William E. Wallace

William E. Wallace

Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art History and Archaeology
Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History
PhD, Columbia University
research interests:
  • Art and Architecture of 14th-18th Century Italy
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    contact info:

    office hours:

    • Thursdays 2:30 – 4:00pm in person

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
      CB 1189
      One Brookings Dr.
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    William E. Wallace received his Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University in New York in 1983 and is currently Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology.

    He teaches Renaissance art and architecture 1300-1700, and is an internationally recognized authority on Michelangelo and his contemporaries. In addition to more than 90 essays, chapters and articles (as well as two short works of fiction), he is the author and editor of  eight different books on Michelangelo, including Michelangelo at San Lorenzo: the Genius as Entrepreneur (Cambridge, 1994); Michelangelo: Selected Scholarship in English (Garland, 1996), Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture (Hugh Lauter Levin, 1998); Michelangelo: Selected Readings (Garland, 1999); Discovering Michelangelo: The Art Lover's Guide to Understanding Michelangelo's Masterpieces (Rizzoli 2012). His biography, Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2010, and issued in paperback in 2011.  His article "Drawing Limits: Michelangelo Grows Old" will be published in the Art Bulletin in 2021. 

    Wallace is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including at Villa I Tatti, Harvard University’s Center forRenaissance Studies in Florence and a year at the American Academy in Rome.  He has been a principal consultant for two BBC television programs on Michelangelo, and has taped a 36-lecture audio-visual course, “The Genius of Michelangelo” for “The Teaching Company.”  His recently completed book, Michelangelo, God’s Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece (Princeton, 2019) focuses on the artist’s late life and his greatest creation: the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

    Listen to Professor Wallace's recent interview with the Washington University Ampersand about a rare document housed in the Washington University Library written by Michelangelo Buonarroti, and what it exposes about the life and times of the artist.