Dr. M.A. (Nana) Leigh

  • Lecturer
  • Art History
  • History and Theory of Museums and Collections

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2653
E-Mail: m.a.leigh@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Centre for the Arts in Society, KG Moderne beeldende kunst
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.15b

Fields of interest

Rhetoric and museums in the modern and contemporary period;
Visual rhetoric, exhibitions and museum display;
Canonization and representation of modern art;
Politics and ethics of museum collections, exhibitions and display.


Rhetoric and museums in the modern and contemporary period

Curriculum vitae

Nana Leigh (New York, 1958) studied at the University of Michigan and at Leiden University and graduated (cum laude) in Art History in 1988. Since then she has been teaching at the Department of Art History of Leiden University. For over twenty years she has been teaching a broad range of subjects focusing on the history and theory of museums, cultural heritage, the exhibiting of art, the art world, and the history and theory of modern and contemporary art. She earned her Ph.D. at Leiden University with a dissertation on the rhetoric of modern art museums and the representation and canonization of modern art (December 2008). In 2011 she was also a lecturer at University College Utrecht.

Teaching activities

BA: in lecture series Museums, Heritage and Collections; seminars in modern art and history and theory of exhibitions
MA/MPhil: Research Seminars: Museum Matters; Anglo-American Modernism in Art and Literature


  • Building the Image of Modern Art. The Rhetoric of Two Museums and the Representation and Canonization of Modern Art (1935-1975): The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 2008 (dissertation, to be published by Primavera Pers in 2012)

Last Modified: 10-12-2015