Kelly Presutti is a PhD candidate in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her dissertation addresses the relationship between landscape imagery and land reform in the decades following the French Revolution. By engaging with the specificity of landscape representation in this moment – not only in painting, but also on porcelain plates, panoramic wallpapers, and in print volumes – she draws out the role of images in renegotiating the meaning of land in the face of significant political, symbolic, and physical transformation. This research contributes to both historical considerations of post-Revolutionary land reform and an expansion of the art historical understanding of landscape.
Kelly has a master’s degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University, with a focus on art and philosophy. Before arriving at MIT, Presutti held positions at the Getty, the Musée d’Orsay, the Peggy Guggenheim, and the Mellon Foundation. Her work has been presented at Princeton, Brown, the Clark Art Institute, the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, the North American Levinas Society and the Institute of Fine Arts, and an excerpt of her dissertation will be presented at the College Art Association’s Annual Conference this February. Currently, she is conducting research in France with the support of a Chateaubriand Fellowship and Harvard’s Center for European Studies.