Maria Elena Versari

Visiting Professor of Art History & Theory




Maria Elena Versari is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and Theory at Carnegie Mellon University. She studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore, where she received a PhD in Art History with a doctoral dissertation devoted to the international relations of Futurism in the 1920s. She held the positions of Assistant Professor of 19th- and 20th-Century Art at the University of Messina and Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University. More recently she was the Lynette S. Autrey Visiting Professor in the Humanities Research Center at Rice University and Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute. She has worked as a Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. She has published two monographs, Constantin Brancusi (Florence, 2005) and Wassily Kandinsky e l’astrattismo (Florence 2007; French tr. 2008; Portuguese tr. 2011), edited the republication of Ruggero Vasari’s Futurist dystopian dramas The Anguish of the Machines and Raun (Palermo 2009) and has written several articles devoted to Futurism, Cubism, totalitarian aesthetics and architecture, and 20th-century sculpture.

In 2016, she edited and co-translated the first English-language edition of Umberto Boccioni’s 1914 book Futurist Painting Sculpture for the Getty Research Institute Publications and has co-curated Totally Lost, an EU-sponsored exhibition devoted to totalitarian architecture and urban memory involving 186 international photographers and mapping 300 locations worldwide. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled The Foreign Policy of the Avant-Garde and working on a research project devoted to political engagement in modern and contemporary art.

Maria Elena Versari work image