Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Laurie Cosmo

University lecturerer

Dr. L.K. Cosmo Ph.D.
+31 71 527 2249

Laurie Kalb Cosmo is a university lecturer in art history at the Leiden Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) and member of the Research Group in Museums, Collections and Society.

More information about Laurie Cosmo

Before joining the University of Leiden, Laurie Kalb Cosmo was a member of the art history faculty of Temple University Rome (2008-2020), where she taught courses in Museum Histories of Italy and Europe and Modern Art and Architecture under Fascism. She previously taught at Tufts University and University of California, Los Angeles and has been a curator and administrator at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles and Peabody Essex Museum, and a Research Associate at Peabody Museum, Harvard University. The recipient of a Fulbright Professional Museum grant at Muzium Negara Kuala Lumpur and Smithsonian Institution dissertation fellowship, Cosmo has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), international university degree programs in Museum Studies, and ICCROM in Rome. She has held academic residencies at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy, participated in a broad range of international conferences and exhibition catalogues and served as a two-term board member of the ICOM international committee on Museums of Ethnography (ICME). Cosmo earned her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. from Vassar College. Her doctoral dissertation Crafting Devotions: Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos was revised into an award-winning book (University of New Mexico Press, 1994) that accompanied an exhibition of the same name.

See also: 
Leiden Art History Blog 

Fields of interest

  • Modernism, Art and Politics
  • Museum Architecture
  • Museum History and Theory
  • 20th c. decorative and applied arts


Current research focuses on the development of museums of modern art in the Netherlands, specifically architecture, exhibiting and collecting; and private museums in 21st century Europe.

Selected publications


“Reforms and Contradictions: New Museums of Modern Art in the Netherlands 1911-1955.” Conference Proceedings from “Collection, Modernism and Social Identity: Art Collecting in Europe Between 1880-1940,” September 15-17, 2021. Centre for Historical Research for the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin and Brill/Ferdinand Schoningh (forthcoming).

"Private Museums in 21st Century Europe", Museums, Collections and Society Yearbook 2020, Jul 5, 2021

“Defining Self by Collecting the Other: Mussolini’s Museums at the World’s Fair Site in EUR.” Visualizing Otherness in Modern Italy (XIX-XX Century), edited by Eva-Maria Troelenberg in collaboration with Melania Savino, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, LIX. Band – 2017, Heft 1, pp. 125-147. 

“Nation Building and Culture Display in Malaysian Museums.” In Museum Anthropology, v. 21, no. 1, (Spring 1997).  

Crafting Devotions: Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos. University of New Mexico Press, 1994. (1996 Ralph Emerson Twitchell Award for Significant Contribution to History).


“The Mausoleum of Augustus and Piazza Augusto Imperatore.” Smarthistory. April 3, 2022 https://smarthistory.org/mausoleum-augustus/

"Murals and Public Art in 1930s Rome""Murals and Public Art in 1930s Rome" 
Smarthistory · Feb 9, 2021

“Opening Words. Report on Working Group Questionnaire ‘What We Do.’” ICME News. Issue 86, January 2019, pp. 3 - 8. https://network.icom.museum/fileadmin/user_upload/minisites/icme/pdf/ICME_News/2017-2019/ICME_86_FINAL.pdf

Conference Review

“Absence and Belonging in Museums of Everyday Life. Current Solutions for Exhibiting Europe. Review of Anniversary Conference at MEK Berlin.” ICME (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography) ICOM News. Issue 90, August 2020, pp. 6-13. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pZo5nSErKuBARZT4-NL3v6ojO4IW1ZGw/view


Chair Making, Craft Patronage, and Craft Education in Worcester County, Massachusetts.” In The Chair. Worcester Center for Crafts, Massachusetts USA, 2002.

Signs of the Market: Handpainted Shop Signs from Cambodia. Boston Center for the Arts USA, 2001.


Foro Boario Guida/Foro Boario Guide Electa (contributor). Rome, Electa, Jan 31, 2011, project of the World Monuments Fund and American Express, in Italian and English  

Ancillary Activities

ICOM Italia, ICME (International Committee for Museums of Ethnography), ICOFOM (International Committee for Museology)

LDE (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus Universities) Centre for Global Heritage and Development
Affiliated Scholar

University lecturerer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Musea en Collecties

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number A1.06



  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.