Celebrate 50 Years
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Assistant Professor - Art History

Kirsten Ataoguz is the Art Historian in the Fine Arts Department. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University in 2007, after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the Department of Religion at Princeton University. Before coming to IPFW, she taught at Framingham State College, Florida State University, Mount Ida College, Excelsior College, and Suffolk University. At IPFW, Professor Ataoguz oversees the art history curriculum of the Fine Arts Department and the Minor in Art History. She teaches the two-semester survey introduction to the History of Art as well as upper-level surveys of the art of the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Each semester, she also offers a higher-level seminar in medieval art.

In her research, Professor Ataoguz specializes in the art of the early medieval Mediterranean – Western, Byzantine, and Islamic – from the emergence of Christian art in the third century through the end of the first millennium. She is currently developing her dissertation, "The Apostolic Commissioning of the Monks of Saint John in Müstair, Switzerland: Painting and Preaching in a Churraetian Monastery", into a series of articles and a book. The Monastery of Saint John preserves an extensive cycle of frescoes on the walls of its main church, and Professor Ataoguz interprets them according to their historical, functional, and pictorial contexts. Her broader interests include the representation of gesture in early medieval art and text; the productive relationship between narrative cycles on church walls and the sermons that would have been read aloud within these spaces; the role of visual images in magic and the evidence in the pictorial arts for the practice of magic; the use of images, such as of the Last Judgment, to shape behavior; and the decoration of churches as evidence of cross-cultural exchange.

Professor Ataoguz has presented her research at annual meetings of the College Art Association, the Midwest Art History Society, and the International Congress of Medieval Studies, as well as at the Pontifical Institute of Sant’Anselmo in Rome and contributed entries to the exhibition catalog Byzantine Women and their World.

Kirsten Ataoguz, Ph.D.

Kirsten Ataoguz, Ph.D.