Lynn Matheny

Lynn Matheny

Lynn Matheny

Adjunct Professor of Art History, Art History Program


Email: Lynn Matheny


Dr. Matheny currently serves as Deputy Head of Interpretation at the National Gallery of Art, leading a team of educators to shape interpretation of both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. She previously served as Deputy Head and Associate Curator of Exhibition Programs at the museum, a role in which she created interpretive materials for a wide range of modern and contemporary art exhibitions such as Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950; Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings; Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971; Dada; The Art of Romare Bearden; and Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre. Dr. Matheny began her career as an undergraduate summer intern in the prints and drawings department at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and finds her return to the classrooms of the Corcoran especially rewarding.


Dr. Matheny has a strong interest in the intersection between art and politics. Her doctoral thesis, “Reactionary Modernism and Fascist Aesthetics: National Socialist Visual Culture and the Appropriation of Modernism,” examined the Nazis’ fraught and complicated relationship with modernism. Subsequent projects have considered the ways in which art has shaped and been shaped by the turbulent politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She also is interested in the history of museums and the politics of display from the Enlightenment to our current moment. Recent classes taught include a seminar on modern art and politics and an introductory level course studying art from 1945 to the present.



B.A. Art History and Comparative Area Studies, Duke University

M.A. Art History, University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D. Art History, University of California, Los Angeles


Association of Art Museum Curators

College Art Association

Association of Art Museum Interpretation