Stephen G. Perkinson

Affiliation: Art History
Professor of Art History

Stephen Perkinson’s scholarship focuses on Medieval and Renaissance art of Northern Europe. He has published on topics ranging from the 13th to the 16th centuries. His 2009 study of the origins of portraiture (The Likeness of the King, Univ. of Chicago Press) was the recipient of the 2009 Morris D. Forkosch Prize for Best Book in Intellectual History. He has also collaborated extensively with art museums. Most recently, he was curator of The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe (Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 2017; catalogue distributed by Yale University Press), a major loan exhibition that shed new light on memento mori imagery and ivory carving in Northern Europe around the year 1500. Prior to that project, he produced work in conjunction with exhibitions of material from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (Object of Devotion, 2010) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Set in Stone, 2006). He is also the author of essays that have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Speculum, Gesta, and elsewhere. At Bowdoin, he teaches courses that cover material ranging from the late antique world of the Mediterranean to the Renaissance in Northern Europe, and addressing the artistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Stephen Perkinson headshot


  • PhD, Northwestern University, 1998
  • MA, Northwestern University
  • BA, Colgate University, 1989