Martha Buskirk

Professor, FT

“It has always seemed a bit contradictory to teach the avant-garde as an academic subject- but then again, I’ve always had a great appreciation for paradox.”

Martha Buskirk is Professor of art history and criticism at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she has taught since 1994, and she has also held visiting appointments in the History, Theory and Criticism Program at MIT during 2005 and 2013.

Buskirk’s current research is focused on art and law, including artists’ rights advocacy, intellectual property, and potential conflicts between proprietary control and public interest. The present book project is part of a long-standing exploration of challenges posed by transformations in contemporary art and culture. Her most recent book, Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art between Museum and Marketplace (Continuum, 2012), investigates the institutional and economic interests that shape both the reception of art and its creation. Her earlier book, The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art (MIT Press, 2003), considers transformations in the nature of the object and artistic authorship through an examination of such linked pairs as original and copy, object and context, performance and document, or permanence and impermanence.

She is co-editor of The Duchamp Effect with Mignon Nixon (MIT Press, 1996) and The Destruction of Tilted Arc: Documents (MIT Press, 1990) with Clara Weyergraf-Serra, as well as the author of numerous catalogue essays and articles that have appeared in Artforum, October, Art in America, and other venues. Buskirk earned her Ph.D. in art history from the City University of New York, Graduate Center and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2000-2001, the Clark Art Institute in 2004 and 2016, and the Henry Moore Institute in 2006, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 2015.

Education: B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D. in Art History, City University of New York, Graduate Center


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