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Matthew Johnston

Associate Professor of Art History - Department Chair

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    Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

Fields Hall

Matt Johnston studies modern visual culture, in particular the nineteenth century and popular media such as photography and print. A focus in his work is exploring how print publications in many discourses used landscape images to motivate the expansion and development of the United States. In an era before film, such publications relied on inventive, sometimes pre-cinematic orchestrations of viewing and reading practices in order to make their ideological intentions more convincing and compelling. Other scholarly interests include changing relationships between “high art” and popular media and the role of visual representations in the development of sciences such as geology and ethnology.


Core 106, 107 Exploration and Discovery
Art 101, 111 History of Western Art
Art 201 Modern European Art
Art 207 Pre-Columbian Art
Art 302 History of Photography
Art 304 History of American Art
Art 401 American Art After 1945



  • Surveying the Nation in Time: Landscape and Narrative in Nineteenth-Century American Print Culture, The University of Oklahoma Press (forthcoming 2015)
  • “Pre-Columbian Civilization as Cultural Patrimony: Archaeology and Nationalism at the World’s Fairs,” Civilization and Its Others in Nineteenth-Century Art, Manchester University Press (forthcoming 2015) 
  • “Hamlin Garland’s Detour into Art Criticism: Forecasting the Triumph of Popular Culture over Populism at the End of the Frontier,” The Journal of American Culture 34:4 (December 2011)
  • “National Spectacle from the Boat and the Train: Molding Perceptions of History in American Scenic Guides of the Nineteenth Century,” University of Toronto Quarterly 73:4 (Fall 2004)

  • “Psychoanalysis and Philosophies of Composition: Applications of the Signifier in Lacan and Poe,” Chicago Art Journal 5:1 (Spring 1994)

Academic Credentials

Ph.D. 2004, M.A. 1994 University of Chicago, B.A. 1992 Yale University

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Matthew Johnston’s office is located in room 208 of Fields Center.


voice 503-768-7389

Matthew Johnston Associate Professor of Art History - Department Chair

Art History Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 92 Portland OR 97219 USA

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