Austen Barron Bailly
Austen Barron Bailly is The George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. She joined PEM in 2013, following 11 years as an American art curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Austen received her B.A. from Vassar College, her M.A. from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is Chair of the Association of Historians of American Art and served on the Public Art Commission for the City of Salem. At PEM, she has advanced the new American art program as lead curator for the nationally touring exhibition American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood, which received a 2015 award for excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators. She also edited and contributed to the accompanying publication. In 2016, Austen co-curated American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals and co-edited and contributed to the accompanying catalogue. Currently, Austen is coordinating the exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style, curated by Wanda Corn and opening at PEM in December. She is also beginning to plan for the new installations of PEM’s American art collections and collaboratively developing two new co-curated exhibitions: an exhibition on Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series of 1954-56 and In American Waters, which will reevaluate the importance of the sea to American painters.
Libby Bischof is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine where she teaches classes on Visualizing History, Photographing American History, and Maine History, among others. She is the co-author of Maine Photography: A History, 1840-2015 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940 (Yale University Press, 2011). She has recently curated exhibitions at the University of New England, the University of Southern Maine, the Penobscot Marine Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Center for Creative Photography, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center for American Modernism, the Beinecke Library, and the Peter Palmquist Fund for Historic Photographic Research. She is currently working on a project about Eliot Porter’s photographic work in Maine and Iceland.
Erika Doss (PhD, University of Minnesota) is a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her wide-ranging interests in American art and visual culture are reflected in the breadth of her publications, including Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism (1991, which received the Charles C. Eldredge Prize), Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities (1995), Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith, and Image (1999), Looking at Life Magazine (editor, 2001), Twentieth-Century American Art (2002), The Emotional Life of Contemporary Public Memorials: Towards a Theory of Temporary Memorials (2008), Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010), and American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries (2017). The recipient of several Fulbright awards, Doss has also held fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Mary Ellis Gibson
Mary Ellis Gibson is Arthur Jeremiah Roberts Professor of English at Colby College. Her interests include modernism, particularly modernist poetry, American regionalism, and post-colonial literature. She has edited two short story collections of southern US literature including, New Stories by Southern Women, and is the author Epic Reinvented: Ezra Pound and the Victorians. Her more recent work focuses on the global circulation of poetry; she is author of Indian Angles: English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore.
Randall R. Griffey
Randall R. Griffey is Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to The Met, Griffey held curatorial positions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (1999 – 2008) and the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College (2008 – 2012). At The Met, Griffey has organized Reimagining Modernism: 1900 – 1950, a comprehensive reinterpretation of the museum’s collections of European and American modern painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and design. He also co-curated Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered. Among his publications are the journal article “Marsden Hartley’s Aryanism: Eugenics in a Finnish‐Yankee Sauna,” in American Art (Smithsonian Institution) in 2008 and the essay “Reconsidering ‘The Soil’: The Stieglitz Circle, Regionalism, and Cultural Eugenics in the 1920s,” in the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties in 2011. Both of these publications were recognized with awards from the Association of Art Museum Curators. He is co-curator of Marsden Hartley’s Maine.
Lauren Lessing is an art historian and educator with twenty-five years of experience working in museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. In her current position as Mirken Director of Academic and Public Programs at the Colby College Museum of Art, she oversees a staff of four professions who direct community outreach and programming and link the Museum’s collections and exhibitions to curriculum at the college. Lessing completed her Ph.D. in Art History at Indiana University under the guidance of Sarah Burns, and she has authored numerous books, articles, catalogue essays, and papers on eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art.
Leo Mazow has been the Cochrane Curator of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Arts since June 2016. Prior to that, he was an art history professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. From 2002 through 2010 he was curator of American art at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University. Among the exhibitions and accompanying publications he organized there are Picturing the Banjo and Taxing Visions: Financial Episodes in Late Nineteenth-Century American Art. His book Thomas Hart Benton and the American Sound was awarded the 2013 Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art, presented by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Mazow has published articles on Edward Hopper, Regionalism, New York Dada, and American landscape painting in such journals as Art Bulletin, American Art, Design and Culture, and Winterthur Portfolio. In 2015 he held a Paul Mellon Senior Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, where he worked on his book project, Hopper’s Hotels, which is also the subject of his forthcoming exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Justin McCann is the Lunder Curator for Whistler Studies at the Colby Museum. Justin arrived at Colby in 2014 coming from Rutgers University where he is completing his dissertation. He curated the exhibition Whistler and the World: The Lunder Collection of James McNeill Whistler at the Colby College Museum of Art and edited the accompanied catalogue. In 2016 he organized Master Prints from the Lunder Collection as well as two installations of prints from Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, the Vollard Suite. He has recently co-curated Graphic Matters: George Bellows and World War I and Bird Watching: Audubon and Ornithology in Early America. He is currently working on an exhibition that examines the intersection of sports and society through the photography of Walter Iooss. His next Whistler related project is Making Impressions: The Prints of Mary Cassatt and James McNeill Whistler.
Martha McNamara is an art and architectural historian who specializes in the visual and material culture of New England. She is Director of the New England Arts and Architecture Program and co-Director of the Architecture Program in the Department of Art at Wellesley College. McNamara received her MA and PhD in American and New England Studies from Boston University. She is the author of From Tavern to Courthouse: Architecture and Ritual in American Law, 1658-1860 (Johns Hopkins, 2004); co-editor (with Georgia Barnhill) of New Views of New England: Studies in Material and Visual Culture, 1680-1830 (Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2012) and co-editor (with Karan Sheldon) of Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017).
William D. Moore
William D. Moore is Director of the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University while also serving as Associate Professor of American Material Culture in the Department of the History of Art & Architecture. He previously was Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he was the head of the program in Public History. Moore received his MA and PhD degrees in American Studies at Boston University and holds an AB in Folklore & Mythology from Harvard University. He is the author of many articles and Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes (UP Tennessee, 2006) and the co-editor, with Mark Tabbert, of Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism (Cornerstone, 2011). He is currently preparing a manuscript investigating the American fascination with the Shakers in the decades between 1925 and 1965. He serves on the editorial boards of Winterthur Portfolio, The Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, and the Encyclopedia of American Studies and recently stepped down as the First Vice President of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.
Dana Ostrander is the Curatorial Assistant of Photography and New Media at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research examines the collision between American art and science at the locus of the human body, particularly during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Of primary concern are the ways in which artists have reappropriated the visual cultures of medicine and anthropology in order to deconstruct empirical knowledge about ‘deviant’ bodies. Her doctoral work has been supported by the University of Illinois Program in Art History, the Wellesley College Horton-Hallowell Fellowship, and a Graduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Ostrander holds an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in Art History and English from Wellesley College. Currently, she is at work co-organizing an exhibition of collection highlights entitled Brought to Light: Select Photographs from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and completing her dissertation project, “Down to a Science: The Vestiges of Clinical Photography in American Fine Art.”
Erin Pauwels is Assistant Professor of Art History at Temple University. Her research focuses on American art and visual culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a special emphasis on the intersections between fine art and the histories of consumer culture, theatrical entertainment, and technologies of image reproduction. She also has recently published articles on the evolution of celebrity culture, and historical perceptions of photographic realism. Dr. Pauwels is currently completing her first book on the American artist Napoleon Sarony, whose complex legacy as a printmaker and photographer illuminates the ways in which commercial art and mass media shaped artistic practice and visual experience in the late nineteenth-century United States.
Sarah G. Powers
Sarah Powers is Curatorial Research Specialist in American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Previously, she worked as Assistant Curator of Special Projects at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College where she organized several exhibitions, including “Men of Fire: José Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock” in conjunction with the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. She has also worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smith College Art Museum, and the Williams College Museum of Art, and taught in the art history departments of Dartmouth College, University of Delaware, and Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. Sarah holds a doctorate from the University of Delaware, and a MA from Williams College. Her dissertation project was entitled, “Images of Tension: City and Country in the work of Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Sheeler and Edward Hopper.”
Associate Professor, American Studies, Colby College
Laura Saltz is Associate Professor and Director of the American Studies Program at Colby. She teaches courses on US visual culture and writes about intersections among photography, science, and literature. She is currently working on a manuscript called Imponderables: American Literature and the Scientific Epistemologies of Early Photography.
Katherine Stubbs is associate professor of English at Colby College, where she teaches eighteenth and nineteenth-century US American literature; she recently developed a course on US Orientalisms and Arab American literature. She has published on a range of topics, including discourses of mechanical production in the early industrial economy, literature by Jewish American immigrants, and cultural responses to telegraphy. Her current scholarship focuses on non-normative social relations and early communications technology.
Katz Curator, Colby College Museum of Art
Diana Tuite is the Katz Curator at the Colby College Museum of Art and is responsible for research and exhibitions related to the modern and contemporary art collections, including the Alex Katz collection. She is the curator of Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s, which recently closed at the Cleveland Museum of Art and will travel to the Neuberger Museum of Art in 2018. While at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art she co-curated Edward Hopper’s Maine in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Chelsea R. Wessels
Chelsea Wessels is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Cinema Studies at Colby College. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, she came to Maine via Ithaca, New York where she was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University. She received her PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where her research focused on the emergence of the western as a political and popular genre in global cinema. Her other research interests include media pedagogy, archives and local cinema history, as well as gender and bioregionalism.
Justin Wolff is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Maine, where he also has served as Director of the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center. Justin’s most recent publication is the chapter “A Strange Familiarity: Alexander Forbes and the Aesthetics of Amateur Film,” which appears in the anthology Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England Film, 1915–1960 (Indiana University Press, June 2017.) Among his other publications are two books: Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger (Princeton University Press, 2002) and Thomas Hart Benton: A Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). Justin is currently co-curating a museum exhibition, and co-authoring the accompanying catalogue, titled Rufus Porter’s Curious World: Art and Invention in America, 1815-1860, which will open at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in fall 2019. Justin earned his B.A. in art history at Bowdoin College and his Ph.D. in art history at Princeton University. He has been teaching at UMaine since 2008.