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Valerie Hedquist is a professor of art history at the University of Montana. She earned her Ph.D. with honors at the University of Kansas and has been teaching and writing for nearly 30 years. Her research focuses on the arts of the 17th and 18th centuries and includes articles on the religious paintings of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Her book on the changing reception and meaning of Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy was published in summer 2019.

As an educator, Professor Hedquist introduces students to the contexts for art objects and architectural spaces in order to comprehend how and what they tell us about the past and present. In her classes, students explore the role of patrons, the biographies of makers, the original viewing or functioning conditions, the process of production or construction, and the meaning or content expressed by artistic decision-making. How viewers engage and understand artworks over time is an enduring theme in all art historical inquiry. Asking questions about art often leads to insights that extend far beyond the realm of art history and criticism.

  • Ph.D., MA, University of Kansas, with honors, Art History.
    Dissertation topic: The Passion of Christ in Dutch 17th-century Painting
  • BA, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Cum laude, Art History.
  • Introduction to Art History: Themes and Controversies.
  • Introduction to Art Criticism
  • History of Photography
  • Twentieth Century Art History
  • Open Range: Art and the American West
  • Contemporary Art and Art Criticism
  • Critical Theory II
  • Graduate Critique
  • Graduate Research and Graduate Studio