Lilien F. Robinson

Lilien Robinson portrait
Professor of Art History
Room 112


Born in Slovenia, raised in Serbia and briefly in Switzerland, Professor Robinson's early education was in Serbian and French schools, and thereafter in Washington DC primary and secondary schools, George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University.

While she had previously had instruction in painting and a strong interest in its history, after an extraordinary and intellectually riveting first lecture in her Art History survey course she was fully committed to its study and to a teaching career. The lecturer was both a formidable teacher and exeptional scholar. Dr. Laurence Leite inspired, encouraged, and guided her in her studies at George Washington. He inevitably conveyed his own wonder and excitement that human creativity elicits. Every lecture was a revelation. For Professor Robinson, this mentor remains unsurpassed as a teacher, a model she continues to reflect upon and emulate.


Current Research

A specialist in nineteenth-century European art, Professor Robinson’s primary research focus since 2003 has been on Serbian painting. Her most recent research includes a comparative study of Serbian and French history painting in “History Painting: Its Transformative Implications,” (in press) and a long term book project on nineteenth-century Serbian painting.



  • GWU Award
  • The Columbian College Excellence in Teaching Award
  • The Trachtenberg Service Prize



Her journal articles on various aspects Serbian painting, published in Serbian Studies, include:

  • “Paja Jovanović and the Imaging of War and Peace” (2010)
  • “Exploring Modernity in the Art of Krstić, Jovanović, and Predić”(2009)
  • “Interpreting Western Academic Traditions in 19th-Century Serbian Painting” (2008)
  • “19th-Century Serbian Painting: A confluence of Nationalism and Secularism”(2003)
  • Has served as president of the North American Society for Serbian Studies & as co-editor of its journal


  • Author of La Vie Moderne: 19th Century French Art in the Corcoran Gallery
  • Co-author of Antoine-Louis Barye

Presented Papers & Lectures:

  • Annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • National Gallery of Art
  • The Corcoran Gallery
  • University of Houston
  • The Smithsonian
  • American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association
  • The Cosmos Club Annual Symposium
  • The Columbian College Alumni Association
  • The George Washington University Alumni Association


  • “Anna Klumpke: In Context” in Anna Klumpke (Arizona State University)
  • Patterns, Places, and Things (Richard Green Galleries, London)
  • Exhibition catalogs on the work of contemporary artists exhibiting in New York, Ohio, Washington D.C., and Maryland
  • Guest curator of the accompanying exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery



BA (cum laude) in Art History, The George Washington University
MA in Art History - Classical Art & Archeology, The George Washington University
PhD in Art History, Johns Hopkins University


Professional Organizations

Previously served as:

  • President of the North American Society for Serbian Studies
  • Co-Editor of the Serbian Studies journal and since 2000 presented papers at all but two of the annual conventions of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies

At George Washington University:

  • Chaired the Department of Fine Arts and Art History for 22 years
  • Elected to 16 terms as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate
  • Represented faculty on Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees

Active member:

  • College and University elected and appointed committees
  • University and Faculty Senate Special Task Forces
  • College and University Search Committees