Jennifer Dasal

Jennifer Dasal

Jennifer Dasal is an art historian and is the creator and host of the ArtCurious Podcast (, an internationally popular, bi-weekly show exposing “the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in art history.” It was chosen as one of PC Magazine’s Best Podcasts of the Year for three years in a row (2018-2020), and it was selected as one of the Best History Podcasts of 2019 by O, the Oprah Magazine. In September 2020, Dasal’s first book, ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History, was released by Penguin Books. The book has already received a much coveted “starred” review from Publishers Weekly and highlighted in BookPage, BookList, and other publications.

 Dasal is the former curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), where she worked for thirteen years. She received her BA in art history from the University of California, Davis and her MA in art history from the University of Notre Dame, and she has completed PhD coursework in art history at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the NCMA in 2008, she was the curatorial assistant to the curator of Western art at the Snite Museum, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, and at the Richard L. Nelson Art Gallery, University of California, Davis.

Art History Love

I’m an art historian by training and trade. I’m also a curator of modern and contemporary art. This often means that I’m balancing my love of all things new and now with my undying affection for what I lovingly call “the old stuff.”

Is it any surprise, then, that I am such a sucker for works of art that allude—either subtly or overtly—to the vast history of art?

I’ve long known many artists who are deeply affected by art history (it’s been rare that I’ve ended up visiting an artist’s studio without seeing art textbooks, monographs, and exhibition catalogues). Sometimes that love presents itself in a painting gesture—subtly nodding to the influence of an artistic ancestor. But sometimes that love is made very, very overt. And that can be very fun for the viewer. Here are a few of my favorites on Altamira, referring directly to art or artists. From Salvador Dali to Vincent van Gogh (I love Sean Ward’s “Faded Identities” series—and the philosophy behind them) and to Rene Magritte (here’s looking at you, Thomas Blood and David Gallo), as well as Tony Rubino’s subversive takes on classical painting, here are some of Altamira’s art history-inspired images.