Associate Professor of Art History
B.A. Bowdoin College, 1992
Ph.D. Princeton University, 1999
Justin Wolff has been a faculty member at the University of Maine since 2008. He teaches courses on art theory and criticism, contemporary art, and the history of modern art in Europe and the United States, and his research interests encompass varied aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art, visual culture, and intellectual history. An active writer and critic, Justin has published two books — Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger (Princeton University Press, 2002) and Thomas Hart Benton: A Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) — and contributed essays to anthologies, journals, and newspapers. In 2017 Justin published “A Strange Familiarity: Alexander Forbes and the Aesthetics of Amateur Film” in the award-winning anthology Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017). He recently published the essay “Amateurism and American Visual Culture,” which serves as the introduction to a suite of five scholarly essays that he selected and edited for the peer-reviewed digital journal Panorama. Currently Justin is collaborating with the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on an exhibition and book about Rufus Porter, a nineteenth-century artist and inventor. Rufus Porter’s Curious World: Art and Invention in America, 1815-1860 opens on December 12, 2019 and will be on view until May 31, 2020. The accompanying book, which Justin co-edited and contributed to, will be published in fall 2019 by Penn State University Press.
In addition to teaching in the Department of Art, Justin is a faculty member in the Digital Curation Program and the Graduate School and serves on thesis and dissertation committees in the Department of History and the Intermedia M.F.A., Interdisciplinary Studies M.A., and Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs. He is a member of the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center Faculty Advisory Board and an affiliate of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. Justin was formerly Director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center and Vice-President of the Board of Directors at Northeast Historic Film.
Before coming to UMaine, Justin worked as a journalist, taught in the Expository Writing Program at Harvard University, served as the Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Assistant Professor of Art History at Roanoke College, and was awarded a Research Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.