Gillian Elliott

Image of Professor Gillian Elliott
Adjunct Professor of Art History,
Art History Program
Smith Hall of Art, 801 22nd Street, NW
[email protected]

Dr. Gillian B. Elliott is a historian of Medieval art focusing on the political context of Romanesque sculpture in the Holy Roman Empire, specifically in northern Italy and in Alsace, France. Elliott has published articles in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichteon Romanesque sculptural programs and papal-imperial politics. Her latest article, “Angels and Lombard Identity in the Romanesque Sculpture of San Michele Maggiore in Pavia,” will appear in Comparative Medieval Angelology, ed. June-Ann Greeley (Cardiff: University of Wales Press – Forthcoming). Elliott will also publish a new article, “Metamorphosis at the Threshold: The Romanesque Plutei Reliefs of San Pietro al Monte in Civate,” in Unfolding Narratives: Art, Architecture, and the Moving Viewer, circa 300-1500 CE(under contract with Brill for 2021), an essay collection she is co-editing with Anne Heath (Hope College). Professor Elliott has been teaching courses on Medieval art and Northern Renaissance art as well as art history survey courses at the Corcoran School since 2007.

Current Research

In addition to co-editing Unfolding Narratives, Elliott also is currently writing a book, Unlocking theporta coeli: Romanesque Sculpted Thresholds and the Liturgy of Transformation in the Archdiocese of Milan, Lombardy. To help with research for her book, Elliott participated in one of the last NEH-seminars on Reform and Renewal in Medieval Rome (Rome, 2014), which led to a follow-up conference session in Leeds in 2015.

Professor Elliott recently co-presented a paper on medieval Japan with Christopher A. Born (Belmont University) at the Midwest Medieval History Conference at Marquette University in 2018. She is currently editing this paper, “Change Unchanging: Pilgrims’ Reception of the Ise Grand Shrine, Japan,” to include in Unfolding Narratives. Elliott and Born are in the early stages of planning a co-authored volume about Japanese medieval art and architecture.


BA in Art History (with distinction) and German, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
MA in Art History, State University of New York at Buffalo
PhD in Art History, University of Texas at Austin


  • Representing Royal Authority at San Michele Maggiore in Pavia.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte77, no. 2, (2014): 145-174. 
  • “Victorious Trampling at Sts. Peter and Paul at Andlau and the Politics of Frederick Barbarossa.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte72, no. 2, (2009): 145-165.
  • “Romanesque Cathedrals in Mediterranean Europe.” Review of Romanesque Cathedrals in Mediterranean Europe: Architecture, Ritual and Urban ContextGerardo Boto Varela and Justin E.A. Kroesen, eds. Turnhout, 2016. (, December 2017)
  •  “The Official Biography of Emperor Frederick I. Barbarossa.”Review of The Deeds of Frederick Barbarossa, by Otto of Freising and his Continuator, Rahewin. Translated and annotated with an introduction by Charles Christopher Mierow with the collaboration of Richard Emery. 1956. Reprint, New York, 2004. (H-German, H-Net Reviews, June 2005)
  • “A Gospel Lectionary at Niedermuenster: Iconography and Context.” Review of The Uta Codex: Art, Philosophy, and Reform in Eleventh-Century Germany, by Adam Cohen. University Park, 2000. (H-German, H-Net Reviews, January 2005)


Recipient of several awards including:

NEH Grant Seminar Participant, American Academy in Rome
Corcoran Faculty Development Fund Award, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington DC
Samuel H. Kress Mid-Career Research and Publication Fellowship, ICMA
German Historical Institute Medieval History Seminar participant, Washington, D.C.
D.A.A.D. (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship for Dissertation Research, Freiburg University