David Bjelajac

David Bjelajac
Professor of Art History and American Studies
Smith Hall of Art, Room 113
[email protected]

David Bjelajac is the author of several books, including Millennial Desire and the Apocalyptic Vision of Washington Allston (Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C., 1988); Washington Allston, Secret Societies and the Alchemy of Anglo-American Painting (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1997), and American Art: A Cultural History (Prentice Hall, 2000; 2nd edition, 2005).

Professor Bjelajac's book chapter, "Freemasonry's 'Living Stones' and the Boston Portraiture of John Singleton Copley," appears in Freemasonry and the Visual Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward: Historical and Global Perspectives, co-edited by Reva Wolf and Alisa Luxenberg (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2019)

Professor Bjelajac’s most recent articles are: “Honey from the Louvre: Gleaning God’s Word from the Old Masters,” in Samuel F. B. Morse’s ‘Gallery of the Louvre’ and the Art of Invention, ed. Peter John Brownlee (Chicago and New Haven:  Terra Foundation for American Art; distributed by Yale University Press, 2014);  “Masonic Fraternalism and Muhammad Among the Lawgivers in Adolph Weinman’s Sculpture Frieze for the United States Supreme Court (1931-1935),” in The Image of the Prophet between Ideal and Ideology, eds. Christiane J. Gruber and Avinoam Shalem (Berlin: De Gruyter Publishing, 2014); and “Mercurial Pigments and the Alchemy of John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark,” in Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology, Vol. 9: Analyzing Art and Aesthetics, eds. Anne C. Goodyear and Margaret Weitekamp (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2013).  Professor Bjelajac’s current book project is “ John Singleton Copley’s Mercurial Shark and the American Revolution” devoted to the religious, political, cultural meanings of Copley’s most famous history painting, Watson and the Shark (1778). 


PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Full CV