David Bjelajac

photo of david bjelajac
Title:
Professor of Art History and American Studies
Office:
Room 113
Email:
bjelajac@gwu.edu

Bio

Professor of Art History and American Studies, David Bjelajac received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Modern European History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has his Ph.D. in Modern and American Art from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Professor Bjelajac primarily teaches the history of North American art and visual culture. His books include two editions of American Art: A Cultural History (2000 and 2005) and two monographs on the American Romantic painter Washington Allston. Articles comprising the sculpture of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark (1777-78), Samuel F. B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre (1831-33), William Sidney Mount’s Eel Spearing at Setauket (1845) and Thomas Cole’s landscapes explore the history of American art in relation to Freemasonry, Hermeticism and the visual, material culture of national and international religious practices.

 


Current Research

Professor Bjelajac’s current research focuses upon Copley’s naturalistically veiled metaphysical paintings and includes a recently submitted book chapter on “Freemasonry and Meaning in the Boston Portraiture of John Singleton Copley.”

 


Publications

Professor Bjelajac is the author of several books, including Millennial Desire and the Apocalyptic Vision of Washington Allston (Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C., 1988); Washington Allston, Secret Societies and the Alchemy of Anglo-American Painting (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1997), and American Art: A Cultural History (Prentice Hall, 2000; 2nd edition, 2005).

He has contributed articles to American Iconology: New Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature, ed. David C. Miller (Yale University Press: New Haven, 1993) and The Visual Culture of American Religions, eds. Sally Promey and David Morgan (University of California Press, 2000). He also has published articles on Washington Allston and Thomas Cole in American Art, the scholarly journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

 


Education

BA Modern European History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA Modern European History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
PhD Modern & American Art, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill