Siobhan Conaty, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair
Art History, School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Siobhan Conaty teaches a wide variety of courses including Introduction to Art History, Art and Medicine, Art and Politics of WW2, Irish Art & Rebellion, Women and Art, 19th-Century Art, and Modern Art.

Dr. Conaty’s current research focuses on art history’s transferable skills for medicine and the health sciences. Her articles on this topic have been published in health humanities and medical journals, and she wrote the art history chapter in Research Methods in Health Humanities (Oxford, 2019) – the discipline’s foundational methodologies text. She has received grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the J. Paul Getty Institute, the Kienle Center for Medical Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

She holds a number of Health Humanities leadership positions, including steering committees for the Health Humanities Consortium, the Section on Medicine and the Arts at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and she chairs a national committee on Arts and Health Equity. She is the editor of the Historical Perspectives in Art section of the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (Emory University), was selected as a Medical Humanities Scholar-in-Residence at Penn State College of Medicine and was recently awarded an NEH Humanities Connections grant to design a health humanities curriculum at La Salle.

Areas of Expertise

  • Art and Medicine
  • Health Humanities
  • Modern Art
  • Gender Issues in Art
  • WW2 Art & Politics
  • Irish Art and History


  • Ph.D., Art HistoryCase Western Reserve University
  • M.A., Art History and Criticism, The State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • B.A., Art History, The Catholic University of America


  • Introduction to Art History
  • Art & Politics WWII
  • Art & Medicine
  • Irish Art & Rebellion
  • Modern Art
  • Art After 1945
  • Women & Art

Select Publications

“The Medicine of Art: Disease and the Aesthetic Object in Gilded Age America, by Elizabeth L. Lee. New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts,” Book Review, Journal of Medical Humanities, July 2023.

“How Art History Can Improve Your Care of Patients,” CLOSLER, Johns Hopkins Medicine, June 2021.

“Milestones in the Depiction of Breasts and Breast Cancer in Art History,” chapter in Kimberly Myers (ed), Breast Cancer Inside Out: Bodies, Biographies, and Beliefs,  London, UK, Peter Lang Oxford Press, 2021, 331-367.

“The Value of Art History in a Pandemic: Teaching as a Healing Force,” The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine, Fall 2020.

“Art History Methods,” chapter in Craig Klugman, Erin Lamb (eds), Research Methods in Health Humanities. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019, 100 -114 .

“Art of This Century: A Transformative Space for Women,” chapter in Helen Langa, Paula Wisotzki (eds), American Women Artists, New York, NY: Routledge Press, 2016, 25-40.

“Matisse: Innovation in the Face of Physical Limitation,” The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine, Fall 2016.

“Rembrandt’s Anatomical Portraits,” The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine, Spring 2016.

“Frida Kahlo’s Body: Confronting Trauma in Art,” The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine, Summer 2015.

Select Presentations

Frida Kahlo: Confronting Health, Illness, and Trauma in Art, Healthcare DEI Lecture Series, DeSales University, June 27, 2023.

Imaging Illness: Breast Cancer,  Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, October 29, 2022.

Frida Kahlo: Where Art History & Nursing Methods Collide, Center for Global Women’s Health at the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Oct. 5, 2022.

Breast Disease in Art: A Visual Space to Confront Bias in Health Care, 10th Annual Health Humanities Conference, Co-sponsored by Lehigh University, Hiram College, and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, March 25, 2022.

Art History Methods for Medical Detectives, Invited Speaker, Penn State College of Medicine, February 17, 2021.

Art History’s Critical Role in Pandemic Pedagogy, Crisis and Community: The Role of the Health Humanities, Health Humanities Consortium Annual Conference (virtual), March 25-27, 2021

“Art History Methods for Rehabilitation Medicine,” Invited Speaker, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA,  Jan. 27, 2020.

“Kathe Kollwitz, Empathy, and Medical Education,” Invited Speaker, Medical Humanities Program, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey PA, Nov. 5, 2019.

“Transferable Skills: Art History & Radiology,” Invited Speaker, Woodward Center for Faculty Development, Department of Radiology, Penn State Health, Hershey Medical Center, October 29, 2019.

“Intersections of Art Analysis and Medical Diagnosis” Visiting Speaker in Visual Arts and Healthcare Division of Medical Humanities & Bioethics at the Rochester University School of Medicine.  November 8-9, 2018

“Taming the Trans-disciplinary Health Humanities Creature through Research,” Panel Session, International Health Humanities Consortium, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, April 2018.

“Deep Seeing: The Use of Art History to Develop Clinical Skills,” Invited Speaker, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Arts & Medicine Section, March 28, 2018.

“Medical Detectives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,” Invited Speaker, Penn State College of Medicine, February 15, 2018.

“A Study in Innovative Pedagogy and Interprofessional Collaboration: Art History & Nursing – La Salle University,” co-presented with Prof. Patricia Dillon (SNHS), 6th International Symposium on Lasallian Research conference: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis, Minn., September 2017.

“Art History & Cultural Perceptions of Disability,” Invited Speaker, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, March 28, 2017

“Getting It Together: Learning from an Interdisciplinary and Interprofessional Immersion in Health Humanities” Panel Session by Kienle Scholars in Medical Humanities, 6th International Health Humanities Consortium, Texas Medical Center, Houston TX, March 9-11, 2017.

“The Use of Art History Methods to Enhance Clinical Skill Observation and Evaluation,” Invited Speaker, Health Humanities Lecture Series, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, Nov. 3, 2016.

“Learning How to “Look” Like an Art Historian: Medieval vs. Renaissance Bodies,” Emerging Diversities in Health Humanities Teaching, Hiram College, Hiram, OH, June 11, 2016.

“Art History & Nursing: An Interprofessional Experiment,” Arts and Health Humanities Conference, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, April 9, 2016.

“Art History & Medicine: Innovative Pedagogy in Undergraduate Education,” 4th International Health Humanities Conference: The Next Decade (Pedagogies, Practice, Politics), University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO, April 30-May 2, 2015.

“Art History, Pedagogy, and Medical Education,” Transatlantic Connections, Medical Humanities Program, Drew University in Ireland, Bundoran, Ireland, Jan. 15-18, 2015.