Patricia Hills (1936-) is an art historian, curator, and Professor Emerita of American Art and African American Art at Boston University. Hills obtained a B.A. from Stanford University in Modern European Literature, an M.A. from Hunter College in 1968, where she was advised by Leo Steinberg, and her PhD. from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Hills worked as Associate and later Adjunct Curator of 18th and 19th Century American Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1972 until 1987. During that time she organized exhibitions including John Singer Sargent (1986) while progressively becoming more invested as an educator, with teaching positions at Hunter College and the Institute of Fine Arts. In February 2011 she received the Distinguished Teaching of Art History award from the College Art Association.
Hills served as the Director of the Boston University Art Gallery from 1980-1989, and began her tenure in the art history department as Associate Professor in 1978. She was co-founder of the Boston Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art and was highly active in the College Art Association and American Studies Association. She has held fellowships at numerous institutions including the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
As a principal author she is responsible for organizing a number of monograph and exhibition catalog publishing efforts including Painting Harlem Modern: The Art of Jacob Lawrence (2010), May Stevens (2005), Eastman Johnson: Painting America (co-authored, 1999), John Singer Sargent (1986), Alice Neel (1983), Social Concern and Urban Realism: American Painting of the 1930s (1983), Turn-of-the-Century America: Paintings, Graphics, Photographs, 1890-1910 (1977), The Painters' America: Rural and Urban Life, 1810-1910 (1974), and The American Frontier: Images and Myths (1973). In addition, Patricia Hills has authored numerous articles for art publications, served as reviewer for College Art Association's CAA Reviews, and has contributed greatly as a peer reviewer and editor. From 1990 to 1999, she served as series editor for six books in the Cambridge Studies in American Visual Culture series, published by Cambridge University Press.