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Kim Butler Wingfield Assoc Professor Department of Art

Additional Positions at AU
MA Director, Art History
PhD, History of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art, Johns Hopkins University
MA, History of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art, Johns Hopkins University
BA, Classics, Harvard University

Languages Spoken
Latin, French and German (reading proficiency)
Professor Butler (PhD with distinction Johns Hopkins University 2003, BA with honors, Harvard University 1992) is Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History in American University in the Art Department. Having completed a book manuscript on Raphael’s Madonnas and having published several articles on ‘High Renaissance’ artists including Raphael and Michelangelo, her research focuses on Early Modern Art in the contexts of Italian humanism, gender, and theology. Professor Butler’s methodological interests include formalism, iconology, social history, gender studies, and semiotics and—more broadly—intellectual history and interdisciplinarity.
See Also
AU Art History Program
Kiim Butler on
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2023

  • ARTH-205 Renaissance Perspectives

  • ARTH-520 Seminar in Art History: Early Modern Women Artists

Summer 2023

  • ARTH-205 Renaissance Perspectives

  • ARTH-205 Renaissance Perspectives

Fall 2023

  • ARTH-205 Renaissance Perspectives

  • ARTH-401 Italian Art: Early Renaissance

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference
    Member (2002-present)

  • Renaissance Society of America
    Member (2002-present)

  • College Art Association
    Member (2000-present)

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

See CV for full list.

Work In Progress

Book Manuscripts:

  • From Poetry to Thievery: Raphael’s Madonnas (complete, under review)
  • Poetic Theology in the Sistine Chapel (second project begun, chapter excerpts in press)


  • “Painted Tondi and Devotional Practices in Renaissance Florence,” journal article.
  • “Pious Histories in the Piccolomini Library,” journal article.

Professional Presentations

  • “Translating Word to Image: the Sistine Ceiling,” guest lecture, CMRS, Ohio State University, May 2008.
  • “Constructing Pius Aeneas in Pinturicchio’s Piccolomini Library Frescoes in Siena,” paper delivered at the annual Renaissance Society of America Conference, Piccolomini papacy session, Miami, April 2007.
  • “Raphael and Giovanni Santi,” guest lecture Raphael: from Urbino to Rome exhibition opening, National Gallery, London, November 2004.
  • “Raphaels Madonnas and the Triumph of Eros?,” paper delivered at the annual Renaissance Society of America Conference, Representing Eros: The Arts of Love in Italy (1420-1520) session, New York, April 2004.
  • “The Problem of Metaphor in the Sistine Ceiling,” guest lecture, University of Pennsylvania, March 2003.
  • “Raphael: From Poetry to Thievery,” guest lecture, University of Vermont, April 2003.
  • “Poetic Metaphor and the Legacy of Savonarola: Madonna Paintings in Early Sixteenth-Century Florence,” paper delivered at the annual Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Vasari and Savonarola:Method, Theory and Approaches session, San Antonio, October 2002.
  • “The Canonical Woman in Renaissance Culture: Raphael’s Madonnas,” paper delivered at the College Art Association conference, Symbolic Woman II session, Philadelphia, February 2002.
  • “Raphael, Giovanni Santi, and Quattrocento Sculpture,” closed roundtable Raphael symposium, National Gallery of Art, London, November 2002.
  • “Rethinking Early Raphael,” Conference Raffaello - pluralità e unità, Bibliotheca Hertziana/Max-Planck-Institut and the Instituto di Norvegia, Rome, May 2002.

Selected Publications

  • “The immaculate body in the Sistine Ceiling,” Art History, vol. 32, issue 2, April 2009.
  • “Giovanni Santi, Raphael, and Quattrocento Sculpture,” Artibus et Historiae, no. 59 (XXIX), June 2009.
  • “Raffaello ed I pittori della Cronaca Rimata di Giovanni Santi,” Raffaello e Urbino exh. cat. (Urbino, Palazzo Ducale Galleria Nazionale delle Marche 5 April-12 July), Electa, April 2009.
  • “The Eloquent Image in the Sistine Chapel,” Charles Dempsey Festschrift: Accademia Dempsiana, ed. M. Schlitt, University of Toronto Press, 2009.
  • “Reddita lux est: Raphael and the Pursuit of Eloquence in Leonine Rome,” in The Renaissance Court Artist: Design in Theory and Production, eds. A. Chong and S.J. Campbell Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Art, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2004: 138-148. [volume reviewed in Renaissance Quarterly spring 2006: 243-4].
  • “Riconsiderando il primo Raffaello,” in Accademia Raffaello Atti e studi, no. 1, January 2006: 63-88.