Dr. David Stewart

Associate Professor - Art History & Emeritus Faculty


301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



I research the feminist art of George Frederic Watts by researching his feminist patrons and influences. I argue that G. F. Watts developed a feminist style and a feminist iconography in his late works of art. I have also researched G. F. Watts' attacks on Frederic Leighton, Watts' interest in Theosophy, Watts's use of the philosophy of Thomas Carlyle, as well as Watts' attempt to transcend what he saw as the dead end of Romanticism. All of my publications on Watts will soon be available here for download. I will also be uploading my conference papers. I have also published on Eighteenth-Century sham ruins, and have delivered conference papers on the importance of Deleuze and Ranciére in 21st-Century Art.

Why am I an Art Historian? I love to travel to Europe. I love to look at art. I love to take my students with me, and I love to learn from them.

I teach 19th, 20th, and 21st century art. Studying the history of art convinces me more and more everyday that there is always something new under the sun. Ideas and art change as fast as technology. Ten years ago Facebook reshaped the world and very few people could have imagined the impact it would have. The pace of change is what I love to study. Understanding past revolutions helps me understand just how radically different our future will be from our present. I find that exciting.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Art History, Boston University, 1988
  • M.A., Art History, University of South Carolina, 1980
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of South Carolina, 1976

Exhibitions & Presentations

  • "Art History, Art Criticism and the Evolution of Contemporary Art." Midwest Society for Photographic Education. 2001.
  • "G.F. Watts, A Victorian Feminist in the Royal Academy." College Art Association Conference. Toronto, Canada. 1998.
  • "Political Ruins: Gothic Sham Ruins and the '45." Twelfth International Conference on Medievalism. Canterbury, England. 1997.


  • Victorian Women's Rights Movement and Victorian Art
  • Artist George Frederic Watts

Recent Publications

  • “George Frederic Watts: A Feminist Artist in the Royal Academy,” Abstracts 1998 (College Art Association, 1998): 314-315.

  • "The Return of Godiva and the Foundations of George Frederic Watts' Feminist Nudes" Bulletin of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association (Summer 1999) p. 5.

  • "G. F. Watts and 'The Manliness of Noble Womanhood,'" Watts Symposium 2009: Speakers' Abstracts & Biographies (Watts Gallery, 2009): 6-7.

  • "Deconstruction or Reconstruction? The Victorian Paintings of George Frederic Watts" SECAC Review Volume 12, Number 3 (December 1993): 181-186.

  • “Watts, the Royal Academy and Leighton in Conflict” in The Vision of G.F. Watts, edited by Veronica Franklin Gould (The Watts Gallery, exhibition catalogue, 2004): 36-40.

  • "Is a Myth a Lie? A Victorian Answer in the Paintings of George Frederic Watts" Nineteenth Century Studies Volume 5 (1991): 65-78.

  • "Reality as Artifice and the Politics of Evolution, Or Watts and Carlyle in the Earnest Age," Victorian Poetry Volume 33, Number 4 (1995): 476-498.

  • Of Angst and Escapism: G.F. Watts and Frederic, Lord Leighton." Victorians Institute Journal. Volume 22, 33-53. 1994.

  • "Theosophy and Abstraction in the Victorian Era: The Paintings of G. F. Watts," Apollo Volume 139, Number 381 (November 1993): 298-302.

  • "Work by Watts now on show," The Surrey Advertiser (December 5, 1986) p. 16.