John Hunisak

John Hunisak

Professor Emeritus of History of Art & Architecture, Middlebury

John Hunisak taught the history of art at Middlebury from the fall of 1970 through fall semester 2012. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College, with an MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. His scholarly interests involve mostly painting and sculpture, from the Italian Renaissance through early modernism in Europe and America. He co-authored The Art of Florence (Abbeville Press), along with Glenn M. Andres and A. Richard Turner. He wroteThe Sculptor Jules Dalou: Studies in His Style and Imagery (also Abbeville Press, from the series “outstanding dissertations in the fine arts”) and Carvings, Casts & Replicas: Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from Europe & America in New England Collections (exhibition catalogue, Middlebury College Museum of Art), along with other essays and reviews (most recently, “Warhol and Opera: Andy’s Secret,” for the exhibition catalogue, Warhol Live, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts). After extensive research in the archives of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, he is currently engaged in a book-length study, called Andy Warhol: the Serious Side.

Hunisak has often taught courses for Middlebury’s Alumni College, at Bread Loaf, in Santa Fe (New Mexico), and abroad. He has lectured for several “Middlebury at the Met,” evenings in New York, prior to performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Most recently, he delivered a lecture entitled “Panis angelicus fit panis hominum (May the bread of angels become mankind’s bread): Images of food in representations of the New Testament,” for the Faculty Lecture Series and for the Vermont Council for the Humanities.

In addition to art and art history, Hunisak’s passions are cities, opera, and cuisine.

The Art of Florence

(two volumes, slipcased)


This popular monument of scholarly and publishing history, winner of the prestigious Prix Vasari in France, is now available at an irresistible low price.

Since the radiant years of the Renaissance, the city of Florence has come for many to represent the greatest triumph of the Western cultural tradition. This is the city where humanism was born, where Plato was discussed passionately in the narrow streets, and where men and women first found themselves to be the measure of all things. For more than three centuries Florence nurtured a creative community of astounding, even revolutionary genius. Here, starting in the late 1200s, Giotto painted the grave and powerful frescoes that drew Florence and the world toward a radical new vision of realism, and here, ushering in the dazzling era of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo began his incomparable career as architect, sculptor, and painter. During the intervening years, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, and hundreds of the most splendidly talented artists in history lived and worked in this small city on the Arno and collaborated in the creation of the great urban museum we know as Florence.

Matching an elegant and sophisticated text by three leading art historians with hundreds of glorious color photographs, The Art of Florence immerses us in a city and a time of unparalleled cultural ferment. This important and uncommonly beautiful publication analyzes the history of Florentine art in terms of the distinctly Florentine and Tuscan influences that shaped it—an approach never before employed in a study of this breadth and complexity. The fascinating and lucid text by Glenn Andres, John Hunisak, and Richard Turner gracefully links Florentine architecture, sculpture, and painting to the rich social fabric and the dramatic political life of the city. Woven into this compelling history is the most luxurious and comprehensive visual documentation available of Florence's unrivaled treasures. More than 700 color images and another 854 duotones and architectural drawings have been reproduced with a meticulous care worthy of the Renaissance craft tradition. Joining visual beauty with intellectual rigor in a fashion that truly invokes the spirit of this great city, The Art of Florence presents as rich a vision of human creativity as we can find anywhere outside Florence itself.

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