Heather Holian

Heather Holian

Heather L. Holian, Professor of Art History
M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University
B.A. cum laude, University of Arizona

By training Dr. Heather L. Holian is an Italian Renaissance art historian with minors in Medieval and Roman Art. She routinely offers courses in these areas and co-leads a bi-annual, four-week, on site study abroad program to Florence, Italy where she teaches ARH 395: Florence and the Medici and directs independent research for advanced art history majors.

Dr. Holian is also a specialist on the third decade of production at Pixar, where she gathered more than 100 hours of interviews with the studio’s artists, animators, and directors during that period. This research has appeared in edited volumes for Bloomsbury, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, McFarland, and the Animation Studies journal. ( http://journal.animationstudies.org/heather-holian-art-animation-and-the-collaborative-process/ ) Dr. Holian is currently working on new research focused on early Disney art exhibitions mounted across the United States and abroad, during Walt’s lifetime. She brings her animation research into the classroom through two art history courses ARH 210: Art of Disney and Pixar and ARH 360: Women Artists of Disney and Pixar Animation.

In the Fall of 2022, Dr. Holian and UNCG Animation colleague, Dan Hale, will co-curate the exhibition Persistence of Vision: Animation Toys and Optical Devices from the Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Collection of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. The show, containing approximately 35 Victorian animation objects will be displayed in the Gatewood Gallery on UNCG’s campus August 10-September 27. The accompanying website will remain live after the exhibition closes. Dr. Holian routinely presents her animation research at regional, national and international conferences. In October 2022 she will present papers at the annual meetings of both the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) and the Northeastern Popular Culture Conference (NEPCA). She is also an active member of DisNet, the Disney Culture and Society Research Network.

Both in her classes and her scholarship, Dr. Holian explores art through social, cultural, formalist, iconographic and feminist methodologies. Her Renaissance interests focus on sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian court portraiture, and particularly that of women and daughters belonging to the Medici family of Florence. Her published articles on the topic explore the function of jewelry as dynastic “marker” within portraits of Medici women and marriageable girls, and the related social issue of women as dynastic commodity during this period, as communicated through these loaded images. Her articles on the subject may be easily located on Academia.edu.
( https://uncg.academia.edu/HeatherHolian )