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Department of Art + Design
Dr. Tamara Smithers

Dr. Tamara Smithers

PhD, Temple University, Philadelphia
Professor - Art History
Art + Design Building 211

Select Publications


Short non-academic book: <A Short Biography of Michelangelo>, part of The Short Biographies series from Applewood’s Benna Books


Book project: The Cults of Raphael and Michelangelo: Artistic Sainthood and Memorials as a Second Life, Visual Culture in Early Modernity series, edited by Kelley Helmstutler di Dio (London: Routledge Publishing, 2022)

Essay: “Surpassing Nature: Raphael’s Artistic Apotheosis,” in a <festschrift> whose title and honoree must remain unknown until publication (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Press, 2021), 33–77

“Michelangelo: Going against the Grain,” in <Breaking with Convention in Italian Art>. Edited by Julia C. Fischer (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017), 72–88

Michelangelo in the New Millennium: Conversations about Artistic Practice, Patronage & Christianity edited volume including an introduction and chapter “Michelangelo’s Suicidal Stone,” Brill Publishing 2016

“ ‘Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy,’ Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville (October 31, 2014–January 25, 2015),” Art Inquiries (the journal of the Southeastern College Art Conference), 2015

‘SPQR/ CAPITOLIVM RESTITVIT’: The renovatio of the Campidoglio and Michelangelo’s Use of the Giant Order,” in Perspectives on public space in Rome, from antiquity to the present day. Edited by Gregory Smith and Jan Gadeyne.  (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), pp. 157–183. 

Online catalogue entry: “Medal dedicated to Raphael,” British Museum, London.

Select Honors and Awards

Faculty Research Re-Assignment Award, Austin Peay State University, spring semester 2020
Visiting Scholar, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy, 2020
Lindsay Young Visiting Faculty Fellowship, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,
  University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 2016
Princeton University Library Research Grant, 2015-16
Faculty Research Award, Austin Peay State University, 2014, 2013
Faculty Summer Research Fellow Program Grant, Austin Peay State University, summer 2013 
Temple University Dissertation Completion Grant, spring 2012.
National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar “Art, History, and Culture in Rome, 1527–1798,”
  American Academy in Rome, Italy, grant awarded, summer 2011.


Select Papers and Lectures

“The Cult of Michelangelo,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 9–11, 2023

“Raphael and Michelangelo’s “Divinity:” Posthumous Veneration of Artists’ Hands: Sixteenth-Century Society Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, October 27–30, 2022

“Posthumous Commemoration and Adoration of the Artful Hand,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, March 30–April 2, 2022

“Raphael’s Fame: 1520–2020,” Early Modern Rome Conference 4, Rome, Italy, November 11–13­, 2020

“Raphael’s Fame, or Second Life” SECAC Conference, Chattanooga, TN, October 16–19, 2019

“Michelangelo’s Artistic Sainthood,” Sixth Annual Ferrari Humanities Symposium (this year’s theme on Michelangelo, invitation to speak), University of Rochester, NY, March 27, 2018

“Michelangelo: Making Art His Way,” Southern California Renaissance Conference, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, March 10, 2018

“Competition, Camaraderie, and Communal Burial: Artist Memorials in Early Modern Rome,” Early Modern Rome 3 Conference, Rome, Italy, October 5–7, accepted 2017

 “Michelangelo: Going Against the Grain,” Southeast College Art Conference, Roanoke, VA, October 19–22, 2016

 “The Artistic Apotheosis of Raphael,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Boston, MA, March 31–April 2, 2016

Campanilismo Celebrations: Honoring Artistic Heirs through Funerals and Tomb Memorials in Renaissance Italy,” Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, October 22–25, 2015

“The Art, Life & Myth of Michelangelo,” three-part lecture series, Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville, TN in conjunction with the exhibition “Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti,” October 27, November 3 & 5

“The Cult of Raphael in the 19th Century,” Princeton University Library Lecture, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, May 15, 2015

Session organizer, “Early Modern Academies of Art I: Foundation, II: Theory, and III: Identity,” and conference paper, “Mourning the Capo : Artistic Camaraderie and Professional Identity through Memorials in Early Modern Italy,”  Renaissance Society of America’s Annual Conference, New York, NY, March 27–29, 2014.

Conference paper, “ ‘Rome is not the same without Raphael’: The Cult of the Prince of Painters,” Early Modern Rome 2 Conference, Rome, Italy, October 10–12, 2013

Session organizer,  “The Violent Lives of Artists in Early Modern Italy I, II and III,”  and conference paper,  “Michelangelo’s Suicidal Stone,”   Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, San Diego, CA,  April 2013.

Conference session organizer and chair , “Michelangelo Tomorrow: Hearing from Junior Scholars,” with William E. Wallace as respondent, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Cincinnati, OH, October 2012 .

Symposium paper, “SPQR/CAPITOLIVM RESTITVIT”: The  renovatio  of the Campidoglio and Michelangelo’s Use of the Giant Order,” Public Space in Rome from Antiquity to the Present Day Symposium, part of the  Biennial of Public Space organized by the Italian National Institute for Urban Planners  Rome, Italy, May  2011 .

Conference paper,  “ ‘Second  Life’: Funerary Memorials for Italian Renaissance Artists,” Renaissance Society of America’s 57 th  Annual Conference, Montreal, Québec, Canada, March  2011 .