Jennifer Jolly

Associate Professor and Latin American Studies Coordinator, Department of Art History
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Latin American Studies

Specialty:Latin American and Pre-Columbian Art
Phone:(607) 274-1254
Office:G111 Gannett Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

Professor Jolly researches the intersection of art and politics in modern Mexico.  She specializes in the work of the Mexican muralists, and has recently published on the work of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Josep Renau at the Mexican Electricians’ Syndicate.  Broader research interests include understanding the Muralists within the context of international politics of the 1930s, the intersections of art and technology, and the regional dissemination of Mexican Muralism.  Her current project investigates the art--murals, sculptures, and their architectural settings--commissioned by Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacan, Mexico, as part of a program of tourism development and national integration.

Professor Jolly’s classes capitalize on and expand these interests.  Her intro-level course, Art Across Cultures, uses the geographical framework of the Americas to comparatively introduce students to the art of the continent’s varied cultures, ancient through modern.  At the 200-level, Pre-Columbian Art explores the arts of pre-conquest Mesoamerican and Andean America, and highlights some of the key methods art historians use to study these cultures.  Modern Latin American Art surveys 19th- and 20th-century art in Latin America, and provides ample opportunity for considering themes such as art and nation-building, the role of art and artists in social and political change, and what it means to be "modern" and "Latin American."   Latino Art focuses on art from the varied Latin American communities living in the United States and provides an opportunity for students to explore the potentials and limitations of art in community building, history-making, and identity politics. 

At the 300-level, Art and Revolution in Latin America critically considers the role of art in post-revolutionary Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua.  The course asks “what is revolutionary art?” and “how can artists participate in the re-envisioning of a nation?”  Professor Jolly also teaches a seminar, The Artist: a history of an idea This course allows students to critically examine the field of art history by focusing on our field's protagonist (and anti-hero), “the artist,” as a construct developed between the period of the Renaissance and contemporary times.  How have our changing ideas of what an artist should be helped shape the very task of being an artist, and how has this served to both obscure and enliven the history of art?

Course Offerings


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing