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Molly S. Nesbit Professor of Art

Molly Nesbit teaches and writes on modern and contemporary art, film and photography. She graduated from Vassar College, received her PhD from Yale University, and taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Barnard College, Columbia University before returning to Vassar in 1993. She has received many awards, notably from the Guggenheim Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. In 2008 she gave the J. Kirk T. Varnedoe Memorial lectures at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Her first two books, Atget’s Seven Albums (1992) and Their Common Sense (2000) summarize one part of this work; it has also involved many essays on contemporary art. She is a contributing editor of Artforum. In 2013, she published The Pragmatism in the History of Art, the first in a series of volumes collecting her essays and lectures.

Since 2002, together with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija, she has curated Utopia Station, an ongoing and international book, exhibition, seminar, website and street project. The first formal planning meeting for Utopia Station took the form of a weekend seminar held at Vassar on February 15-16, 2003. The exhibitions began at the Venice Biennale that year, travelling (with additions and modifications) to the Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2004.

  • AB, Vassar College; M.Phil., MA, PhD, Yale University
  • At Vassar since 1993


Departments and Programs


  • ART/URBS 264 The Metropolitan Avant-Gardes


Download images for non-commercial use, photo credit required.

Photo: Imrul Islam ’17 / Vassar College