Patricia Leighten

Patricia Leighten

Professor Emerita of Art, Art History and Visual Studies


  • Ph.D., Rutgers University 1983

  • M.A., Rutgers University 1975

  • B.A., University of Massachusets, Boston 1973


Patricia Leighten received her PhD from Rutgers University. Her field of research is late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century art and politics in France, and the history of photography. She has won numerous awards and fellowships. The first art historian to publish a study of the importance of the anarchist movement for the development of twentieth-century modernism, in Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897−1914 (Princeton University Press 1989); she extensively expanded on this subject in The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris (University of Chicago Press 2013). She is also co-author, with Mark Antliff, of A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914 (University of Chicago Press 2008), trans. Le cubisme devant ses contemporains–Documents et critiques (1906-1914) (Paris: Les Presses du réel, 2019) and Cubism and Culture (Thames & Hudson 2001), trans. Cubisme et culture (Paris: Thames & Hudson, 2002).  She is currently researching photography and anarchist ideology in the 20th century, and presenting her scholarship at conferences and in publications.


Modernism and politics in early 20th century Europe, photographic history and theory


Picasso and the Allure of Language
Throughout his life, Pablo Picasso had close friendships with writers and an abiding interest in the written word. This groundbreaking book, which draws on the collections of... read more »
The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris
The years before World War I were a time of social and political ferment in Europe, which profoundly affected the art world. A major center of this creative tumult was Paris... read more »

Antliff, M., and P. Leighten. Le cubisme devant ses contemporains – Documents et critiques (1906-1914). Les presses du réel, 2019.

Leighten, P. The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Antliff, Mark, and Mark Leighten P. A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914. University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Antliff, Mark, and Patricia Leighten. Cubisme et culture. Translated by C. -. M. Diebold, Thames and Hudson, 2002.

Antliff, M., and P. Leighten. Cubism and Culture. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

Leighten, P. Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897-1914. Princeton University Press, 1989.

Leighten, Patricia. “Félix Fénéon’s Anarchist Avant-Gardism.” Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde--From Signac to Matisse and Beyond, Museum of Modern Art, 2020.

Antliff, Mark, and Patricia Leighten. “Anarchist Modernism after Signac: Fauvism, Futurism, Cubism.” Paris 1900 and Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants, edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais et al., Musée des Beaux-Arts, 2020.

Leighten, P. “A Politics of Technique: Fauvism and Anarchist Individualism.” Anarchism and the Avant-Garde: Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective, edited by Carolin Kosuch, Brill, 2019.

Leighten, Patricia. “Le Début de l’engagement politique de Picasso: l’anarchisme et le modernisme en Espagne et en France (1897-1914).” Picasso et La Guerre, Gallimard/Musée de l’Armée/Musée national Picasso-Paris, 2019.

Leighten, P. “America, with Burk Uzzle.” All About America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle, Ackland Museum of Art, University of North Carolina, 2016.

Leighten, P. “Embattled Cubism: Picasso, Rivera and World War I.” Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2016.

Leighten, Patricia. “The White Peril: Colonialism, L'art negre, and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.” European Ghosts: The Representation of Art from Africa in the Twentieth Century, Mu.ZEE Ostend, 2015.

Leighten, P. “The white peril and l’art nègre picasso, primitivism, and anticolonialism.” Race-Ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History, 2013, pp. 233–60. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203614440-22. Full Text

Leighten, P. “Café Scene; Salomé; Head of a Woman; Vase, Gourd and Fruit; Scallop Shells on a Piano; Still Life with Calling Card; and Ace of Clubs.” Picasso and the Allure of Language, edited by Susan Greenberg Fisher, Yale University Press, 2009.

Leighten, P. “Réveil anarchiste: Salon Painting, Political Satire, Modernist Art.” Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority, edited by E. Ruin et al., 2007.


Leighten P, P. “Passionate Discontent: Creativity, Gender, and French Symbolist Art by Patricia Mathews.” Modernism/Modernity, vol. 8, Apr. 2001, pp. 369–71.

Leighten, P. “Anarchist satire in pre-world War I Paris: The case of František Kupka.” Substance, vol. 46, no. 2, 2017, pp. 50–70. Manual, doi:10.3368/ss.46.2.50. Full Text

Leighten, P. “The World Turned Upside Down: Modernism and Anarchist Strategies of Inversion in ’L’Assiette au beurre’.” Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, vol. 4, Penn State University Press, 2013, pp. 134–70.

Leighten, P. “Modernist Abstraction, Anarchist Antimilitarism, and War.” Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, vol. 2, Dec. 2011, pp. 113–50.

Leighten, P. “Kees van Dongen: Art, Anarchism, & Audience.” Ideas, vol. IV/2, Research Triangle Park, NC: National Humanities Center, 1996, pp. 46–52.

Leighten, P. “Reveil Anarchiste: Salon Painting, Political Satire, Modernist Art.” Modernism/Modernity, vol. II, Apr. 1995, pp. 17–47.

Leighten, P. “Cubist Anachronisms: Ahistoricity, Cryptoformalism, And Business-As-Usual in New York.” Oxford Art Journal, vol. XVII, Oct. 1994, pp. 91–102.

Leighten, P. “Editor’s Statement: Revising Cubism.” Art Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, Dec. 1988, pp. 269–76. Scopus, doi:10.1080/00043249.1988.10792424. Full Text

Leighten, P. “La Propagande par le rire: Satire and Subversion in Apollinaire, Jarry and Picasso's Collages.” Gazette Des Beaux Arts, vol. CXII, Oct. 1988, pp. 163–72.



Spring 2015

Dada and Surrealism (ARTHIST 288.01)
East Duke 204B, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Special Topics (ARTHIST 590S.08)
East Duke 204A, W 01:25 PM-03:55 PM

Fall 2014

Hist Photo 1839-Present (ARTHIST 303.01)
East Duke 204B, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Topics in Art History (ARTHIST 790.01)
East Duke 204A, Th 01:25 PM-03:55 PM
Hist Photo 1839-Present (VMS 303.01)
East Duke 204B, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Spring 2014

European Art 1900-1945 (ARTHIST 280.01)
East Duke 108, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
Cubism and Culture (ARTHIST 304.01)
East Duke 108, TuTh 04:40 PM-05:55 PM