Toby Norris, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History

508-767-7417 Founders Hall - Room 025

Degrees Earned

B.A. Magdalen College, Oxford University, 1989
M. Phil., Glasgow University, 1993
Postgraduate Diploma, Leicester University, 1994
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2005

Undergraduate Courses Taught

The Meaning of Modern Art, 1880-1950
Art Since 1945
The High Days of the Low Countries (Foundations Program Travel Seminar)
Realism to Post-Impressionism
Art & Politics I
Art & Politics II
History of Western Art I
History of Western Art II
Senior Art History Seminar

Publications & Editorships

Toby Norris, Al Muñiz and Gary Fine, “Marketing Artistic Careers: Pablo Picasso as Brand Manager,” European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48, Issue 1/2

Toby Norris, Al Muñiz and Gary Fine, “Marketing Artistic Careers: Pablo Picasso as Brand Manager,” European Journal of Marketing, December 2013

Natalie Adamson & Toby Norris (editors), Academics, Pompiers, Official Artists and the Arrière-Garde: Defining Modern and Traditional in France 1900-1960, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press

Toby Norris, “Between the Lines: the Juste Milieu in Interwar France,” in Adamson & Norris (eds.), Academics, Pompiers, Official Artists and the Arrière-garde

“The Querelle du Réalisme and the Politicization of French Artists during the Great Depression,” in PART: Student Journal of Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center, No. 12


“Brussels 1935: The Lost World’s Fair,” Clark University (invited lecture) 

Co-Chair of Session “The Hand and the Machine: Tensions in Interwar Design” (with Rachael Barron-Duncan, Central Michigan University) at Southeastern College Art Conference, Sarasota, FL 

“War by Other Means: France and Germany at the World’s Fairs of the 1930s,” Conference of the Society for French Historical Studies, Montreal, QC 

“Shaping an Art of Democracy,” Annual Conference of the Southeastern College Art Conference, Greensboro, NC, October 2013 

“Leisure Left and Right at the 1937 Paris Exposition,” Annual Conference of The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945, Chicago, IL, June 2013 

“Autonomy or Engagement: French Artists and Writers in the Crucible of Politics,” 1935: The Reality and the Promise Conference, Hofstra University, NY, April 2011 

“Underwriting Independence: The Art Market in France in the 1920s,” Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Manchester, England, April 2009 

Co-Chair of the session “Academics, Pompiers, Official Artists and the arrière-garde: Traditional Art in France, 1900-1960” (with Natalie Adamson, University of St. Andrews, Scotland), College Art Association Conference, Boston, MA, February 2006 

“Realism at the Crossroads: Debates over Realism in France in the 1930s,” College Art Association Conference, Atlanta, GA, February 2005

Grants and Awards

Faculty Development Grant, Assumption College, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015.

Northwestern University Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2003-2004.

Bourse Chateaubriand en Sciences Sociales et Littérature, 2002-2003.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation Travel Fellowship in the History of Art, 2001-2002.

Research Projects

Teaching and Research Interests

I specialize in the art of the first half of the twentieth century, and one question drives my research: why do museums and art history books present modern art as if it were the only art being made in this period?  I want to know about the traditional artists of the time, and find out what became of them and their works; and I want to understand the process that put modern art on top.

Beyond this, I love the fact that I can teach a wide range of courses at Assumption covering everything from seventeenth-century Dutch painting to the contemporary art scene.  I particularly enjoy teaching the “Art & Politics” classes that are the gateway to the Fortin & Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization Program because they push me to think about how my own subject fits into the history of human thought.