Diane Wolfthal received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and joined Rice University in 2008.
Dr. Wolfthal has authored four books: The Beginnings of Netherlandish Canvas Painting: 1400-1530 (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and its Alternatives (Cambridge University Press, 1999; paperback, 2000), Picturing Yiddish: Gender, Identity, and Memory in Illustrated Yiddish Books of Renaissance Italy (Brill, 2004), and In and Out of the Marital Bed: Seeing Sex in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art (Yale University Press, 2011), which examines the intersection of sexuality and gendered spatial topography and the links between images of licit and illicit sexuality. She has edited collections of essays on the family, peace and negotiation, the rise of the monetary economy and its affect on European culture, and a Festschrift for Colin Eisler.
A specialist in late medieval and early modern European art, she is currently co-authoring a catalogue on Princes and Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot, for an exhibition that she is co-curating at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is also co-authoring with Catherine Metzger of the National Gallery of Art a catalogue of the early Netherlandish paintings in Los Angeles. Her next major project is Household Help: Servants and Slaves in Europe and its Colonies.