David Freedberg, the Pierre Matisse Professor of the history of art at Columbia University, is best known for his work related to psychological responses to art—particularly for his studies of iconoclasm and censorship. He is now devoting a substantial portion of his attention to collaborations with neuroscientists working in the fields of vision, movement, and emotion. For some time now he has been engaged in experimental collaborations with colleagues in the neurosciences, but he hopes that one day he will be able to return to his longstanding project focused on the cultural history of the architecture and dance of the Pueblo peoples. For the last three years, Freedberg has led the campaign to save Liberty Hall in Machiasport, Maine, a major historical building overlooking the site of the first sea battle of the American Revolution.
Much of Freedberg’s time is now taken up by his directorship of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America and his commitment to fostering interdisciplinary work across the humanities and the sciences.