Susan Strauber is professor of art with a Ph.D. in art history from Brown University. Her research interests center on nineteenth century painting (Eugène Delacroix) and the origins of modernity (Gustave Courbet, and Édouard Manet). In addition to articles about the problematic estate stamp on Delacroix drawings and the construction of Delacroix's artistic identity, she has translated and edited The Graphic Art of Eugène Delacroix, a catalogue raisonné of Delacroix's prints and has acted as a professional consultant on Delacroix's works. Strauber's most recent scholarship concerns the early portraiture of Edouard Manet and its place in Manet's invention of the modernist tableau ("Suffering in Silence: Disease and Disability in Manet’s Early Portraiture" and "Manet's Portrait of Jeanne Duval. Baudelaire's Mistress Reclining: Femininity, Modernity and New Painting").
A resident of Iowa since 1973, Strauber has taught at Grinnell since 1980. She has offered courses in nineteenth century painting, impressionism and post-impressionism, The Pre-Raphaelites, and the history of women artists. Her advanced seminars include studies in romanticism, portraiture, Manet and modernism, and issues of body and space in later nineteenth century painting. As part of the college's off-campus studies program Grinnell-in-London, Professor Strauber has taught on-site throughout England and Wales on the Introduction to Art History, the Pre-Raphaelites, Constable and Turner, and Museums in Modern Society. On campus she has promoted conservation of the stained glass windows in Herrick Chapel, and overseen student research on the apse window, which reproduces in glass the famous Pre-Raphaelite painting, William Holman Hunt's The Light of the World. She has developed her interests in theory through "The Indeterminacy of Art History" (co-authored with Ira Strauber, Professor of Political Science) for POROI (Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry) at the University of Iowa.
Professor Strauber was instrumental in devising Grinnell's exhibition seminar, a hands-on, collaborative course in which students plan, organize, and research an exhibition on works of art in the Grinnell College Art Collection and produce an exhibition (e.g., I saw it: The Invented Reality of Goya’s Disasters of War, Faulconer Gallery, 2004).