Hiram College

Lisa Bixenstine Safford

Lisa Bixenstine Safford, Ph.D. Photo

Lisa Bixenstine Safford, Ph.D.

Professor of Art History, Chair

B.F.A., B.A., M.A., Kent State University
M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Lisa Bixenstine Safford is a full professor of art history, and art department chair at Hiram College where she also recently served as Chair of the Faculty. While her training was concentrated in 19th and 20th century European and American art history (PhD OSU ‘87), Dr. Safford teaches Ancient, Renaissance, Baroque, Japanese and Indian art as well as courses in her area of greatest expertise. To create many of these courses she participated in a dozen faculty development programs sponsored by the NEH, Fulbright-Hays, AACU, and ASIANetwork that have taken her to Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, India, France and Italy. Dr. Safford has taken Hiram College students to Japan (team-teaching with colleagues in communications), in addition to regular travel with students to France and Italy to learn of the art and culture there. Her next destination in 2018 is Greece. She has team taught classes with a music historian on art and music since the Renaissance, (including a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies MAIS course) and the art and music of New Orleans. She also team-teaches Bohemians and Rebels: Art and Literature of the Roman tic Age, with a professor in the English department, and has prepared a travel course to India with a political science professor. Dr. Safford recently won an Ohio Humanities Grant to teach a graduate course on American Art to high school teachers.

Areas of interest: Asian art, European and American Modernism, Renaissance art. Teaches all topics from Ancient to Modern, Japan and India. Has taken students abroad eleven times: to Italy, France and Japan.


Kent State University (Fine Art), B.F.A.

Kent State University (Art History), B.A.

The Ohio State University (Art History), M.A.

Kent State University (Theatre), M.A.

The Ohio State University (Art History), Ph.D.

Teaching Experience

Hiram College, Hiram, OH; Art Dept.; 1988-present; Full-time tenured Full Professor; 1997-2003, 2007-10, Art Department Chair; 2011-present, Chair of the Faculty
Kent State University, Kent, OH; School of Art; 1987-88, Assistant Professor (Sabbatical Replacement)
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX; Department of Art; 1983-87; Instructor, slide librarian
Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH; Department of Fine Arts; 1981-83; Instructor
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Department of History of Art; 1978-83, Graduate Teaching Associate

Courses Taught

  • History of Western Art (View a sample syllabus)
  • Ancient Art
  • Japanese Art
  • Art of India
  • Baroque Art
  • American Art
  • Contemporary Art
  • Italian Renaissance Art
  • 19th Century European Art
  • Early Modern Art (1880-1940)
  • Realism (graduate course)
  • The Romantic Age (art and literature, team taught)
  • The Muses Entwined: Art and Music since the Renaissance (team taught)
  • What is Beauty?: Art and Music of the Renaissance (team taught, graduate course)
  • Japan: Ideologies, Artifacts, and Institutions (team taught, travel course)
  • The Human Body in Art (Freshman Colloquium)
  • French Art and History in Paris and Provence (travel course)
  • Monuments of Italian Art (travel course)Music and Architecture of New Orleans (travel course)
  • Creativity and Commerce: Art and Entrepreneurship from the Pope’s Michelangelos to Post-Modernism
  • Bohemians and Rebels (art and literature, team taught)

Selected Publications

  • Book Review: Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia by Thomas David DuBois, Education About Asia, Volume 17, Number 3 (2012 )
  • “Dante in the Italian Renaissance of Art,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, Volume 13, Number 1 (2012) 97-104
  • “The Tale of Genji and Business Japan 101: A Comparison of Heian Period Art and Literature Formative of Modern Business Behaviors,” Japan Studies Association Journal, Vol. 8 (2010) 196-208
  • “Water, Wood, and Women: The Persistence of Ancient Traditions in Modern India.” Education About Asia,Vol. 15, No. 2 (Fall 2010) 35-41
  • Book Review, The Japanese Garden: Gateway to the Human Spirit by Seiko Goto, Education About Asia (2007).
  • Book Review, Culture and Customs of India by Carol E. Henderson, East-West Connections: Review of Asian Studies (Vol. 4, Number 1, 2004)
  • Book Review, Japanese Woodblock Printing by Rebecca Salter, Education About Asia , vol.9 no.2 (Fall, 2004).
  • “Japanese Gardens: All Nippon, Very Little Zen”, East-West Connections, vol. 3 no.1 (Fall, 2003)
  • “Bringing the Classroom to Art: Art History and Modern Culture in Japan” ASIANetwork Exchange, Vol. IX, No.3, Spring 2002, 19-20
  • Book Review: Choreography and Narrative by Susan Foster, Nineteenth Century French Studies, (Fall, 1997)
  • “Mallarme’s Influence on Degas’s Aesthetic of Dance In His Late Period,” Nineteenth Century French Studies, Vol. 21, nos. 3 & 4, (Spring, 1993) 419-33
  • “The Scaffolding of Rome,” Hiram Magazine (Spring, 1990) 5-8
  • “Tender Moments: The Mother and Child Paintings of Mary Cassatt,” Kaleidoscope, 18 (Wtr./Spr., 1989) 10-13

Conference Papers

  • “Angels Among Us? Clothing, Dance, and Aire, in Ghirlandaio’s Birth-room Attendants,” Midwest Art History Society, Columbus, OH, Mr. 2013
  • “On Birth and Purgatory: Influences from Dante’s Commedia and Cristoforo Landino’s Comento on Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Tornabuoni Chapel Frescoes,” Midwest Art History Society, Grand Rapids, MI, Apr. 2011
  • “Cultural Heritage Preservation and Modernization in China: Problems, Perspectives, and Potentials,” Asian Studies Development Program Annual Conference, Boston, Mr, 2011
  • “From Darkness into Light: Buddhist Caves Across Asia”, Mid Atlantic Region Asian Studies Society, Seton Hall University, NJ, November 2006, and Asian Studies Development Program National Conference, Seattle, Washington, March 8-10, 2007
  • “Christo’s New York Gates: The Japanese Connection”, Midwest Art History Society, Dallas, March 23-5, 2006
  • “Water, Women and Wood: The Persistence of Tradition in Modern India”, Asian Studies Development Program Annual Conference, Kansas City, April, 2004; Society of Indian Religion and Philosophy, October, 2004
  • “Japanese Gardens: All Nippon, Very Little Zen”, Asian Studies Development Program Annual Conference at Agnes Scott College, April, 2002
  • “Art History and Modern Japan: Bringing the Students to Art”, ASIANetwork Annual Meeting, Cleveland, April 21, 2001
  • “Gothic Cathedrals and National Identity in Early Modern French Painting, 1895-1915” Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference, St. Louis, April 23, 1995
  • “Mallarme’s Influence on Degas’s Aesthetic of Dance in his Late Period,” Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference, Omaha, April 4, 1993
  • “Country Vs. City: Images of Working Women in Late 19th Century French Art”, Mid-American Women Studies Conference, Akron, November 7, 1987
  • “Degas’s Dancers: In Defense of an Iconographic Interpretation”, Texas Conference of Art Historians, Dallas, April 27, 1985

Academic Honors and Awards

  • ASIANetwork, Seminar: “Vietnam: Consensus, Conflict, Contradiction, and Change, Faculty Enhancement Program: Deepening Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, Vietnam, Summer 2013
  • Ohio Humanities Council, Summer Teacher Institute Grant:  “Oh Say, Can You See”: Exploring the First Century of US History through Northeast Ohio Art Museums,” Project Director, Summer, 201
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar for College Teachers, “Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Medieval World: Literature, History, Art”, 2009
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute for College Teachers, Korean History and Culture, Honolulu and Korea, 2004
  • Fulbright-Hays Foundation, Seminar Abroad Travel Grant to India and Sri Lanka, summer 2003
  • Workshop grant: Representing Excellence: the Authoritative in South and East Asian Art and Literature, Asian Studies Development Program, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee (April 10-14).
  • Workshop grant: Considering the Place of Buddhist Traditions Across Asia, Center for Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin (March 19-20)
  • Hiram College, Induction into Garfield Society, 2002Hiram College, Fiat Lux Research Grant, 2002
  • Hiram College Summer Scholars Fellowship Grant, 2001
  • Hiram College Paul E. Martin Faculty Excellence Award, 2000, 1994
  • Hiram College Faculty Technology Innovator Award, 2000
  • AACU Faculty and Curriculum Development, Seminar in Japan, 2000
  • ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Fellows Program, summer in Japan, 2000
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute for College Teachers, Indian Culture and Civilization, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1999
  • ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation College in Asia Summer Institute in Japan and China, 1998
  • Fulbright-Hays Foundation, ASDP Field Study in Japan, Summer, 1997
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute for College Teachers, Japanese Culture and Civilization, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1995
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar for College Teachers, Gothic Cathedrals in Paris and Environs, 1993
  • Hiram College, Gund-Gerstacker Summer Research Award, to prepare travel course on Art of Paris, 1993
  • Hiram College, Lilly Grant, to prepare course on Art of Japan, 1991
  • Hiram College, Faculty Development Grant, 1991, 1989
  • Stephen F. Austin State University, Faculty Research Grant, 1984
  • Ohio State University, Graduate Alumni Research Award, 1984
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1980


  • American Association of University Professors
  • College Art Association of America
  • Midwest Art History Society
  • ASIANetwork
  • Asian Studies Development Program