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Melissa Hyde
Professor and Distinguished Teaching Scholar
/18th- and 19th-Century European Art


Melissa Hyde received her PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. Her field is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art. 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. 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, Emerging Scholars Program and McNair Program. Hyde has been a recipient of the College of Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award, and was named College of Fine Arts International Educator of the Year in 2005 and 2011. In 2017, she was College of the Arts' Teacher-Scholar of the Year, and the College's nominee for UF's Distinguished Alumni Professor. That same year she received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Colorado College. Hyde was awarded a UF Research Foundation Professorship in 2008-11, and again for 2016-19. She was elected to the University of Florida's Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2018 and currently holds 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, and Eighteenth-Century Studies and numerous edited volumes; books include Making Up the Rococo: François Boucher and his Critics (2006), and several co-edited volumes, the most recent being Rococo Echo: Art, Theory and Historiography from Cochin to Coppola (2014), a collection of essays edited with Professor Katie Scott (Courtauld Institute, London).

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 several other exhibitions at the National Gallery, DC, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm and Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, NYC and for UF's Harn Museum of Art.  Hyde collaborated with the late Mary D. 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 October 2017, 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. This fall she will be an 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, five 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.

Selected Publications


Under Contract

  • Women in French Art: Rococo to Romanticism 1750-1830, co-authored with Mary D. Sheriff (under contract with NMWA)

Other Publications

  • "Ambitions, Modest and Otherwise of Two Parisian Painters: Marie-Ann Loir and Catherine Lusurier," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (vol. 50, 2020), forthcoming
  • “Peinte par elle-même? La femme artiste entre autorité et identité au XVIIIe siècle,” in Savoirs, identités et représentations des femmes à l’époque moderne, Ed. Caroline Trotot. (Paris: Garnier, 2018). English version in Arts et Savoirs 6 (2016).
  • Review Essay: "Vigée Le Brun Exhibition," in Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal (April 2017)
  • “Watching Her Step: Women and the Art of Walking after Marie-Antoinette”  in Body Narratives, ed. Susanna Caviglia (Brepols, 2017)
  • Marie-Antoinette and Scandal of the Garden-Variety: Portraying the Queen at Petit Trianon” in Disciples of Flora, eds. Pagan, Page & Weltman-Aron (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015): 68-91
  • “The Rococo Dream of Happiness as ‘a Delicate Kind of Revolt,’ in Rococo Echo, eds. Hyde & Scott, (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment: Voltaire Foundation, 2014): 337-49
  • “Needling: Embroidery and Art in the Hands of the Saint-Aubin,” in Seeing Satire, eds. Elisabeth Mansfield and Kelly Malone, Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2013): 107-30
  • “Rendre à Cléopâtre. . . .: art, genre et historiographie” (with Fend & Lafont) in Plumes et pinceaux. Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe (1750-1850), eds. M. Fend, M.Hyde & A. Lafont, (Les Presses du réel, 2012): 11-51
  • “Beautés rivales: les portraits de Mme Du Barry et de la Reine Marie-Antoinette,” Cultures de cour, Cultures du corps, eds. Catherine Lanoe and Mathieu Da Vinha (Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne & Centre de recherche du Chateau de Versailles,  2011):185-205

Museum Catalogue Essays

  • "'Dust from a Butterfly's Wing'" The Gentle Art of Pastel. A Short History,"  in Nicolas Party: Pastel, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, 2020. (forthcoming)
  • "La question des femmes peintres au XVIIIe siècle," in Les Femmes artistes du XVIIIe siècle, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. 2021 (forthcoming)
  • "Les Collectionneuses," François Boucher, Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe. Fall 2020 (forthcoming)
  • "Remembering the Ladies: Femmes-Artistes and America from the Early Republic to the Gilded Age,” in America Collects Eighteenth-Century France (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, May 21-August 20, 2017)
  • “Women and the Nature of Impressionism,”  co-author, Eric Segal, in Monet and American Impressionism (Harn Museum of Art, 2015):
  • “Looking Elsewhere: Women and the Parisian Art World in the Eighteenth-Century,” Royalists to Romantics. Women Artists from Versailles, the Louvre and Other French National Museums (National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2012): 33-41  [Re-published in Swedish in Pride and Prejudice: Women and Artist in France and Sweden 1750-1860 (Nationalmuseum Stockholm,  2012)]
  •  “Rococo Redux: From Diderot to the Goncourts,” in Rococo: The Continuing Curve, exh. cat. (Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York, 2008):12-21.
  • “Painting for the Ladies: Gender and Portraiture in 18th Century Paris,” in Alexander Roslin, (Stockholm Nationalmuseum, 2007): 68-72