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Expert Biographies

10 / The Natural World

John Beardsley

John Beardsley, Ph.D., is the director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. Beardsley has authored numerous books, including Gardens of Revelation: Environments by Visionary Artists and Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape. He has also curated exhibitions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum, among other institutions. In addition to his role at Dumbarton Oaks, Beardsley is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he teaches courses on landscape architectural history, theory, and writing. His many honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Beardsley received his B.A. in Fine Arts from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D in Fine Arts from the University of Virginia.

Alan Chong

Alan Chong, Ph.D., is the curator of the collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. In this capacity, he curates exhibitions, produces publications, organizes conferences, and works to preserve the museum’s collections. Exhibitions he has developed include “Gentile Bellini and the East” and “Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Her Circle in Venice.” He earned his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and has written numerous essays and catalogues, including a study of Vermeer’s View of Delft.

Robert E. Harrist, Jr.

Robert E. Harrist, Jr., Ph.D., is the Jane and Leopold Swergold Professor of Chinese Art History and chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. His books and articles on many aspects of Chinese art include Painting and Private Life in Eleventh-Century China and The Landscape of Words: Stone Inscriptions in Early and Medieval China. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Harrist taught at Oberlin College and has served as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University.

Robin Jaffee Frank

Robin Jaffee Frank, Ph.D., is the Alice and Allan Kaplan Senior Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery. She has lectured widely and organized numerous exhibitions. Among her books are Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures and Charles Demuth Poster Portraits: 1923–1929. Frank co-authored American Daguerreotypes from the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection and contributed to Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana and A Private View: American Paintings from the Manoogian Collection. She is also a co-organizer of the traveling exhibition and accompanying publication Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery. She is now planning the exhibition “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland.” Frank earned her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale.

Babatunde Lawal

Babatunde Lawal, Ph.D., is a professor of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, where he specializes in African, African American, and African Diaspora art. Lawal has conducted field work in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Republic of Benin, Brazil, and the U.S. In addition to his position at VCU, Lawal has taught at several other universities in the U.S., Africa, and Brazil. His publications include The Gelede Spectacle: Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in African Culture, Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art, and several articles in leading art journals. Lawal holds a Ph.D. in art history from Indiana University.

Pamela McClusky

Pamela McClusky is curator of African and Oceanic art at the Seattle Art Museum. McClusky helped the Seattle Art Museum to establish the African and Oceanic Art Department and has launched several permanent galleries to house the museum’s African and Australian Aboriginal art collections. McClusky has lectured worldwide and curated numerous exhibitions, including “Is Egyptian Art African?,” “Indigo Blues,” “Sorry Business,” “The Untold Story,” “Elegant Plain Art from the Shaker World and Beyond,” “Passion for Possession,” and “Africa in America.” Her publications include Praise Poems, African Art: From Crocodiles to Convertibles in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, and Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back.

Fred Myers

Fred Myers, Ph.D., is the Silver Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at New York University. Myers’ research focuses on Aboriginal people in Australia, specifically Western Desert people. His many published works include Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art and The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Art and Anthropology. Myers has received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He was elected president of the American Ethnological Society and has spearheaded NYU’s Morse Academic Plan, a general education program for the College of Arts and Sciences. Myers earned his B.A. from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr.

Romita Ray

Romita Ray, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of art history at Syracuse University, where she teaches courses in European art and architecture (1700–1950), post-colonial theory, and South Asian art and architecture, among other subjects. Some primary areas of interest for Ray are the art and architecture of the British Raj, the Picturesque in imperial India, and the visual history of tea consumption in Britain and the colonies. Prior to her position at Syracuse, Ray taught at Colby College and at the University of Georgia. She served as Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Georgia Museum of Art and helped curate an exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery in London entitled, “Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700–1850.” Ray received her B.A. from Smith College and her Ph.D. from Yale University.

Peter G. Roe

Peter G. Roe, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, where he has taught courses including Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, South American Archaeology, and Technology and Culture. He has conducted extensive field research in Puerto Rico and Peru and authored many scholarly articles and essays on American Indian cultures. Roe has received support for his research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the University of Delaware, and other organizations. He earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Karen Sherry

Karen Sherry is assistant curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, where she has organized several special exhibitions, including “Japonisme in American Graphic Art, 1880–1920,” “Under the Open Sky: Landscape Sketches by Nineteenth-Century American Artists,” and “Picturing Place: Francis Guy’s Brooklyn, 1820.” Sherry previously worked as a research assistant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brandywine River Museum. She has taught art history at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Delaware, and Pratt Institute as well. Sherry is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Delaware and has received fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Winterthur Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Larry Silver

Larry Silver, Ph.D., is the Farquhar Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Northern European painting and graphics of the Renaissance and Reformation periods. In addition to his position at the University of Pennsylvania, Silver has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Northwestern University, and Smith College. He has been the recipient of many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kress Foundation. A prolific author, Silver has written numerous articles and books, among them Peasant Scenes and Landscapes, Marketing Maximilian, and a survey text, entitled Art in History. He is also the co-author of books including Rembrandt’s Faith and The Graven Image. Silver served as a former president of both the College Art Association and the Historians of Netherlandish Art. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Kay WalkingStick

Kay WalkingStick, a professor emerita at Cornell University, is a prolific artist based in New York City. Her numerous exhibitions include “Continuum 12 Artists: Kay WalkingStick/Rick Bartow” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and “Kay WalkingStick: A Mythic Journey, Paintings from Three Decades” at Indiana State University’s University Art Gallery. WalkingStick exhibits her work regularly at the June Kelly Gallery in NYC as well. Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, and other institutions. She has received a number of honors, including the Distinguished Artist Award from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting. WalkingStick is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She received her B.F.A. from Beaver College of Arcadia University and her M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute.

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