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Mary Vidal


Associate Professor


Professor Mary Vidal who served on the full-time faculty from 1997 to 2007, died July 6, 2007, in Berkeley, California. A small memorial gathering was held on August 12, 2007. Mary Vidal was an art historian whose teaching and writing focused on the early modern period in Europe from the late sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries with an emphasis on the art and culture of eighteenth-century France. She joined the faculty of the Visual Arts Department in 1997 after having taught for several years at Princeton University where she was awarded the R. K. Root University Preceptorship for outstanding research. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley. She held year-long research fellowships at the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Mellon), and she was a member of the Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Vidal lectured widely at conferences and colloquia both in the United States, for example at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and in France at the Louvre and the Ecole Normale Superieure. Her work appears in the Art Bulletin, The Journal of the History of Ideas and Art History, and she published a book dealing with the intersection of language, texts, social behavior, and images entitled Watteau's Painted Conversations: Art, Literature, and Talk in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 1992).