Professor of Art History and Theory, School of Art
Elaine A. King is a Professor in the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, where she teaches the History of Art/Criticism/Museum Studies. She received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Cultural Theory [School of Speech] and History of Art [Art History]. She holds a joint Masters Degree in Art History and Public Policy, from Northern Illinois University and her B.S. was awarded from Northern Illinois University in Art History and American History [Pre-Law Studies]. In addition to teaching at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. King was the Executive Director and Curator of the Carnegie Mellon Art Gallery [1985-1991]. After serving as the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, [1993-1995], following the Robert Mapplethorpe debacle, Elaine King decided no longer to work in museums and galleries—instead opts to be a freelance curator and critic in addition to teaching and publishing scholarly articles. In 2001 she was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Smithsonian Institution's American Art Museum and was a Short-term Research Fellow in 2002 at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. American University selected Elaine A. King to be the Distinguished Art Historian in Residence for the International Program in Corciano, Italy for the Fall 2007 term. King has curated in combination over 50 one person and group exhibitions. Her interest in government funding/policy and her knowledge of contemporary art from 1945 to present time, as a scholar, critic, and curator forms the bedrock for her contextual approach to teaching and research. Currently she is writing a book on the National Endowment for the Arts and the influence of its Visual Art Programs on Postmodernism.