Alumni News, Spring 2015

6 Apr

Dear Alumni,

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to our recent call for news, and hearty congratulations on all of your achievements!  It is wonderful to hear from you and to learn about your activities.  We hope to hear from more of you for our next Alumni News round-up, which we’ll post sometime in Fall 2015. Thanks also go to the Department of Art History faculty, including Professors Carol Krinsky and Dennis Geronimus, who contributed to this post.

Dr. Gabriel P. Weisberg (B.A. Art History, Fine Arts Department, Washington Square College, ’63; Ph.D. The Johns Hopkins University), Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota, is publishing two articles on the career and personality of the dance-hall performer and muse of Toulouse-Lautrec-Jane Avril. These essays entitled “Consuming Jane Avril: The Mystery of Celebrity Culture in the Symbolist Age ” and “The Divan Japonais: Popular Culture in a Fin-de-Siecle Performance Space,” will appear in European Drama and Performance Studies, edited by Sabine Chaouche, in November 2015.

Dr. Victoria M. Young (B.A. Art History, ’95; M.Arch.H., Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Professor of Modern Architectural History at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and chair of the department of art history. She recently lectured at NYU on her book, Saint John’s Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space, recently published by University of Minnesota Press.

Dr. Young’s research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, with special interests in sacred space, contemporary museums and the work of Frank Gehry. Her Master’s thesis on Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, England, a nineteenth-century monastic design, was published as “A.W.N. Pugin’s Mount Saint Bernard Abbey: The International Character of England’s Nineteenth-Century Monastic Revival” in the online journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide . The gift of the Winton Guest House to the University of St. Thomas led Dr. Young to analyze its place in the work of architect, Frank Gehry, through a permanent exhibition in the house. She was also in charge of its 110-mile move from its original location in Minnetonka, MN to St. Thomas’s former campus in Owatonna, MN. Because of the sale of the Owatonna property, Dr. Young is now responsible for relocating it again in the coming months. Dr. Young’s current research examines the New York City-based firm of  Voorsanger Architects’ National WWII Museum in New Orleans, a building project begun in 2003 with completion expected in 2018.

Dr. Young is a former director of the Society of Architectural Historians and now serves in an ex officio role as its liaison to the SAH chapters. She is a member of Minnesota’s Governor’s Residence council and State Historic Review Board. She has also been a past president of the local Minnesota chapter of SAH and was on the steering committee that started the MN chapter of DoCoMoMo, the International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement.

Jacob Simpson (B.A. Urban Design and Architecture Studies, ’01) writes, “I’ve spent the past six years working as a project manager for the Yvelines Department, a Versailles-based governing body for 1/8 of the Paris region’s 12 million inhabitants. I assist international firms and investors with their real estate and business development projects in one of France’s most attractive areas for foreign investment, recently branded “Paris-Saclay“:

I’ve done work in placeing and economic cluster-building on the creation of economic clusters in various fields, from automotive and aeronautics to smart grids an renewable energy. My research examens the role of urban planning & design attracting international investment.

Dr. Beth Citron (B.A. Art History, ’02; Ph.D. History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, ‘09) was promoted in January 2015 to Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. She was formerly Assistant Curator at the Rubin. In addition, Beth reports, she is an Advisor to the 2016 Dhaka Art Summit, to be held February 5th-8th, 2016.

Wolf Levenson (B.A. Art History, ’02, M.A. Business and Workplace Education, Steinhardt, ’11) is now working with the luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. as the Director of Sales Training and Management Development, Northern America.

Dr. Julia Perratore (B.A. Art History, ‘03, Ph.D. History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, ‘12) recently began a two-year Mellon Curatorial Fellowship in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There she has undertaken the cataloging of the medieval sculpture collection (1100-1520), a task which entails, among other things, the development of comprehensive object bibliographies for the Met’s website. Taking advantage of the opportunity to work with so many excellent works of medieval art, Julia has also begun a new research project on the role of emotion in Romanesque sculpture. Prior to joining the museum, Julia taught in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she offered courses on western medieval and Islamic art. Over the past summer, she spent a month in York, England, where she participated in a Summer Seminar on medieval art and architecture sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Smith adds that students, alumni, and faculty may read some of Julia’s work on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s blog, created in connection with their recent exhibition, The Winchester Bible: A Masterpiece of Medieval Art, which closed on March 8th.

Laura de la Torre (B.A. Art History, ’06) is Congressional Liaison in the Office of the Chief of Staff at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Melissa A. Passman (B.A. Art History, ’06) is a recently admitted attorney based in Los Angeles, California. Following her graduation from UCLA School of Law in 2014, Melissa currently handles corporate and intellectual property issues (including copyright, trademark, and patent) for artists and other art professionals as well as established and emerging new media companies. She actively attends art law conferences nationally and keeps up to date on new legal developments. Her interests include issues involving the artist-gallery relationship and estate planning strategies.

Jonathan Tiu (B.A. Art History, ’06) writes, “I will be starting a medical internship this summer at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and will be returning to NYU in 2016 for a Neurology residency at the School of Medicine.”

Ksenia Nouril (née Yachmetz) (B.A. Art History, ’09) is writing her dissertation in Art History at Rutgers University, where she holds a curatorial fellowship in the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art at the Zimmerli Art Museum. In association with her work as the Research and Editorial Assistant for the Thomas Walther Collection at The Museum of Modern Art, she curated the exhibition Production-Reproduction: The Circulation of Photographic Modernism, 1900–1950. It traces the Walther photographs in printed matter from the period, highlighting the transnational networks of modernist photography. Her writing on Russian avant-garde photography was published in Object:Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909–1949, an interactive digital humanities platform launched in December 2014. Currently, Ksenia works with MoMA’s Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP) research initiative, where she organizes programming on Central and Eastern European art. Her article on the post-Soviet artist Yevgeniy Fiks was recently published in The Calvert Journal. Ksenia lives in Brooklyn with her husband Bruno (B.A. Religious Studies, ’08) and their French bulldog Lambchop. Follow her on Instagram @kaysenyah.


Installation view of Production-Reproduction: The Circulation of Photographic Modernism, 1900–1950, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. December 12, 2014 – March 30, 2015. Photo: John Wronn

Joseph Audah (B.A. Urban Design & Architecture Studies, ’11) has been accepted to the Masters Program of Science in Art, Culture and Technology in the Department of Architecture at MIT.

Carolyn Keogh (B.A. Art History, ’12) is Education Associate for School and Youth Programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum here in New York.

Tara Kuruvilla (B.A. Art History, ’12) is co-curating an exhibition at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery next month, and invites NYU students, faculty and fellow alumni to stop by! Titled a curious blindness, the show reflects upon a moment captured by eighteen early- to mid-career artists who respond to the complex climate of race and identity politics in a purportedly post-racial era. Alongside the exhibition, she is concurrently writing her M.A. thesis on the photo-performances of Pushpamala N., a contemporary artist whose practice challenges the veracity of the photographic image, while engaging with post-colonial theory and feminist politics. Recently, Tara was admitted to the Ph.D. program in Art History at Columbia University, where she plans to explore the intersection of colonialism, museums and material culture in South Asia.

A Curious Blindness MODA

Hillary Pearson (B.A. Art History, ’12) is completing her first year of medical school at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences this spring. During the year, she sits on the Medical Humanities Curricular Advisory Board and coordinates programs at school to integrate medicine with the arts. She is also manager of the Ob/Gyn Interest Group on campus. Hillary will be spending the summer organizing a women’s health and education outreach initiative in Haiti and writing the curriculum for it. As of now, she is interested in pursuing a surgical career in REI (Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility) and will also be shadowing and working with physicians in that field.

Alexandra Thomopoulos (B.A. Urban Design and Architecture Studies, ’13) will begin the M. Arch. Program at University of Southern California this coming Fall.

James Walsh (B.A. Urban Design and Architectures Studies/Art History, ’13) completed a certificate in building management at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and has been accepted into the M.A. Program at NYU in World History.

Thomas Baldwin (B.A. Art History/German, ’14) worked part-time over summer ’14 for NYU Deutsches Haus as a front desk assistant and in development at, an online art retailer. In August 2014, he started working full-time at Dietl International, a fine art importing and exporting company that manages shipments for galleries, museums, and auction houses across the country. Thomas writes, “I work in the estimates department, which has taught me the many complicated steps to getting a work of art from point A to point B. I really enjoy the casual atmosphere and have learned much from my co-workers, who have been gracious with their help and advice.”

Stella Sigal (B.A. Art History, ’14) is the Reading Room Intern at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Recently, Stella reports, she had the opportunity to see the remarkable Carolingian Lindau Gospels out of its usual case, an experience that brought back fond memories of her experience in Professor Smith’s Art of the Early Middle Ages course.

Wilson Tarbox (B.A., Art History, ‘14) has been working as an English Teaching Assistant under the auspices of the TAPIF program since graduating in May of last year. In conjunction with his work as a language teacher, Wilson recently curated an exhibition to promote visual and English literacy amongst French high school students in the Académie de Rouen. The exhibition, titled Education and Subversion: Doodles by George Skelly, presents twenty drawings evocative of Internet memes and comic books that touch on a number of relevant themes in contemporary French social and political discourse, including the potency of satire, freedom of speech as it pertains to obscenity, and the role of new technologies in social interactions. The exhibition will tour five high schools in the school district through April 25th. Wilson and his teaching assistant colleagues will guide students in the development of visual analyses and personal responses to individual works in English. These texts will be reproduced in the exhibition’s catalogue at the conclusion of the program in May.

Natalie Schwich (B.A. Art History, ’15) recently completed her undergraduate studies at NYU and has since pursued a career in public relations for the arts.  Natalie has worked for several arts communications firms in New York and Los Angeles, collaborating with institutions such as SculptureCenter and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  She is currently the Associate Coordinator for Communications at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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