On March 24, 2018 Professor Ethan Matt Kavaler was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège, one of Belgium’s oldest institutions.
Professor Kavaler is Director of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies and Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto. A specialist of northern European art of the Renaissance across multiple media, he is the author of Pieter Bruegel, Parables of Order and Enterprise (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Renaissance Gothic, Architecture and the Arts in Northern Europe 1470-1540 (Yale University Press, 2012). He has written many articles on the rise of secular painting in the Netherlands, the politics of court sculpture, ornament and aesthetics, and the stunning revival of Late Gothic architecture in the early modern period; he has coined the term “Renaissance Gothic.” He also contributed to the catalogue of the exhibition on Jan Gossart, which was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010.
Professor Kavaler has organized several conferences. As part of his interest in the long survival of the Gothic, he initiated an international conference in Paris dedicated to this subject, and he co-edited the resulting publication (Le Gothique de la Renaissance, Paris: Picard, 2011). In 2015 he oversaw a colloquium on Netherlandish Sculpture of the Sixteenth Century. Many of these papers have been published in the current volume of the Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art (2017), which Kavaler co-edited. Also just appearing is the book Netherlandish Culture of the Sixteenth Century (Brepols, 2017), an anthology of studies across many disciplines resulting from an earlier Toronto conference that he also co-edited.
Professor Kavaler has received fellowships from many prestigious foundations, including the American National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, Belgian-American Academy, and the Social Science and Research Council of Canada. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Archaeology of Belgium and a former member of the Managing Board of the Historians of Netherlandish. He has been invited as a visiting professor to Yale University and the University of Innsbruck. Kavaler sits on the board of the Gardiner Museum, Canada’s national ceramics museum and previously served as Acting Chair of the Art History Department at the University of Toronto.
Kavaler is highly regarded as a professional art photographer and is represented by an agent in New York City. His images have not only been reproduced in his books and articles, they have appeared in numerous publications in Europe and North America.
Matt is now writing a book on Netherlandish sixteenth-century sculpture and is a member of the committee organizing the exhibition dedicated to Jan Borman, which will open in 2019 in Leuven.