Susan Wager

Susan Wager

Phone: (603) 862-2190
Office: Art & Art History, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm A201, Durham, NH 03824

Professor Wager specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art and material culture. Her research focuses on the social, political, and material significance of the transmission of images in the early modern world. Wager’s current book project is a study of the relationship between the eighteenth-century French artist François Boucher, the royal mistress Madame de Pompadour, and the aesthetics of translation. Wager has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants from institutions including the Mellon Foundation and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. From 2012 to 2014, she held the Samuel H. Kress Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Wager was curator of the exhibition “Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker” at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Her recent publications include the article “The earliest known version of Madame de Pompadour’s ‘Suite d’Estampes’ rediscovered" in The Burlington Magazine (April 2017), and the essay "Amorous Pursuits" in the exhibition catalogue Casanova: The Seduction of Europe (2017). Wager holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University, where her dissertation was entitled “Boucher’s Bijoux: Luxury Reproduction in the Age of Enlightenment.” She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College with a B.A. in French and art history.

Courses Taught

  • ARTH 400: Topics in Art History
  • ARTH 444B: Honors/Art and Money
  • ARTH 480: Introduction to Art History
  • ARTH 686: Sex & Sensuality in 18th-C Art
  • ARTH 688: Histories European Modernism
  • ARTH 694: Vision and Modernity
  • ARTH 695/795: Topics in Art History
  • ARTS 444B: Honors/The Business of Art
  • ARTS 687: Art and Modernity
  • HUMA 512A: Modern Humanities


  • Ph.D., Art History, Columbia University
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • M.Phil., Columbia University
  • B.A., Columbia University

Research Interests

  • 18th century European art
  • 19th century European art
  • Art Theory
  • Ceramics (Visual Arts)
  • Culture--Gender and Sexuality
  • Decorative Arts
  • European History
  • History & Appreciation of Art
  • Intellectual History
  • Modern Art
  • Printmaking
  • Textile/Weaving Arts
  • Visual Arts

Selected Publications

  • Wager, S. (2023). "Making Marble Edible: Madame de Pompadour, Friendship, and the Multiple Lives of Porcelain". In W. Bellion, & K. Smentek (Eds.), Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century Art, Mobility, and Change. Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

  • Wager, S. M. (2022). Boucher's Spirit: Authorship, Invention, and the Force of Porcelain. ART BULLETIN, 104(3), 55-83. Retrieved from

  • Wager, S. M. (n.d.). The Fast and the Fugitive: Pompadour’s Curatorial Self/Portrait at Versailles. Journal18, (8). doi:10.30610/8.2019.6

  • Wager, S. M. (2017). The earliest known version of Madame de Pompadour's 'Suite d'Estampes' rediscovered. The Burlington magazine, 159(1369), 285-289.

  • Wager, S. M. (2017). Amorous Pursuits. In F. Ilchman (Ed.), Casanova: The Seduction of Europe. MFA Publications.