Svetlana Alpers taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1962 to 1994. Her specialty was Dutch Golden Age painting, although she has also written on Tiepolo, Rubens, Breugel, and Velazquez, among others. She is the author of many books including: Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market; Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence; The Art of Describing; The Vexations of Art: Velazquez and Others; The Making of Rubens; and the recently published, Roof Life.
From 1971 to 1976, she served on the Board of Directors for the College Art Association. She co-founded the interdisciplinary journal Representations in 1983. She has been a consultant to both National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held many visiting academic appointments around the world.