MacArthur Fellows Program

Irene J. Winter

Art Historian and Archaeologist | Class of February 1983

Art Historian and Archaeologist
Cambridge, Massachusetts
43 at time of award
Published February 1, 1983

About Irene's Work

Irene Winter is an art historian, working primarily on archaeological materials of the ancient Near East.

Her interdisciplinary research has focused on the cultural and historical contexts in which art is produced, and the role of art as a medium for social and ideological forces.  While studying the art, architecture, and aesthetics of ancient Mesopotamia, she explores the intersection of non-Western and Western art history.  Winter has done fieldwork in the course of her extensive travels to sites in the Middle East, and has done ethnoarchaeological work in India on temple ritual there and in the ancient Near East.


Winter is the William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University.  She taught previously at Queens College of the City University of New York and at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the author of numerous publications, including “Defining ‘Aesthetics’ for Non-Western Studies: The Case of Ancient Mesopotamia,” published in the volume Art History, Aesthetics, Visual Studies (ed. M. Holly and K. Moxey, 2002).

Winter received an A.B. (1960) from Barnard College, an M.A. (1967) from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. (1973) from Columbia University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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