UT Tyler Department of Art and Art History
Letha Clair Robertson
Department of Art & Art History
B.A., The University of Texas at Arlington
M.A., Texas Christian University
PhD., The University of Kansas
Area: Art History
Letha Clair Robertson earned art history degrees from The University of Texas at Arlington (B.A.), Texas Christian University (M.A.) and The University of Kansas (Ph.D). She specializes in the art of the United States, while also teaching courses in modern and contemporary art and nineteenth-century French painting. During her tenure at The University of Kansas, Dr. Robertson received a Smithsonian pre-doctoral fellowship which she spent in residence at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D. C. She has held internships at the Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum, and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Her dissertation, The Art of Thomas Hicks and Celebrity Culture in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York, is the first scholarship dedicated to the artist's portraits. In the dissertation, Dr. Robertson investigates the intersection of nineteenth-century portraiture, the development of celebrity culture, the advent of photography, the mass media, and the public relations industry in New York City. Dr. Robertson has given papers about Hicks at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, the New England American Studies Association Conference, and the Southeastern College Art Association Conference. Currently, she is preparing an article on Hicks's portraits of Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth and nineteenth-century theater culture. Inspired by former students who are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Robertson is also investigating contemporary military art created by soldiers and combat artists in current international conflicts.