Alexander Nemerov

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Alexander Nemerov
Born1963 (age 55–56)
Bennington, Vermont, United States
OccupationArt historian
Parent(s)Howard Nemerov (father)
RelativesDiane Arbus (aunt)
Doon Arbus (cousin)
Amy Arbus (cousin)

Alexander Nemerov (born 1963) is the Carl and Marilyn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities as well as Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.[1][2] He was previously a Professor of Art History and American Studies at Yale University. Over the years he has published many books and articles pertaining to American art from the eighteenth century to the 1970s. His writing often analyzes fiction and poetry alongside works of visual art. His father was the poet Howard Nemerov, his aunt the photographer Diane Arbus.[3]


Born in Bennington, Vermont, in 1963, the son of the poet Howard Nemerov.[4][5] The period before Alexander's birth was chronicled in Howard's Journal of the Fictive Life. Alexander earned a BA in English and Art History from the University of Vermont in 1985, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude. He received his Doctorate and master's degrees in history of art from Yale University in 2001.[6] After completing his doctorate under the supervision of Jules Prown at Yale,[7] Nemerov went on to teach at Stanford University for nine years, eight as Assistant Professor and one as a full Professor. In 2001 he returned to teach at Yale.[8] In 2012, he moved back to Stanford's art history department. In January 2014, he was named to the Stanford Daily's top 10 professors list.[9]


His areas of expertise include American art from the colonial period to the 1970s, American literature, American material culture, and American history, with special interests in "defamiliarizing," "counter-intuitive," "close" readings of works of art and literature, paying particular attention to details of form, and formal analogies between visual and literary source material. Nemerov's approach to his objects of scholarly investigation thus shares certain affinities with methodologies commonly associated with the Yale School of literary criticism.[citation needed]

He also has organized, or helped in organizing, including: Frederic Remington and the American Civil War: A Ghost Story, at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 2006,[10][11] Mammoth Scale: The Anatomical Sculptures of William Rush, 2002–2003, at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, 2002–2003,[12] and The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920, at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., 1989-1991.


Nemerov was the recipient of the Dean's Award at Stanford in 1998, as well as the Internal Faculty Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, that year. Other awards/fellowships include the Material Culture Fellowship Smithsonian Institution/University Consortium for Studies in Material Culture, National Museum of American Art (1989–1991).


  • Icons of Grief: Val Lewton’s Home Front Pictures (University of California Press, 2005).[13]
  • The Body of Raphaelle Peale: Still Life and Selfhood, 1812-1824 (University of California Press, 2001) / Recipient of a Millard Meiss Publication Fund Grant, 1999.[14]
  • Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America (Yale University Press, 1995) / Winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, 1996.[15]
  • Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (Princeton University Press, 2016)[16]


  1. ^ Zorthian, Julia (2012-02-29). "Nemerov Confirms Move to Stanford". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  2. ^ "New building, new faculty demonstrate ambitious growth plans for Stanford's Department of Art and Art History". Stanford Report.
  3. ^ "Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov - A Resemblance". Nottingham Contemporary. 2010-07-29. Archived from the original on 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ am, Julia Zorthian 12:00; Feb 29; 2012. "Nemerov confirms move to Stanford".
  7. ^ Fernandez, Chantal (2010-02-11). "Founding director of British Art Center honored". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  8. ^ "Alexander Nemerov: Biography".
  9. ^ "Top 10: Professors" (2014-01-17). The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  10. ^ Glueck, Grace (18 August 2006). "Art in Review; Frederic Remington and the American Civil War" – via
  11. ^ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Elizabeth L. O'Leary; Sylvia Yount; Susan J. Rawles (30 April 2010). American art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 978-0-917046-94-0.
  12. ^ Melinda Alliker Rabb (14 February 2019). Miniature and the English Imagination: Literature, Cognition, and Small-Scale Culture, 1650–1765. Cambridge University Press. pp. 200–. ISBN 978-1-108-57050-3.
  13. ^ Peter Lurie; Ann J. Abadie (18 September 2014). Faulkner and Film. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 261–. ISBN 978-1-62674-336-6.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Alexander Nemerov. "Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America - Nemerov, Alexander - Yale University Press". Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  16. ^

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