Hearty thanks to all of the Art History, Urban Design, and Historical and Sustainable Architecture alumni who responded to our recent call for news. It is wonderful to hear from you and to learn about your activities and achievements. We hope to hear from more of you for our next “alumni news” round-up, which will occur in Fall 2012. Please send your news, links, photos, videos and podcasts to Professor Kathryn Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a copy to Peggy Coon (email@example.com), and thank you.
Gabriel P. Weisberg (Art History, Fine Arts Department, Washington Square College, ’63), was named the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award by the College Art Association. The Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award, established in 1977, is presented to an individual who has been actively engaged in teaching art history for most of his or her career. Among the range of criteria that may be applied in evaluating candidates are: inspiration to a broad range of students in the pursuit of humanistic studies; rigorous intellectual standards and outstanding success in both scholarly and class presentation; contribution to the advancement of knowledge and methodology in the discipline, including integration of art-historical knowledge with other disciplines; and aid to students in the development of their careers. In being honored in this way, Professor Weisberg joins a distinguished list of past winners of this award, including Horst W. Janson (1979) — former chair of the Department of Fine Arts, New York University — Meyer Shapiro (1981), Oleg Grabar (1983), Marvin Eisenberg (1987), James Ackerman (1991), Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann (1992), Jules Prown (1996), Cecilia F. Klein (2000), current Department of Art History professor Carol Krinsky (2004), and Wu Hung (2008). For more information about Professor Weisberg and the award, go to http://www.collegeart.org/awards/2012awards.
Erin Donnelly (Art History, ’94; M. A. Gallatin, and Certificate in Museum Studies, GSAS, ‘03) is Internships and Grants Administrator, Department of Art & Art Professions, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at NYU and brings her wealth of experience working with artists in the non-profit arts sector to working with faculty and students. From 2001, she worked for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in a variety of positions, including Director, Artist Residencies. She recently served as adjunct faculty and administrator in the Department of Photography & Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts. Her specialization in artist services and professional development has led to her participation with The Cue Art Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York Public Library and lectures at universities including Bennington College, Cleveland Art Institute, and Columbia University, among others. She has a curatorial background as well, and has organized exhibitions and public art in New York City, Peekskill, NY and Vienna, Austria over the past ten years. Her publications include “Art in Odd Places: Sign” and “Site Matters.” She is a mentor for the Richard and Mica Hadar Foundation and serves on the board of free103point9, a new media arts organization. Erin was a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program in 2001. She was the recipient of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts David Alfaro Siqueiros Award for professional excellence.
Kathryn Gettles-Atwa (B.A. Art History, ‘94; M.A. Institute of Fine Arts, ‘97) was promoted to counsel in the Corporate Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, among the most prestigious law firms in the United States. Her practice focuses on the securities law aspects of corporate finance, and she has advised a wide range of clients on their initial public offerings, public and private debt and equity offerings, exchange offers, tender offers, ongoing reporting requirements, and other issues related to securities law matters, including those pertaining to mergers and acquisitions and other corporate takeovers. Ms. Gettles-Atwa has a particular concentration in private equity firms and their portfolio companies.
Baylor Lancaster (B.A. Art History, ’96; M.B.A. Stern, ’00) Baylor Lancaster announces with joy the birth of her first child, a daughter, with Larry Samuel. Freya Pierce Samuel was born on January 26th, 2012, weighing 8 lbs 13 oz, at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Florida. Baby, mom, and dad are all doing great! Baylor is currently enjoying her maternity leave before returning to work as a research analyst covering the banking industry at CreditSights. In her spare time, Baylor is pursuing an M.A. in Liberal Studies at the University of Miami, with a focus on art history/visual studies.
Catherine McNeur (Urban Design, ’03) earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in Urban History, writing a doctoral dissertation on “The ‘Swinish Multitude’ and Fashionable Promenades: Battles over Public Space in New York City, 1815-1865.” As McNeur puts it, her dissertation “traces the fluid boundaries between city and country by studying the social and political battles that helped to establish those distinctions. Nineteenth-century New York City suffered from a paradox of progress. The reforms that helped to make the city more “urban” and livable led to a diminishment in the poor’s power to use public spaces as they needed to make ends meet. Progress, in short, entailed the decline of the urban commons. I focus on how the city’s parks and streets served as a battleground for economic classes, ethnic and racial groups, and a growing city government. Through stories about free-roaming animals, the development of parks, the recycling of urban food waste and manure, public health crises, and the growth of shantytowns, I show how changes to environmental systems affected the lives and livelihoods of many New Yorkers.” Dr. McNeur has published an article that grows out of her dissertation, titled “The ‘Swinish Multitude”: Controversies over Hogs in Antebellum New York City,” in the Journal of Urban History (September 2011). She is the author of entries in the second edition of The Encyclopedia of New York City and reviews in Common-Place, Enterprise and Society, and Louisiana History. She has presented her work at the annual conferences of the Organization of American Historians and the American Society of Environmental History, as well as the Conference on Environmental History at Yale University and the Draper Graduate Student Conference on Early American Studies.
Lydia Mattice Brandt (Art History, ’04) earned a Ph.D. in art and architectural history from the University of Virginia in May 2011. She began an Assistant Professor position at the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2011, teaching architectural history and American art. Her research focuses on the Colonial Revival in American architecture and material culture. “If you see a building modeled after George Washington’s Mount Vernon, pass it along!”, urges Lydia.
After graduating from NYU, Emily Leonardo (Art History, ’07) worked for four years for Agnes Gund, President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art. She is currently an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Drawing and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum, where she has worked since September 2011. She is also completing her M.A. in Art History at Hunter College. Formerly a Renaissance specialist as an undergraduate, Emily now focuses on religious art of twentieth-century Europe, and specifically, church decoration of postwar France. Her thesis, entitled “‘The Vulgar Symbol’: Bonnard, Léger and Matisse at Assy,” examines the iconography of three works commissioned for the Dominican church of Notre Dame de Toute Grâce, Assy. She will speak about the Dominican revival of sacred art with regard to Fernand Léger’s mosaic of The Virgin of the Litany at an upcoming conference on Icons at SUNY Binghamton next month.
Shannon Vittoria (Art History / French, ‘07) is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Art History at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center under the supervision of Patricia Mainardi. She specializes in nineteenth-century European painting and sculpture, with a focus on issues of gender in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. She has given several papers at graduate and professional conferences, including a recent symposium at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (May 2011), as well as at the CUNY Graduate Center, SUNY Binghamton, and the 2010 and 2011 Mid-Atlantic/Popular American Culture Association’s annual conferences. After graduating from NYU, she worked for a number of museums and galleries, including the Guggenheim and the Pace Gallery. She is currently a curatorial research assistant at the Frick Collection and an Adjunct Professor at Kingsborough Community College, where she is teaching an introductory art history course.
Sara Allain-Botsford (Art History, ’09) is currently living in Paris and teaching English with the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). She is interested in European languages and is improving her proficiency in French. After graduating from NYU she attended University of California, Berkeley, where she completed a certificate to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). While completing her coursework, she worked as an intern with the Museum Ambassador Program at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) and also as a substitute teacher. Before moving to Paris in October 2010, she worked at the Zentner Collection, managing the listing and cataloguing of the collection online. In 2010, she contributed to the re-starting of the NYU San Francisco Bay Area alumni club.
Perrin Lathrop (Art History, ‘09) earned an M.A. in the History of Art at London’s Courtauld Institute of Art in 2011. Focusing on political issues surrounding the presentation and reception of global contemporary art with Dr. Julian Stallabrass, Perrin took a particular interest in contemporary African artistic production and the development of cultural institutions on the African continent over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She will present her distinction-awarded dissertation, “Localizing the Global Biennial? The Encounters of Bamako, African Biennial of Photography, 1994-2011,” at the 2012 Rutgers University Art History Graduate Symposium entitled The Art of Travel. Perrin continues to pursue her study of African art, both historical and contemporary, in the professional realm with her appointment as Research Assistant to Christa Clarke, Curator of the Arts of Africa at the Newark Museum. Perrin also recently became a contributing writer to the New York-based website Art Observed.
In 2011, Elliot Richman (Art History, ’09) curated his first exhibition, Picasso: Important Works on Paper at LewAllen Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also wrote and designed the exhibition catalog. At present, he is living in Jerusalem and working for an Israel Education and Advocacy Organization called Stand With Us. As Elliot reports, “I live with a family that abides by the Tanach and follows the Ten Commandments, so you can imagine the interesting conversations we’ve had about images and image-making, which is forbidden.”
Ksenia Yachmetz (Art History, ’09) is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. There, she is a Dodge Fellow, holding a Graduate Curatorial Assistantship in the Nancy and Norton Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. Last fall, she was appointed Administrator of The Malevich Society, an academic organization established for the pursuit and promotion of scholarship on the Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich. On January 14, 2012, Ksenia was married to her fiancé Bruno Nouril in a ceremony at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in the East Village, which was followed by a reception at The University Club.
Recently, Elinor Rubin (B.A. Urban Design, ’10; M.A. Historical and Sustainable Architecture ’11) took up a full-time position as gallery manager at The Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City, New York. She will oversee all aspects of the Museum’s day-to-day operations, including its important fundraisers. As Eli puts it, the position “will be a really great way to really learn and understand how non-profits function and operate–especially those involved in the arts.”
Emily Moore (Urban Design ’12) writes, “I landed a great job at an architecture firm. After I graduated in January I began working here full time, but I had been interning since August. I wanted to share with my fellow Urban Design and Architecture Studies classmates because I know how discouraging it can be to come out of NYU with an art history background, an interest in architecture, and nowhere to go.” In addition to her Urban Design coursework, Emily took advantage of the NYUSCPS AutoCAD course and studied at Parsons this past summer, where she learned “a little about design and a little about computer programs.” She is now working at SPaN, an award-winning firm that uses Vectorworks. As Emily puts it, “All of those things put me in a great position to be successful here, and now I am drawing construction documents as well as designing small elements within the projects.”