Melissa Hyde received her PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Colorado College, where she majored in History. Her field is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art. Her scholarly interests include: women artists, and more broadly, the gendering of aesthetic culture, the history of the Salon and art criticism, the cultural meanings of color, self-portraiture, and questions of identity and place. A faculty member since 1998, she teaches courses on European art (ca. 1650-1830), as well as courses on gender and the visual arts from the late Renaissance to the early nineteenth century, and has taught in UF's study abroad programs in Paris and Florence. She has served as research mentor to undergraduate students in the University Scholars Program, the Emerging Scholars and McNair Programs. A past recipient of her College's Teacher of the Year Award, she also has been recognized twice as COTA International Educator of the Year. In 2017, she was College of the Arts' Teacher-Scholar of the Year, and the College's nominee for UF's Distinguished Alumni Professor. She was elected to the University of Florida's Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2018. Hyde's research has been acknowleded at UF by numerous awards and grants, including two Research Foundation Professorships, and a UF Term Professorship.
Hyde's research and publications focus on gender and visual culture in eighteenth-century France. Her work has appeared in The Art Bulletin, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture and numerous edited volumes; books include Making Up the Rococo: François Boucher and his Critics (2006), and several co-edited volumes. She is author of two essays in forthcoming publications on the contemporary pastel artist, Nicolas Party.
Hyde is currently completing two book projects, both on women artists. One is entitled, Painted by Herself: Marie-Suzanne Roslin, the Forgotten Académicienne; the other, co-authored with the late Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan J. Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is entitled Women in French Art. Rococo to Romanticism 1750-1830. The proposal for this book won the inaugural Mellor Prize, an award bestowed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA).
She acted as consulting curator for an exhibition on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women artists entitled Royalists to Romantics (NMWA, 2012) and has written catalogue essays for this and other exhibitions at the National Gallery, DC, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm and Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, NYC, and most recently at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsuhe. Hyde collaborated with Mary Sheriff as guest curator for an exhibition of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French drawings from The Horvitz Collection in Boston, entitled Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment, which opened at the Harn in fall of 2017, before traveling the Ackland Museum of Art, UNC Chapel Hill, The Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento and the Smith College Museum of Art. She is co-editing a volume of essays,Thinking Women: Strategic Reinterpretations of Eighteenth-Century Art, based on a major symposium held in Sheriff's honor at the Harn in conjunction with the exhibition.
Professor Hyde lectures widely in Europe and the US. Her research has been supported by the American Association of University Women and the Getty Research Institute, the Clark Art Institute and at the Institut national de l’histoire d’art (INHA), Paris. In fall 2020, she was Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. She is a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She has served as an Advisory Editor for Eighteenth-Century Studies, an Editorial Board member of H-France and is currently on the board of Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment. She is a past president of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA), and is Past President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2018-19).
In cooperation with the Harn Museum of Art, Professor Hyde was one of the inaugural organizers, six years ago, of a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Art + Feminism, now held annually at the Harn. Hyde has served as steering commitee chair for the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History (HESCAH) Lecture Series.
Museum Catalogue Essays