Faculty Biography

John Garton

John Garton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History
Department of Visual and Performing Art
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: 508.793.7249
Email: jgarton@clarku.edu

Dr. Garton received a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and Ph.D. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He joined the Clark faculty in the autumn of 2008.

Current Research and Teaching

John Garton and students at Worcester Art MuseumDr. Garton's interests include Renaissance and Baroque art, Latin-American Art and modern architecture. His scholarly research has focused on European portraiture, Venetian art and architecture, Renaissance engineering and designed landscapes. Occasionally he publishes on Pre-Columbian subjects, a secondary area of study.

Dr. Garton teaches lecture courses on Renaissance and Baroque art and Latin-American Art. His upper-level courses include Art, the Public, and the History of Worcester (ARTH 201), The Art of Art History: Teaching and Methods (ARTH 210), both required for the art history major, and seminars on Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Pre-Columbian Art & Architecture.

Dr. Garton is currently completing a book-length, multi-author study of the Renaissance designed landscape and statuary of Vicino Orsini's sacro bosco in Bomarzo, Italy (1552-ca.1585). Other current projects include analysis of Leonardo da Vinci's so-called ‘grotesque heads,' and a study of depictions of the Aztec deity, Xipe totec "Our Lord the Flayed One."

Forthcoming Publications

The Sacro Bosco at Bomarzo: Landscape and Sculpture in Renaissance Lazio (Turnhout & London: Harvey Miller/Brepols, forthcoming)

Comparative study of the figural grotesque in works by Leonardo da Vinci and the Housebook Master

Selected Publications


New Studies on Old MastersGrace and GrandeurNew Studies on Old Masters: Essays in Renaissance Art in Honour of Colin Eisler, edited by John Garton and Diane Wolfthal (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies Press, 2011) - co-editor, co-author of the introduction, and contributing author to the collection of essays

Grace and Grandeur: the Portraiture of Paolo Veronese (Turnhout, Belgium & London: Brepols Publishing, 2008) – solo author of a layered study of Venice's golden age of painting through the lens of the artist's portraits of Renaissance elite.


“Botanical Symbolism in the Sculptures at Bomarzo,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes 41:2 (Spring 2021): 141-154.

“Letters on the Grotesque by Pirro Ligorio (c. 1512-1583),” in Paradigms of the Grotesque, ed. Damiano Acciarino (Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies Press, 2019): 208-224.

"An Olmec Style Statuette in the Worcester Art Museum," co-authored with Karl A. Taube, Mexicon: The Journal of Mesoamerican Studies 39:2 (2017): 29, 35-40.

"Paolo Veronese's Art of Business: Painting, Investment, and the Studio as Social Nexus," Renaissance Quarterly 65:3 (Fall 2012): 753-808.

"The Scaling Ladders of Leonardo da Vinci: Art and Engineering," in New Studies on Old Masters: Essays in Renaissance Art in Honour of Colin Eisler (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies Press, 2011): 159-172.

"I. M. Pei's East Building of the National Gallery," Icons of Architecture: the 20th Century (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2005), 118-119.

"Pyramide, Le Grand Louvre," Icons of Architecture: the 20th Century (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2005), 156-157.

"La lancia perduta di Tiziano (Titian's Lost Lance)," Arte Veneta 58 (2003): 190-194.

Exhibition Catalogues

Women of WAM: Depictions of Femininity in Early Modern Europe, Worcester Art Museum, Oct. 2020 – Aug. 2021

(digital kiosk and video components) Olmec Incised Standing Figure, Worcester Art Museum, Nov. 14, 2015 – April 3, 2016 – (Solo author of a multi-page, interactive digital catalogue).

"The Portraiture of Veronese," and "Veronese's Letters and Chronology," in Paolo Veronese: Versatile Master of Renaissance Venice (Sarasota: Ringling Museum Publications, 2012): 120-133, 270-272.

"Portraiture," "Gentleman of Fashion," "Portraits of Warriors," and "Portraits of Family and Children," in Titian, Tintoretto, & Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice, (Boston: MFA Publications, 2009): (co-authored with Frederick Ilchman) 196-199, (solo-authored) 200-205, 210-221, 282-285.

"Parents et enfants," in Titien, Tintoret, Véronèse…Rivalités à Venise, ed. Vincent Delieuvin and Jean Habert (Paris: Musée du Louvres Editions, 2009): 274-281.

Contributions to Websites

"Renaissance Italy in the Time of Leonardo da Vinci," exhibition lecture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, April 7, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZj0t8vV94w

"Leonardo's Early Grotesque Head of 1478," in Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science, ed. Francesca Fiorani and Anna Marazeula Kim (University of Virginia, 2014)

Book Reviews

Review of Raymond Waddington’s Titian's Aretino: A Contextual Study of All the Portraits (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2018). peer-reviewed journal, The Sixteenth Century Journal 51:1 (Spring 2020): 258-260.

Review of Xavier Salomon, Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice (London: National Gallery, 2014). peer-reviewed journal, The Sixteenth Century Journal 46:3 (Fall 2015): 831-832.

Review of Robert Tittler's The Face of the City: Portraiture and Civic Identity in Early Modern England (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, paperback 2013). peer-reviewed journal, The Historian 76:4 (Winter 2014): 884-885.

Review of Paolo Veronese: The Petrobelli Altarpiece, ed. Xavier F. Salomon (Milan: Silvana editoriale, 2009) in College Art Association On-Line Reviews, peer-edited & series editor David G. Wilkins (August 18, 2010) http://www.caareviews.org/reviews/1502

Review of Locating Renaissance Art, ed. Carol M. Richardson (Volume Two in The Open University's textbook series Renaissance Art Reconsidered). Renaissance Quarterly 55:1 (Spring 2008): 227-229.

Review of Marianne Koos' Bildnisse des Begehrens: Das lyrische Männerporträt in der venezianischen Malerei des frühen 16. Jahrhunderts - Giorgione, Tizian und ihr Umkreis. Renaissance Quarterly 54:4 (Winter 2007): 1323-24.

Conferences/Papers/Guest Lectures

July 21, 2021 – Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., invited lecture series Hidden Landscapes of the Past: Uncovering the Ancient World through Lidar, delivered a paper “Visualizing Bomarzo: LiDAR and the interpretation of an enigmatic Renaissance landscape.”

March 17, 2019 – Renaissance Society of America Conference, Toronto, delivered a paper “Leonardo’s Humor and His So-Called ‘Grotesque’ Heads,” followed by discussion in a roundtable about grotesques.

October 6, 2018 – New England Renaissance Conference, Worcester, delivered a paper, “Antiquity, the Papacy, and Orsini’s Sculpture Park at Bomarzo.”

April 19, 2018 – Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, St. Paul, presented a paper, "Botanicals and Symbolism in the Landscape of Bomarzo," in the session All Ado About Bomarzo.

February 22, 2018 – College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, organizer and chair of the session.

March 31, 2016 – Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Boston, presented a paper, "The Monstrous in the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo" in the session Monstrous Things: Forms and Concepts.

March 27, 2014 - Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, New York, organizer and chair of the session Harmonies and Disharmonies in Leonardo's Approaches to the Body: Anatomies, and presented a paper in the second session Harmonies and Disharmonies in Leonardo's Approaches to the Body: The Grotesque.  My paper was titled "Leonardo and Creative Ugliness."

July 12, 2012 - National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, Florence, institute titled Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science, "Leonardo da Vinci's Early Grotesques and a Drawing in the Uffizi."

March 26, 2011 - Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Montréal, organizer and chair of the sessionPhysiognomy, Disfigurement, and the Early Modern Grotesque.

January 27, 2011 - "Leonardo, the Portraitist," (1st lecture), "The Biographies of Leonardo da Vinci," (2nd lecture), Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX (N.E.H.-funded Annual Creative Mind Lecture Series)

April 8-9, 2010 - Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Venice, session titledIn Honor of Colin Eisler: Little-Known Artworks and Artistic Self-consciousness, "The Siege Ladders of Leonardo da Vinci." Chaired the session In Honor of Colin Eisler: All About Venus.

October 6, 2009 - "Grace and Grandeur: The Portraiture of Paolo Veronese," Chapman University, Orange, CA

April 3, 2008 - Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Chicago, session titledIn Honor of Loren Partridge: State Portraiture in Early Modern Europe, "Paolo Veronese's Ideal Man-at-Arms."

November 4, 2008 - "Venetian Portraiture in the Age of Veronese," College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

February 16, 2007 - College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, session organized by the Art Historians Interested in Pedagogy and Technology, "Digital Exhibitions and the Teaching of Curatorial Studies."

March 23, 2006 - Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, session titled The Other Arts in Italian Literature, "Parallel Structures in Sixteenth-Century Biography and Portraiture."

January 17, 2005 - Save Venice international advisory board for the restoration of the Church of San Sebastiano, Venice.

January 7, 2005 - Cleveland Museum of Art - Acquisitions presentation and report concerning a panel attributed to Rosso Fiorentino.

February 19, 2004 - College Art Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, session titled Italian Renaissance Art, "Villas and Portraits: Veronese and the Classical Tradition."

January 29, 2004 - Case Western Reserve University Art Lecture Series, "Portraiture in the Villa Barbaro at Maser."

November 6, 2002 - International University, Venice, "Paolo Veronese's Artistic Evolution in the Church of San Sebastiano."

June 23, 2002 - Syracuse University, Florence Program, "Scenography and Renaissance Painting in Venice."