Kirsten Swenson is an Assistant Professor in the Art & Design Department at UMass Lowell.

Kirsten Swenson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Art & Design Department
Mahoney Hall - 1st Floor


  • Ph.D., (2006), Stony Brook University - (SUNY)


Kirsten Swenson's research interests include urban histories of minimal and conceptual art, artist-designed landscapes, gender politics, and public art. She is the author of Irrational Judgments: Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, and 1960s New York (Yale University Press, 2015) and co-editor and author, with Emily Eliza Scott, of Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics (University of California Press, 2015). Swenson is currently writing a book on artist-designed landscapes and urban development, addressing the intersection of Land art and public art through the work of Nancy Holt, Agnes Denes, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and others. Recent book chapters, catalogue essays, and art criticism can be found here.

Over 2018-2020, she is leading “Local Ecologies,” a multimodal teaching, research, and exhibition initiative, with colleagues from UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston. "Local Ecologies" is funded in part by an Interdisciplinary Leadership Grant.

Professor Swenson's courses include Contemporary Art, 20th Century Art, History of Photography, Public Art, and Art and Environment.