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Adam Jolles

Published February 20, 2015



Associate Professor
Modern European Art and History of Photography
On research leave 2022–23

2019 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award
PhD The University of Chicago
Curriculum Vitae
1019 William Johnston Building


Dr. Adam Jolles joined the Department of Art History in 2002. His research concerns late European modernism, focusing in particular on interwar developments in France and the former Soviet Union. Recently, he has been exploring the evolution of continental display practices in relation to contemporaneous discourses on avant-gardism, ethnography and totalitarianism. He is also interested in the history of photography, the history of propaganda, and, more broadly, issues concerning European colonialism and visual culture.

In his book “The Curatorial Avant-Garde: Surrealism and Exhibition Practice in France, 1925–1941” (Penn State University Press, 2014), Professor Jolles demonstrates the Surrealists’ radical transformation of the ways in which spectators encountered works of art between the wars. From their introduction in Paris in 1925, Surrealist exhibitions dissolved the conventional boundaries between visual media, language, and the space of public display. This intrusion—by a group of amateur curators, with neither formal training nor professional experience in museums or galleries—ultimately altered the way in which Surrealists made, displayed and promoted their own art.

Professor Jolles co-curated a major exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago, Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945 (The Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press, 2011). The show addressed the production and distribution of hand-painted Soviet propaganda through the TASS (Soviet Telegraph Agency) poster studio in Moscow during World War II. The catalogue was given the 2011 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award by the Art Libraries Society of North America.

Professor Jolles was a Fulbright fellow in France (1999–2000), and a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities at The University of Chicago (2000–2001). He was awarded a First-Year Assistant Professor Research Grant (2003), two Planning Grants (2005/2015) and an Arts and Humanities Program Enhancement Grant (2011) by the Council on Research and Creativity at Florida State University. He received a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society (2016).


Ashley Lindeman
Alison Reilly
Leah Sherman

Completed Dissertations

Stephanie Bender: “Constructions of the Angestellter: Photographs of the Salaried Class in the Weimar Republic.”
Amy Bowman-McElhone: “‘Freakish’ Student: Mike Kelley, Artistic Pedagogy, and Institutional Critique.”
Rachel Fesperman: “Feu à Volonté—Fire at Will! The Tirs of Niki de Saint Phalle, 1961–1964″
Nathan James Timpano: “The Semblance of Things: Corporeal Gesture in Viennese Expressionism.”
List of FSU Art History dissertations

Graduate Seminars

  • The Relevance of Surrealism
  • The Soviet Moment in Russian Art
  • The Historical and Neo-Avant-Gardes
  • Violence and Representation
  • European Modernism and the New Vision
  • Photography since 1960
  • The Modern Art Exhibition
  • History of the Museum

Lecture Courses

  • Art after 1940
  • History of Photography
  • Modern European Art: Neoclassicism through Impressionism
  • Modern European Art: Post-Impressionism through Surrealism

Selected Publications

“Artists into Curators: Dada and Surrealist Exhibition Practices,” in David Hopkins, ed., A Companion to Dada and Surrealism, Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

The Curatorial Avant-Garde: Surrealism and Exhibition Practice in France, 1925–1941, Penn State University Press, 2014.

Co-curator and contributing author to Peter Kort Zegers and Douglas W. Druick, eds., Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945, The Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press, 2011. Winner of the 2011 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award granted by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

“On the Third Front: The Soviet Museum and Its Public during the Cultural Revolution” (co-authored with Konstantin Akinsha), Canadian-American Slavic Studies 43 (Spring–Winter 2009); reprinted in Anne Odom and Wendy Salmond, eds., Treasures into Tractors: The Selling of Russia’s Cultural Heritage, 1917–37, Washington, D.C. and Seattle: Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens and the University of Washington Press, 2009.

“The Tactile Turn: Envisioning a Post-Colonial Aesthetic in France,” Yale French Studies 109 (June 2006).

“Stalin’s Talking Museums,” Oxford Art Journal 28 (October 2005).

“Espèces d’espaces surréalistes: Architecture/Mise-en-scène/Exposition” in Jacqueline Chénieux-Gendron, ed., Pensée de l’expérience, travail de l’expérimentation au sein des surréalismes et des avant-gardes en Europe (Paris/Leuven: Peeters, 2005).

“V strani bez slovarya?,” in T. Balashova and H. Sheno-Handron, eds., Prevratnosti Vybora: Antologii i slovari v praktike surrealizma i avangarda (Moscow: Institut mirovoy literatury im. A. M. Gorkogo, 2004).

“‘Visitez l’exposition anti-coloniale!’ Nouveaux éléments sur l’exposition protestataire de 1931: Paul Eluard, La vérité sur les colonies; Aragon, La vérité sur les colonies: Une salle de l’Exposition anti-impérialiste,” in Pleine Marge 35 [Paris] (June 2002).


Florida State University Graduate Teaching Award, 2018–19