News

February 12, 2024

The Institute of Fine Arts to present Maia Ruth Lee: Once we leave a place is it there



Maia Ruth Lee, B.B.M.2-14, 2023, 44 x 66 inches, ink on canvas. Courtesy of Tina Kim Gallery and the artist. Photo by Hyunjung Rhee.

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to present Once we leave a place is it there, a solo exhibition featuring new work by artist Maia Ruth Lee (b.1983, Busan, South Korea). The Spring 2024 iteration marks the return to in-person exhibitions since the start of the pandemic and proudly continues the Institute’s Great Hall Exhibition series’ commitment to celebrating the practices of exemplary women artists. The exhibition is especially animated by the goal of highlighting the practices and scholarship of women of color both within and beyond the field of art history. Public programming will prioritize academic and artistic dialogues on the topics of migration, diaspora, and decolonization.

Read More anbout Maia Ruth Lee Launch Exhibition Website

February 1, 2024

The Institute of Fine Arts to present Magali Lara: Interior Landscapes

Abstract painting evocative of a tree in nature, with a orange and red sky.

Magali Lara, Reproducir, repertirse (serie Proliferacion), 1990, Acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of the Institute for Studies of Latin American Art (ISLAA), New York.

Duke House Exhibition Series Spring 2024

Magali Lara: Interior Landscapes
Opening: Friday, February 16, 6:00pm
On View: February 16 to May 16, 2024
Public Programming: Wednesday, April 10, 6:00pm, A Conversation with Magali Lara and Dr. Madeline Murphy Turner

The Institute of Fine Arts announces the opening of its spring exhibition, Magali Lara: Interior Landscapes, on view in The James B. Duke House from February 16 to May 16, 2024. Encompassing work from the 1970s to the 1990s, the exhibition presents four major paintings by Magali Lara, one of Mexico's most important living artists, highlighting her interior landscapes as acts of reclamation and healing. Her early domestic spaces grapple with memories of her childhood and the misogyny that surrounded her, while her later abstract works confront her personal experiences with grief and, simultaneously, consider the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Through her work, Lara contests the traditional expectations of women in Mexican society and proposes new avenues for expressing desire and recuperation. The exhibition is curated by Angelina Medina, Giovanni Falcone, Katie Svensson, and Vivian Wu.

Read MORE about the Duke House Exhibition Series

December 18, 2023

The Institute of Fine Arts Appoints Esther da Costa Meyer as the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor for Spring 2024

Woman in conservation gesturing with her hands.

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce that Esther da Costa Meyer will join the Institute in the 2024 spring semester as the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor. The Varnedoe professorship was established in 2006 to honor the memory of Kirk’s dedication and innovation as a teacher, mentor, and scholar. Kirk vigorously maintained these roles at the Institute of Fine Arts as a beloved member of the faculty, at the Museum of Modern Art as a legendary curator, and then as a senior scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study. The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship and lecture have been endowed through the generosity of Kirk’s many friends, colleagues, and students who were inspired by his work.

“It is an honor to invite Esther to the Institute to work with our students and provide new insight on critical issues in the field of modern and contemporary architecture” said Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director, Institute of Fine Arts. “It is with great pleasure that can welcome her into our classrooms in the name of one of the most notable scholars of the 20th century.”

Esther da Costa Meyer, Professor emerita in the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, and Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture, has worked on both modern and contemporary architecture, and on issues of gender and design. Another focus of her research has been the architectural practices of the old colonial powers and the resilient cultures of resistance in colonized nations. Her book Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852-1870 (Princeton University Press) was published in February 2022. Her curatorial work includes Frank Gehry: On Line, at the Princeton University Art Museum (2008); at the Jewish Museum in New York, she curated Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design (2016) and co-curated The Sassoons (2023). During the past five years, her teaching has focused on architecture’s complicity with climate change, and, more recently, the architecture of refugee camps around the world.

November 3, 2023

The Institute of Fine Arts Announces Two Judith Praska Visiting Professors in Conservation for 2023-24

Pamela Hatchfield and Jen Munch join the Conservation Center

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts welcomed Pamela Hatchfield as the 2023–2024 Judith Praska Visiting Distinguished Professor in Conservation & Technical Studies and Jen Munch, a modern and contemporary paintings conservator, as the Spring 2024 Judith Praska Visiting Assistant Professor of Conservation.

Now in its eleventh year, the Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professorship has brought nineteen scholars to the Institute since 2012. Funded by an anonymous donor, the professorship recognizes preeminent conservation professionals who bring new viewpoints of teaching and research to the Institute’s program in conservation. This fall Hatchfield is teaching a course entitled “Transferable Skills in the Treatment of Objects and Sculpture.” In the spring, Munch will teach “Imaging for Conservators: Essential Documentation Skills,” a course focused on photographic documentation.

“We are delighted to welcome Pam and Jen to the Institute for the current academic year. Their technical research and hands-on practice will serve as a rich resource for our students. The opportunity to have Praska visiting scholars adds significant value to our world-class training in fine art conservation,” notes Professor Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts.

Hatchfield’s extensive experience in object conservation will provide invaluable training for students, says Professor Michele D. Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Co-Chair of the Conservation Center.

“Pam’s warm and welcoming personality and depth of knowledge are greatly appreciated by our community,” Marincola says. “Jen’s expertise in photographic methods of documentation and their application in a range of conservation contexts will fill an important role in our curriculum. We look forward to her thoughtful approach to teaching these essential skills.”

Pamela Hatchfield is the Head of Objects Conservation Emerita at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She also serves as the Project Coordinator for Held in Trust, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation to chart the future of preservation and conservation in the United States. In addition, Hatchfield is a consultant to the Acton Art Collection at Villa La Pietra, NYU Florence. Her archaeological field experience includes sites in Egypt and Sudan.

She holds degrees from Vassar College and the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, with postgraduate work at Harvard University and additional experience at the Smithsonian Institution, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grenada National Museum, and in private practice.

Hatchfield’s many interests include the treatment of dry archaeological wood, Asian lacquer, Egyptian polychromy, stone, outdoor sculpture, and exhibition materials. She has taught, lectured, and published extensively on these and other subjects. A founding contributor to CAMEO (Conservation and Art Materials Database), she also authored the seminal book, Pollutants in the Museum Environment.

Hatchfield is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the International Institute for Conservation, and the American Academy in Rome. She served as President of AIC and in numerous other leadership positions. Awards include the Rome Prize and the AIC Robert L. Feller Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jen Munch is the owner and conservator of Jen Munch Art Conservation, an NYC-based private practice specializing in the treatment of modern and contemporary paintings. She has worked in conservation and collections since 2011. Jen earned her M.A. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation from the State University of New York at Buffalo State College and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University & School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Munch previously worked as a contract conservator for the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., and as a staff conservator for a large private studio in NYC specializing in the conservation of contemporary artworks.

Munch gained additional conservation experience as a graduate intern at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She’s worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Phillips Collection, both in Washington, D.C., Gianfranco Pocobene Studios in Malden, Massachusetts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Rika Smith-McNally & Associates, a conservation group specializing in public art and based in Providence, Rhode Island, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, public art collection, and Harvard University's Peabody Museum. Munch has treated easel paintings and objects from the 15th-21st centuries, as well as murals from the 19th-21st centuries. She is a Professional Associate (peer-reviewed status) of the American Institute for Conservation and serves as the Chair of AIC’s Contemporary Art Network. She also serves on the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Visual Arts grants review panel.

August 9, 2023

The Institute of Fine Arts mourns the passing of Jean-Louis Cohen, our friend and colleague, a brilliant scholar, curator, critic, and teacher.

Jean-Louis, 74, passed away at his summer home in Ardèche, France, as the result of an allergic reaction to a bee sting, on August 7, 2023.

Jean-Louis Cohen in his office surrounded by books smiling for the camera.

Jean-Louis Cohen brought an unparalleled breadth of knowledge to his study of architecture and its urban context, writing important books and essays and curating exhibitions on architects and cities across the globe. He was one of the world’s foremost experts on Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert Venturi, and Frank Gehry, among others. He was also especially known for his work on the American influence on Russian modern architecture. His catalogue, Building a new New World: Amerikanism in Russian Architecture, received the 2023 exhibition catalogue award of the Society of Architectural Historians. Just this summer, he opened an exhibition titled Paris Moderne 1914-1945 (with architect Pascal Mory and fashion curator Catherine Örmen and co-wrote the exhibition catalogue with Guillemette Morel Journel) at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, and another on the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha at the Casa da arquitectura, in Matosinhos, Portugal (with Vanessa Grossman). His co-edited volume on the commission, history, décor, and renovations of the James B. Duke House (current home of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU), titled Duke House and the Making of Modern New York: Lives and Afterlives of a Fifth Avenue Mansion appeared in 2023 (with Daniella Berman and Jon Ritter).

Read MORE about Jean-Louis Cohen

June 12, 2023

New Faculty Appointed to the Institute

The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU is pleased to announce the appointment of Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen and Erich J. Kessel to the faculty beginning on September 1, 2023. Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen will join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Nineteenth-Century European Art and Erich J. Kessel as Assistant Professor of African American and Black Diaspora Arts.

Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen specializes in late nineteenth-century art and cultural history, primarily in Europe. A guiding preoccupation of her teaching and research is the intersection between the history of art and the histories of biology and psychology, with special reference to the history of sexuality. Other areas of particular interest include animal studies; concepts of genre and categories and hierarchies of biological kinds; cognitive linguistics; theories and representations of gesture and corporeal expression; interactions between the visual and performing arts; the history of dance and early film; the history of art history; and the history of art criticism.

Butterfield-Rosen’s first book, Modern Art & the Remaking of Human Disposition, was published in November 2021 by the University of Chicago Press. This book, which brings a new formal and conceptual framework to the study of turn-of-the-century modernism, was a finalist for the 2022 Modernist Studies Association First Book Prize, and received Honorable Mention with Distinction for a Single-Author Work from the Dedalus Foundation. From Modern Art & the Remaking of Human Disposition, Butterfield-Rosen is developing a second project that addresses how Darwin’s evolutionary biology, and his twin theories of Natural Selection and Sexual Selection, reshaped the trajectories of three key aesthetic concepts: design, hierarchy, and aesthetic judgement. Alongside her academic writing, Butterfield-Rosen publishes longform essays in Artforum magazine on exhibitions treating nineteenth-century art and its legacies, as well as historical exhibitions more generally.

Butterfield-Rosen received her BA in Art History (summa cum laude) from Columbia University, and her doctorate from the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University, where her dissertation won the Jane Faggen Dissertation Prize. For the past six years, she taught in the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art at the Clark Art Institute. She has been Associate Director of the Graduate Program since 2019. Prior to arriving at the Clark, her research was supported by a three-year David E. Finley Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Erich J. Kessel researches and teaches theoretical and historical approaches to the relationship between antiblackness and the visual, with a focus on art and media since the 1970s. His work engages questions of slavery; political economy; aesthetics; art historical method; gender and sexuality; psychoanalysis and libidinal economy; and mediation. Assembling tools from a range of disciplines, his current writing explores how the racial violence of representation has shaped the concept, production and social function of the image. He has published work concerning monumentality, photographic archives, and performance.

Kessel recently co-edited, with Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, a book collecting the sketches of the late artist Gustavo Ojeda, An Excess of Quiet: Selected Sketches by Gustavo Ojeda, 1979-1989 (Soberscove Press, 2020). Additionally, his writing was published in the 2019 exhibition catalogue Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (Peabody Essex Museum, 2019).

Erich Kessel’s work has been supported by the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fund, the Whitney Independent Study Program’s Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellowship, and the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program. He received a BA in Art History with Distinction from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in the History of Art and African-American Studies with a certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Yale University.

Professor Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, noted, “We are thrilled to have Emmelyn and Erich join the Institute’s faculty. Their experience and range of scholarly research will attract stellar and highly motivated students who will become the future leaders of the arts community in the U.S. and across the globe.”

March 31, 2023

The Conservation Center Announces Appointment of Matthew Hayes as Assistant Professor of Paintings Conservation

Three video projections of a woman on a tropical island from different prospectives. The room is illuminated with light emanating from green glass bottles displayed on the floor.

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Hayes as Assistant Professor of Paintings Conservation at the Conservation Center effective September 1, 2023. In his new position Professor Hayes will teach and mentor conservation and art history students, help direct the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation with Professor Emerita Dianne Modestini and serve as Co-Chair of the Conservation Center with Professor Michele Marincola.

Matthew Hayes is a paintings conservator based in New York, where currently he is Kress Postdoctoral Associate in Paintings Conservation and Institute Lecturer at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and directs the Pietro Edwards Society for Art Conservation. He previously worked at the Atelier Gerhard Walde and the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein and was a fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, all in Vienna. Hayes holds a BA in art history from Cornell University, and MA and PhD degrees in art history and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts. He has published on conservation theory, philosophy, history, and the painting technique of Italian Renaissance artists. His book The Renaissance Restored: Paintings Conservation and the Birth of Modern Art History in Nineteenth-century Europe appeared in 2021.

Professor Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, noted, “We are thrilled to appoint Matt to this important position at the Institute’s Conservation Center. His years of experience and impressive scholarly research will enhance our offerings for the students in fine art conservation.”

Professor Michele D. Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Chair of the Conservation Center remarked, “Matt’s enormous skill as a painting conservator will support our longstanding commitment to educating students in this field. In addition, his warm, welcoming personality and depth of knowledge about the history of conservation will be greatly appreciated by our community.”

March 13, 2023

The Institute to Present Estelio by Mónica Félix

Three video projections of a woman on a tropical island from different prospectives. The room is illuminated with light emanating from green glass bottles displayed on the floor.

Mónica Félix, Alláfuera. Still from video performance. Courtesy of the artist.

Estelio will incorporate both in-person and virtual experiences, including the online exhibition launch on March 24, and two public programs.

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce its spring exhibition, Estelio, featuring work past and present of Puerto Rican artist Mónica Félix. As part of the Great Hall Exhibition series, the exhibition continues a commitment to celebrating the practices of exemplary women artist and is the third in the series to take place online. Fluid like the sea from which Félix draws much of her inspiration, the exhibition will incorporate both in-person and virtual experiences, including the online exhibition launch on March 24 and two public programs. The exhibition will be on view on the Institute’s website from March 24 – June 23. 

Read MORE about the Great Hall Exhibition Spanish Translation

January 17, 2023

The Institute to Present Feliciano Centurión: Telas y Textos

Textile with red fabric and beige flowering symbols with text that reads 'Febo Asoma'

Feliciano Centurión, Febo Asoma, 1990-1993, Mixed media. Image courtesy: Estate of Feliciano Centurión and Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), New York.

Duke House Exhibition Series Spring 2023
Opening: Monday, February 6, 2023
Public programming to be announced shortly.

Spanish Translation

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to present Paraguayan artist Feliciano Centurión’s third solo exhibition in the United States. Curated by Diana Cao, Tatiana Marcel, and Nicasia Solano, Feliciano Centurión: Telas y Textos provides an opportunity to examine the aesthetic and material interplay of text, fabric, and found objects in his oeuvre. The exhibition will be on view at the Institute of Fine Arts’ James B. Duke House from February 6 – May 19, 2023.

Read MORE about the Duke House Exhibition Series

October 5, 2022

The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University mourns the death of David O’Connor, Director Emeritus of Abydos Archaeology and Lila Acheson Wallace Professor Emeritus of Ancient Egyptian Art on October 1, 2022. He was 84 years old.

Portait of David O'Connor in the Loeb Room

David O’Connor earned his BA in 1959 from the University of Sydney, where he studied Neolithic and Bronze Age Cyprus, a Diploma in Egyptology from University College London in 1962, and a PhD in 1969 from the University of Cambridge with a dissertation on the art and material culture of ancient Nubia (upstream from Egypt). His interest in Nubia, Egypt, and the Eastern Mediterranean allowed him to enlarge the traditional focus on Egypt to encompass Nubia’s distinctive non-literate cultural artefacts, often employing anthropological methods. His work led to more dynamic and complex models of cultural exchange in this region.

At the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught in the Department of Oriental Studies and served as Curator-in-Charge of the Egyptian Collection at the Penn Museum, O’Connor conducted research on both Nubia and Egypt, organized the Excavations at Abydos in Southern Egypt, and served as an inspiring teacher and mentor. He joined the faculty of the Institute of Fine Arts in 1995, where he enjoyed the impetus, driven by his students, to think more deeply about works of art and architecture. He retired in 2017. A selective list of his many publications includes Ancient Nubia: Egypt’s Rival in Africa (1993), and the edited volumes: Ancient Egyptian Kingship (with David P. Silverman, 1995); Ancient Egypt in Africa (with Andrew Reid, 2003); and Mysterious Lands: Encounters with Ancient Egypt (with Stephen Quirke, 2003). He authored a monograph on the earliest Egyptian settlement in Nubia, The Old Kingdom Town at Buhen (2014), and co-edited substantial books on Thutmosis III, Amenhotep III, and Ramesses III (with Eric Cline). He also published Abydos: Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris (2009). He was interested in a broad range of topics and artefacts, from the material culture of Nubia and Egypt, to their artistic works—including lesser studied royal palaces—to Egyptian concepts and practices of sexuality.

David O’Connor’s passing is a great loss to the greater community of archaeologists and scholars of Nubian and Egyptian antiquity, and to his many colleagues, students, and friends. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Gülbün O’Connor, his daughters Aisha and Katie, and his numerous grandchildren.

Christine Poggi
Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director
The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

July 15, 2022

Conservation Center Receives $1M Grant from Mellon Foundation in Support of Time-Based Media Art Conservation Education

Students and professor hovering over a lighttable looking at transparencies

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, has ben awarded a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation for the four-year project Actualization of Time-based Media Art Conservation Education and Training. This project will strengthen its already advanced program in this unique specialization, the only one of its kind in the U.S. The grant will support graduate student fellowships in time-based art conservation, summer internships for students to work at museums locally and globally, researchers and faculty to teach and supervise student progress, public lectures promoting the field, and workshops for mid-career professionals.

Established in 2016 with a development grant from the Mellon Foundation, the Conservation Center's curriculum in time-based media art conservation was designed to address the changing field of contemporary art conservation, as artists increasingly use unconventional components, including sound, performance, light, or movement that unfold over time via slide, film video, software, or the internet. Preserving these works presents particular challenges given their conceptual nature and use of components that extend well beyond traditional art materials.

The curriculum implementation began with a second award from the Mellon Foundation when the first cohort of students enrolled in September 2018. Now entering its fourth year, the TBM curriculum has exceeded expectations vis-a-vis interest and participation. The symposium Reflections and Projections: Time-based Media Art Conservation Education and Outreach will conclude this grant on June 30-July 1, 2022, by presenting teaching concepts developed by instructors, as well as student perspectives. It is hoped it will inspire other educators embarking on similar initiatives.

Professor Michele D. Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Chair of the Conservation Center, is principal investigator on the new award, which allows for the expansion of TBM activities. She remarked that "this unique and timely specialization has attracted wide audiences and will diversify our student cohorts. It is an honor to receive the Mellon Foundation's award, which recognizes our efforts in preparing conservators to address the challenges posed by these complex artworks."

Professor Christine Poggi, July and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, observed, "We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for facilitating the development and implementation of this curricular specialization. We look forward to actualizing our objectives with this and seeing the program flourish."

June 28, 2022

Conservation Center Appoints Bertrand Lavédrine as Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Academic Year 2022-2023

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU will welcome Bertrand Lavédrine as the 2022–2023 Judith Praska Visiting Distinguished Professor in Conservation & Technical Studies. Dr. Lavédrine is a professor at the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Sorbonne University Alliance, and a scientist at Center for Research in Conservation in Paris. He is an internationally recognized expert in the chemistry and preservation of photographs and the author of several books and articles on historical processes. Dr. Lavédrine will teach in the fall 2022.

Now in its tenth year, the Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professorship has brought eighteen scholars to the Institute since 2012. Generously funded by an anonymous donor, the professorship recognizes preeminent conservation professionals who bring new areas of teaching and research to the Institute’s program in conservation. Dr. Lavédrine will teach a course entitled Research & Communication in Conservation & Science and will deliver a public lectures during his tenure.

Professor Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, noted, “This is an outstanding appointment for the Institute, and it will be an honor to host Dr. Lavédrine in the coming year. We look forward to enriching our course offerings with his expertise and continuing our world-class teaching and research in fine art conservation.”

Professor Michele D. Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Chair of the Conservation Center remarked, “Bertrand’s knowledge of chemistry and its applications in a range of preventive conservation contexts will fill an important role in our curriculum. His teaching experience, warm and welcoming personality, and depth of knowledge will be greatly appreciated by our community.”

Students and professor hovering over a lighttable looking at transparencies

Bertrand Lavédrine is a professor at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN) and a scientist at the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation (CRC) in Paris. He holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a doctoral degree in Art and Archeology from the Faculty of Humanities, University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. From 2003 to 2007, he was appointed as the director of the conservation training program at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has written papers and books on the preservation of photographic collections, now available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Vietnamese). Dr. Lavédrine also leads research into the characterization and degradation of plastics––he was coordinator of the European funded project “POPART” (Preservation Of Plastic Artifacts in museum collections)—and the non-destructive identification of dyes and pigments used in manuscript illumination. He has participated in various international training programs funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Getty Conservation Institute, the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and research projects funded by the European commission.

May 13, 2022

The Conservation Center Appoints Dr. Glennis Rayermann as Visiting Assistant Professor of Conservation Science

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Glennis Rayermann as Visiting Assistant Professor of Conservation Science for a one-year position, renewable to three years. Dr. Rayermann will begin her position on September 1, 2022.

Portait of Glennis Rayermann

Dr. Glennis Rayermann is currently a Research Associate with the Netherlands Institute for Conservation+Art+Science+ (NICAS) in Amsterdam, a position funded by the Mellon Foundation, where she is specializing in the heritage science of metal, glass, stone, and ceramic objects. She received her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Washington in 2018 after her MS in chemistry at the same institution, and a BS in chemistry with distinction from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. Dr. Rayermann completed a graduate conservation science internship at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, focusing on the technical study of a forged panel painting attributed to Icilio Federico Joni. In 2020 she was Lecturer at the Garman Art Conservation Department at the State University of New York, Buffalo State, a position she followed with a research appointment at the department, studying the possibility of non-invasive examination of modern sports trading cards.

Michele Marincola, Chair of the Conservation Center and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation writes, “The appointment of Dr. Rayermann is an exciting opportunity for us at the Conservation Center. She will bring fresh perspectives from her research in Amsterdam and Buffalo State, as well as broad knowledge of heritage science and her enthusiastic engagement with students. We look forward to welcoming her to our faculty this fall.”

"We are thrilled to appoint Dr. Glennis Rayermann as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Conservation Science at the Conservation Center. Glennis’s specialization in the heritage science of metal, glass, stone, and ceramic objects and her depth of knowledge in the field of chemistry will provide critical training for our graduate students,” said Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts.

May 11, 2022

The Institute Appoints Catherine Quan Damman and Alexandra Courtois de Viçose Visiting Professors

The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Quan Damman as the Linda Nochlin Visiting Assistant Professor for a three-year term. We are also delighted to announce the appointment of Alexandra Courtois de Viçose as Visiting Assistant Professor of 19th-century European Art. Both colleagues will begin on September 1, 2022.

Portait of Catherine Quan Damman

Catherine Quan Damman will teach seminars and lectures focusing on the work of contemporary women artists from a broad, multi-media, and global perspective. Her work as a scholar and critic also addresses gender and sexuality studies, feminist approaches to art history, and critical race studies.

Dr. Damman is completing her first monograph, Performance: A Deceptive History with a 2022–2023 ACLS Fellowship. Work on the project has also been supported by a research grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art and a two-year Chester Dale Predoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Previously, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wesleyan University, where she was concurrently on the faculty of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance graduate program. She has also been a Core Lecturer in Art History at Columbia University, where she completed her PhD in 2018. An active critic, she is a frequent contributor to Artforum. Her writing can also be found in Bookforum, BOMB, 4Columns, Frieze, Art in America, and elsewhere.

Portait of Alexandra Courtois de Viçose

Alexandra Courtois de Viçose's research draws from disability studies and disability history to address unexplored facets of late nineteenth-century European visual culture. Prior to her career in academia, Alexandra worked in theatre and then in special-effects make-up in Los Angeles, CA. During her graduate tenure at U.C. Berkeley, she held a four-year Jacob K. Javits fellowship, a UNA fellowship for women in history, a Georges Lurcy fellowship in Paris, a Goldman Graduate Fund Fellowship, and she received two teaching awards. Kenyon College, where she has taught for the past four years, recently awarded her two Faculty Research Grants.

Dr. Courtois’s current book project examines Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s oeuvre and life through questions informed by the social model of disability studies; her second scholarly project will examine the art of French artist Jean Veber (1864-1928) and his recurrent depictions of leg amputee figures in both satirical newspaper cartoons and easel paintings. Her classes investigate European art, politics, and culture, but also investigate global networks of pictorial expression.

February 16, 2022

Lisa Conte Appointed Visiting Associate Professor of Paper Conservation

Portait of Lisa Conte

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Conte as Visiting Associate Professor of Paper Conservation for a one-year term, renewable to three years, beginning September 1, 2022.

Ms. Conte is currently the Head of Conservation at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a position she has held since 2017. She specializes in the conservation of modern and contemporary works on paper, and has previously held positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Scott Gerson Conservation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received a BA in English and Studio Art from William Smith College and an MA in Art History and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Ms. Conte has taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, both within the Conservation Center curriculum and in the Summer Institute in Technical Art History for doctoral students in art history, as well as for the Museum Studies Program of NYU, among other institutions. Her current research interests include the ethical considerations related to the preservation of spontaneous memorials and other objects associated with traumatic history. In the fall of 2021, she presented the preservation of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s collection for the Walter W. S. Cook Annual Lecture series, which invites prominent Institute alumni to speak.

“We are delighted to appoint Lisa Conte to our visiting position at the Conservation Center. Lisa’s wide-ranging experience as a paper conservator, her work with doctoral students, and her new research on the preservation of objects associated with historical trauma, will make her a valuable colleague and mentor to our graduate students,” said Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts.

Michele D. Marincola, Chair of the Conservation Center and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation, notes, “Lisa’s broad experience and scholarly interests will enable her to teach an impressive range of classes, from the conservation treatment of fine art prints and drawings to the preventive care of collections, as well as the issues surrounding the preservation of ephemeral monuments and new media. She is equally invested in imparting conservation skills and theoretical knowledge, and students of art history as well as conservation will gain so much from her teaching. We are very pleased she is joining the Conservation Center!”

Feb 7, 2022

The Institute to present Kenneth Kemble and Silvia Torras: The Formative Years, 1956-63

Portait of Jonathan Brown seated in the Loeb Roomt

The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University announces Kenneth Kemble and Silvia Torras: The Formative Years, 1956-63, the first dual presentation of the work of Argentine artists Kenneth Kemble (1923-1998) and Silvia Torras (1936-1970) in the United States. Curated by Clara Maria Apostolatos, Martina Lentino, Nicasia Solano, and Juul Van Haver, the exhibition is on view from February 23––May 27, 2022, at the Institute of Fine Arts’ James B. Duke House.

Read more about Kenneth Kemble and Silvia Torras: The Formative Years

Jan 20, 2022

Harriet Stratis, Paula Volent, and Graeme Whitelaw Join The Institute's Board of Trustees

The new board members bring a wealth of professional experience and a commitment to educating future generations of art historians, art conservators, and archaeologists.

Marica Vilcek, chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts’ Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the addition of three new members of the Institute’s Board. Harriet Stratis, paper conservator, technical art historian, and alumna of the Institute; Paula Volent, investment officer, paper conservator, and alumna of the Institute; and Graeme Whitelaw, architect and collector, join the Institute’s board, bringing a wealth of experience and engagement in philanthropy, art conservation, and the art world.

Read more about the new board members

Jan 18, 2022

JONATHAN BROWN: A LIFE

By Richard Kagan, Robert Lubar, and Edward J. Sullivan

Portait of Jonathan Brown seated in the Loeb Roomt

Jonathan Brown was a pioneering art historian who brought the study of both Spanish and Viceregal Mexican art to wide public and academic attention with his teaching, voluminous writing and exhibition curating, from the 1960s until the present decade. He died at home in Princeton, New Jersey on January 17, 2022. Jonathan Brown was the son of Jean (Levy) Brown and Leonard Brown, well known collectors of Dada, Surrealist, Fluxus, and especially Abstract Expressionist art. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 15, 1939. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he became interested in Spanish language and literature. His love of Spanish art was fostered by classes at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, where he attended New York University’s junior year in Spain program in 1958-59. Brown received his PhD in art history in 1964 from Princeton where he taught in the Department of Art and Archaeology from 1965 to 1973. Jonathan Brown and Sandra Backer were married in 1966. Their house in Princeton, New Jersey, has been the family home for many years. Jonathan was recruited by NYU to be Director (1973-78) of the Institute of Fine Arts, the university’s graduate center for the study of art history and fine arts conservation. He remained at the Institute until his retirement in 2017, serving as the Caroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts. Brown instructed several generations of advanced students in his field, many of whom went on to have prestigious careers as academics, museum curators and directors. His fundamental books and exhibition catalogues on the greatest figures of Spain’s “Golden Age,” including El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, among others, earned him praise at home and abroad. Brown’s 1991 survey The Golden Age of Painting in Spain (expanded in 1998 and published as Painting in Spain 1500-1700) remains the standard volume on the subject.

Read MORE about Jonathan Brown

Nov 15, 2021

Richard E. Stone, In Memoriam
February 2, 1939 – November 15, 2021

Students flattening out an artwork with specialized equipment

Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Rosen Stone.

Richard Stone (M.A. 1966, ABD), conservator emeritus of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and a member of the adjunct faculty of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts for nearly 30 years, died peacefully at home on November 15, 2021, after a long illness. With him was his beloved wife, the historian of Indian art, Elizabeth Rosen Stone (M.A. 1970, Ph.D 1983), whom he first met in Erwin Panofsky’s class at the Institute in the 1960s.

Read MORE about Richard E. Stone

Sep 16, 2021

Conservation Center Appoints Steven Weintraub and Denyse Montegut as 2021-2022 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professors in Conservation & Technical Studies

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to welcome Steven Weintraub and Denyse Montegut as the 2021–2022 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professors in Conservation and Technical Studies. Weintraub, founder and Principal of Art Preservation Services (APS), and Montegut, Professor in the Fashion and Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, will teach in fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters, respectively.

Now approaching its tenth year, the Praska Distinguished Visiting Professorship recognizes a distinguished conservator or scientist who brings new areas for research and teaching to the program in conservation. Weintraub will teach Color and Perception in the fall of 2021 and Montegut will teach Polymers, Fibers, Yarns and Weave Structures in Fabrics in the spring of 2022. Both will deliver public lectures during their tenure.

Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, said, “We are thrilled that these distinguished alumni of the Institute will be joining us at the Conservation Center in the next academic year. Their knowledge of and practical experience with material science and conservation will serve as a rich resource for our students.”

Michele D. Marincola, Chair of the Conservation Center and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation, notes, “Steve’s specialization in the perception of color is a crucial addition to our program; we are privileged to be able to host him in the fall term. Denyse’s expertise in fiber identification and textile chemistry complements the course offered by Steve and will attract students from different specialties, with its emphasis on mastering polarizing light microscopy, identification of weave structures, and assessing treatment options for fiber-based objects.”

Steven Weintraub is the founder and Principal of Art Preservation Services (APS), established in 1988. He specializes in the preservation of museum collections. In addition to environmental consultation work for museums, he has done pioneering research in the areas of museum lighting and museum microclimates. The primary focus of his research on perception of color is to provide a scientific basis for establishing a balance between the need to minimize light-induced damage on artworks without sacrificing the qualitative experience of viewing art in a museum setting. Weintraub holds a B.A from Colgate University, and an M.A. in Art History and a Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Denyse Montegut, a textile conservator, is Professor in the Fashion and Textile Studies Department, School of Graduate Studies, at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her specialties are microscopy, fiber chemistry, and material science, and she was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching in 2004. She was Chair of her department from 1996 to 2019, during which time she developed its conservation component into a well-respected Master’s training program. She holds a B.A from Brooklyn College, and an M.A. in Art History and a Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is A.B.D. in Art Conservation Research at the University of Delaware, where her dissertation studies focused on textile forgeries of Rhenish 13th–15th century metal printed textiles, a topic that she was introduced to during her 1993 Kress Fellowship at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Most recently in 2020, Professor Montegut was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Textile Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation.

June 1, 2021

The Conservation Center and the University of Akron School of Polymer Science and Engineering to Produce Improved Lining Adhesives for Canvas Paintings

Research supported by the Getty Foundation through its Conserving Canvas Initiative

Students flattening out an artwork with specialized equipmentFormer Conservation Center students perform overall humidification and flattening of a nineteenth-century portrait. Sarah Mastrangelo operates a heated suction table while Hae Min Park and Kimberly Frost monitor the painting's surface and gently manipulate the canvas with their hands.

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and the University of Akron School of Polymer Science and Engineering have joined forces for a major research project to identify improved lining adhesives for the conservation of canvas paintings, from Old Masters to Modern and Contemporary artists. The research partnership addresses a critical need to develop a satisfactory replacement for the original formulation of Beva 371, the industry standard for lining adhesion for paintings conservation that is no longer supported by available commercial ingredients. Conservators and scientists will work together to fine-tune and optimize adhesion performance and tailor the strength of the new lining adhesive products to minimize risks to the many types of paintings on canvas. This multi-institutional, cross-disciplinary project will be overseen by Professor Michele D. Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Chair of the Conservation Center during the grant period, and Christopher McGlinchey, Senior Research Scholar at the Conservation Center and the Project Director for this exciting initiative.

The research is supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Conserving Canvas initiative, which focuses on expanding knowledge and skills for the structural care of paintings on canvas. The project was developed in response to recommendations from leading experts in the field following a convening in 2019 of the international paintings conservation community, the Conserving Canvas Symposium organized by the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University and also made possible with Getty support.

“The Getty Foundation’s generous grant brings together two industrious institutions at the cutting edge of museum work and applied macromolecular chemistry,” remarked Professor Marincola. McGlinchey notes, “The Linings Adhesive project has all the promise of fulfilling a crucial need in the conservation field. We aim as well to take advantage of the emerging trend of bespoke polymer structure, something perfectly suited for the demanding but limited scale that conservation materials comprise for the chemical industry. The award affirms the Conservation Center at NYU continues to lead the field of identifying the qualities of those carefully tailored conservation materials.”

The two-year project involves an expansion of personnel to include two postgraduate fellows: a Getty Conserving Canvas Research Fellow based at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and a Getty Conserving Canvas Science Fellow based at The University of Akron. The Fellows will work under the direction of Professor Marincola, McGlinchey, NYU’s Clinical Professor Dianne Modestini, Ali Dhinojwala, Interim Director of the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron, and Professor Abraham Joy, The University of Akron.

Professor Dhinojwala observed, “We are excited to collaborate with the IFA Conservation Center at New York University on this innovative project. Our goals are to develop new adhesive formulations for adhering paintings on canvas. We already have several key ideas on how to formulate the next generation of adhesives and are looking forward to working with a talented cross-disciplinary group of experts. The sharing of expertise amongst our two institutions and colleagues will result in innovative research that will have a significant impact on the future approach to the conservation of canvas paintings.”

The project begins with an experts’ kick-off meeting conducted virtually in late September 2021. As research progresses, the team will hold two additional expert meetings in 2022 and 2023 in New York and Florence, Italy that will document, share, and archive the work of the program with the goal of disseminating and providing access to technical scholarship of adhesion science. There will also be a workshop for practicing conservators in the summer of 2023. Additional project team members include senior conservators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art and adhesion scientists from Virginia Tech, Paris Tech, and TU Delft’s Adhesion Institute. Conservation scientists from SUNY Buffalo State College, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and the University of Amsterdam will also participate. The program is also fortunate to be working with industrial partner CTS Conservation.

"Conservation has always been a core area of our grantmaking,” said Antoine Wilmering, Senior Program Officer at the Getty Foundation who oversees the Conserving Canvas Initiative. “This project is an exciting and essential step forward in identifying a viable alternative to BEVA 371. The paintings conservation community worldwide will be eagerly awaiting the results.”

May 14, 2021

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards the Institute $150K in Support of Research on the Abydos Brewery and the Emergence of Kingship in Ancient Egypt

The Division of Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research of the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts $150,000 to support the project “Excavation of Egypt’s first industrial-scale brewery, located at the ancient site of Abydos.” These funds will specifically support two field seasons of excavations at Abydos that aim to address the question of the relationship between beer production on such an enormous, truly industrial scale and the early development of Egyptian kingship and the state.

British archaeologists excavated the brewery at Abydos in the early 20th century, but its importance was not understood at that time and the exact location was lost. The North Abydos Archaeology team, consisting of individuals from the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) at New York University and from Princeton University, working in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, located and began excavating the brewery in 2018 and continued the investigation in 2020. The press release on this discovery can be accessed online.

The fieldwork over the next two years will focus on the further exploration of the royal brewery and the analysis of the evidence for the ritual use of beer in the nearby royal funerary temples, or “cultic enclosures.” Excavation work at the brewery will aim to define fully the scale of the facility and its total production capacity, and to investigate the details of the beer production process. In addition, the team will strive to refine the dating of the facility, which at present can only be assigned to a broad period, approximately 3200–2800 BCE. Study of the beer making process will be based in part on the paleobotanical analysis of preserved organic residues. Analysis of the ritual use of beer in royal contexts will involve the excavation of a series of large deposits of discarded ceramic beer jars found at the monumental cultic enclosures that Egypt’s early kings built not far from the brewery. Here too, paleobotanical analysis will be used to examine organic residues in the beer jars, to allow for comparison between the beer used in the royal monuments with what was produced in the nearby brewery. The investigation of the Abydos royal brewery provides important new evidence on how the control of staple resources, the ability to mobilize labor, and the administrative capability necessary to manage such a large-scale operation helped define the nature of early Egyptian kingship and the state.

The site of Abydos stretches over several square miles of the margins of the desert on the west bank of the Nile in southern Egypt and has an equally expansive history. It was the burial place of Egypt’s first kings and later became the primary cult place of the god Osiris, ruler of the land of the dead. For millennia the site was held to be one of Egypt’s most sacred and was a place of pilgrimage, where visitors could witness the great festival procession of Osiris, in which episodes of his myth were re-enacted in the sacred landscape. Later kings built their own temples at Abydos to associate themselves both with Osiris and with their royal ancestors buried at the site. Visitors to the site today can still walk through the magnificently decorated monuments of Seti I and his son Ramesses II.

“It is truly an honor to be one of the first projects awarded support under the NEH’s new Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research grant program” observes Matthew Adams, co-director for IFA of the Abydos project. “This recognition from the NEH will be instrumental in maintaining the momentum of our work at Egypt’s first industrial-scale brewery.”

Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, remarked, “We are delighted that the NEH has made this commitment to sustaining empirical field research at Abydos. We are sincerely grateful for this critical support that will aid in the further exploration and documentation of the discoveries being made at Abydos’s royal brewery.”

May 6, 2021

The Institute to Honor Marica Vilcek
Great Hall of the Historic Duke House to Be Renamed for Board Chair

The Institute of Fine Arts is renaming the Great Hall of the James B. Duke House in honor of its Board Chair, Marica Vilcek. A member of the Institute’s board since 2013, Marica has supported numerous fellowships in art history, archaeology, and conservation. In 2018, Ms. Vilcek and her husband, Dr. Jan T. Vilcek, endowed the Institute’s Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Program, ensuring the Institute’s position as a premier school in the training of curators for the global arts community.

William R. Berkley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at NYU, said, “I'm thrilled to recognize Marica’s incredible contributions to the Institute with the naming of the Marica Vilcek Great Hall at the Institute of Fine Arts. Marica’s generosity, passion, and leadership have allowed the Institute to grow and thrive and we are honored to have her as such an important member of the Institute and the NYU community.”

“As a Board Member and Chair,” said Andrew Hamilton, President of New York University, “Marica has steadfastly supported the Institute’s mission: excellence in scholarship, and development of the next generation of leadership in art history and curation, archaeology, and conservatorship. I cannot think of a more apt distinction than to name the Great Hall, the heart of the IFA’s long-time home, after Marica, who has so devotedly sustained the heart of IFA’s work.”

Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, said, “It is particularly fitting to have Marica Vilcek’s name grace our Great Hall because it’s emblematic of her role at the heart of the Institute. It is in this iconic space that we host so many of the Institute’s events, gatherings, and exhibitions. Future events and celebrations in this hall will take on a new meaning as we recognize such a devoted patron of the arts and of the Institute.”

Ms. Vilcek was born in Bratislava, Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia), and earned advanced degrees in art history from Comenius University in Bratislava and Charles University in Prague. Upon graduation, she began her professional career in a curatorial position at the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava.

In 1965, Ms. Vilcek, with her husband Dr. Jan T. Vilcek, immigrated to the United States. Shortly after arriving in New York, Ms. Vilcek accepted a position at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning a 32-year tenure at the institution. As the Metropolitan Museum’s associate curator in charge of the Accessions and Catalogue Department, Ms. Vilcek dedicated the majority of her time with the museum to collections management and was responsible for processing and cataloguing the museum’s new acquisitions. Ms. Vilcek authored the museum’s procedural manuals on accessioning and cataloguing, and advised scores of curators, administrators, students, and interns on collections management.

Ms. Vilcek has served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations including the Commission for Art Recovery of the World Jewish Congress, the Jewish Museum in New York City, and the Jordan National Gallery in Amman. She is Chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, and a board member of the New York Youth Symphony and the Foundation for a Civil Society. Ms. Vilcek also serves as an honorary trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2005, Ms. Vilcek joined her husband, a biomedical scientist, in giving the New York University School of Medicine one of the largest gifts in its history. In recognition of their generosity, the school has named several programs, chairs, and facilities in their honor. In 2005, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America recognized Dr. and Ms. Vilcek as Humanitarians of the Year, and in 2011 they received the Outstanding New Yorker award given by the Center for an Urban Future in New York City. In 2012, Ms. Vilcek accepted, on behalf of the Vilcek Foundation, the Steven K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Immigration Council in Washington, DC.

Ms. Vilcek cofounded the Vilcek Foundation with her husband in 2000. The foundation’s primary mission is to recognize and celebrate the contributions of immigrants in the United States. The foundation’s dual focus on biomedical research and the arts derives from the couple’s respective interests and careers. Since the foundation’s inception, Ms. Vilcek has played an integral role in the conceptualization and administration of its programs and exhibitions. She has also used her experience as an art historian and curator in the development of the Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, a promised gift to the Vilcek Foundation, which includes an unparalleled group of American Modernist works, as well as significant examples of pre-Columbian art and Native American pottery.

April 5, 2021

Hank Willis Thomas will be the Inaugural Speaker of the Sam Wagstaff Photography Lecture Series

Hank Willis Thomas (Photo Credit: Andrea Blanch).

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce that Hank Willis Thomas will give the inaugural Sam Wagstaff Photography Lecture on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in conversation with New York-based artist Chris Berntsen.

This new lecture series honors the legacy of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. (November 4, 1921 –January 14, 1987). Wagstaff attended the Institute of Fine Arts in the 1950s, studying Italian Renaissance Art under Richard Offner, and went on to become a notable American art curator, collector, and patron of the arts. Through his influential collecting, teaching, and curatorial work, Wagstaff promoted photography as a fine art medium. His groundbreaking collection was purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1984, constituting the cornerstone of its newly formed Department of Photographs. Sam Wagstaff’s devotion to the medium contributed to its rising status over the years. The Institue of Fine Arts is delighted to celebrate his achievements by naming our annual photography lecture in his honor.

“The Sam Wagstaff Photography Lecture creates an important opportunity for the Institute community to discuss critical issues in the field of photography through the perspective of contemporary artists and historians” said Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director, Institute of Fine Arts. “It is with great pleasure that we present this new series in the name of one of the great scholars of the 20th century”

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture.” His work is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), and the Soros Equality Fellowship (2017). Heisa former member of the New York City Public Design Commission.

Chris Berntsen is a New York based artist who uses photography to explore themes related to queerness, identity, and intimacy. Chris’ work has been exhibited in MoMA PS1, Aperture Foundation, New York, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. He received his BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and is an MFA candidate at Hunter College, New York. He has worked alongside artist Hank Willis Thomas for the past fourteen years.

March 10, 2021

Institute of Fine Arts to present
Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O: To Do All At Once

Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O (video still), 2014, digital video, 11:06 minutes. Courtesy the Artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to announce its spring exhibition, Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O:
To Do All At Once, presenting the 2014 film H-E-L-L-O by filmmaker and multimedia artist Cauleen Smith. The exhibition proudly continues the Great Hall Exhibition series’ commitment to celebrating the contributions of exemplary women artists and is the first in the series to take place online. Spanning and intertwining film, installation, and material objects, Smith’s practice expands on the experimental film and third world cinema traditions in order to explore the spaces of historical memory, collectivity, and compensatory possibility. In this way, Smith’s work emerges as a talismanic touchstone for contemporary activism and community building. In the artist’s words: “Future and past, you want to hold all of that. You want to celebrate, you want to protest, you want to do all at once.

Read moreAbout Cauleen Smith's exhibition at the Institute

February 16, 2021

World’s Oldest Industrial-Scale Brewery Identified at Abydos, Egypt, ca. 3000 BCE

General view of the south exterior of the enclosure of King Khasekhemwy (ca. 2750 BCE). A massive deposit of beer jars was found extending over nearly the entire excavated area. (Photo by Greg Maka for the North Abydos Project.)

A team of American and Egyptian archaeologists excavating at the site of Abydos in southern Egypt has uncovered evidence for the world’s oldest known industrial-scale beer production facility, an ancient complex with the capacity to produce enough beer to serve thousands of people in a single batch.

The archaeological team from the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) at New York University and from Princeton University dated the brewery to the dawn of ancient Egyptian history, ca. 3000 BCE, the approximate time of the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt and the emergence of the pharaonic state, the era of King Narmer.

Read more about the discovery at Abydos [opens in new window]

February 10, 2021

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards The Institute's Conservation Center $150K in Support of New Teaching Modalities in Conservation Education

Sarah Montonchaikul treating “Cult Head,” purportedly from the Congo, in the collection of NYU Africa House. Image credit: N. L. Roberts

The Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center $150,000 to support the project “Managing Change: Developing New Teaching and Learning Modalities in Conservation Education.” In addition to these outright grant funds, the NEH will match up to $100,000 raised from third-party donations for a total of $350,000 in combined federal and third-party funding. These funds will enhance remote and in-person teaching of graduate-level art and artifact conservation through guest lectures, student fellowships, and summer work placements in US cultural institutions.

In response to the necessary transformation of teaching by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project will focus on developing new modalities for art conservation that will blend traditional instruction with remote learning technologies. The project will take place over three years and produce faculty/student-tested videos, images, and assessments of e-learning. The aim is to provide conservation students enrolled in the program and larger humanities communities with novel resources for teaching and learning.

December 16, 2020

The Institute Mourns the Loss of A Distinguished Alumna

The Institute of Fine Arts would like to recognize the passing of Frederick G. Schab who was a close friend and alum of the Institute. On May 14, Frederick died in Woodstock, NY at the age of 95. He was born in 1924 in Lucerne, where his father, William Schab, had founded a branch of his Viennese firm, Gilhofer und Ranschburg.  The firm dealt in rare books, illuminated manuscripts and drawings. The family moved back to Vienna in 1926. In 1938, following annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, the family fled to Switzerland. In 1939 they moved to New York where his father founded the William H. Schab Gallery. 

Frederick received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University and received his Master of Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He studied under the famous art historians, Richard Krautheimer, Walter Friedlander and Carl Lehmann. In the early 1950’s he joined his father’s gallery that dealt with European Master Prints and drawings as well as early printed books. Frederick and his father added to the collections of prints, drawings, and rare books at the National Gallery, the Cleveland Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Canada, the Getty Museum and many other museums and libraries around the world. Frederick was instrumental in the assembling the private collections of Lessing Rosenwald and Ian Woodner who then later donated their collections to the National Gallery in Washington. He also built the collection of the Arthur Ross Foundation now at the Yale University Art Museum.

December 9, 2020

A Prominent Conservator Brings New Areas for Research and Teaching to the Conservation Center

The Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center is pleased to welcome Lynda Zycherman as the 2021 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor in Conservation and Technical Studies. Zycherman serves as Conservator of Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Conservation is awarded to a prominent conservator or scientist who brings new areas for research and teaching to the program in conservation. Zycherman will teach modern and contemporary sculpture conservation in the spring 2021 and will deliver a virtual public lecture during her tenure.

Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, said, “We are delighted to welcome Lynda to the Institute next year. Her impressive expertise gained through many years of technical research and hands-on practice will bring a new perspective to our objects conservation courses.”

Margaret Holben Ellis, Chair and Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation, notes, “Lynda’s specialization in sculpture conservation is a valuable addition to our program; we are so fortunate to be able to tap into local talent. Her research has expanded our material knowledge of modern sculpture and her unique and personal approach is an excellent model for our students to follow.”

Lynda Zycherman is Conservator of Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. She has over forty years’ experience examining and treating modern three-dimensional art and has particular expertise in metals conservation. She holds a BA from the City College of New York and an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, with an Advanced Certificate in Art Conservation. She formerly held conservation positions and fellowships at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Corning Museum of Glass. Her most recent publication addresses the conservation of Larry Bell’s glass sculpture Shadows (1967). Lynda will teach a treatment course for conservation students on modern and contemporary sculpture conservation.

November 19, 2020

Sheldon H. Solow In Memoriam

The Institute of Fine Arts mourns the loss of Sheldon Henry Solow, who passed away on November 17, 2020 at the age of 92. Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Solow attended NYU, studying engineering and architecture, but left in 1949 to begin a career in real estate development. He eventually became one of New York City’s most influential builders, often choosing innovative architects to design elegant and distinctive towers. Among his most iconic skyscrapers is the Solow Building at 9 West 57th Street, designed in 1974 by Gordon Bunshaft. Solow also assembled a remarkable collection of Renaissance and Modern art, as well as Egyptian antiquities and African art. His collection comprises important paintings and sculptures by Sandro Botticelli, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Franz Kline, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Cy Twombly, among others.

Sheldon Solow was a generous, even visionary, benefactor to the Institute, whose many gifts ranged from student fellowships, to faculty positions, to the renovation of the façade of the James B. Duke House, to two floors of the building at #3 East 78th Street for the construction of the Sheldon H. Solow Library and Study Center. Sheldon and his wife Mia Fonssagrives Solow, a sculptor and jewelry designer, joined the Institute’s Council of Friends in 1973 (today’s Connoisseurs Circle). Solow became a trustee of the Institute in 1985, and served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2003. He established two professorships: the Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture (currently held by Jean-Louis Cohen), and the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art in honor of his sister (currently held by Thomas Crow). During the financial crisis of 2009-2011, his generosity provided financial support to over 200 Institute students. As recently as last August, he made a gift to the Director’s Discretionary Fund to assist students affected by the pandemic. Read more

October 15, 2020

Festschrift in Honor of Colin Eisler to be Published by the University of Toronto

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) at Victoria University in the University of Toronto will publish a Festschrift in Honor of Institute Professor Colin Eisler. Edited by Institute alumnae Yassana Croizat-Glazier & Sarah Harris Weiss, Exploration and Revelation: French Renaissance Studies in Honour of Colin Eisler is a significant contribution to scholarship on French Renaissance art. This collection of articles includes contributions from several Institute alumni including: Suzanne Boorsch, Yassana Croizat-Glazer, Mary L. Levkoff, Anne L. Poulet, Stuart W. Pyhrr, George A. Wanklyn, and Ian Wardropper.


Read more on the The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies website.

October 7, 2020

The American School of Classical Studies Students and Friends Name Evelyn B. Harrison Room in New Student Center

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce a gift from the Students and Friends of Evelyn Byrd Harrison in support of the renovated Student Center. The Evelyn B. Harrison Room, located on the second floor of Loring Hall, is named in honor of the distinguished art historian and teacher whose long association with the School spanned more than sixty years.

Evelyn (Eve) Harrison (1920–2012) was one of the preeminent scholars of Greek art in the second half of the 20th century and a professor at the Institute from 1974 to 2006. Read more on the American School of Classical Studies website.

September 16, 2020

The American School of Classical Studies Named a Student Center after James R. McCredie

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce a munificent gift from Marian M. McCredie in support of the renovated Student Center. Mrs. McCredie has renamed West House in memory of her late husband, James R. McCredie, whose close association with the School spanned six decades. McCredie House will be a lasting tribute to his extraordinary impact on the School.

Read more on the American School of Classical Studies website.

June 22, 2020

Fall 2020 Curricular Plan for the Institute

The Institute of Fine Arts will resume in-person coursework for the Fall 2020 semester to the fullest extent possible while taking into consideration the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Read the Plan

June 3, 2020

Statement of Solidarity

To the members of the Institute of Fine Arts Community,

This has been an especially painful week, filled with horrifying news and images that are now seared into all of our memories. We have witnessed yet another brutal murder of an African American, George Floyd, following the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others. This has caused enormous pain, suffering, and rage within the Black community, which is shared by all those who support justice, equality, freedom, and peace for everyone. At this time when the outbreak of the coronavirus has disproportionately affected people of color and other vulnerable groups, demonstrating the disastrous effects of systemic racism, we should be working together to create an egalitarian and just society. We stand in solidarity with all those who fight against racism and police brutality.

Read the full statement

May 20th, 2020

Tom Sokolowski (1950-2020)

Tom Sokolowski seated at a lecture listening intently Photo Courtesy Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers.

Thomas W. Sokolowski, who received his MA from the Institute in 1975, died in New Brunswick, N.J. on May 6th 2020. Tom was a pioneering curator and a courageous museum director who, throughout his career, created exhibitions that sought to advance the cause of social justice.

At the Institute, he studied Early Modern European art. His particular interest (fostered at the University of Chicago where he did his undergraduate degree) was the art of seventeenth and eighteenth century Italy. He studied with Anthony (Tony) Clark, former Director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Curator of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum. Clark became adjunct professor at the IFA in 1973. After Clark’s untimely death in 1976 Tom worked with Donald Posner on a dissertation (which he did not finish) on Roman painter Sebastiano Conca.

Read more about Tom Sokolowski

February 4th, 2020

Chika Okeke-Agulu is Named 2020 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

The Institute of Fine Arts is delighted to welcome Chika Okeke-Agulu as the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor for the spring 2020 semester.

Chika Okeke-Agulu is Professor of African and African Diaspora Art at Princeton University. His books include Yusuf Grillo: Painting. Lagos. Life (Skira Editore, 2020), Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.  He has co-organized several art exhibitions, including El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2019), Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2010), 5th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, 2004), The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945 1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2001), Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995), and the Nigerian section at the First Johannesburg Biennale, 1995. Read more about Professor Okeke-Agulu

January 28th, 2020

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to Endow Doctoral Programs at Five Universities

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation announced today the selection of five new institutional partners for Frankenthaler Scholarships, a multi-year initiative that has dedicated more than $4 million to art and art history graduate programs around the country. For the program’s next phase, the Foundation is awarding $500,000 to five different universities—The Graduate Center, CUNY; Harvard University; the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; Stanford University; and University of Chicago—to support the creation of named endowments that will offer one or more annual fellowships for doctoral students studying art history. These endowment gifts build on the inaugural round of Frankenthaler Scholarships, which support MFA programs in painting.

Read more on the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation website [opens in new window]