Kathryn Brush

Last updated
Kathryn Brush
OccupationArt historian
John Shearman
(m. 1998,d. 2003)
Academic background
EducationB.A., Art History and German, McMaster University
M.A., PhD., Art History, Brown University
Thesis The West Choir Screen at Mainz Cathedral: Studies in Program, Patronage and Meaning  (1987)
Academic work
DisciplineArt history
Institutions University of Western Ontario
Main interestsmedieval art and architecture

Kathryn Louise Brush FRSC is a Canadian art historian. She is a distinguished professor of art history at the University of Western Ontario, and was the first visual arts professor from the University of Western Ontario to be named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Royal Society of Canada academy in Canada

The Royal Society of Canada, also known as the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, is the senior national, bilingual council of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. The RSC is Canada’s National Academy and exists to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both official languages, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest.

University of Western Ontario public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada

The University of Western Ontario (UWO), corporately branded as Western University as of 2012 and commonly shortened to Western, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 455 hectares of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus's eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.



Brush attended McMaster University while majoring in modern languages and literature. She spent two years studying in Canada before spending her third year in Europe at the University of Poitiers and the University of Göttingen. Following this, she changed her major to Art History and German for her Bachelor of Arts at McMaster University and subsequently earned her MA and PhD in Art History at Brown University. [1] Her PhD dissertation from Brown University was titled The West Choir Screen at Mainz Cathedral: Studies in Program, Patronage and Meaning. [2]

McMaster University public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

McMaster University is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The main McMaster campus is on 121 hectares of land near the residential neighbourhoods of Ainslie Wood and Westdale, adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It operates six academic faculties: the DeGroote School of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Social Science, and Science. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.

University of Poitiers French university located in Poitiers, France

The University of Poitiers is a university in Poitiers, France. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, as one of the oldest universities of Europe. As of July 2015 it is a member of the regional university association Leonardo da Vinci consolidated University.

University of Göttingen university in the city of Göttingen, Germany

The University of Göttingen is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,500.


After graduating from Brown University, Brush became one of the first women to be hired for a full-time position in Art History at the University of Western Ontario in 1987. [3] [4] She earned visitng fellowship appointments at Princeton University, Harvard University, and Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. [5] In 2004, she published Vastly more than brick and mortar: reinventing the Fogg Art Museum in the 1920s through Yale University Press, a book which described, in detail, the history of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. [6]

Princeton University University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Cultural institution

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (KHI) is one of the oldest research institutions dedicated to the History of Art and Architecture in Italy, where facets of European, Mediterranean and global history are investigated.

In 2010, Brush was a curator for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded exhibition titled "Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier". The exhibition focused on the impact European men and women settlers had on Upper Canada. [7] [8]

In 2013, Brush was awarded the university's Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching [9] and was a candidate as a councillor of the Medieval Academy of America. [10] Two years later, Brush was one of three professors from the University of Western Ontario named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and thus became the first visual arts professor from the university to ever be elected. [11] In 2017, she was named a Distinguished University Professor of art history [1] and awarded the 2017 Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research. [12] The following year she collaborated with Joanne Bloom to curate an exhibit at Harvard University Fine Arts Library called "Camera Woman Along the Medieval Pilgrimage Roads" which focused on early 20th-c photographer Lucy Wallace Porter (1876–1962). [13]

The Medieval Academy of America, MAA is the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. It was founded in 1925 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The academy publishes the quarterly journal Speculum, and awards prizes, grants, and fellowships such as the Haskins Medal, which is named for Charles Homer Haskins, one of the Academy's founders and its second president.

Harvard Library library system of the Harvard University

The Harvard Library system comprises about 76 libraries, with more than 18 million books and school volumes. It is the oldest library system in the United States and the largest university library and largest private library system in the world. Based on number of items held, it is the fifth largest library in the United States; based only on volumes, it is the third largest, after the Library of Congress and Boston Public Library.

Personal life

Her husband John Shearman was a scholar of Italian Renaissance and a retired faculty member at Harvard University. [14]

John Kinder Gowran Shearman was an English art historian who also taught in America. He was a specialist in Italian Renaissance painting, regarded by many as "the outstanding figure" of his generation in this area, who published several influential works, but whose expected major books on Quattrocento painting, for the Penguin/Yale History of Art series, and on Raphael, never appeared.


The following is a list of publications: [15]

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  1. 1 2 Mayne, Paul (March 23, 2017). "Brush named to top professor honour". news.westernu.c. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  2. "The west choir screen at Mainz cathedral: studies in program, patronage and meaning". researchgate.net. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  3. "University of Western Ontario Detailed Faculty Information" (PDF). arthistoryincanada.ca. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  4. Lennon, Madeline (January 25, 2018). "When the face of campus changed". news.westernu.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  5. "Kathryn Brush". uwo.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  6. O'Laoghaire, Niamh (Winter 2006). "Vastly More Than Brick and Mortar: Reinventing the Fogg Art Museum in the 1920s (review)". University of Toronto Quarterly. 75: 373–375.
  7. Mayne, Paul (November 18, 2010). "Echoes of the Middle Ages heard in Canada today". news.westernu.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  8. "Mapping Medievalism tour at McIntosh". news.westernu.ca. October 26, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  9. Winders, Jason (March 21, 2013). "2012–13 Awards for Excellence in Teaching". /news.westernu.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  10. "Slate of Candidates for MAA Election 2013". medievalacademy.org. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  11. Mayne, Paul (September 8, 2015). "Trio of scholars named to Royal Society of Canada". news.westernu.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  12. Mayne, Paul (May 10, 2017). "Hellmuth Prize celebrates elite researchers". news.westernu.ca. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  13. "Camera Woman Along the Medieval Pilgrimage Roads". library.harvard.edu. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  14. Gewertz, Ken (September 18, 2003). "Obituary: John Shearman". news.harvard.ed. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  15. "au:Brush, Kathryn". worldcat.org. Retrieved May 7, 2019.