Sarah K. Costello, Instructional Assistant Professor

Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome
BA, Georgetown University
MA, Bryn Mawr College
PhD, Binghamton University

Dr. Costello earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the State University of New York, Binghamton and her Masters degree in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. Her research focus is the invention of writing and early technologies of memory. She has also taught at Rice University and Binghamton University, and has excavated in Turkey, Israel, Greece, and the United States. Her work has appeared in the journals Antiquity, Near Eastern Archaeology and Istanbuler Mitteilungen as well as in several volumes related to the salvage projects in southeastern Turkey.

Dr. Costello teaches courses on the art and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean world, including Bronze Age and Classical Greece, Republican and Imperial Rome, and Mesopotamia from the Neolithic through the Persian period.

David L. Jacobs, Professor

History of Photography
BA, University of Cincinnati MA
University of Texas, Austin PhD
University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Jacobs came to the University of Houston after serving in tenured positions at Wayne State University and the University of Texas, Arlington. From 1990 to 1996 he chaired the UH Art Department. He served as the editor of exposure, the quarterly journal of the Society for Photographic Education, from 1984-88. He is the recipient of several awards, including a grant for critical writing in the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant for research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Senior Fulbright Award for research in Chinese photography and teaching at National Taiwan University in Taipei (2003-04).

With Barbara Tannenbaum, Dr. Jacobs curated Ralph Eugene Meatyard: An American Visionary, an exhibition which traveled to six major museums in the early 1990s. The catalog (Rizzoli International, New York) for this exhibition included his essay "Seeing the Unseen, Saying the Unsayable: On Ralph Eugene Meatyard". More recently, he curated the first exhibition of graduate photography to be shown in the Peoples Republic of China at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in 2003, which included advanced student work from the University of Houston, the University of New Mexico, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has published dozens of essays, monographs, and reviews in Afterimage, exposure, New Art Examiner, The Archive, the History of Photography, Spot, and other periodicals. The forthcoming Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography (Routledge, Kegan Paul, 2007) will include his essays on O.G. Rejlander, John Thomson, and 19th c. Photographic Self-portraits. He recently published his first novel, Green Gator Blues (2006) and is currently making photographs after a hiatus of many years. His photographic work was included in a juried international exhibition of current and former Fulbright artists that was held in Marrakech, Morocco in November, 2006.

Rex Koontz, Professor

BA, American College in Paris
MA, University of Texas, Austin
PhD, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Koontz's work centers on the art of the Ancient Americas. Currently he is investigating the nexus of art and ritual at El Tajín, Veracruz, Mexico, a city dated to c. A.D. 700-1000. Dr. Koontz has published articles and books that synthesize what we know of the art and history of Ancient Mexico, but much of his fieldwork and writing centers specifically on the cultures of the Gulf Coast of Mexico. He is most interested in the construction of meaningful urban spaces in this area and how the programs of sculpture, architecture, painting, and performance seen in the center of these cities helped shape and focus the ancient urban experience. Dr. Koontz spent the summer of 2002 as a fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, and accepted a National Endowment for the Humanities award for work on his latest book (summer 2003). He has done fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras under the aegis of the Tinker Foundation, the University Research Council of the University of Texas, and the Research Council of the University of Texas/El Paso.

H. Rodney Nevitt, Jr., Associate Professor

Northern Renaissance and Baroque
BA, Rice University
MA, Williams College
Ph.D., Harvard University

Dr. Nevitt’s field of research is seventeenth-century Dutch art. His publications include the book, Art and the Culture of Love in Seventeenth-Century Holland (in the series “Studies in Netherlandish Visual Culture,” W. Franits, ed.), Cambridge University Press 2003, and the articles, “Bridal Decorum and Dangerous Looks: Rembrandt’s Wedding Feast of Samson (1638),” in Rethinking Rembrandt, A. Chong and M. Zell, eds., Waanders 2002; “Vermeer on the Question of Love,” in The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer, W. Franits, ed., Cambridge 2001; “Rembrandt’s Hidden Lovers,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 1997 (Natuur en landschap in de Nederlandse kunst 1500-1800), vol. 48, 1998; and “The Herdsman, the Rowboat, the Beetle and the Ant in Two Marriage Portraits by Gerrit Adriaensz. de Heer,” in Shop Talk: Studies in Honor of Seymour Slive, C. P. Schneider, W. W. Robinson, A. I. Davies, eds., Harvard University Art Museums, 1995. Dr. Nevitt is currently working on a book exploring changes in Dutch genre painting in the context of developing notions of privacy, love and literary narrative in seventeenth-century Holland. In 2004 he received a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend to conduct research on this project in The Netherlands.

Dr. Nevitt has delivered papers at meetings of the College Art Association, Historians of Netherlandish Art, and the South-Central Renaissance Conference. He was an invited speaker in the symposium “Rembrandt and Beyond” at the Portland Art Museum in 2007, in the lecture series “Dutch Interiors” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 2005, and in the conference “Rethinking Rembrandt” at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 2000. In addition to the introductory survey in art history (Renaissance to Modern), Dr. Nevitt teaches courses in European Baroque Art, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, Northern Renaissance Art, and seminars on Methods of Art History, Rembrandt, and Problems in Dutch Genre Painting.

Jessica A. Locheed, Instructional Assistant Professor

BA, Smith College 
MA, University of Iowa, Iowa City 
PhD, University of Iowa, Iowa City

Dr. Locheed received her PhD with a concentration in mid to late 19th Century French art. Her specific research has been the junctures between late 19th Century French art and literature. She has published articles on the relationship between the art of Degas and the poetic process of the symbolist master Mallarmé. Before returning to Houston she spent many years on faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She teaches Art of our Visual World and Survey of Art: Renaissance to Modern. She also teaches a variety of upper level classes on themes and topics from the 19th century in Europe. These include: Survey of 19th Century European Art; Impressionism; Late 19th Century Art; Symbolist Art; and Post-Impressionism.

Raphael Rubinstein, Professor

Critical Studies / Theory / Criticism

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of numerous books of poetry, prose, and criticism, including Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of Their Practice, The Basement of the Cafe Rilke, and Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002. Since 1986, his art writing has appeared in Arts, Art News, Art in America, Flash Art, Artforum and other magazines, and has significantly influenced the critical landscape. From 1997–2007, he was Senior Editor for Art in America. Rubinstein has lectured internationally, curated exhibitions and received numerous awards including the French government’s Chevalier dans l’Order de Arts et des Lettres.

Jessica Santone, Visiting Assistant Professor

BA, University of Maryland College Park
MA, University of Chicago
PhD, McGill University

Jessica Santone specializes in Contemporary Art History, Performance Studies, and Critical Theory. Her doctoral research concerned the uses of documentation to circulate ephemeral performance art in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly within the international avant-garde group Fluxus. She is currently developing this into a book on archiving audiences of Fluxus performance. Other projects contribute to the history of countercultural art and visual culture circa 1970; critical discourse on twenty-first century performance art and social practice; archival or pedagogical forms in recent art; and theories of cognition, event, community, and archive. She has presented at numerous international conferences. In the coming year, she will co-chair a panel on the formalization of performance at the University Art Association of Canada Conference in Banff, Alberta; and present a paper on Fluxus as fan culture at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago. She has previously taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and Kalamazoo College.

Judith Steinhoff, Associate Professor

Medieval (Northern Europe and Italy)
BA, Sarah Lawrence College
MFA, Princeton University
PhD, Princeton University

Professor Steinhoff's primary area of research is Italian Gothic art. Her interests include the politicization of art and artistic style in the fourteenth century. She is also interested in Medieval illuminated manuscripts throughout Europe. Prof. Steinhoff's book, Painting in Siena After the Black Death: Artistic Pluralism, Politics, and Patronage, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. Her other publications include "A Mysterious Magdalen; Miracles, Monastic Politics and a Lost Altarpiece for Lecceto" (in Coming About: A Festschrift for John Shearman); "Artistic Working Relationships After the Black Death: a Sienese 'compagnia', ca. 1350-ca. 1363(?)" (Renaissance Studies, 2000) and "Reality and Ideality in Sienese Renaissance Cityscapes" (in Siena in the Renaissance: Art in Context, L. Jenkens, ed.) Prof. Steinhoff has presented papers at national conferences, including at the College Art Association, the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, and the International Medieval Congress, Leeds. She is also active in TEMA (the Texas Medieval Association). Prof. Steinhoff is co-editor of and contributor to a volume entitled, Art as Politics in Medieval and Renaissance Siena. Her current research project is a study of representations of grief in art and in social rituals. Prof. Steinhoff has received several awards, including a Fulbright/Italian Government Grant, Harvard University-Danforth Center Teaching Award, a Research Initiation Grant, and a FDIP grant for development of instructional technologies from the University of Houston.

Prof. Steinhoff teaches Art History Survey I and upper level courses on Medieval Art (including Arts, Artists, and Patrons In Medieval Europe; Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts; and Italian Gothic Art and Patronage. In addition to University of Houston, she has also taught at Princeton University, Rice University, Harvard University, and Trinity College (Hartford, CT).

Sandra Zalman, Assistant Professor

20th Century and Contemporary
B.A University of California, Berkeley
MA and Ph.D., University of Southern California

Sandra Zalman joins the Art History faculty as Assistant Professor. Dr. Zalman specializes in Modern and Contemporary Art, and her research develops out of a broad interest in the interplay between high and low forms of the visual, especially as that interaction has shaped the discourses of art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is also interested in the examination of institutions that consciously worked to present modern art to public audiences, ranging from museums and world's fairs to department stores, Hollywood movies, and popular magazines. Dr. Zalman is currently preparing her doctoral dissertation -- an analysis of how Surrealism's vernacular and avant-garde status influenced the direction and reception of American art -- for publication as a book. In February 2010, Dr. Zalman will present her work as part of the "Rethinking Consumption in American Art" panel at the College Art Association's annual conference.


Affiliates offer additional courses in African, Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, and 19th century Art, and Film and Visual Media on a periodic basis.

Candace Clements, Affiliate

BA, Austin College, Texas
MA, University of Missouri, Columbia
PhD, Yale University

Dr. Clements has been an affiliate in the School of Art since 2002 after having taught Art History for a number of years at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut. She received her Master's from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Ph.D. from Yale University, both with a specialization in eighteenth-century French art. Her current research interests include painters and their career strategies in early eighteenth-century Paris and printmaking in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe.

Luisa Orto, Affiliate

BA, Boston University
MA, New York University
PhD, New York University

Luisa Orto has a BA in Art History from Boston University. She earned her MA and PhD in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University where she also completed a minor in Art Conservation. Dr. Orto teaches courses on the history of design.