Nicola Courtright has taught the art and architecture of early modern Europe in the Department of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College since 1989. She received her BA at Oberlin College, her MA at Yale University, and a PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 1990. Courtright has received numerous grants to pursue her research, including a Fulbright, a Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, and American Council of Learned Societies and American Association of University Women postdoctoral fellowships. Her book The Papacy and the Art of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Rome: Gregory XIII and the Tower of the Winds in the Vatican (Cambridge UP, 2003) was awarded honorable mention for the Premio Salimbeni per la Storia e la Critica d’Arte.
Courtright’s publications span a range of areas within early modern European art history, including the art and architecture of the Vatican Palace, Bernini sculpture, Louis XIV’s bedroom in Versailles, and Rembrandt drawings. Her focus has most often been on the conflicted intersection of Italian and Northern European cultures, in particular the formation of aesthetic or artistic canons used to shape new political agendas. Most recently her research focuses on the construction of authority for early-modern French queens in the art and architecture of royal domiciles. Courtright has been a member of the College Art Association Board of Directors since 2000, vice president of publications from 2004-06, and president from 2006-08.