Michael Bonesteel

Michael is an art historian with a world-class reputation in the field of self-taught and Outsider art in America, England and Europe. He is a contributing editor of the British art publication, Raw Vision and a leading expert on the work of Chicago artist Henry Darger. Previously he was an adjunct professor of art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an arts editor and writer for the Pioneer Press Newspapers, and an art critic for Art in America and Artforum magazines.


  • University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire - B.A. in English and Psychology, honors program in Creative Writing
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison - 16 graduate credits in English

Other interests and inspirations:

The history of the comic book and graphic novel

Publication highlights:

  • Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings, Rizzoli International Publications - 2000
  • The Prints of John Himmelfarb: A Catalogue Raisonne 1967-2004, Hudson Hills Press, New York & Manchester, VA - 2005
  • The Hidden Art: 20th & 21st Century Self-Taught Artists from the Audrey B. Heckler Collection, Skira Rizzoli/American Folk Art Museum, New York - 2017

Michael's teaching style:

He feels comfortable teaching the subject of Outsider art because he brings several decades of experience to the classroom. He can speak from personal knowledge, having met and interviewed hundreds of artists, collected their work, written about them for numerous publications, and curated a number of exhibitions.

Class Department