Elizabeth Bradford Smith

Photo: Dr. Smith at Cistercian Monastery of Chorin in Germany.
Photo: Dr. Smith at Cistercian Monastery of Chorin in Germany.

Associate Professor of Art History


207 Borland Building | University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4880


  • Ph.D. and M.A. in the history of medieval art and architecture (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
  • Licence d'Histoire de l'Art et d'Archéologie (Université de Strasbourg, France)

Specialty Area: 

Western Medieval Art and Architecture


Dr. Smith teaches courses in Western medieval art and architecture. Before coming to Penn State in 1982, she taught at Oberlin College. Her research focuses on Italy and France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. She has published on Romanesque and Gothic architecture and sculpture in Italy, France, England and the Low Countries.  Another primary area of interest is in American collecting of medieval art. In collaboration with graduate students in the Department of Art History and the Palmer Museum of Art, she curated an exhibition onMedieval Art in America: Patterns of Collecting 1800–1940 (supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts). An analysis of Philadelphia collector William Poyntell (1756– 811) is forthcoming in American Gothic, to be published by the Ringling Museum. Currently, she is engaged in a study of Santa Maria Novella, among the first vaulted Gothic structures in Florence, supported by grants from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the World Monuments Fund, and the Graham Foundation. She is a recipient of the College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching.