Chris Platts

Chris Platts

Assistant Professor

Aronoff Center


DAAP School of Art - 0016

Professional Summary

Christopher Platts is an Assistant Professor of Art History and University Research Council Scholar (2024-2026) at the University of Cincinnati, with affiliate faculty status in the Departments of History and Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures. In spring 2023 he received the Office of the Provost's Faculty Excellence Award for the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), and in spring 2024 he won the Junior Faculty Award at the College of DAAP.

Platts studies medieval and Renaissance European art, focusing on Italian painting and manuscript illumination, ca. 1250-1550. He is currently completing a book on Paolo Veneziano and Venetian Gothic painting as well as studies on Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Andrea Mantegna, and Attavante. Chris is interested in the style, iconography, design, and function of artworks in relation to their patrons and diverse audiences. He trained at Harvard, the Courtauld Institute, and Yale, and has held residential fellowships at the Fondazione Roberto Longhi in Florence, Italy, and the University of Heidelberg.

Curatorial Experience
Platts is active as a curator, having conceived and co-organized exhibitions on medieval, Renaissance, and modern art at the Getty Museum (“Renaissance Splendors from the Northern Italian Courts," summer 2015); Yale University Libraries (“Representing the Law in the Most Serene Republic: Images of Authority from Renaissance Venice,” winter 2016-17); University of Connecticut (“The Fabulous Lives of Morton, Nellie, and Maisie Plant: Art and Leisure in Gilded-Age Groton,” spring 2019); Vassar's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center ("The Great Wonder: Violet Oakley and the Gothic Revival at Vassar," spring 2021); and the University of Cincinnati ("Rediscovering Catharina van Hemessen's Scourging of Christ: Women Artists, Patrons, and Rulers in Renaissance Europe").

Technical Study of Art
With colleagues in Chemistry, Geology, and Museum Studies, Platts uses scientific instruments to examine art in local and regional museums and collections. This research group, which he co-coordinates, has used X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Raman spectroscopy, among other approaches, to study works attributed or related to Bernardo Daddi, Pietro Lorenzetti, Raphael, Catharina van Hemessen, Palma Giovane, and Anthony Van Dyck. Currently, the group is studying a little-known, signed work by Catharina van Hemessen, one of the most significant female artists of the Renaissance.

Community Outreach
Platts has developed an educational outreach program in which he and University of Cincinnati (UC) students create and deliver object-centered presentations on medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art to local classrooms at Cincinnati public high schools and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). He and the UC students bring manuscript illuminations, prints, and illustrated books (as well as replicas of artists' tools and materials) to the classrooms so that students can examine and physically handle centuries-old artworks.

Art Documentation & Discoveries
Another ongoing project is an informal census of pre-1700 European paintings, drawings, and illuminated manuscripts in lesser-known or smaller institutions (museums, libraries, universities) in the Midwest and other regions of the US. Chris has discovered important artworks by Paolo Veneziano, Attavante, and other artists.


Ph.D.: Yale (Art History)

BA: Harvard University

MA: Courtauld Institute, University of London (History of Art)

Research Support

Grant: #RSA Platts Investigators:Platts, Christopher 01-01-2024 -12-31-2024 The Renaissance Society of America University of Cincinnati High School Outreach Program in Medieval and Renaissance Art History Role:PI 2500.00 Active Level:Non Profit

Grant: #Advocacy Seed Grant Investigators:Platts, Christopher 01-01-2024 -12-31-2024 International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) High School Outreach Program in Medieval Art History Role:PI 1000.00 Active Level:Non Profit


Invited Presentations

(2023. ) Venezianita in Venetian Gothic Painting: The Newly Discovered Betrayal of Christ by Paolo Veneziano .Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

(2022. ) “With his Right Hand”: Signatures, Pictorial Gestures, and Artistic Self-Consciousness in Pietro Lorenzetti’s Arezzo Polyptych .Andrew Ladis Trecento Memorial Conference, Nashville, TN.

(2022. ) Aiding the Naked Eye: Spectroscopic Techniques for the Analysis of Ancient Sculpture and Renaissance Painting in the Cincinnati Art Museum and University of Cincinnati Art Collection .Institute for Research in Sensing, Ignite Symposium, University of Cincinnati,

(2022. ) “A New Illuminated Manuscript Signed by Attavante and Some Thoughts on Illuminators’ Signatures in Renaissance Italy” .Annual St. Louis Conference in Manuscript Studies,

(2022. ) Reconsidering Mantegna’s Two Standing Male Figures and its Role in the Development of the Ovetari Chapel Saint James Led to his Execution .Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

(2022. ) “Experimental Altarpieces and the Display of Relics in and around Venetian Territories, ca. 1350” .Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Dublin.

(2021. ) The Great Wonder: Violet Oakley and the Gothic Revival at Vassar .Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College.

(2023. ) A Codex Fit for a Queen: The Prayer Book of Anne of Brittany Illuminated by Attavante (Newberry Library MS 83) .Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Baltimore, MD. Professional Meeting. . Level:International

(2024. ) The Sacred Made Sienese: Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Cambrai Madonna and Its Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern Audiences .Renaissance Society of America, Annual Meeting, Chicago. Level:International

(2024. ) Hands, Tails, Rocks, and Texts: Visual References to the Artist and his Creative Process in Pietro Lorenzetti’s Paintings .Comite International d'Histoire de I'Art, Lyon, France. Level:International

(2024. ) Signatures and Artistic Authorship in Lorenzetti and Attavante .Murray Seminar, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, England. Level:International

(2024. ) Images of the Vocation, Devotion, and Salvation of Poor Clare Nuns in Paolo Veneziano’s Clarissan Altarpieces for Venice and Trieste .International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Level:International

Honors and Awards

2022 Faculty Forward Award for Collaborative, Experiential Teaching Level:University Type:Monetary

2023 Faculty Excellence Award (for Research) Selected as the sole recipient from more than 100 tenure-track or tenured faculty at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) UC Office of the Provost and Office of Research Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Monetary

2023 Research and Publication Award Italian Art Society Status:Recipient Level:National Type:Monetary

2023 Renaissance Society of America Grant in Support of Innovative Teaching Level:International Type:Grant

2023 International Center for Medieval Art, Advocacy Seed Grant Level:International Type:Grant

2023 Center for DAAP Research and Innovation Grant Level:College Type:Monetary

2023 School of Art Renick Travel Fellowship Level:Department Type:Monetary

2024 Junior Faculty Award, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati Status:Recipient Type:Monetary

2024 -2026 University Research Council Award, Office of Research, University of Cincinnati Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Grant

2023 -2024 Francis Haskell Memorial Foundation Scholarship Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Grant

2023 -2024 William R Levin Award for Research in Art History SECAC Status:Recipient Level:National Type:Grant


Art History, Museums, Italy, Mediterranean, Renaissance, Medieval, Early Modern, Illuminated Manuscripts, Rare Books, Venice, Siena, Florence, Byzantine, Gothic, Baroque, Duccio, Giotto, Paolo Veneziano, Exhibitions, Connoisseurship, Iconography, Patronage, Reception, Image Design

Courses Taught

Global Renaissance Art

History of Exhibitions

Medieval Art and Architecture, 250-1450

Senior Seminar (Capstone) -- History of Prints

History of Collecting at the University of Cincinnati, 1819 to Today

European Baroque Art and Architecture

Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

Contact Information