Professor of Art History

Contact Info

Ph.D. Art History, UCLA
M.A. Art History, UCLA
B.A. Art History & English Literature, Stanford

Art History of the US before 1960; African American Art History

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2016

John H. Daniels Fellowship, National Sporting Library & Museum, 2016

SECAC William R. Levin Award for Research in the History of Art, 2015

Society for the Preservation of American Modernists Publication Grant, 2014

Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, 2012

Senior Fellowship, Center for the History of Collecting, Frick Art Reference Library, 2012

Robert Lehman Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship, Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, 2012

Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2009–10

Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award (“for the most distinguished contribution to American Art”), 2009

JMU College of Business Faculty Grant, 2014

JMU College of Visual and Performing Arts Madison Scholar, 2009–10

JMU General Education Distinguished Teacher, 2010–11



Manufacturing the Modern Patron in Victorian California: Cultural Philanthropy, Industrial Capital, and Social Authority (Ashgate Press, 2014; paperback, Routledge, 2016).

“A Show of Unity: Art Exhibitions, Racial Integration, and the CIO,” International Review of African American Art 26:3 (October 2016): 28–33.

“The Warp and Woof of the Archive: Or, Anton Refregier, from Macy’s Showroom to Congressional Hearing,” Archives of American Art Journal 55:1 (Spring 2016): 50–63.

“Netted Together: Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion at the Dawn of Comparative Biology,” in Alan C. Braddock and Laura Turner Igoe, eds., A Greene Country Towne: Philadelphia, Ecology, and the Material Imagination (Penn State University Press, 2017), 81–95.

“Westward Contraction: Maynard Dixon Paints the Great Depression,” in Marion Wardle and Sarah Boehme, eds., Branding the American West (Oklahoma University Press, 2016), 64–87.

“Battle Station MoMA: Jacob Lawrence and the Desegregation of the Armed Forces and the Art World,” American Art 29:3 (Fall 2015): 58–89.

"Patrons, Collectors, and Markets,” in John Davis, Jennifer Greenhill, and Jason LaFountain, eds, Blackwell Companion to American Art (Malden, Mass.: Wiley Blackwell, 2015), pp. 525-34.

“Graphic Consciousness: The Visual Cultures of Integrated Industrial Unions at Midcentury,” American Quarterly 66:4 (December 2014): 883–918.


Mixed Media: The Visual Cultures of Racial Integration, 1931–1954

“Hale Woodruff’s Antiprimitivist History of Abstract Art,” Art Bulletin 100:1 (forthcoming, March 2018).

“Occidental Arrangements: Midcentury Episodes in an Emerging Global History of Art,” in Sandra Zalman and Austin Porter, eds., Reintroducing the Modern: The First Twenty Years at MoMA, 1929–1949 (in process)

“Metropolitan, Inc.: Public Subsidy and Private Gain at the Genesis of the American Art Museum,” in Margaret R. Laster and Chelsea Bruner, eds., New York, Cultural Capital of the Gilded Age (in process)

Association for Critical Race Art History
Association of Historians of American Art
American Studies Association
College Art Association
Southeastern College Art Conference


Dr. Ott chairs the School of Art, Design, and Art History’s Curriculum & Instruction Committee. He is on the advisory board of Archives of American Art Journal.

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