Art historian, archaeologist. Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, assistant dean; Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, lecturer, 1991—; University of Maryland, College Park, professor of Andean art and archaeology; Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, professor of pre-Columbian studies. Johns Hopkins University, visiting professor, 1998, 1999.
Association for Latin American Art (president), Institute of Andean Studies, Society for American Archaeology, American Association of University Women.
Dumbarton Oaks fellow, 1989-90; Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant, 1990; Fulbright scholarship, 1990-91; Andrew W. Mellon grant, 1994-95; Royal Anthropological Institute, fellow.
(Editor, with Susan Toby Evans) Palaces of the Ancient New World: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 10th and 11th October, 1998, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Washington, DC), 2004.
(General editor, with Jeffrey Quilter) Variations in the Expression of Inka Power: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 18 and 19 October, 1997, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Washington, DC), 2007.
(Editor) Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies, 1530-1900, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 2008.
Contributor to books by others, including The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Shoaf Turner, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1996; and The Spirit of Ancient Peru: Treasures from the Mudeo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera, edited by Kathleen Berrin, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
Joanne Pillsbury is a professor of Andean Art and Archeology. Her primary areas of research interest include ancient American art and archeology with a focus on the Andean art of South America and the archeology of Peru's pre-Hispanic empires. She has participated in various archeological investigations of the region, including a trip to the site at Chan Chan, the capital of the kingdom of Chimor where the Inkas overthrew the ruling society in the 1600s. The project resulted in a range of historical discoveries pertaining to art, architecture, and biology, among other disciplines. Pillsbury has collected a number of the findings with coeditor Susan Toby Evans in the book, Palaces of the Ancient New World: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 10th and 11th October, 1998. George Lau, in a review for Antiquity, questioned the use of the term "palace" in the reference work, remarking "Andeanists, generally a conservative lot, have been reluctant to use ‘palace’ because it would ascribe function to a given context while there may still be reasonable uncertainty."
Pillsbury has also edited Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru, a collection of papers that were presented at a Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts symposium at the National Gallery of Art, for which she also provided an introduction. The papers proposed to analyze the relationship between visual arts and archeological representation in early Peruvian Moche culture. In a review for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, George Bankes wrote: "Pillsbury's introduction outlines very well the current state of Moche studies, emphasizing how recent archaeological excavations and icono-graphic studies have refuted earlier unitary models of the Moche."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, Ryan Mongelluzzo, review of Palaces of the Ancient New World: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 10th and 11th October, 1998, p. 151.
Antiquity, December, 2002, Penelope Z. Dransart, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 1158; September, 2006, George Lau, "Ancient Andean Space and Architecture: New Syntheses and Debates," review of Palaces of the Ancient New World, p. 720.
Archeology, July 1, 2002, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 61.
Choice, November, 2002, J.B. Richardson III, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 513; October, 2006, M. Watson, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 287.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March, 2003, George Bankes, review of Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru, p. 166.
Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Sylvia Andrews, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 98.
Times Literary Supplement, December 20, 2002, Norman Hammond, review of Moche Art and Archeology in Ancient Peru, p. 17.
University of Maryland Web site,http://www.umd.edu/ (April 30, 2007), faculty biography.