Claire Farago taught Early Modern art, theory, and criticism until her retirement in 2017 as Professor Emerita. In her three decades of teaching and service to the Department she held various administrative posts including Director of Graduate Studies for Art History, Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies, and Coordinator of Art History. In collaboration with her colleagues, she developed the undergraduate curriculum and established three new graduate degree programs, the BA/MA in Art History, the M.S. in Museum Studies/Art History, and the Ph.D. in Art History. She has held visiting professorships at UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Melbourne, York University, U.K., the University of Zurich, and elsewhere. In spring 2021 she will be Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Visiting Professor of Renaissance Studies at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is an Affiliate of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
She has published widely on the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, Early Modern art theory, cultural exchange, the materiality of the sacred, the history of style, museums and collecting practices. Her anthology, Reframing the Renaissance (Yale, 1995) is widely recognized as a groundbreaking contribution to cross-cultural studies. Her most recent book,The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della Pittura, with a scholarly edition of the editio princeps (1651) (2 vols., Brill Press, 2018), supported by the Getty Foundation, The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the University of Colorado, is the product of a decade-long collaboration with Leonardo specialists. Her new work focuses on artisanal knowledge as a transcultural category.
She is currently writing a book provisionally entitled, The Future of Cultural Memory in the Era of Climate Disruption, forthcoming from Routledge Press. She is also collaborating with artist Victoria Vesna, Director of the UCLA Art | Sci Center and Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA, to take advantage of Leonardo da Vinci’s lifelong interest in the history of the planet and his unparalleled popularity today to translate the existential threat of ecosystem breakdown into terms that will inspire hope and action on a broad scale.