Mary E. Miller Named Sterling Professor of the History of Art
Mary E. Miller, newly designated as the Sterling Professor of the History of Art, is a specialist on Mesoamerican art who is particularly renowned for her scholarship on the Maya.
The Sterling Professorship is the highest honor bestowed on Yale faculty.
Miller has also served since 1999 as the master of Saybrook College. She has been a member of the Yale faculty since 1980.
The art historian is the author of “Maya Art and Architecture,” “The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya: A Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion” (with Karl Taube), “The Art of Mesoamerica,” “The Murals of Bonampak” and “The Blood of Kings: Ritual and Dynasty in Maya Art” (with Linda Schele). Her many articles address questions of Aztec and Maya art, as well as the historiography of Pre-Columbian art. She has written for National Geographic and Archaeology magazines, among others, and she has been featured in a number of television films about the Maya that have aired on NBC, the Discovery Channel and A&E.
Miller has used infrared photography and computer enhancement to reconstruct and decipher the 1,200-year-old murals created by the Maya peoples of Mexico and Central America. For her work in this area, she appeared in “Encuentro II,” a three-day live television program from Mexico that was broadcast in 1993, and in “Lost Civilizations: The Mystery of the Maya,” a Time-Life film. She was one of the featured professors in “The Great Teachers at Yale” series created by the Association of Yale Alumni.
In 2004, Miller served as the guest curator for “The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya,” an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She has served as a consultant to several organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the Getty Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A graduate of Princeton University, Miller earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Yale in 1978 and 1981, respectively. She first began teaching at Yale as an instructor, was named a full professor in 1990 and was appointed the Vincent J. Scully Professor of the History of Art in 1998. She has served as director of undergraduate studies in the history of art and as chair of the department, and she also chaired the Latin American studies department. She currently serves on the steering committee of the Women Faculty Forum at Yale.
Miller’s numerous honors include the 1988 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association of America for her book “The Blood of Kings.” She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. She has been named the A.W. Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art for 2009-2010 and the Slade Professor at Cambridge for 2014-2015.