Education: Ph.D., Stanford University
J.D., Yale Law School
“I believe that society reveals its deepest fears and aspirations in the texts that it produces—texts that include images and objects as a particularly chatty, if not outright confessional, subset. In their deepest visual structures, then, artworks make arguments about both the world and themselves. As an art historian, I feel compelled to listen to these arguments through acts of close looking.”
Mary Campbell is an assistant professor of art history whose research focuses on the intersections of American visual and legal culture. Her first book, Charles Ellis Johnson and the Erotic Mormon Image (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016) examines the work of a little-known Mormon photographer whose images of prophets, temples, and half-dressed vaudeville actresses worked in concert to mainstream the Latter-day Saints into the nation after the scandal of polygamy. A lawyer as well as an art historian, Campbell clerked for Judge Sharon Prost of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and continues to publish in legal journals, including the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. Her work has received the support of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the University of Tennessee Humanities Center.