Margaret Samu works on 18th- and 19th-century European art and design with a special interest in the intersection between Russian and Western cultures. She earned her Ph.D. at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts after receiving her Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in Art History and French. Her work has been published internationally, in journals such as Искусствознание, Nineteenth-Century Studies, and Эксперимент/Experiment, as well as a volume she co-edited, From Realism to the Silver Age (Northern Illinois University Press, 2014). She has presented lectures and conference papers on her work in Russia, England, the United States, and Canada, and has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Library of Congress, among other institutions. Dr. Samu is currently working on a book-length project titled Russian Venus. She served as president of the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA) from 2013 until 2015.
Ph.D. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
M.A. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
B.A. in Art HIstory and French, Wellesley College
Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art
Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian Art and Architecture
19v Working Group on Russian Culture
“Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii at the Paris Salon of 1834” (under review).
“Modelos en academias de bellas artes y en estudios privados.” In La Tradición Académica/Академическая традиция, exh. cat., edited by Semyon Mikhailovsky, 54-65. Madrid: Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando; St. Petersburg: Academy of Arts, 2017. In Spanish and Russian.
“Peter the Great’s Roman Venus: Problems of Research and Interpretation.” In Petrine Monuments of Russia and Europe: Research, Preservation, Cultural Tourism, edited by A.V. Kobak, 624-634. St. Petersburg: Evropeiskii Dom, 2016. In Russian.
“Exhibiting Westernization: Aleksei Venetsianov’s Nudes and the Russian Art Market 1820-1850.” Nineteenth-Century Studies 25 (2015). 131-147. “ ‘Serving Art’: The Artist’s Model in the 19th-century Russian Art World.” Искусствознание [Art History] 3-4 (Autumn 2014). 434-447. In Russian.
From Realism to the Silver Age: New Studies in Russian Artistic Culture, edited by Rosalind Blakesley and Margaret Samu, 44-58. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2014. Introduction (co-authored with R.P. Blakesley) “Making a Case for Realism: The Female Nude in Russian Satirical Images of the 1860s.” Reviews: • The Slavic and East European Journal 59, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 642-44. • The Russian Review 75, no. 1 (Jan. 2016): 142-44.
“The Nude in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Russian Sculpture.” In “The Third Dimension: New Perspectives on Russian Sculpture,” edited by Musya Glants, Marie Lampard, and Wendy Salmond, special issue, Experiment/Эксперимент 18 (2012). 33-60.
“The Butter Sculpture of Caroline S. Brooks (1840-1913),” co-authored with Rebecca Bedell. In Women and Things, 1750-1950: Gendered Material Strategies, edited by Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin, 205-225. Aldershot, Burlington: Ashgate, 2009.
“Evelyn Beatrice Longman: Establishing a Career in Public Sculpture.” Woman’s Art Journal 25, no. 2 (Fall 2004/Winter 2005). 8-15.
2018 Assoc. of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, Boston, MA. Paper: “Art Exhibitions at Auctions and Estate Sales in St. Petersburg: 1750-1850”; Roundtable: “Approaches to Money, Class, and Taste in Russian Culture”
2017 Assoc. of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, Chicago, IL. Paper: “The Making of Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii”
2017 What’s Russian about Russian Realism? Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University. Paper: “Visual Literacy, Artistic Ideals, and the Problem of Realism”
2017 Translations and Dialogues: The Reception of Russian Art Abroad, Centro Studi sulle Arti della Russia, Università Ca’Foscari, Venice. Paper: “The French Reception of Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii”
2017 Seminar on Collecting and Display, Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Paper: “Venus in Furs: Art Collecting and the Female Nude in 18th-19th-Century Russia”
2016 Hoover Library and Archives, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. Paper: “Historical and Political Context of Russian Art Collecting in America: Boris Bakhmeteff”
2015 Assoc. of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA. Paper: “Artistic Rivalries and the Female Nude in Rome 1822-1848” Panel discussant: “Marginal Women: Prostitutes and Virgins in Russian Print and Visual Culture”
2015 Seventh Annual Peter the Great Congress, St. Petersburg, Russia. Paper: “Peter the Great’s Roman Venus: Problems of Research and Interpretation” (in Russian)
2014 Assoc. of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, San Antonio, TX. Paper: “Baroque Prints and Peter the Great’s Summer Garden”
2014 College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL. Paper: “A Roman Venus in the Tsar’s Baroque Garden: Orthodox Blasphemy, Soviet Scandal”
2017-2018 Faculty Research Grant, The New School
2017 Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA
2016-2017 Writer in Residence, Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University, New York, NY
2016 Mary Zirin Prize, Association for Women in Slavic Studies
2014 Summer Fellowship for Garden and Landscape Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
2011-2012 Swann Foundation Fellowship for Caricature and Cartoon, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
2010-2011 Sylvan C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellowship, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
2007-2008 Fulbright Fellowship Grant to Russia
ARS: Visual Culture (Spring 2020)
Masterpieces of Art in NYC