Dr. Eleanor Jones Harvey is Senior Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century American art, notably landscape painting, southwestern abstraction and Texas art. Her most recent exhibitions are “The Civil War and American Art” (2012), “Variations on America: Masterworks from the American Art Forum Collections” (2007) and “An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection” (2006). Her current work supports an exhibition on the considerable impact of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt on American art and culture.
Harvey joined the museum’s staff in 2003 as the curator for the museum’s Luce Foundation Center for American Art, an innovative study center with visible storage. She was the museum’s chief curator from 2003 to 2012. Harvey oversaw the installation of the permanent collection galleries in 2006 after a major renovation of the museum’s historic landmark building. In 2008, she was a fellow at The Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York City.
Previously, Harvey was curator of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art. The book The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature, 1830–1880 (1998), won the 1999 Henry Russell Hitchcock Award from the Victorian Society of America as the most significant contribution to 19th-century fine arts studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Virginia in 1983, and she holds both a master’s degree (1985) and doctorate in art history (1998) from Yale University.