade School of Fine Art          
MFA Painting, 2004
University of Pennsylvania 
BA cum laude Fine Art, History of Art, 2001

Selected Publications

Contributor to the Journal de l'Université d'été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky, n. 8, Centre Pompidou, Paris, forthcoming December 2022

"'A dynamic dialogue with the world': James Castle's Art of World Picturing," published with papers from the seminar "What is the World's Question? Long Histories, Concurrent Politics" selected and introduced by Terry Smith, Cultural Studies Common Seminar, University of Pittsburgh, 2020 (link: https://www.culturalstudies.pitt.edu/courses/common-seminar-2020)

"Reflection/Refraction: Imaging and Imagining Gender in the UAG Collection," catalogue essay for the exhibition This is not ideal: Gender myths and their transformation, University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, 2018

Selected Presentations

"'Compensating for the Lacunae of Modern Art': Séraphine Louis and French Self-Taught Painters in Modernist Discourse," "Unexpected Partners: Self-Taught Art and Modernism in Interwar America," virtual symposium, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University and American Folk Art Museum, 2023

"From nature morte to nature vivante: The oeuvre-archive of Séraphine Louis (De la nature morte à la nature vivante : l'œuvre-archive de Séraphine Louis," Summer University of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2022

"Inside/Outside Contemporary Art: Multiple Temporalities, Worldviews, and Motivations," Lecture series, Introduction to Contemporary Art, Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh (invited by Terry Smith), 2022

"Nature vivante: Material Innovation and Representational Inquiry in the work of Séraphine Louis," 51st Annual Sessions of the Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art and Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland, 2021

Selected Awards

Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2022-2023 (declined)