Heather L. Sale Holian
M. A., Ph. D. University of Indiana
B. A. cum laude, University of Arizona
By training Dr. Heather L. Holian is an Italian Renaissance art historian with minors in Medieval and Roman Art. She routinely offers courses in these areas and co-leads a bi-annual, four-week, on site study abroad program to Florence, Italy where she teaches ARH 395: Florence and the Medici and directs independent research for advanced majors. Additionally, Dr. Holian teaches the Art of Disney and Pixar (ARH 210) and is currently working on a book-length project, which investigates the collaborative process and the role of the individual artist at Pixar Animation Studios. She was awarded a Research Assignment for Spring 2014 to write full-time on her manuscript. Dr. Holian's article, "Art, Animation and Collaboration," is forthcoming summer 2013 in the peer-reviewed journal, Animation Studies.
Both in her classes and her scholarship, Dr. Holian explores art through social, cultural, formalist, iconographic and feminist methodologies. Her Renaissance research focuses on sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian court portraiture, and particularly that of women and daughters belonging to the Medici family of Florence. Her published articles on the topic explore the function of jewelry as dynastic "marker" within portraits of Medici women and marriageable girls, and the related social issue of women as dynastic commodity during this period, as communicated through these loaded images. Her article, "The Claiming Crown: Politics, Dynasty, and Gender in State Portraits of Medici Women," published in the peer-reviewed journal, Explorations in Renaissance Culture, won the Albert W. Fields Award for the most distinguished essay published by the journal in 2010.