Todd Richardson

Todd M. Richardson

Associate Professor

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244C Art & Communication
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photo 1 photo 2 Pieter Bruegel the Elder book cover The Transformation of Vernacular Expression in Early Modern Arts book cover The Turn of the Soul Book Cover


Dr. Todd Richardson is associate professor of European Renaissance Art, co-founder of Crosstown Arts, and Co-Leader of Crosstown Concourse. Since 2010, he has led the effort to transform the historic, 1.5 million-square-foot Sears Crosstown building into a vertical urban village anchored in arts, education and healthcare. Due to open in 2017, the $200 million project recently received an Innovation Award from Memphis Business Journal and the 2015 John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award. He has lectured and published internationally on topics ranging from art and architecture to religion and politics. To better understand the connection between art history and community development, watch his TEDx talk, "The Dilemma of Discovery".

Other videos:

Crosstown Arts 2015
Crosstown Concourse groundbreaking
Crosstown Concourse update


  • October 2007
    Ph.D. Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands
    Art History
  • May 2003
    M.A. Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
    History of Art and Religion
  • May 2000
    M.A. Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee
    Religious Studies, Summa Cum Laude
  • August 1995
    B.A. University of Mississippi, Oxford
    Major: Philosophy; Minor: Studio Art, Cum Laude


  • Present:
    Fall 2008 – Associate Professor, Renaissance and Baroque Art History, University of Memphis
  • 2003-2008
    Instructor, Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands
    Graduate seminars: Fall of the Idol: Iconoclasm and the Visual Culture of the Reformation; Sanctification of the Self: Habits of Viewing Northern Renaissance Art, 1400-1600
  • Undergraduate Seminars: Albrecht Dürer and the Concept of a Renaissance Artist; Aesthetics and Religion, 1400-1700; Vision and Paradox in the Work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder



Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Art Discourse in the Sixteenth-Century Netherlands (Routledge, 2011)

Edited Books:


  • "Early Modern Hands: Gesture in the Work of Jan van Hemessen," published in Imago Exegetica: Visual Images as Exegetical Instruments, 1400-1700 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), p. 293-320
  • "Landscaping the Soul: Pieter Bruegel's Conversion of St. Paul," in Denis Ribouillault and Michel Weemans (eds), Paysage sacré et exégèse visuelle / Sacred Landscape and Visual Exegesis (Florence: Leo S. Olsch, 2011), 51-66
  • "Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Vernacular Cultivation," in Bart Ramakers (ed.), Understanding Art in Antwerp (Leuven: Peeters, 2010).
  • "To See Yourself Within It: Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Festival of Fools," in Reindert Falkenburg, Walter Melion and Todd Richardson, Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, (2007), 277-305.

Catalogue and Dictionary Entries:

  • Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century, James Clifton and Walter Melion (eds.), New York: Museum of Biblical Art, 2009 (10 entries).
  • "Medieval Mysticism," "Medieval Women's Mysticism," "Geert Grote," "Thomas á Kempis," "Florentius Radewijns," Beatris of Nazareth," "Jan van Ruysbroek," "Marguerite Porrete," in New Westminster Dictionary for Church History (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).

Book Reviews:

  • Walter Gibson, Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Laughter, Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley (2006), in Historians of Netherlandish Art, vol. 24, no. 2 (2007), 21-22.
  • Alison G. Stewart, Before Bruegel: Sebald Beham and the Origin of Peasant Festival Imagery (Aldershot, UK/Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishers, 2008), in College Art Association (caa.reviews online, Summer 2009).
  • Margaret Carroll, Painting and Politics in Northern Europe: Van Eyck, Bruegel, Rubens, and their Contemporaries (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008) in Historians of Netherlandish Art Bulletin, vol. 26, no. 2 (2009)


  • 2011-2012 Professional Development Assignment, University of Memphis
  • 2011 Tennessee Arts Commission/Arts Memphis Grant
  • 2009 Lindsay Young Visiting Fellow, Marco Institute for Medieval and
  • Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee
  • 2009 Faculty Course Redesign Fellowship, FedEx Institute of
  • Technology, University of Memphis
  • 2009 Faculty Research Grant, University of Memphis
  • 2009 New Faculty Research Initiative Grant, University of Memphis
  • 2009 Historians of Netherlandish Art Research Award
  • 2007 Post Doctoral Fellow, Universiteit Leiden
  • 2004 Pallas Research Institute two-year pre-doctoral research grant
  • (AiO), Universiteit Leiden
  • 2003-05 Samuel H. Kress two-year pre-doctoral institutional fellowship
  • 2003 J. William Fulbright Research Scholarship


  • Session Chair, "Trading Values: Perceptions of Antwerp in the Wake of its Fall," Sixteenth Century Conference, Cincinnati, OH, October 25-28, 2012
  • Session co-organizer and co-chair, "'Picture Perfect': Truth, Falsity, and the Polemics of Image Making and Image Breaking in the Early Modern World," Southeastern College Art Conference, Richmond, VA, October 20-24, 2010
  • Session co-organizer and co-chair, "Antwerp and its Boundaries, 1550-1570," Historians of Netherlandish Art Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 27-29, 2010
  • Session organizer and chair, "The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Conversion in the Arts," Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Venice, Italy, April 7-10, 2010
  • Session Chair, "Disrupting Reality: Limiting Pictorial Illusion in Early Modern Art," College Art Association 97th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, February 25-28, 2009
  • Session co-organizer and chair, "Artistic Consciousness and the Emerging Art Theoretical Discourse in Painting, 1400-1700," Historians of Netherlandish Art Conference, Baltimore, November 8-11, 2006
  • Conference co-organizer, "Formulating a Response: Methods of Research on Italian and Northern European Art, 1400-1600," International Conference, Universiteit Leiden, April 20-22, 2006


  • Jan 2013 Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Conference: Le monde vu d'en haut / The World from Above: nouvelles études et approches du paysage monde / new studies and approaches of the world landscape tradition, Paper title: "Pieter Bruegel Landscapes: Symbolic Highlands in the Lowlands (co-presenter with Prof. Larry Silver)
  • May 2012 Universiteit Groningen (Netherlands), Conference: Trading Values: Cultural Translation in Early Modern Antwerp, Paper title: "Pieter Aertsen's Pancake Eaters: Trading Values or the Value of a Trade"
  • May 2012 Technische Universität Dresden (Germany), Paper title: "Jan van Hemessen: Gesture and the Performance of Devotion in Sixteenth-Century Antwerp"
  • Feb 2012 Emory University, Lovis Corinth Art History Colloquium: Ab historia proprie figurative: Visual Images as Exegetical Instruments, 1400-1700, Paper title: "Hemessen's Hands"
  • Dec 2009 Emory University, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, GA; Paper title: "Turn of the Soul: the Iconography of Religious Conversion"
  • Jan 2008
 Universiteit Groningen, Conference: "Understanding Art in Antwerp," Paper title: "Pieter Bruegel's Vienna Peasant Dance and the Reception of Italianate Bacchanalia in the Netherlands"
  • June 2007
 Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris and Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Conference: "Sacred Landscape and Visual Exegesis in Early Modern Europe;" Paper title: "Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the Matter of Conversion"
  • March 2007 
Cambridge University (Clare College), Conference: "Invention, Intention, Persuasion: Forms of Self-Expression in Renaissance Arts and Letters," Paper title: "Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Vernacular Style"
  • April 2006
 Universiteit Leiden, Conference: "Formulating a Response: Methods of Research on Italian and Northern European Art;" Paper title: "Beyond Nature: Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Peasants as Artistic Statement"
  • Feb 2006
 College Art Association, Boston, MA; Paper title: "The Function of Inter-Pictorial Discourse in the Art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder"
  • Oct 2005
 Sixteenth Century Conference, Atlanta, GA; Paper title: "Re-Imagining Reality: The Performance of Interpretation in Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Festival of Fools"


  • Series Managing Editor, PROTEUS: Studies in Early Modern Identity Formation, Book Series, Turnhout: Brepols Publishers
  • Board of Directors, Number: an independent journal of the arts, Memphis, TN (June 2009 – December 2012)
  • Co-Director, Crosstown Arts (non-profit 501c3), Memphis, TN (June 2010 – present)


  • College Art Association
  • Southeastern College Art Conference
  • Historians of Netherlandish Art
  • Sixteenth Century Society
  • Renaissance Society of America