Wow! What a fantastic response we received to our recent call for alumni news! Thank you to all of the alumni who got in touch, and hearty congratulations on all of your achievements and activities. We hope to hear from more of you for our next Alumni News round-up, which we’ll post sometime in fall 2017. Thanks also to Department of Art History/Program for Urban Design & Architecture Studies faculty Carol Krinsky, Mosette Broderick, Jon Ritter, and Dennis Geronimus, and to Art History/Politics major and Fine Arts Society secretary-extraordinaire Grace Lubin, all of whom contributed to this post.
Please continue to send your news, links, photos, videos, and podcasts (and corrections) to Professor Kathryn Smith (email@example.com) with a copy to our Manager Peggy Coon (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you again, and best wishes for happiness, fulfillment, and success to all!
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, has co-authored (with Janet L. Whitmore) Toward a New 19th-Century Art: Selections from the Radichel Collection, to be published in June of this year. The book offers new research on and fresh insights into works of later nineteenth-century naturalist and symbolist painting by French and Belgian artists, from the private collection of Brad Radichel
Weisberg and Whitmore dust jacket Toward a New 19th-Century Art
Vivian Awner (B.A. Art History ’70s) recently had a piece published in the “Metropolitan Diary” feature of The New York Times.
Masu Ota (B.A. Urban Design & Architecture Studies ’96) writes, “I went on to complete my M.S. at Columbia University and returned to Taipei in 1997 to work for an investment bank. I worked on several direct investment/syndicated loan projects related to shopping centers and gas/coal fired power plants. Then in 2006, I went back to work in my parents’ company, King’s Design & Art School, a small family business in design related vocational education.
We help students to pass the college entrance exams and to obtain the national certificates required to work as an interior designers or contractors. There is an N.Y.U. alumni club in Taipei, and we organize events every year. We also hold happy hours and other gatherings with alumni clubs of other schools, such as Boston University, Cornell University and U.S.C. Last month, N.Y.U.’s new president Andrew Hamilton and his wife Jennie were both in town. My wife Lulu and I attended the welcome event organized by the Alumni club. It was very nice and I met many old friends there.” Masu would be delighted to hear from his former N.Y.U. classmates, whom he hasn’t seen in two decades.
Masu (in his favorite NYU T-shirt!) and his wife Lulu
Attending a reception for President Hamilton in Taipei, February 2016
Tarek Ibrahim (B.A. Art History ’00) sends this news: “After earning my M. Arch at Parsons, I moved to Berlin and landed a job at the firm of Sauerbruch Hutton. After four years, I decided I wanted to go back to the discipline of art history and got my M.A. in art and architectural history, writing my thesis on the architecture of a lost grand hotel, the famous Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo, destroyed in the anti-British riots in 1952. Using somewhat unorthodox research methods, I discovered the original floor plans of the hotel, which are currently kept in a castle outside of Nürnberg. Perhaps even more incredibly, I was able to discover pieces of furniture and textiles that had originally been made for the hotel. The reason that these artifacts now survive in Germany is that the architect — a certain Johann Adam Rennebaum — hailed from this region. He lived and worked in Egypt from 1880-1915, and again from 1922-36. Shortly before his death he returned to Germany with a small collection of drawings and works of art, including some of the material from what is probably his most famous building, Shepheard’s Hotel. These works are, in all likelihood, all that remain of that legendary institution. This spectacular discovery à la Indiana Jones has also provided the foundation for my Ph.D., in progress. I’m looking to compile and consider Rennebaum’s entire oeuvre in Egypt.
“While writing my dissertation, I’m working full-time at the Humboldt Forum (Berlin) as research assistant to Neil MacGregor, one of the founding directors of that institution. I’ve also found my way back to N.Y.U.: I’m now a tutor and assistant lecturer at N.Y.U. Berlin and teach with Sigismund Sliwinksi. It’s wonderful to be back at my alma mater, where I spent some of the happiest years of my life.”
Anthony Garcia (B.A. Urban Design and Architecture Studies, ’02; M. Arch., University of Miami ’05) is a founding principal of Street Plans Collaborative, a full-service architecture, urban design, and transportation planning firm. He is co-author of the Tactical Urbanism book series and was recently awarded the prestigious Seaside Institute Prize. Architect Andres Duany recently said of Tony and partner Mike Lydon’s work,
Tactical Urbanism is pure American know-how. It is the common
sense that housed, fed, and made prosperous an entire continent
of penniless immigrants. Mike and Tony lead the next generation
of new urbanists. They are the next intellectual generation. They
understand the limits of the 21st Century and confront them with
audacity and creativity.
Tony’s most recent project was a month-long retrofit of parking lots in Downtown Miami, which were transformed into public plazas. The project, called Biscayne Green, is a way to advance place-making in Downtown Miami by building political and popular support through a live demonstration.
Street Plans Biscayne Green
Street Plans Biscayne Green
Street Plans Biscayne Green
Dr. Sarah Laursen ((B.A. Art History/East Asian Studies ’02; Ph.D. History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, ’11), who is Robert P. Youngman ’64 Curator of Asian Art at the Middlebury College Museum of Art and Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury, will give a lecture on Chinese gold in the morning session (10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) of the “Age of Empires” symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to be held Sunday, April 9th. Her talk is titled “New Horizons in Chinese Gold in the Han Dynasty.”
Stephanie Swinton (B.A. Art History/Urban Design & Architecture Studies, French minor ’02; M.A. Visual Culture, Steinhardt ’06) is the Marketing & Business Development Manager at Avensole Winery and has worked in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country for the past two years. Previously, she worked for luxury brands in Paris and New York City. Stephanie earned an M.B.A in International Luxury Brand Management from French Business School ESSEC in Paris.
Stephanie has maintained her connections with N.Y.U. as a Director on the Alumni Board of Directors, through mentoring undergraduate business school students, and by engagement in the “Viral Violets” social media program for alumni online influencers. She also serves as President of the San Diego Alumni Chapter of International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma, representing “The Best in Business.”
A Southern California native, Stephanie enjoys bringing her international perspective and luxury experience to Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. Her desire to live in a world that acknowledges the artisans who create beauty in our lives motivates her business engagements, and her passion for customer satisfaction has made an impact through social media engagement and other marketing initiatives at the winery.
Stephanie was Featured Member of the Month for the Valley Young Professionals group of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Lydia Mattice Brandt (B.A. Art History ’04) recently released her first book with the University of Virginia Press, First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination chronicles America’s obsession with the first president’s iconic home through advertising, prints, paintings, popular literature, and the full-scale replication of its architecture.
Heather D. Thorpe (B.A. Art History ’06; M.A. Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara ’09) will earn her Ph.D. in Art History this May from The University of Iowa with a specialization in Italian Baroque art. She recently presented an excerpted chapter from her dissertation, “Modernity’s Caravaggio: Reinventing a Seicento Artist for the Twentieth Century,” at CAA in New York this past February.
Alicia Cooper (B.A. Art History ’07) participated in a panel at the New York Studio School entitled the “Continuities of American Art: 1908-1968” in October 2016. Also, in the fall, she managed the launch of a public tour program of the New York Studio School’s historic building, the original site of the Whitney Museum for American Art, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Facade of New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, New York, NY
Lynn Maliszewski (B.A. Art History ’09) will complete the Master’s program at the Center for Curatorial Studies in May 2017 and has curated two exhibitions in conjunction with a written thesis. let’s make a deal is an exhibition that documents a three-month-long correspondence between artists Huma Bhabha and Jeremy Olson, triggered by artworks in the Marieluise Hessel Collection at CCS — in addition to textual prompts and life in general. The second exhibition, entitled Liquid Modernity, contains books, periodicals, and artists’ projects pulled predominantly from the Special Collections at the Hessel Museum. This exhibition takes stock of publishing practices from the 1970s and 2000s that consider the ways in which data is processed and transcribed. Both exhibitions open on Sunday, April 9th, and all are welcome to attend. She is also completing a written thesis that takes stock of Czech poet Jiri Valoch’s concrete poetry and books in conjunction with illegal samizdat publishing in Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1976. Feel free to email her with any questions, comments, or calls for conversation.
Ksenia Nouril (née Yachmetz, B.A. Art History ’09) was invited to give a public lecture at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in Vilnius, Lithuania.
As Ksenia writes further, “I’m researching and writing about Lithuanian contemporary art for my dissertation, which explains my connection to the place. I received a very positive response from the audience, who had many questions about my work at MoMA and the Museum’s programming.”
Ksenia is a Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (CMAP) Fellow at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, where she researches and plans programs related to Central and Eastern European art and is a co-editor of post, the online platform for global art at MoMA. Ksenia is writing her dissertation, “The Operative Object: Investing the Historical Turn in Post-Communist Art,” on the work of contemporary Eastern European artists who actively question and engage with history and historical representations of communism since 1989. Ksenia previously wrote about a work of Lithuanian contemporary art in the MoMA Collection, although her research in the country extends to related works and artists.
Beatrice Thornton (Art History/French ’09) earned her M.A. in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center in 2015. She is currently an archives assistant in the Design and Heritage Archives at Gap Inc. in New York and is completing a certificate in Archives and Records management with the Palmer School at Long Island University’s Manhattan campus.
Cristina Garza (B.A. Art History ’10) sends this update on her activities at the Mission Economic Development Corporation (hereafter, MEDC) in Mission, TX:
**Cristina recently testified at the Texas Capitol for House Bill 728, a bill written by the MEDC that will allow AP computer science high school courses, currently considered electives in Texas, to count as either a math or science core credit. “We believe that providing the option of counting it as part of the core curriculum will help students to become more computer-literate by the time they graduate,” explains Cristina.
**Cristina recently acquired a Portal by Shared Studios. The Portal is a shipping container equipped with immersive audiovisual technology that allows a person to speak face-to-face with someone in another part of the world. “Although at first I was hesitant about being involved with the project and had doubts as to how a Portal would fit MEDC’s mission, I can happily tell you that I am now a firm Portal believer/evangelist,” Cristina writes. “Everyone who has used it has reported having a significant, even life-changing experience. For example, some Texas high school students connected to refugee camps in Tempelhof, Berlin, and Erbil, Iraq. These teens had heard about the refugee crisis in the news but knew very little about the daily life of a refugee. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to encourage students to question the information that is fed to them, and to learn to form opinions of their own after consulting different sources.
“The Portal has also been used by social studies, foreign language, history, and geography teachers. For example, thanks to the Portal, Julio, a history teacher at a local high school, was able to connect his own students to high school and college students in Gaza City. The two groups had a compassionate conversation about politics, life in Gaza, and hope for the future. To learn more about how the Portals work, watch this short video, and read this wonderful piece about how the Portals create an infrastructure of empathy.”
**This summer, Cristina is launching a program that will feature Jackie Neale, former Imaging Director at the Metropolitan Museum, as its first Expert-in Residence (Shout out to Marco Castro for re-connecting us!). The program was designed to bring to Mission mentors who will work with the local community to create joint projects and share skills. As Cristina explains, “Why did I pick Jackie? There are a lot of young people in our town who are interested in pursuing film and photography professionally, but let’s be honest—Mission is not NYC or LA. We want to improve the quality of the training Mission residents can access. Jackie will work closely with a small group of our residents to teach them to create a professional portfolio and work with her on other projects. I’m currently looking for the next Expert-in-Residence. If you know experts in the fields of arts, tech, education, or social entrepreneurship who would be interested in moving to Mission for three months, send me an email!”
**Cristina reports that her young women’s leadership high school program continues to take shape. She has a healthy roster of mentors in the arts fields but would love to find more mentors in the tech and science sectors. As Cristina puts it, “Investing in women is investing in a strong economy. Hispanic women get paid less than most of Americans. Let’s change that!”
**And, Cristina reports that the existing MEDC program, Code The Town, will move into public schools. “We’re partnering with Coding4TX (part of NY’s CodeInteractive) to train a group of middle and high school teachers to become experts in coding and computer science education over a period of two years. Thanks to our close relationship with the school district, we will be able to bring a Coding4TX educator to Mission, TX, to train teachers and evaluate their implementation of coding curriculum on a weekly basis.”
**Two further initiatives: “Our free adult coding program, formerly known as (Boot) Academy, will now be run in part by the good folks at CompTIA—the largest Tech Association in America,” Cristina reports. “CompTIA will help Mission Residents get certified in cyber security—increasing their chances at a better economic future. Lastly, we’re launching a series on computer science for teachers in partnership with Apple. Unlike the Coding4TX initiative, this will be geared toward teachers with little familiarity with computer science, and who would like to integrate it into their existing curricula.”
Cristina welcomes questions and suggestions: please contact her.
Alex Kauffman (B.A. Art History ’10) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, completing a dissertation on Marcel Duchamp and the moving image. His article “The Anemic Cinemas of Marcel Duchamp” appears in the March 2017 issue of The Art Bulletin. In July 2016, he participated in the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice, a New York-based training program for Ph.D. candidates.
After spending five years at Christie’s in the Private Sales Department, Morgan Long Scott (née Morgan Taylor Long, B.A. Art History ’10) will pursue her M.B.A. beginning this fall at Vanderbilt University, where she will focus on brand management and the luxury market.
Thomas Ilic (B.A. Art History ’11; M.D., Tufts University School of Medicine ’17) is pleased to announce that after a six-year stint in Boston, MA, he will be returning to New York City this June to begin his medical residency in Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. While in Boston, Thomas earned an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, after which he decided to pursue an M.D. at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he will be graduating this May. He is looking forward with much excitement to addressing the psychiatric needs of the New York City population and cannot wait to be back and practice medicine in the city.
Rebecca Rau (B.A. Art History ’11) recently graduated with distinction from the M.A. Art Business program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. She heads Strategic Development at M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans and is currently planning and co-hosting an art world immersion weekend that was the recipient of a $15,000 event grant from the Young Presidents Organization’s Next Generation group. The event will be held in London in October 2017 to coincide with Frieze and Frieze Masters. Through a wide range of interactions with the art world and market, the weekend aims to cultivate the next generation of arts patrons and collectors. Learn more about Rebecca’s activities.
After earning his Masters degree in Art History from Boston University in May 2016, Alexander Ciesielski (B.A. Art History/English Literature ’12) was named Director of the Guild of Boston Artists Gallery in January of this year. Established in 1914 by the leading painters of the Boston School, the Guild of Boston Artists is a nonprofit art gallery promoting representational painting and sculpture of enduring beauty by leading New England artists. The organization is committed to fostering a love of fine art through gallery exhibitions and educational programming.
Robert Rock (B.A. Art History ’12), who is currently enrolled as a student at the Yale School of Medicine, has shared an article and video interview spotlighting his work in medical education using art analysis.
Ashley Tan (B.A. Urban Design & Architectural Studies/Economics ’12) has been working with the SUN (Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods) Initiative at Boston Community Capital since September 2016. SUN helps families stay in their homes, with a belief that bank-owned, boarded-up properties are not beneficial to communities. Ashley began working there after finishing her law degree at Boston University School of Law, and after completing a fellowship with the Massachusetts Land Court, where she reviewed zoning and property cases.
Mu-Chieh Yun (B.A. Art History/Social and Cultural Analysis ’13) sends this news: “After graduation, I worked at Jimmy Choo and eventually at Sotheby’s, but decided to move to the social sector after relocating to Boston and recognizing the inequities that are facing the city. I am currently working as a program coordinator at YW Boston (formerly the YWCA), a nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. In 2015, I co-founded a visual platform, We, Ceremony, that uses storytelling to celebrate the voices of women of color.”
Manuela Toro (B.A. Art History ’14) writes, “I’m currently in the first year of the M.A. program in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at University of Amsterdam, specializing in metals conservation. Amsterdam is a magical city, and the program is my dream come true! In addition, I recently started collaborating with www.esferacultural.com, a web space promoting cultural activity in Venezuela, Latin America, and the world (growing by the minute) by writing a monthly column. It’s quite an experiment for me to write for a non-academic organization, but I have a lot of freedom with the format we chose, which definitely helps. My goal is to work within the Latin American art sphere. As a conservator, one does not make such choices, but it is definitely the focus of my research, so I’m happy to work with this platform.”
Natalie Covill (B.A. Urban Design & Architecture Studies ’16) sends this news: “After graduation, I backpacked in the High Sierras of California on the John Muir Trail for two weeks before starting a job as a Program Associate at N.Y.U. School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. Along with administrative work, I also help with mapping community assets in underserved areas of Brooklyn to help formulate community service plans. I’m beginning to look into Masters programs: my particular interests include environmental policy or potentially urban planning, with a focus on transportation.”
Lesdi Goussen (B.A. Art History ’16) has accepted U.C. Berkeley’s offer of admission to their History of Art doctoral program, beginning fall 2017. Lesdi will pursue graduate research on modern Latin American Art. Lesdi writes, “I very much look forward to this chapter of my academic career, and I am profoundly grateful to the faculty of the Department of Art History at N.Y.U.”
Yinan (Ina) Li (BA Urban Design and Architecture Studies ’16) has been interning at the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals since July 2016. She applied to Masters programs in urban planning last year and was admitted to U.S.C., N.Y.U., Columbia, U. Penn, and Harvard. This coming fall, she’ll begin the urban planning program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Sarah Lubin (B.A. Art History/Mathematics ’16) began law school at the U.S.C. Gould School of Law in fall 2016 and recently accepted a job working for a federal judge in San Diego for the summer of 2017.
Sarah Lubin – now a fan of USC’s football team — in her first year at USC’s Gould School of Law
Reshma D. Persaud (B.A. Art History ’16) has been accepted to Steinhardt’s Masters of Arts program in Visual Arts Administration. Since August 2016 she has been Administrative Aide to the Directors of Development of N.Y.U. School of Professional Studies and NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Yiren Shen (B.A. Art History ’16) has been accepted to both the M.A. Curating the Art Museum program and the M.A. History of Art program at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and the program M.Sc. in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Decisions, decisions…!
Kathryn A. Smith