Headshot of Cynthia   Sanford

Cynthia Sanford,

Adjunct Faculty of Fine Arts

Contact Info


About Professor Sanford

After working as a curator and art and architecture historian in a variety of settings including art, history, and house museums, as well as art galleries, I am now focused on teaching college-level art history. An adjunct lecturer at Saint Peter’s University, I teach Introduction to the Visual Arts, the core course on the history of western art, and Visual Arts in America, an elective course on the history of American Art.
As a consultant, I research and write for art galleries, collectors, museums, and other arts organizations and government agencies and offices. In addition to graduate studies in the history of art in America, Asia, and Europe, I have training and experience in historic preservation and the care of collections and cultural properties and am a Peer Reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums.
For more than fifteen years I have sung with Cantigas Women’s Choir. I also serve on advisory boards and committees for arts organizations.

“I love the subject of art history, and teaching is an excellent way to share this enthusiasm and to continue learning myself. The arts have been an important means of communication and expression from the beginnings of human history. The visual arts are a universal language that can cross many boundaries. Study of the arts in the context of their time can enlighten students and teachers with richer understanding of the history and accomplishments of various eras and cultures and, in turn, give more perspective on political, social, and cultural issues in our own time. My classroom welcomes questions and exchange of ideas and opinions to enliven observation and make art more accessible. I want my courses to spark interest and curiosity that promote a path of lifelong learning.”

Career & Accomplishments


  • Graduate Center, City University of New York, Ph.D

  • Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, M.A.

  • Wagner College, B.A.


  • Peer Reviewer, Museum Assessment Program, American Alliance of Museums, 2010-present.

  • United States Capitol Historical Society Fellow, 1999-2000.

  • Visiting Scholar, Minnesota Historical Society, 1999.

  • Scholarship recipient, Victorian Society Summer School, Newport, RI, 1998.

  • Royal Oak Scholar, The Attingham Summer School, 1995.

  • Art-in-Architecture Panel to commission sculpture for Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Building, Newark, NJ, 1990.


Justice William J. Brennan Courthouse: A Walking Tour Guide
C. Sanford – 2016

Grove Encyclopedia of American Art
C. Sanford – Oxford University Press, 2010

New York from a New Perspective
C. Sanford – Seaport Magazine, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Issue, 1992


Sublime to Picturesque in American Art
C. Sanford, Conference on the Gothic,Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ, March 20, 2013

Guest Speaker, Centennial Celebration for William J. Brennan Courthouse,
C. Sanford, September 20, 2010

Fighting for Beauty: The Muralists and Restorers of the Court House
C. Sanford, Come Home to History: Celebrating 350 Years of Hudson County Heritage, Jersey City, NJ, October 9, 2010

Collecting Art in Nineteenth-century Jersey City: William T. Evans and the Palma Club Exhibition
C. Sanford, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ, 2002

Connecticut and Beyond: Gervase Wheeler’s Olmsted House, A Model of Gothic Revival Design and Concepts
C. Sandford, Abbott Lowell Cummings Symposium, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, 1996

Heroes in the Fight for Beauty: The Muralists of the Hudson County Courthouse
C. Sanford, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ, 1986

August Will: Scenes of Old Jersey City
C. Sanford, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ, 1976

Fall 2022 Semester

Fall 2022 Semester FAQs can be found here.