Katharine A. Raff is the Elizabeth McIlvaine Associate Curator of the Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research focuses on ancient Roman art, with a particular emphasis on sculpture (including portraits, ideal sculptures, and funerary monuments) and the contexts in which such objects were made, used, and viewed over time.
Since joining the department in 2011, Katharine has played a significant role in a number of major projects, including the comprehensive reinstallation of the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art (2012), as well as exhibitions and installations including A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts (2016) and Collecting Stories (2019). She edited and co-authored Roman Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (2017), the most extensive publication to date of an area of the Art Institute’s holdings in ancient Mediterranean art. Her recent projects have explored such topics as Etruscan architectural sculpture and Byzantine textiles, and she is currently working on plans for a full reinstallation of the Roman gallery. Raff holds an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Art Institute, she was awarded fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fulbright Foundation.