Co-Chair of the Academic Division of Arts and Cultures

Ph.D. (with distinction) Columbia University, USA
M.Phil. Columbia University, USA
M.A. Columbia University, USA
B.A. University of Toronto, Canada
Interior Design Diploma, International Academy of Design, Toronto, Canada

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 14
Phone: +41 91 986 36 64

Johanna Fassl is Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Communication and department chair at Franklin University Switzerland, in addition to being the director of Casa Muraro: Columbia University's Study Center in Venice. She received her PhD (with distinction) from Columbia University and has since been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a Mellon and Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship for her research. Her areas of specialization include the art and architecture of Venice; her book Sacred Eloquence: Giambattista Tiepolo and the Rethoric of the Altarpiece was published with Peter Lang was in 2010. Her research investigates the mental processes behind the creation and reception of art. Current projects include notions of visuality in Enlightenment art, science, and philosophy with respect to how Newton’s discoveries of white light, space, and gravity translate into an early modern psychology of perception. She is also engaged in a study titled “Missed Encounters: Representing the Un-representable", which examines the representation of trauma in the art of veterans from the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Within the scope of the latter project, she curated the exhibition "Syria: Facing the Revolution" at FUS in 2013 and is the co-editor of the second volume of Intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange, dedicated to "Trauma, Abstraction, and Creativity." 

Professional Experience:

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Franklin University Switzerland, 2007-present.

Director, Casa Muraro: Columbia University Study Center in Venice, 2004-present.

Head Interior Designer, Kumpulan Senireka Sdn.Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1993.

Sole Proprietor of Design Studio, Toronto, Canada, 1991-96.


2021-2022 Courses

STA 107 Introduction to Digital Photography FALL 2021
STA 207 Intermediate Digital Photography FALL 2021
STA 307 Advanced Digital Photography FALL 2021
VCA 120T Documentary & Street Photography on Location: Berlin and Munich FALL 2021
AHT 103 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture II: High Renaissance to Contemporary Art SPRING 2022
AHT 211 Collecting Art and Art Law SPRING 2022
AHT 371W Activist Art: The Decade Following the Arab Spring SPRING 2022
AHT 285T Technology in Art, Visual Communication, and Fashion SUMMER 2022


Contemporary Art and Trauma Studies Fassl, J. "We Photograph Things in Order to Drive Them Out Of Our Minds: Abstraction and Memory in the Photography of a Veteran from Afghanistan and Iraq," conference proceedings of Interrogating Trauma in the Humanities, Cambridge Academic Publishers. (forthcoming)

Eighteenth-Century Studies: Art and Human Mind

Fassl, J. "The Meaning of the Mark: Gianantonio Guardi's Optical Investigations." In J. Cranston, ed. Venetian Painting Matters 1470-1750. Turnhout, Brepols Publishers (in print).

Fassl, J. "'La parola è d’argento, il silenzio è d’oro': la retorica del silenzio nelle pale d’altare di Giambattista Tiepolo." In S. Meine, ed. Polifonie veneziane, 23-39. Venetiana 13, 2013. 

Fassl, J. “The Suspension of Gravity in Giandomenico Tiepolo’s Punchinello on a Swing.” In M. Edwards and E. Bailey, eds. Gravity and Levity in Art. Jefferson, 2012.

Fassl, J. “Retorica ed eloquenza nelle pale di Giambattista Tiepolo." In Zampiero, G., ed. La Chiesa di San Massimo in Padova - Cappella Universitaria. Archeologia Storia Arte intorno alla Chiesa di San Massimo. Risultati della ricognizione scientifica della Tomba  di Giovan Battista Morgagni e altri interventi. Rome, 2012 

Fassl, J. "Punchinello Meets the Turk: Giambattista Tiepolo’s Oriental Spectators,” in J. Harper, ed., The Perception of the Turk in the Western Eye: An Overview. Aldershot, 2012.

Fassl, J.Sacred Eloquence: Giambattista Tiepolo and the Rhetoric of the Altarpiece. Boston University Series of "Studies in Early Modern European Culture." New York and Bern, 2010.

Fassl, J. “In the Art of the Tiepolo a Single Gesture is Often Equivalent to a Long Sentence.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 40/4 (2007): 651-654.

Fassl, J. "The Poetics of the Line: Giambattista Tiepolo’s Calligraphy Beyond Representation.” Save Venice Journal (2004): 46-49.

Fassl, J. Ph.D. Dissertation: “Sacred Eloquence: Giambattista Tiepolo and the Rhetoric of the Altarpiece.” UMI publication, 2004

Fassl, J.  “Le figure degli 'Orientali' nell’Incoronazione di Spine di Giambattista Tiepolo.” Decimo Incontro in Ricordo di Michelangelo Muraro (Sossano, 2003): 9-31.


Syria: Facing the Revolution, Franklin university Switzerland, 2013.

Missed Encounters: Representing the Un-representable (in planning) 

Design Work:

Intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange, masthead and favicon.

Kuala Lampur Telecommunication Tower, Malaysia

Awards and Honors:

Green Leaves Fund (FUS), 2012.

Franklin University Switzerland, Excellence Award for Professional Engagement, 2011

The Getty Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006.

Mellon Fellowship, Columbia University, 1999.

President's Fellow, Columbia University, 1998.