Matthew Looper, Ph.D.

Outstanding Professor Award, 2013-14
Department of Art & Art History

I try to help students to appreciate and understand the rich cultural traditions of Africa, Oceania, and the Native Americas as reflected in the visual arts.

Art and art history professor Matthew Looper brings ancient cultures to life through investigations of what they’ve left behind. His courses on ancient Mexican, May, and Andean art are directly informed by his work in the field in places like western Guatemala, where he studied indigenous textiles. Looper is a leading scholar on Maya iconography and script and the author of eight books, including To Be Like Gods, which earned him the Association for Latin American Art Book Award. His recent grant from the National Science Foundation will support research on Maya hieroglyphic writing. The 2013–2014 Outstanding Professor Award recipient, Looper is praised by his peers for his research, teaching, and ability to model the teacher-scholar ideal.