Barbara von Barghahn

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Barbara von Barghahn

Program Head of Art History, Professor of Art History, Art History Program



Professor von Barghahn is Professor and Program Head of Art History. She teaches Northern Renaissance and Baroque art, Spanish and Portuguese art, colonial art of Latin America and Brazil. In 2011, Professor von Barghahn was the curatorial advisor to the National Gallery of Art exhibition, The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, which traveled to museums in Dallas and San Diego. By invitation she has lectured at several cultural institutions in the US and Europe.



  • O Grão Comendador (Knight Commander) of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator, an honor conferred on her in 1993 by President Mario Soares of Portugal

Recipient of several grants including:

  • Instituto de Camões (Lisbon)
  • NEH
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • Luso-American Foundation
  • National Commission for the Commemoration of Portuguese Discoveries
  • U.S.- Spanish Joint Committee for Educational and Cultural Cooperation
  • Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and US Universities
  • Spain’s National Commission for the Columbus Quincentenary



  • Author:
    • Jan van Eyck and Portugal’s “Illustrious Generation” (Pindar Press, Oxford-London, 2013-14), 2 vols.
    • Age of Gold, Age of Iron: Renaissance Spain and Symbols of Monarchy (University Press of American: Lanham, 1986), 2 vols.
    • Philip IV and the "Golden House" of the Buen Retiro: In the Tradition of Caesar (Garland Press: New York-London, 1986), 2 vols.
  • Contributed peer-reviewed articles to:
    • Oxford University Press Bible Encyclopedia
    • New Catholic Encyclopedia: The Church, Arts and Music
    • Apollo Magazine
    • Gazette des Beaux-Arts
    • Latin American Arts Magazine
    • Tradición Revista
    • Pantheon
  • Authored book essays:
    • "Archivos do Centro Cultural Português (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1986, Separata)
    • "The Struggle for Synthesis. The Total Work of Art in the 17th and 18th Centuries" (Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueologico, 1999, 2 vols.)
    • "The Holy Family in Art and Devotion" (St. Joseph’s University Press, 1998)
    • "Beyond Danäe’s Tower to Andromeda’s Palace: The Queen’s Image in Long Galleries of Spain and Portugal" (1500-1800)
    • "Europäische Galeriebauten: Galleries in a Comparative European Perspective" (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome-Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, 2008)
  • Contributing editor to:
    • The Handbook of Latin American Studies (Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress-University of Texas Press, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2006)
  • Among various exhibition catalogues, she has been a primary contributor to:
    • Temples of Gold, Crown of Silver: Reflections of Majesty in the Viceregal Americas (curator: The OAS Art Museum of the Americas, GWU Dimock Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1991)
    • The Sacred and the Profane: Josefa de Óbidos of Portugal (1630-1684) (co-curator, National Museum of Women in the Arts-London European Academy for the Arts)
    • The Holy Family as Prototype of the Civilization of Love: Images from the Viceregal Americas (co-curator, Philadelphia: St. Joseph's University, 1996)



BA in Art History (Honors), University of Iowa
MA in Art History, New York University Institute of Fine Arts
Ph.D in Art History, New York University Institute of Fine Arts


Professional Organizations

  • Former Vice President of the Board of Directors, The OAS Friends of the Museum of the Americas
  • Consultant to the Fulbright Commission Senior Fellowship Committee
  • Member of the Executive Board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Hispanic Americans
  • Served on University Committees including Educational Policy & Tenure and Promotion