Chair, Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. PhD in Art History and Theory, 2003, Northwestern University, Evanston; MA in Design History, 1997 and BFA with honors in Graphic Design, 1991, University of Illinois, Chicago. Publications – Books:  Brillo Box Archive: Aesthetics, Design, and Art (2008); Relearning from Las Vegas (2008); Journals: Design Issues, Home CulturesDesign and CultureSenses and SocietyVisible LanguageJournal of Design HistoryJournal of Visual CultureAmerican QuarterlyAwards: Graham Foundation Grant; Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies, Princeton University; Dartmouth College Humanities Institute, Postdoctoral Fellow.



Brillo Box Archive: Aesthetics, Design, and Art (Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press, 2008)

Co-editor, Relearning from Las Vegas (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008)

Selected articles

"Modern Mind and Typographic Modernity in Gyorgy Kepes' Language of Vision" in Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

"Optical Constancy, Discontinuity, and Nondiscontinuity in Eameses' Rough Sketch" in The Educated Eye: Visual Culture and Pedagogy in the Life Sciences (Dartmouth College Press 2012)

"'From the Far Corners:' Telephones, Globalization, and the Production of Locality in the 1920s" in Global Design History, ed. G. Adamson, G. Riello, and S. Teasley (Routledge, 2011)

"'Motionmindedness': The Transposition of Movement from Factory to Home in Chaplin's Modern Times," Home Cultures 7.3 (2010)

"Logo/Local Intensities: Lacan, the Discourse of the Other, and the Solicitation to 'Enjoy'," Design and Culture 2.2 (2010)

"Design for Display Culture: Domestic Engineering to Design Research," in J. Kromm and S. Bakewell, eds., A History of Visual Culture (Berg, 2010)

"Powers of Ten," Design and Culture 1.2 (2009)

"'The Thinking Man's Filter': J.L. Austin's Ordinary Language Philosophy as Cultural Criticism," Cultural Critique 72 (2009)

"Science's 'New Garb': Aesthetic and Cultural Implications of Redesign in a Cold War Context," Design Issues 25.2 (2009)

"Media Aesthetics, Sense Perception, and Andy Warhol's Blue Electric Chair," Senses and Society 4.1 (2009)

"A Science of Enjoyment: Ray and Charles Eames and Technological Utopianism in 1968," in (1968) Episodes of Culture in Contest, eds. C. Crane and N. Mueller (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008)

"Martha Stewart Living and the Marketing of Emersonian Perfectionism," Home Cultures 3.1 (2006)

"Warhol's 'Wow!'," in Art History versus Aesthetics, ed. J. Elkins (Routledge, 2005)

"'Doing it Deadpan': Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour's Learning from Las Vegas," Visible Language 37.3 (2004)

Personal Statement

Michael J. Golec's research and teaching focuses on theories and histories of graphic visualization, technical images, and typography. Currently working on two book-length projects, Pictographies: Anthropology, Statistics, and Graphic Visualization in the United States and Sense and Census: The Bio-Politics of the Visualization of Data in the Statistical Atlases of the United States, Professor Golec seeks to bring theories of visuality and methods of art historical research to bear on histories of non-art image making. Most recently, he has delivered invited lectures on "Engineering and the Development of Corporate Organizational Charts" for Morningstar Stock, Mutual Fund, Bond ETF Investment Research, on "Image Theory and the Visualization of Scale" at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA, and on "Brillo Box Archive: Aesthetics, Design, and Art" at Institut für Architekturwissenschaften, Technische Universität, Vienna, Austria. Forthcoming publications include "In the Way of Technical Images," Historical Studies in Natural Science; "Heidegger's 'From the Dark Opening:' Image Theory for Human and Nonhuman Worlds" in Heidegger and the Work of Art History; "Graphic Visualization and Visuality in Lester Beall's Rural Electrification Posters, 1937," The Journal of Design History; and "Poster Power: Rural Electrification, Visualization, and Legibility in the United States," Journal of the History of Technology. Professor Golec is on the editorial board of the journals Design and Culture and Visible Language. He was the book review editor of Design Issues from 2003–2009.

Thesis Advisees

  • Hannah Pivo (MA 2017): Forming Flow: Knud Lönberg-Holm and Ladislav Sutnar's Catalog Design Manuals and the Development of Modern Visual Communication Standard.
  • Lauren Marie Johnson (MA 2016): Breaking Typography's Glass Window: Materiality as Mode in Robert Massin's Typographic Redesigns of French Postwar Experimental Literature
  • Barbara Ann Meisinger (Dual 2016): The Strange and Autonomous Gas Station Meghann Ney (MA 2015): Think Visual: Graphic Design and the Corporate Image


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.