Kerr Houston earned his Ph.D. in art history from Yale University (2001) and his undergraduate degree from Williams College (1992).

He began to teach at MICA in the fall of 2002. Originally trained as a medievalist, he also teaches courses on Italian Renaissance art, Islamic art and architecture, and the history and practice of art criticism. Kerr is the author of An Introduction to Art Criticism (2013), and of numerous articles, which have appeared in journals such as Gesta, Art Journal, Camera Obscura, Dance Chronicle, and Source: Notes in the History of Art. He is also a regular contributor to BmoreArt.