headshot of Pamela G. Smart

Pamela G. Smart

Associate Professor; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Programmatic Initiatives

Art History; Harpur College of Arts and Sciences


Pamela Smart is engaged in a series of studies concerned with the crafting of affect. The first, Sacred Modern: Faith, Activism, and Aesthetics in the Menil Collection (2011), addressed the crafting of aesthetic sensibility in the exhibitionary practices of an art museum. The second is concerned with the work of technical experts in sustaining the Rothko Chapel's venerated "atmospheric pressure," as the site undergoes restoration. It explores the technical challenge of calibrating prosaic exigencies of materials, security, access and climate, with institutional commitments to experiential intensity. The third study is interested in the visceral impact of materials, focusing on the newly developed acrylic paints deployed experimentally by artists working in collaboration with chemists in the mid-twentieth century. She is also interested in contemporary experiments in the form and function of the art museum.


  • PhD, MA, Rice University
  • BA(Hons), University of Otago, New Zealand

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Artworlds
  • Museums
  • Critical Aesthetics
  • Affective Modalities of Experience

Teaching Interests

  • Museum Studies
  • Aesthetic Theory
  • Artworlds
  • Materials and Materiality