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Art historian Dennis Raverty is engaged with exploring how the canon of twentieth-century art came together at midcentury, who was left out, and why. In his book, Struggle Over the Modern, (Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2005), he demonstrated that not one, but several "modernisms" were all vying for predominance during the first half of the century, and how abstraction, once the "dark horse" of American art during the 1930s, came to dominate the field after 1945. 


Dr. Raverty's recent research involves broadening this received canon on several fronts: African American artists residing in Paris between the wars; depression-era Social Realism's eclipse with the decline of the American Left; and more recently, the history of American illustration during the 19th-century.


His articles and criticism has appeared in Art Journal, Art in America, The International Review of African American Art, Art Criticism, The New Art Examiner, Prospects: An Annual of American Studies, Source: Notes in the History of Art. and Art Papers, where he was a contributing editor. He authored four entries for the most recent edition of the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, published by Oxford University Press (2011).


Dr. Raverty is an Associate Professor at New Jersey City University where he teaches 19th and 20th-century art history, the art of West Africa, the diaspora and African American art, as well as the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe. An award-winning teacher, Raverty lives in New York City, and is currently co-authoring a book on American illustration with Dennis Dittrich, former president of the Society of Illustrators.




Department of Art

New Jersey City University

2039 Kennedy Blvd.

Jersey City, NJ 07305-1597

(201) 200-2167



152 West 20th Street, Apt. 3C

New York, NY 10011

(212) 489-7634



Ph.D. Rutgers University, 1996

M.A. University of Iowa, 1992

B.A. University of Minnesota, 1990

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (one year of course work)


LANGUAGES: German, French


SPECIALIZATION: 19th and 20th Century Art History, Theory and Criticism.



New Jersey City University, Department of Art, Associate Professor, 2012-present.


New Jersey City University, Department of Art, Assistant Professor, 2004-2012


Iowa State University, College of Design, Assistant Professor, 1999-2004.


Pittsburgh State University, Department of Art, Assistant Professor, 1996-1999.


Rutgers University, Department of Art History, Lecturer, 1995-1996.


Rutgers University, Department of Art History, Teaching Assistant, 1993-1994


University of Iowa, Department of Art History, Teaching Assistant, 1990-1992




Struggle over the Modern: Purity and Experience in American Art Criticism, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, (New Jersey, 2005).




"Frances Flora Palmer and the Pictorial Domestication of the West," Woman's Art Journal 38 (Spring 2017): 3-10.


"The Waud Brothers and the Development of the Pictorial Press during the Civil War," Illustration Magazine 54 (November 2016): 84-92.


"Chagall's Midrash," The Living Church, 247 (December 2013): 20-25.


"The Impact of 9/11 on Recent Artistic Practice," Poeticas Visuais, (Fall 2012): 32-43.   


Entries for Siah Armajani, Romare Bearden, Kerry James Marshal and Sanford Robinson Gifford, Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Oxford University Press (2011). 


"Alternative Exhibition Spaces For Black Artists in New York City during the 1970s: Towards a Partial History," International Review of African American Art 22 (December 2008):43-47.


"African and Diasporic References in the Art of Ben Jones," The Art of Ben Jones, (exhibition catalogue) Jersey City Art Museum (2008): 69-77.  


"Siah Armajani: Fallujah and Other Recent Glass Constructions" Sculpture Magazine 28 (December 2007): 30-35.


"Haywood Rivers: L'Artiste Brut" International Review of African American Art 20 (Spring 2006): 29-35.      


"Jack Levine and the Politics of Criticism," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 29 (2005): 361-372.


"Locale, Memory and Exile in Recent Work of Siah Armajani," Art Papers 28 (September 2004):28-33.


"The Self as Other: A Search for Identity in the Painting of Archibald Motley Jr.," International Review of African American Art 18 (Spring 2002):25-35.


"Marketing Modernism: Promotional Strategies, in the Armory Show" Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 27 (2002):359-374.


"Art and Calamity: September 11 One Year Later," Art Papers 25, (September 2002):14-15.


"The Needs of Postwar America and the Origins of the Jackson Pollock Myth," Midwest Quarterly, 43 (Spring 2002):337-345.


"Visions from a Sinking World," New Art Examiner, 29, (September 2001): 52-57.


"Beyond Deconstruction: Siah Armajani and the Architectural Text," Art Papers, 25 (March 2001):28-33.


"Stylistic Vacillation and Unresolved Autonomy Issues in the Work of Pontormo," Selected Papers: European Studies Conferences 1993-1999, (Vienna, 2001):213-221.


"Kaprow's Strategy," Art Criticism, 12 (Fall 2000):23-33.


"Art Theory and Psychological Thought in Nineteenth-Century America: The Case of the Crayon," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, 24 (1999):285-296.


"The Controversy over Ernst Barlach's Geistkämpfer," Source: Notes in the History of Art 8 (Summer, 1999):48-54.


"Critical Perspectives on New Images of Man," Art Journal 53 (Winter, 1995): 62-64.


Reclaiming Artists of the New York School (Exhibition Catalogue) contributed "Biographies of the Artists," (Sydney Mishkin Gallery, New York, 1994):41-50.




"Neither Avant Garde nor Kitsch: How Illustration was Left out of the Canon of Twentieth-Century Art," College Art Association, New York City, 2015.


"Kontoglou's Polemics and the Art Historical Canon," Byzantine Studies Association, Brookline, Massachusetts, 2012.


"The East-coast Appeal of John Steuart Curry: A Kansas 'Primitive' in Connecticut," Twenty-Fourth Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists, School of Visual Arts, New York, 2011.


"Persian Style and Western Iconography in Recent Work of Siah Armajani," American Studies Association, Philadelphia, 2007.


"The 'New Negro' Anthology and the Decline of 'Scientific' Racialism," College Art Association, Atlanta, 2005.


"Inter-Subjectivity in Rumi's Cellar," College Art Association, New York City, 2003.


"Locale & Memory in the Recent Work of Siah Armajani," American Studies Association, Houston, 2002.


"Has Poststructuralism Gone Too Far?" (Panel Discussant), College Art Association, Philadelphia, 2002.


"Archibald Motley's Depictions of Blacks In Light Of Recent Racial Identity Development Theory," College Art Association, Chicago, 2001.


"Artists, Critics, the Public and the Culture Industry: Towards a Realignment for the Twenty-First Century," College of Fine Arts, Northern Illinois University, 2001.


"Notes on the Reclamation of an Avant-garde Tradition in Postwar German Art," German Studies Association, Houston, 2000.


"Making Art in Iowa in the 21st Century," Panelist, Des Moines Art Center, 2000.


"Joseph Beuys, Shamanism, and the Healing of Germany in the Postwar World," European Studies Conference, University of Nebraska, Omaha, 1999.



"Siah Armajani at Senior and Shopmaker Gallery," Art in America 91 (February 2003):107.


"Tom Scott at Intermedia Arts," Art Papers 25 (May 2002):46.


"Anna Gaskell at the Des Moines Art Center, New Art Examiner 30 (March, 2002):83.


"Iraqi Artists Defy Repression at Home," Des Moines Register (Sunday, February 17, 2002):3E.


"Ellen Gallagher," Art Papers 25 (November 2001):77.


"Jan Frank and Robert Stanley at the Steven Vail Gallery," Art in America, 89 (April 2001):147.


"Tony Oursler: 'Introjection'" New Art Examiner, 28 (May 2001): 100.


"Power of the Word: New Chinese Art at Grinnell," New Art Examiner 28 (March 2001): 60.


"Sculptures [of Tony Oursler] Explore War Among Personas," Des Moines Register (Sunday, November 19, 2000): 3E.


"Pat Stier: Dazzling Water, Dazzling Light," New Art Examiner  28 (September 2000): 65-66.


 "James Drake: A Thousand Tongues Burn and Sing," Art Papers 23 (July/August, 1999):52.


"Spectacle and Persuasion in Fascist Italy," book review, European Studies Journal 16 (Spring, 1999):117-119.


"Hugh Merrill: Martin Buber's Cat," Art Papers  22  (July 1998):46.



Outstanding Faculty Award, Interfraternity Council, Iowa State University, 2004.


Faculty of the Year Award (VIESHA), Iowa State University College of Design, 2001.




Contributing Editor, Art Papers, 2000 - 2005.


Gallery Consultant, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, New York City, 1992-1994.


Administrative Director, Concentus Musicus Renaissance Ensembles, Minneapolis, 1988-1990.


Assistant Curator, Chinese Culture Institute, Boston, 1986-1988.


Program Coordinator, Boston Visual Artists' Union, Boston, 1984-1986.