Justin Wolff

Professor of Art History & Chair


B.A., Bowdoin College, 1992

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1999


Justin Wolff is Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Art at the University of Maine. He teaches courses on American, modern, and contemporary art, as well as art theory and criticism. His research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art and visual culture.

Justin is a member of the Graduate Faculty and serves on thesis and dissertation committees in Intermedia Programs, the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies program, and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. He served as director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center at the University of Maine from 2012-2014 and currently serves on its Faculty Advisory Board.

Before coming to UMaine, Justin worked as a journalist, taught in the Expository Writing Program at Harvard University, and served as the Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Assistant Professor of Art History at Roanoke College in Virginia. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow in 2005-2006.

Justin’s current research focuses on cultures of catastrophe and the intersections of art and science.

Select Publications:

Wolff, Justin. “Itinerancy, Aerial Navigation, and the Many Networks of Rufus Porter,” in Rufus Porter’s Curious World: Art and Invention in America, 1815-1860 (Penn State University Press, 2019). 

Wolff, Justin. “Amateurism and American Visual Culture: An Introduction,” in Panorama 5.1 (spring 2019) — an introductory essay to an edited suite of essays.

Wolff, Justin. “A Strange Familiarity: Alexander Forbes and the Aesthetics of Amateur Film,” in Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915–1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017).

Wolff, Justin. Thomas Hart Benton: A Life (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012).

Wolff, Justin. Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger (Princeton University Press, 2002).

In 2019 Justin co-curated (with Laura Sprague) Rufus Porter’s Curious World: Art and Invention in America, 1815-1860, an exhibition at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. He contributed to and co-edited the accompanying book (Penn State University Press, 2019).