Associate Professor of Art History
BA: The University of Arizona, 1998
MA: The University of Arizona, 2000
Ph.D: The University of Maryland, 2006
Dr. Bryan J. Zygmont is a scholar of eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art, history, and culture. Although born in North Carolina, Zygmont split his childhood between Banbury in Oxfordshire, Great Britain, and Tucson, Arizona. Zygmont began his university studies as a physiology student, but changed his major to art history after taking a general art historical survey class during his freshman year. He graduated from the University of Arizona with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998, and then completed his Masters degree there two years later. His masters thesis, “The Return of the Prodigal: The New York Patronage of Gilbert Stuart, 1793-1795,” was written while a Graduate Student Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2000.
Zygmont began his doctoral studies in the art history and archaeology department at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2001, and earned his Ph.D. in May 2006. His dissertation explores the interaction between aesthetics and politics in New York City portraiture between 1790 and 1825. Zygmont was a visiting scholar at the National Portrait Gallery during 2005 and 2006, and was awarded a Henry R. Luce Foundation Dissertation Research Award in American Art in 2005. In addition to teaching at the University of Arizona and University of Maryland, Zygmont has also taught at Trinity College, The George Washington University, and Northwest Missouri State University.
Zygmont joined the faculty of Clarke University in 2007 as an assistant professor of art history. Since that time he has published a book-length study on American portraiture, Portraiture and Politics in New York City, 1790-1825: Gilbert Stuart, John Vanderlyn, John Trumbull, and John Wesley Jarvis (2008). In 2008, Zygmont was a Fellow at the Summer Institute for Infusing Japan Studies into the undergraduate curriculum at the Freeman Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. The following summer, he presented a lecture, “Charles Willson Peale’s Exhumation of the Mastodon and the Great Chain of Being: The Interaction of Religion, Science, and Art in early-Federal America” at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. An avid traveler, he also led a group of Clarke students to Rome, Sienna, and Florence during winter break of the 2008-2009 academic year, and spent five weeks in Poland during the summer of 2010 as a part of a Group Study Exchange through the Rotary International.