Susanna Cole works on visual and material culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, with a focus on Great Britain. She has focused on landscape painting and architecture, visual culture, technology, decorative arts and the history of science. A Brown University B.A., she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2013.
Cole’s current book project, Space into Time: English Canals and English Landscape Painting 1760-1835 examines the golden age of canals as the interstice between the early modern period in England and modern industrial England. It is a period in which the development of one technology, the canal, as it was elaborated in the landscape, propelled two generations of artists and artisans to work on the same problem: the visual representation of time in space. The book draws on a range of sources from cartography to popular prints and fiction, landscape painting, pottery, vernacular arts and crafts, lyric poetry, geological treatises and technological manuals.
She has been the recipient of the Helena Rubenstein Curatorial Fellowship at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, the Yale Center for British Art Residential Fellow, the W. M. Kech Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Huntington. Her work in teaching has been supported by The Cooper Union Benjamin Menschel Faculty Teaching Fellowship as well as the Hunter College Presidential Initiative to increase student engagement. Cole has curated numerous exhibitions including The Play’s the Thing at the Whitney Museum of American Art , American Visions and Revisions at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, and The Golden Hour at Gigantic Art Space.
Cole has also embarked on a second book project exploring the foundations of aerial perspective in early modern and modern visual culture. Aerial perspective lies at the intersection of intellectual history, the history of science, and the development of new ideas of visuality in the eighteenth-and nineteenth-centuries.