Maria Maurer, Ph.D. - The University of Tulsa
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Maria Maurer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History

Co-director, Women's and Gender Studies


Maria Maurer specializes in the study of space and gender in early modern Italian art and architecture. Her first book, Gender, Space and Experience at the Renaissance Court. Performance and Practice at the Palazzo Te (Amsterdam University Press, 2019) examines intersections between gender, use, and reception within the early modern palace. The book examines the interconnectedness of places, bodies, identities, and material structures and argue that the early modern built environment was not a closed, perfected object.

Maurer is currently working on a book-length study of the role of mistresses and illegitimate children at the early modern court. The book draws on extensive archival research to argue that mistresses and illegitimate children were integral to the social and cultural life of the Italian courts, and examines the ways in which individuals negotiated courtly constructions of gender and sexuality.
Her second ongoing project, In Situ, focuses on the physical and spatial contexts of Italian Renaissance  altarpieces. With the help of advanced undergraduates, Maurer locates the disparate panels of altarpieces, many of which were broken apart and sold separately in the 19th and 20th centuries. These pieces are digitally reunited and, where possible, situated within their original chapels utilizing 3D modeling and scanning technology. In Situ aims to help museum visitors visualize and understand the original context of the Italian altarpiece, as well as to aid scholars in understanding the role of space and the building environment in the study of Italian religious painting.

Awards and Honors

Scholar Research Grant, Oklahoma Humanities Council, 2023 and 2016; Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Fellow, The University of Tulsa, 2015-2016 Academic Year; Samuel H. Kress Dissertation Fellowship of the Society of Architectural Historians, 2009-2010 Academic Year.


  • Ph.D., Indiana University
    Dissertation: “The Palazzo Te and the Spaces of Masculinity”
  • M.A., University of Louisville

Research interests and areas of expertise

  • Art History
  • Gender Studies
  • Renaissance Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Court Studies