Sarah K. Rich

Dr. Sarah K. Rich
Dr. Sarah K. Rich

Associate Professor of Art History


208 Borland Building | University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4876


  • Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. in history of art (Yale University)
  • B.A. in art history and comparative literature (Northwestern University)

Specialty Area: 

American and Contemporary Art


Dr. Rich specializes in art after 1940, with particular emphasis on art produced in the United States and France during the 1950s and 60s. Her current book project, forthcoming with the University of California Press, is titled Past Flat: Other Sides to American Abstraction in the Cold War. The book addresses the often unintended overlaps between mid-century consumer culture and the abstract painting produced by figures like Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, and Kenneth Noland. Research for that project has been supported by a postdoctoral grant from the Getty Research Institute, as well as by Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities. While completing her book about American abstraction, Dr. Rich has begun research for a second book about Jean Dubuffet’s collaborations with other artists. Dr. Rich has recently delivered papers at the National Gallery in Washington, MIT, Yale University, Harvard University, the Institute of Fine Arts, and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to Artforum, and her scholarly publications have appeared in American ArtArt Bulletin, OctoberPerspective, and the Oxford Art Journal, as well as in many exhibition catalogues and compendia of essays.