Ann Jensen Adams

Ann Jensen Adams

Office Location

Arts 1216


17th-century Dutch Art; Visual Culture & History of Science (16th - 18th centuries); Early Modern Gender Studies; Portraiture.


Ph.D. Harvard University
B.A. Radcliffe College


Professor Adams is not accepting graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Ann Jensen Adams received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her approaches to her field of 17th-century Dutch art and visual culture has been shaped in part by her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College in Government, and several years making stained glass windows as a practicing artist. Her primary areas of research are in the areas of the history of science, portraiture, and the role of images in constructing gender identities.

Professor Adams has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Science, The Netherlands, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Trust; she was a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 2005. Her publications include Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth-Century Holland: Portraiture and the Production of Community (2009); editor of New Approaches to Rembrandt: Rembrandt's Bathsheba Reading King David's Letter (1998); and, curator and catalogue author of the exhibition Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings in New York Private Collections, National Academy of Design, New York (1988). In addition to essays for exhibition catalogues and anthologies, articles have appeared in The Art Bulletin, and Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek.

Her current research includes an historiography of the seventeenth-century Dutch portrait, and monograph with catalogue raisonné on the 17th-century Dutch painter Thomas de Keyser. Before coming to UCSB, Ann Jensen Adams taught at the University of Chicago.


Ann Jensen Adams. “Competing Communities in the ‘Great Bog of Europe.’ Identity and Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Painting.” Link opens in a PDF reader In Landscape and Power, edited by W.J.T. Mitchell, 35-76. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Ann Jensen Adams. “The Three-Quarter Length Life-Sized Portrait in 17th-century Holland: The Ideological Function of ‘Tranquillitas’.” Link opens in a PDF reader In Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting. Realism Reconsidered, edited by Wayne Franits, 158-174. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Ann Jensen Adams. “Money and the Regulation of Desire: The Prostitute and the Marketplace in Seventeenth-Century Holland.” Link opens in a PDF reader In Renaissance Culture and the Everyday, edited by Patricia Fumerton and Simon Hunt, 229-253. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.

Ann Jensen Adams. “Reproduction and Authenticity in Bernard Picart’s Impostures Innocentes.” Link opens in a PDF reader In The First Global Vision of Religion: Bernard Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World, edited by Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob, and Wijnand Mijnhardt, 74-104. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Trust, 2010.

Ann Jensen Adams. “The Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie and the Iconographic Turn in Dutch Art History.” Link opens in a PDF reader In Photo Archives and the Photographic Memory of Art History, edited by Costanza Caraffa, 253-263. Florence: Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz/ Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2011.


Undergraduate Courses

111B   Dutch Art in the Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals. The Birth of a Nation: 1579 - 1648
111C   Dutch Art in the Age of Vermeer. The Golden Age: 1648 - 1672
111E   Gender and Power in the Early Modern Period
111F   Rethinking Rembrandt
186G   Seminar in Seventeenth Century Northern European Art - Topics: Johannes Vermeer: The Art Behind the Art; Rembrandt; Approaches to Rembrandt
INT 94HG   Freshman Seminar: Close Looking. Examining Works of Art

Graduate Seminars

2019-2020   Visual Culture and the Early Modern Global World
2018-2019   Honest copy, Faithful reproduction, Fiendish forgery
2015-2016   Facing Identity: The Early Modern Netherlandish Portrait
2014-2015   History, Memory and the Uses of Images
2013-2014   Vision and Knowledge
2012-2013   The Second Look: Anachronism and Temporailty in 17th-century Netherlandish Painting
2011-2012   Early modern image making: theory and practice
2010-2011   Facing Identity: The Early Modern Netherlandish Portrait
2007-2008   Reproductions & Authenticity: Honest copy, Faithful reproductions, Fiendish forgery
2006-2007   Time and Ways of Knowing in Early Modern Art and Culture
2005-2006   Visuality and Text in Early Modern Europe and the Americas (co-taught with Jeanette F. Peterson)
2004-2005   Proseminar: Introduction to Art Historical Methods
2003-2004   Vermeer: The Sphinx of Delft. The Man, The Work, The Myth
2002-2003   Identity, Representation, and Facticity in the Early Modern Period
2001-2002   Vision, Knowledge, and the Scientific Revolution
2000-2001   The Natures of Nature