Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
Susan J. Bandes


bandes.jpgProfessor, Museum Studies
Associate Director of Arts & Cultural Management and Museum Studies
Art History & Visual Culture
320 KAC
P 517-884-2901



Susan J. Bandes is Professor of Art History and Director of Museum Studies. She received her MA and PhD degrees from Bryn Mawr College, specializing in Roman Baroque painting. She served as Director of MSU's Kresge Art Museum (now the Broad Art Museum) from 1986 until 2010 where she curated numerous exhibitions and wrote many catalogues. Among these are: Affordable Dreams: The Goetsch-Winkler House and Frank Lloyd Wright, an exhibition and subsequent edited book on the local Usonian house's 50th anniversary in 1990; WPA in Michigan, and American Modernism. She teaches Renaissance and Baroque Art, Modern Architecture and Curatorial Practices. She is a member of the Print Council of America and is a frequent assessor and accreditor for the American Alliance of Museums.


My research interests cover a broad arena from Old Master prints to American painting and sculpture of the 1930s and 40s. Recently I have been researching modernist architecture in mid-Michigan, related to the State Historic Preservation Office's inventory of Michigan Modern. Beginning with an art history course on the subject in Fall 2012 and continuing the work with student researchers, the initial results were presented in the summer 2013 exhibition at the MSU Museum titled East Lansing Modern, 1940-1970. Further research will inform my book on the subject under contract with the MSU Press. This extends my research interests in American modernists including a publication on the paintings of Abraham Rattner, especially from his forgotten Paris years to the height of his popularity in the 1940's, and articles on several Michigan WPA painters, such as Frank Cassara and Edgar Yaegar, plus explorations of the sculptors who worked at the Century of Progress Worlds Fair in Chicago in 1933 and 1934, including John Storrs and Gaston Lachaise. I am committed to disseminating my research to a broad audience. To that end, I created walking tours of the MSU campus of WPA art and Pewabic Pottery, as well as a driving and biking tour of East Lansing Modern. These are downloadable from the internet.