Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy


  • PhD, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 2008
  • MA, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 2004
  • BA in Art History & Conservation, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 2000


Silvia Bottinelli (PhD University of Pisa) is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Visual and Material Studies Department, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Dr. Bottinelli's scholarship focuses on contemporary food-based art as well as twentieth and twenty-first-century Italian art. Dr. Bottinelli's single authored 4 books, co-edited 2 volumes and 3 special issues of peer-reviewed journals, and has published widely in art magazines and scholarly journals, such as Art Journal, Modernism/modernity, Public Art Dialogue, Humanities, California Italian Studies, Art Papers, Sculpture, Predella, Ricerche di Storia dell'Arte, Artribune, and ExibArt, among others. Her most recent book, titled Artists and the Practice of Agriculture (Routledge, 2024), discusses global examples of art farming and expands on Dr. Bottinelli's previous research on food-based art, including the co-edited volume (with Margherita d'Ayala Valva) The Taste of Art (University of Arkansas Press, 2017) and a special issue of Public Art Dialogue on "Food and Activism in Contemporary Art" (2018). Dr. Bottinelli also co-edited the volume Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art with Sharon Hecker (Bloomsbury, 2021). On 20th and 21st century Italian art, Dr. Bottinelli single-authored the book titled Double-Edged Comforts: Domestic Life in Modern Italian Art and Visual Culture (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021), and, in Italian, the volume SeleArte: Una Finestra Sul Mondo (Fondazione Ragghianti, 2010) and Un Premio Dimenticato: La Collezione del Fiorino alla Galleria d'arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti (Edifir, 2007). Dr, Bottinelli's work was supported by grants of the Italian Council, Italian Art Society, the Center for Italian Modern Art, the American Philosophical Society, the Terra Foundation, and the Tufts Tisch College Faculty Fellowship, the Tufts Green Fund, among others. Dr. Bottinelli received an International Award for Excellence from the Food Studies Research Network.

Dr. Bottinelli's classes focus on the History of Sculpture, which she looks at from interdisciplinary perspectives. Her teaching interests include Food and Art; Feminism; Materiality in Art; Public Art; Social Practice; Arte Povera and Italian post WWII art; Modern and Contemporary Sculpture; Domestic Cultures; EcoArt; and more.

She serves as a member of: the Tufts University Faculty Senate; the executive committees of Environmental Studies and International Literary and Visual Studies; the SMFA Sustainability Committee (which she founded), and of the Gifts of Art Committee (Tufts University Art Galleries).