University Information

Sarah Cohen

Sarah R Cohen
Professor of Art History

Department: Art and Art History

Department: Women's Studies

Campus Phone(s):
(518) 442-4020
(518) 442-4807
Campus Address(es)
Fine Arts 218

Research Interests:

Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Art; Women in Art

Recent Publications:

Sarah R. Cohen and Downing Thomas, “Eighteenth-Century Art and the Senses,” in Anne C. Vila, ed., The Enlightenment, vol. 4 in A Cultural History of the Senses, 6 vols., ed. Constance Classen (New York and London:  Berg/Bloomsbury, 2014)

“Showing the Heart:  Love, Friendship and Anatomy in Early Modern Portraiture,” in  Masculinities, Childhood, Violence: Attending to Early Modern Women--and Men: Proceedings of the 2006 Symposium, ed. Amy E. Leonard and Karen L. Nelson (Newark, DE:  University of Delaware Press for the Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies, University of Maryland, 2011), 21-76.   

“Searching the Animal Psyche with Charles Le Brun,” Annals of Science 67:3 (July 2010):  353-382.  

“Animal Performance in Oudry’s Illustrations to the Fables of La Fontaine,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 39 (2009):  35-76.    

“Female Artistry and the Staging of Rococo Spectacle,” article in conference proceedings, "Visions of the Stage: Theater, Art, and Performance in France, 1600-1800," (Clark Art Institution and Calendrier électronique des spectacles sous l’ancien régime et sous la Révolution, 2008)  

“Life and Death in the Northern European Game Piece,” Intersections: Yearbook for Early Modern Studies 7:  Early Modern Zoology:  The Construction of Animals in Science, Literature and the Visual Arts, 2 vols., ed. Karl A.E. Enekel and Paul J. Smith (Leiden:  Brill, 2007), II, 603-639.

Professional Biography:

Sarah R. Cohen, Professor of Art History, received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University in 1988. Her research focuses upon representations of the body in European art from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Her book, Art, Dance and the Body in French Culture of the Ancien Régime, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2000, and an article "Rubens's France: Gender and Personification in the Marie de Médicis Cycle," appeared in the September, 2003 Art Bulletin. Recently, the focus of her research has shifted to the animal body, with a book project that addresses artistic representations of animal life and death, and the association of this animal art with the early modern debate over whether animals had souls. Her first publication in this area: "Chardin's Fur: Painting, Materialism, and the Question of Animal Soul" appeared in Eighteenth-Century Studies 38:1 (Fall 2004), and was co-winner of the Clifford prize awarded by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.  The courses she teaches at the University at Albany address art and architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including three courses that are open to graduate students as well as undergraduates: "Women in Art from the Renaissance to Impressionism"; Women in Art from the 'New Woman' to Now" (both cross-listed with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) and a research seminar, "Art and Society in Early Modern France" (cross-listed with French Studies). Sarah Cohen also directs the Art History program in the Department of Art and Art History. 

CV: PDF download