The Department of Art

Michael W. Cothren

Scheuer Family Professor of Humanities, Chair
and Art History Coordinator

Office: Beardsley 204
Telephone: 610-328-8118



B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1973
M.A., (1974) and Ph.D. (1980), Columbia University

Area of Specilization:

Gothic Art and Architecture


ArtH 001C – Making Art History (First-Year Seminar)
ArtH 002 – Western Art
ArtH 014 - Medieval Art and Architecture
ArtH 020 – Junior Workshop
ArtH 046 - Monasticism and the Arts
ArtH 145 - Gothic Art and Architecture Seminar
ArtH 147 - Visual Narrative Seminar

Biographical Statement:

In addition to teaching courses in art history at Swarthmore, Professor Cothren is also consultative curator of medieval stained glass at the Glencairn Museum (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania). Professor Cothren's research has focused on French Gothic stained glass, especially the glazing programs of the abbey of Saint-Denis and the cathedrals of Beauvais and Rouen. His book on the 13th- and 14th-century windows of Beauvais was published in 2006 by Princeton University Press, and he is currently writing the Corpus Vitrearum catalogue of medieval stained glass in the Glencairn Museum, whose distinguished collection was assembled by Raymond Pitcairn (1885-1966), primarily during the 1920's and 1930's. His next research project will focus on a new area of interest: the prehistoric painted bowls of the Mimbres culture in southwest New Mexico (c. 1000-1150 CE).

Professor Cothren teaching alumni in Istanbul.



Selected Publications:

Art History (5th edition). Co-author with Marilyn Stokstad.  Prentice Hall, 2013.

Art: A Brief History (5th edition). Co-author with Marilyn Stokstad. Prentice Hall, 2012.

 “Some Personal Reflections on American Modern and Postmodern Historiographies of Gothic Stained Glass.” In From Minor to Major: The Minor Arts and Their Status in Medieval Art History (Index of Christian Art and Penn State University Press, 2012), 255-270.

“Holding Hands in the Virgin Chapel at Beauvais Cathedral.” In The Four Modes of Seeing: Approaches to Medieval Imagery in Honor of Madeline Harrison Caviness, ed. Evelyn Staudinger Lane, et al. (Ashgate, 2009), 30-43.

Picturing the Celestial City: The Medieval Stained Glass of Beauvais Cathedral. Princeton University Press, 2006.

"Le vitrage de la chapelle Saint-Vincent de la cathédrale de Beauvais: un chef-d'ouvre méconnu de la peinture française vers la fin du XIIIe siécle." 1300...l'Art au temps de Philippe le Bel, ed. Danielle Gaborit-Chopin and Crançois Avril. XVIes Rencontre de l'Ecole du Louvre (Paris, 2001), 119-135.

"Why did Louis de Roncherolles Commission a Stained Glass Window for the Cathedral of Beaufais in 1522?" Art Bulletin 83 (March 2001):7-31

 "Production Practices in Medieval Stained Glass Workshops: Evidence in the Glencairn Museum." Journal of Glass Studies 41 (1999): 117-134.
 "Fragments of an Early Thirteenth-Century St. Peter Window from the Cathedral of Rouen." Gesta 37/2 (1998): 158-164.

 "Restaurateurs et créateurs de vitraux à la cathédrale de Beauvais dans les années 1340." Revue de l'art 111 (1996): 11-24.

 "Replacing the Survey at Swarthmore." Art Journal 54/3 (1995): 58-62.

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