Melissa Geisler Trafton

BFA Liberal Arts Faculty


A.B., cum laude, joint degree in History & Literature, & Fine Arts - Harvard College
MA in the History of Art - University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. in the History of Art - University of California, Berkeley


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Melissa Geisler Trafton is an art historian and scholar of nineteenth-century American art. She has published on a variety of topics, including the reception of the work of John Frederick Kensett, the relationship between text and image in the print culture of antebellum America, and the role of memory in the work of Fitz Henry Lane. She has held curatorial positions in a number of museums around the country, most recently at the Cape Ann Museum, where she was the Managing Director and Adjunct Curator for Fitz Henry Lane Online ( Currently, in addition to teaching at NHIA, she is an adjunct professor of art history at the University of New Hampshire, Manchester, and the Exhibitions Coordinator at the Saint-Gaudens Memorial in Cornish, NH. Melissa Trafton received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Berkeley.