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Art history scholar and Getty Foundation administrator Elizabeth “Cassie” Mansfield named head of Department of Art History

Getty Foundation Administrator to Lead Penn State Department of Art History

Elizabeth “Cassie” Mansfield, art history scholar and senior program officer at the Getty Foundation, has been appointed head of the Penn State Department of Art History and will assume her new position on August 16, 2018. 

Mansfield comes to Penn State as an award-winning art historian with more than 20 years of experience serving as a scholar, teacher, administrator and fundraiser in the visual arts at various academic and non-profit organizations. 

“As someone who believes deeply in the value of post-secondary education and embraces the importance of advanced scholarship, I could not ask for a better academic home than Penn State’s Department of Art History,” Mansfield said. “It’s at once humbling to join its distinguished faculty as department head and wonderfully energizing given the intellectual and professional ambitions of the faculty and students.” 

Barbara O. Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, said she looks forward to having an administrator with Mansfield’s background at Penn State. “We are thrilled to welcome noted art history scholar and administrator Cassie Mansfield to lead our Department of Art History. She brings a wealth of experience crossing academia and the art museum world, making her the ideal choice for this position,” she said. “With previous leadership positions at the Getty Foundation and the National Humanities Center, as well as in university settings, she will bring a unique perspective to the role.”

After earning a doctorate in fine arts at Harvard University in 1996, Mansfield began her career with an appointment as an assistant art professor at Sewanee: The University of the South. During her time at Sewanee, she held the Appalachian College Association Post-Doctoral Fellowship for the 2001–02 academic year, the Millicent C. McIntosh–Woodrow Wilson Fellowship from 2003 to 2005, and received the Charles Rufus Morey Book Prize in 2008 for her book Too Beautiful to Picture: Myth and Mimesis in Western Art. She was recognized as the Society of Sewanee Scholars’ Professor of the Year in 2001, the CASE/Carnegie Professor of the Year for Tennessee in 2003, and was appointed department chair of art and art history at Sewanee in 2002, a positon she held until her departure in the spring of 2008. 

Mansfield continued her career in academia with an appointment as associate professor in the Department of Art History at New York University. During her time at NYU, she held the National Humanities Center Fellowship until 2009.

In 2012, she was appointed vice president for scholarly programs at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, a position she held until 2016, when she was appointed senior program officer at the Getty Foundation. 

During her career, she has been the sole author of two monographs, contributed to four others and is the revising author of a popular art history textbook. She has contributed to numerous books, authored several conference papers and sat as a panelist or chair at multiple art history conferences, symposia and roundtables.