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Expert Biographies

6 / Death

Isaac Paa Joe Amissah-Aidoo

Isaac Paa Joe Amissah-Aidoo is a musician and art dealer, who splits his time between the U.S. and his native country, Ghana. Amissah-Aidoo and his wife, Rebecca, are the proprietors of Ananse Village, an African crafts and imports shop in Fort Bragg, California. The couple support small scale production by African artisans and donate a portion of their proceeds toward medical care and education in the communities with which they work.

Stanley Brandes

Stanley Brandes, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where his research focuses on European and Latin American ethnography. Courses he has taught at Berkeley include Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology, Peoples of Mexico and Central America, and European Society. Among Brandes’s many awards and honors are travel grants from the ACLS and the U.S.-Spanish Joint Committee for Educational and Cultural Affairs, which have facilitated his field work in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain. He is also a recent recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. A frequent lecturer at conferences and public gatherings, Brandes has also written several books, including, Power and Persuasion: Ritual and Social Control in Rural Mexico, and Staying Sober in Mexico City. Brandes received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Christa Clarke

Christa Clarke, Ph.D., a specialist in historic and contemporary arts of Africa, is senior curator of arts of Africa and the Americas and curator of arts of Africa at the Newark Museum. Prior to this appointment, she served as the first curator of African art at the Neuberger Museum of Art and was a curatorial advisor for the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Kreeger Museum, and the World Bank. She has held teaching appointments at George Washington University, the Corcoran School of Art, Rutgers University, and Purchase College, SUNY, and fellowships at the National Museum of African Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Clarke is the author of several exhibition catalogues and articles, including an essay on exhibiting African art in Art and Its Publics: Museum Studies for the New Millenium and The Art of Africa: A Resource for Educators. A forthcoming book co-edited with Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display, examines the impact that museum practice has on the formation of meaning and the public perception of African art. Clarke received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Anne D’Alleva

Anne D’Alleva, Ph.D., is an associate professor of art history and women’s studies at the University of Connecticut. D’Alleva is the author of Art of the Pacific Islands, Sacred Maidens and Masculine Women: Art, Gender, and Power in Post-Contact Tahiti. She has also written several books on the discipline of art history. These include Look! The Fundamentals of Art History, Look Again! Art History and Critical Theory, How to Write Art History, and Methods and Theories of Art History. D’Alleva’s work has earned her grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Angelo Filomeno

Angelo Filomeno is an Italian artist based in New York City whose primary medium is embroidery on silk. Filomeno, who received a degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Lecce, Italy, was apprenticed to a tailor as a child and went on to work in the design studios of major fashion houses in Milan. His work, which combines rich fabrics, gemstones, and crystals with mostly abject subject matter, including skulls, skeletons, and insects, reflects on fundamental issues of life and death, passion and brutality, nature and the subconscious. Filomeno has shown his work in a number of solo exhibitions in New York, Paris, and Italy. In 2008, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville Tennessee presented “Angelo Filomeno: Eros and Thanatos.” The artist has also been included in group exhibitions worldwide.

Anna Indych-López

Anna Indych-López, Ph.D., is an associate professor of art history at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center (City University of New York), where she teaches courses on the modern art of Latin America, Europe, and the United States. She is the author of Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927–1940, which won the College Art Association’s Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant. Indych-López has published many essays on Modern Mexican art for international exhibition catalogues (Diego Rivera: The Cubist Portraits; Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted; A Principality of its Own: 40 Years of Visual Arts at the Americas Society) and for publications such as Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Art Nexus, Grand Street, and Poliester. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and has been honored with fellowships from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the Getty Research Institute, and the Jean Charlot Foundation.

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.

Chao-Hui Jenny Liu

Chao-Hui Jenny Liu, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Chinese art and faculty fellow of art history at New York University. Liu has published essays and entries associated with international exhibitions in New York and Florence on recently excavated art from China and is the author of Ritual Concepts and Political Factors in the Making of Tang Princess Tombs (642–706 CE). She has worked as a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution. Liu has also been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Archaeology in Beijing as well as the Academia Sinica in Taipei. In addition to a Ph.D. in Chinese Art and Archaeology from the University of London, Liu holds an M.Phil. in East Asian Archaeology from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. from UC Berkeley.

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.

Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans, Ph.D., is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is a prolific and wide-ranging author whose books include The Hispanic Condition: Reflections on Culture and Identity in America, Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, Love and Language, and Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years. He is the editor of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, the three-volume set Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories, Cesar Chavez: An Organizer’s Tale, and The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. He has been the recipient of numerous honors, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Jewish Book Award, an Emmy nomination, the Latino Hall of Fame Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to his post at Amherst, Stavans has taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Oberlin College, Bennington College, and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. Stavans is chairman and CEO of Quixote Productions, LLC, which has produced TV series and films on Jewish and Latin history and culture.

Yui Suzuki

Yui Suzuki, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of art history specializing in ancient and medieval Japanese art at the University of Maryland. In addition to her position at the University of Maryland, Suzuki is a fellow for the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. Suzuki focuses her research on Japanese Buddhist icons and is currently writing a book on the worship of Medicine Buddha images in ancient Japan. She earned her M.A. from Sophia University in Japan and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Deborah Vischak

Deborah Vischak, Ph.D., is a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Vischak specializes in the areas of ancient Egyptian art, archaeology, and history. She has also served as a lecturer at Columbia University. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Eugene Wang

Eugene Wang, Ph.D. is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University. Wang has written articles for Art History, Critical Inquiry, Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, The Art Bulletin, Public Culture, and the New York Times, among many other publications. He received the Academic Achievement Award in memory of the late Professor Nichijin Sakamoto from Rissho University in Japan for his book, Shaping the Lotus Sutra: Buddhist Visual Culture in Medieval China. Wang is co-author of Anshang fang: kou, wenzi, he tuxiang (The Archway at Anshang: Orality, Texts, and Images) and the art history associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. He translated Roland Barthes’ Fragments d’un discours amoureux into Chinese and wrote the screenplay for Stony Touch, a short film selected for the ninth Hawaii International Film Festival. Before joining Harvard, he was the Ittleson Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and a member of the art history faculty at the University of Chicago. Wang received the Guggenheim Fellowship, Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Fellowship, as well as postdoctoral and research grants from the Getty Foundation. Wang holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Fudan University in Shanghai, and an A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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