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Kathryn Floyd

Kathryn Floyd

Associate Professor

Art & Art History

Kathryn Floyd

Contact Me


210 Biggin Hall

Office Hours

By Appointment


PhD, University of Iowa

MA, University of Georgia

BA, Vanderbilt University

About Me

Kathryn Floyd’s research focuses on the history of exhibitions with a special focus on the mediation of exhibitions in photography, film, exhibition catalogues, the press, and social media platforms. Beginning with her dissertation, “Between Change and Continuity: documenta 1955-2005,” which was awarded a University of Iowa Graduate Deans' Distinguished Dissertation Prize, she has conducted extensive research on postwar German art and the history of documenta, an on-going exhibition series founded in 1955 in Kassel, Germany. Her current projects explore the concept, history, and iconography of “installation shots,” or photographs of exhibitions, from the nineteenth century to the present, including a series of photographs that document Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s expressionist sculpture Kneeling Woman (1911) at different modernist exhibitions in Germany and the US between 1912 and 1955. Other recent projects include guest editing a special issue of the journal Dada/Surrealism on the history of avant-garde art exhibitions and on-going research on the historiography of Dada studies in the United States and Germany.

Floyd teaches courses in modern and contemporary art, as well as in the history of the arts of Africa and the history of photography. Recent seminar topics include “Dada and Surrealism” and “Contemporary African Art and Design.” Her teaching and mentoring has been recognized with an SGA Outstanding Faculty Member Award (2011), a College of Liberal Arts Teaching Excellence Award (2017), a College of Liberal Arts Advising Award (2019), and the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring (2019).

Before coming to Auburn in 2008, Floyd worked at the International Dada Archive at the University of Iowa Libraries and served as a visiting assistant professor of art history at Skidmore College.

Research Interests

history of exhibitions, 20th-century Germany, modern and contemporary art, history of photography, African art


“Dada Unshelved: Dada Publications from Library to Museum, 1936-1978,” Dada/Surrealism 23 (spring 2020): 1-20.

Exhibition Views: Toward a Typology of the Installation Shot.” Revista de História da Arte 14 (2019): 93-109.
“Georges Adéagbo in Venice: Artist, Curator, Philosopher, Friend.” PRŌTOCOLLUM 6 (2019): 209- 212.

documenta: die Einführung.” In Bauhaus / documenta: Vision und Marke, eds. Birgit Jooss, Philipp Oswalt, and Daniel Tyradellis, 123-126. Leipzig: Spector Books, 2019.

"Writing the Histories of Dada and Surrealist Exhibitions: Problems and Possibilities." Dada/Surrealism 21 (2017): 1-19.

Guest editor of “Exhibiting Dada and Surrealism,” Dada/Surrealism 21 (2017). Special issue on the history of Dada and Surrealist exhibitions and display practices.

“d is for documenta: institutional identity for a periodic exhibition” On Curating (special issue on documenta, ed. Nanne Buurman and Dorothee Richter) 33 (June 2017): 9-19.

“The Museum Exhibited: documenta and the Fridericianum.” In Images of the Art Museum: Connecting Gaze and Discourse in the History of Museology, eds. M. Savino and E. Troelenberg, 65-90. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017. 

“Moving Statues: Arthur Grimm, the “Entartete Kunst” Exhibition, and Installation Photography as Standfotografie.” In Exhibiting the German Past: Museums, Film, and Musealization, eds. Peter McIsaac and Gabriele Mueller, 187-208. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.

“Georges Adéagbo: Between Artwork and Exhibition.” In Exhibiting Outside the Academy, Salon, and Biennial, 1775-1999, ed. Andrew Graciano, 235-258. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate Press, 2015.

Future Objects / Object Futures: Object Oriented Ontology at dOCUMENTA (13) and Beyond,” Seismopolite: Journal of Art and Politics (special issue on “The Future of the Biennial,” ed. Paal Andreas Bøe) 6 (February 2014).

“Simulated Journeys: Travels through the Documenta Photo Albums.” In The Photograph and the Album: Histories, Practices, Futures, eds. Jonathan Carson, Rosie Miller, and Theresa Wilkie, 276-317. Edinburgh and Cambridge, Mass.: MuseumsEtc. 2013.