Michael Amy Headshot

Michael Amy


School of Art
College of Art and Design

Office Location

Michael Amy


School of Art
College of Art and Design


BA, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium); MA, Ph.D., New York University


Michaël J. Amy is an art historian, critic, lecturer and curator with a B.A. from the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. He is a Professor of Art History in the College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Michaël Amy, the leading authority on Michelangelo's commission for Apostle statues for the Cathedral of Florence, is an expert on 15th and 16th century Renaissance art and architecture, as well as 20th and 21st century art. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Burlington Magazine, Art in America, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (Grendler, P. F. ed., New York, 1999), the acts of the international symposium Santa Maria del Fiore: The Cathedral and its Sculpture (Haines, M. ed., Fiesole, 2001), the Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, Art & Antiques, the Nieuw Tijdschrift van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel, DITS: Violence, Art China, Sculpture, tema celeste, and Blasphèmes et Libertés. His essays on contemporary art have appeared in monographs, exhibition catalogues and brochures.

Michaël Amy’s numerous exhibition reviews have appeared in Art in America, Sculpture, tema celeste, Apollo, Art News, Art on Paper, The New York Sun, Art & Culture, and Kunst & Cultuur, and his book reviews have been published by CAA.Reviews. His interviews with the jazz musicians Warne Marsh and Max Roach were broadcast by the cultural program of the Flemish Radio BRT III, and his interviews with the artists James Rosenquist, Julian Schnabel, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Wim Delvoye, Johan Creten, Alisa Baremboym, David Altmejd, Mathilde Roussel, Folkert de Jong, Diana Al-Hadid, Peter Buggenhout, Meeson Pae Yang, Edward Burtynsky, Sofi Zezmer, Dustin Yellin, Kristen Morgin, Andre Woodward, Michelle Segre, and Jan Fabre, have appeared in Art in America, Sculpture, tema celeste, De Financieel-Economische Tijd, and exhibition catalogues.

Michaël Amy’s book One to One, Conversation avec Tony Oursler, appeared in 2006 (Brussels, Facteur Humain), his book Michaël Borremans: Whistling a Happy Tune appeared in 2008 (Ghent, Ludion), and his book Hiroshi Senju, co-authored with Rachel Baum, was published in 2009 (Milan, Skira). The exhibition and panel he organized on contemporary abstract painting on disc-shaped supports were featured at Wooster Arts Space in New York City in February 2006, and his exhibition on quirkiness in contemporary abstract painting and sculpture was featured at the Westport Arts Center in Westport, Connecticut, in November and December of 2007.

Michaël Amy has read papers at the international symposium Santa Maria del Fiore: The Cathedral and its Sculpture, meetings of the Renaissance Society of America, the Provo / Athens Renaissance Sculpture Conference, the Central Renaissance Conference, the International Congress on Medieval Studies (at Kalamazoo), the New College Conference on Medieval-Renaissance Studies, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels. Michaël Amy has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants over the years, including from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Belgian American Educational Foundation. In May 2006, he was awarded The Gitner Family Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Communication by Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Art and Design, and in May 2007 he was awarded a Trustees Scholarship Award by RIT. In 2007, 2008 and 2010, he was nominated for an Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 2009 and 2010 he was nominated again for The Gitner Family Prize.


Personal Links
Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Invited Article/Publication
AMY, MICHAEL. "Bruce Nauman: Endurance Act." Sculpture. (2020). Web.
AMY, MICHAEL. "Sarah Lucas: Naked Honesty." Sculpture. (2020). Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Cathy Wilkes: Ugly Archetypes." Sculpture. (2019). Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Cultivating Dualities: A Conversation with Li Hongwei." Sculpture. (2019). Web.
Amy, Michaël. "Double-Takes: A Conversation with Alisa Baremboym." Sculpture. (2018). Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Forms of Proliferation: A Conversation with Sofi Żezmer." Sculpture. (2018). Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Critical Thinking in Art." Critical Thinking to Making, 2018 Fram Signature Event, RIT College of Art and Design. (2018). Print.
Amy, Michael. "The Dance of Beauty and Failure: A Conversation with Michelle Segre." Sculpture. (2017). Print.
Amy, Michael. "Gravity's Pull: A Conversation with Mathilde Roussel." Sculpture. (2017). Print.
Amy, Michael. "The Meat of Sculpture: Paul Thek." Sculpture. (2014). Print.
Amy, Michael. "Paul McCarthy: Rotten to the Core." Sculpture. (2014). Print.
Amy, Michael. "The Abandoned House Project." Abandoned house. (2014). Web.
Amy, Michael. "Making Connections." Robert Devriendt: Broken Stories. (2014). Print.
Amy, Michael. "Unicorn." Michaël Borremans, As Sweet As It Gets. (2014). Print.
Amy, Michael. "Antwerp Feasts." Jan Fabre. Tribute to Hieronymus Bosch in Congo. (2014). Print.
Amy, Michael. "Edward Burtynsky, Water." Sundaram Tagore Gallery. (2014). Web.
Published Review
AMY, MICHAEL. "Rachel Harrison." Rev. of Rachel Harrison, by Michael Amy. Sculpture Jul. 2020: 90-91. Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Review of: Florentiner Malerei: Alte Pinakothek: Die Gemälde des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts." Rev. of Florentiner Malerei: Alte Pinakothek: Die Gemälde des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts, eds. Andreas Schumacher, Annette Kranz, and Annette Hojer. Renaissance Quarterly 15 Jul. 2019: 602-604. Print.
Book Chapter
Amy, Michaël and Mark Gisbourne. "The Missing Are Presumed Dead." Olivier Masmonteil. s.l., s.l.: Blurb, 2018. pp.5-12. Print.
Amy, Michaël. "An Architecture of Light." Michael Taylor: Traversing Parallels. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press, 2018. pp.99-105. Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Horror and Hope." Lee Bul. Ed. Stephanie Rosenthal. London, Great Britain: Hayward Gallery Publishing, 2018. pp.137-140. Print.
Amy, Michaël and Alex Miokovic. "Interiors." Nostalgia: A Guide to Collective Melancholie. Ed. Pavel Romaniko. Boston, MA: Pavel Romaniko, 2018. pp.5-10. Print.
Amy, Michaël. "Li Hongwei: Tradition and Change." Beyond Reflection: The Art of Li Hongwei. Boston, Mass.: Pucker Art Publications, 2018. 49-56. Print.
Amy, Michael. "Lorenzo il Magnifico's Facade for the Cathedral of Florence and Michelangelo's Apostle Statues, with an Addendum on the St. Matthew in 1515." Michelangelo Buonarroti: Leben, Werk und Wirkung. Positionen und Perspektiven der Forschung / Michelangelo Buonarroti: Vita, Opere, Ricezione. Approdi e prospettive della ricerca contemporanea. Ed. Grazia Dolores Folliero-Metz and Susanne Gramatzki. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Peter Lang Verlag, 2013. 667-731. Print.
Journal Paper
Amy, Michael. "Bernini: Sculpting in Clay." CAA.Reviews. (2013): 1-3. Web.
Amy, Michael. "Ghosts of Things: A Conversation with Diana Al-Hadid." Sculpture 32. 3 (2013): 20-27. Print.
Amy, Michael. "Myths of Fantastical Life: A Conversation with Meeson Pae Yang." Sculpture 32. 5 (2013): 24-31. Print.
Amy, Michael. "Concentrated Form: A Conversation with Johan Creten." Sculpture 32. 7 (2013): 30-37. Print.
Amy, Michael. "Lee Bul, Phantasmic Morphologies." Sculpture 30. 4 (2011): 20-27. Print.
Published Article
Amy, Michael. “Boston Light: Daguerreotypes by Southworth & Hawes Convey Mid-19th-century America Through its Luminaries and Ordinary Citizens.” Johan Swinnen and LucDeneulin eds. The Weight of Photography: Photography: History, Theory andCriticism: Introductory Readings, (2010): 67-72. Print.
Amy, Michael. “The Call of the Wild.” Jan Fabre, ChaptersI-XVIII, Waxes & Bronze, (2010): 140-141. Print.
Amy, Michael. “Art as a Disappearing Act: A Conversation with Dustin Yellin.” Sculpture, 29.5 (2010): 40-47. Print.
Amy, Michael. “NothingOutlives Mortality: A Conversation with Kristen Morgin.” Sculpture, 29.3(2010): 46-51. Print.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the European Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
3 Credits
The subject of this course is 15th century painting, sculpture and architecture in Florence and Rome and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art between 1401, the year when the Calimala Guild announced a competition for a second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence, and 1500 the year when Michelangelo completed work on the Roman Pietà. Artists students will study include Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Nanni di Banco, Luca della Robbia, Michelozzo, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo Monaco, Gentile da Fabriano, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Paolo Uccello, Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino, Andrea del Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi and Michelangelo. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, portraits, mural cycles, paintings and sculpture of mythological subjects, allegories, ceilings, doors, tombs, churches, chapels, palazzi, villas and piazze. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of the Early Renaissance, developments in artistic theory and practice, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.

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