Cut, Cast, Carved and Coupled:
Perspectives on Women in American Art

IAC’s 27th Annual American Art Conference


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Peg Alston, founder of Peg Alston Fine Arts, is a leading private dealer specializing in works by African American artists and other artists of African descent, as well as select traditional African sculptures. In addition to handling art created by gifted emerging and mid-career artists, Peg Alston has sold works by outstanding 20th Century Black masters, including Aaron Douglas, William H. Johnson, Laura Wheeler Waring, Horace Pippen, Charles White, Augusta Savage, and Elizabeth Catlett. She has also sold works by some of the leading names on the contemporary art scene. Peg Alston emerged on the New York art scene in the early 1970s when interest in art by African Americans was limited. Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis generously served as informal mentors at the beginning of her career. Long active with the Studio Museum in Harlem, she has played a pivotal role in cultivating interest in African American art, organizing some of the first seminars on African American art. She was appointed to the Arts Committee, the New York State Council on the Arts. She is a member of Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), and ArtTable. She was selected by History Makers for their archival collection of outstanding African Americans.

Julie Aronson, Curator of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawing, Cincinnati Art Museum where she was a member of the curatorial team for “The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City,” co-curated “Perfect Likeness: European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum,” and curated “Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast” (2013) and “Frank Duveneck: American Master” (2020) (accompanied by a major catalogue), and author of an essay on Elizabeth Nourse in The Unforgettables: Expanding the History of American Art (ed. C. Eldredge).

Karen Bearor, Associate Professor Modern American Art and Theory, Florida State University where she teaches 19th- and 20th-century American art, and author, Irene Rice Pereira: Her Paintings and Philosophy. She also serves as moderator of the American Art Listserv.

Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt, collectors, who co-founded The Bennett Collection of Women Realists and The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists. Schmidt (EdD, Temple University) has worked in or consulted with schools on three continents; her areas of specialization include early childhood education, special needs, second-language learners and at-risk student instruction. Her husband, Steven Alan Bennett is a lawyer with an art history degree who began collecting art in earnest in the final years of his career as general counsel for an international financial services company. Together they are co-founders of The Bennett Collection of Women Realists, a collection of paintings of women by women which includes iconic works by contemporary women painters such as Katie O’Hagan and Alyssa Monks, and by painters of historical significance, such as Artemisia Gentileschi and Mary Cassatt ( They are also co-founders of The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists, a biannual art prize that awards $50,000 to a woman painter to create her own traveling solo show ( In June 2022 the Bennetts gave a transformational gift of art and cash to the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan to build a new permanent exhibition wing to display art by women.

Christine Berry, co-founder, Berry Campbell Gallery, with Martha Campbell, in 2013. After receiving a BA in Art History from Baylor University and an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from University of North Texas, Berry began her career at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, continuing to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and segueing in 2003 to the commercial side of the art world. Berry Campbell represents post-war American painters who have been overlooked or neglected, particularly women of Abstract Expressionism, and undertakes considerable research to bring to light artists overlooked due to age, race, gender, or geography.

Kirsten Pai Buick, professor of art history at the University of New Mexico. Her teaching and scholarship focus on the material and visual culture of the first British Empire, art of the U.S., African American art, landscape representation, and pro- and anti-abolitionist images in the Atlantic world. She received the David C. Driskell Prize for Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject (Duke Univ. Press, 2010). In 2022, she was named Distinguished Scholar by the College Art Association. Her second book, In Authenticity: “Kara Walker” and the Eidetics of Racism, is in progress.

Amanda C. Burdan, Senior Curator, Brandywine Museum of Art and specializes in American women artists, the focus of her dissertation, “Américaines in Paris: The Role of Women Artists in the Formation of America’s Cultural Identity, 1865 – 1880”; the centrality of the lives and work of women to Burdan’s curatorial practice and research are evident in the exhibitions “Votes for Women: A Visual History” (2020) and “America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution” (2021) which introduced new women artists to the story of American Impressionism. Her recent publications include “Alone Together in Paris: May Alcott and Rosa Peckham” in The Forgotten Alcott: The Artistic Legacy and Literary Life of May Alcott Nieriker and “The Ambitious, Agile, Adaptable Doris Lee” in The Unforgettables: Expanding the History of American Art (ed. C. Eldredge).

Linda S. Ferber is Museum Director Emerita and Senior Art Historian at The New-York Historical Society (NYHS). Prior to joining NYHS in 2005, she was Andrew Mellon Curator of American Art (now Emerita) and Chief Curator, Brooklyn Museum. The recipient, in 2017 of the Frederic Church Award from The Olana Partnership, Ferber has organized exhibitions, published, and taught on William T. Richards, the American Pre-Raphaelites, the American Watercolor Movement, The Eight and the Ashcan School, Albert Bierstadt, Asher B. Durand, and the Hudson River School. In 2019, she was guest curator for “Radical Realists: The American Pre-Raphaelites” at the National Gallery of Art.

Debra J. Force, a specialist in American paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture and founder, Debra Force Fine Art, a gallery which since 1999 has featured American paintings, drawings, sculpture, and related areas of American art, and offered consulting and appraisal services. She began her career as Curator (and later Director) of the CIGNA (formerly INA) Museum and Art Collection (1978 – 1984). She then served as Vice President and later Senior Vice President and Head of the American Paintings Department at Christie’s in New York (1984 –1993). Subsequently, after serving as Director of American Art at Hirschl & Adler Galleries (1993 – 1994), she was the director of Beacon Hill Fine Art (1994 – 1998), focusing primarily on 19th- and early 20th-century American art. Since 1999, she has appeared as a specialist appraiser for Antiques Roadshow, is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation Board, and has served on the board of the Archives of American Art. Her most recent publication is “Shifting Tastes in American Art,” published in American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship (2020).

Angela Fraleigh, a contemporary American artist (MFA, Yale University School of Art; BFA, Boston University) whose selected solo exhibitions include Hirschl & Adler Modern and PPOW Gallery in New York, Inman Gallery in Houston, and Peters Projects in Santa Fe. Her work is in museum collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and she has created site-specific solo exhibitions for the Edward Hopper House Museum, the Vanderbilt Mansion Museum, the Everson Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum where her work will be shown in “Gilded: Contemporary Artists Explore Value & Worth” (to travel). She is a professor at Moravian University.

Ofelia García, collector, a Philadelphia-based, Cuban-born artist who was Professor of Art and Dean, College of the Arts and Communication, William Paterson University, president of Rosemont College and of the Atlanta College of Art, and director of The Print Center in Philadelphia. A member of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, she was a board member of the College Art Association and national president of the Women’s Caucus for Art (1984 – 1986) from which she later received the Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) about which time she began gifting approximately 120 works to PAFA; her commitment to supporting artists from diverse backgrounds at every career level is reflected in her collection of works on paper.

Lynn Gilbert, a documentary photographer and author. She began work as a photographer by taking candid photographs of and documenting children from 100 families of various socio-economic backgrounds in New York; 12 of these were shown by Throckmorton Fine Art at AIPAD with a series then being made available as a portfolio, 70’s NYC Kids. Taken by the portraits of his children, Arne Glimcher of Pace Gallery commissioned Gilbert to photograph renowned artist Louise Nevelson. She then photographed key figures in the second wave of the women’s movement which resulted in the book Particular Passions: Talks with women who have shaped our times (1981). Widely publicized and reproduced, Gilbert’s portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery and The New-York Historical Society. The Silk Road: Then and Now is a selection of interiors of traditional houses of Turkey that Gilbert photographed from 2008 – 2015. Gilbert is at work on documentaries about the children she has previously photographed, the visual legacy of a great garden framed by interviews recorded with the garden’s creator, and the history of her iconic portrait of Louise Nevelson.

Barbara Haskell, curator, Whitney Museum of American Art and a scholar on American modern art, who has curated retrospectives, and authored accompanying scholarly monographs on a range of early 20th-century and post-war American artists among them Marsden Hartley (1980), Milton Avery (1982), Ralston Crawford (1985), Charles Demuth (1987), Red Grooms (1987), Donald Judd (1988), Burgoyne Diller (1990), Agnes Martin (1992), Joseph Stella (1994), Edward Steichen (2000), Elie Nadelman (2003), Oscar Bluemner (2005 – 2006), Georgia O’Keeffe (2009), Lyonel Feininger (2011), Reginald Marsh (2013), and Robert Indiana (2013), Stuart Davis (2016). Among her landmark thematic exhibitions are “The American Century: Art & Culture 1900 – 1950” (1999) and “BLAM! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958 – 1964” (1984). She received the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art in 2005.

Carla Hemlock, Kahnawake Mohawk textile and mixed media artist who lives and has her studio in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Her works are in private and public collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and Renwick Gallery, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The National Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City), and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (where she served on the advisory board for the 2019 – 2020 exhibition, “Hearts of our People: Native Women Artists”) and her work has been included in group exhibits in the US and Europe. The recipient of the Excellence in Iroquois Arts from the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cave, New York (2017), her work “Tribute to the Mohawk Ironworkers” was included in “Smithsonian American Women, Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity and Vision from the National Collection” (2019).

Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky, Sutphin Family Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale University Art Gallery and a specialist in 19th- through 21st-century art on paper. In her many years at the Gallery, she has produced numerous exhibitions and publications, including On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale; “Reckoning with ‘The Incident’: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural”; John La Farge’s Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890 – 1891; Conversations from the Print Studio: A Master Printer in Collaboration with Ten Artists; and “Appropriated Lands: Photography and the Great Surveys of the American West, 1867 – 1879.” Among focused areas of her collecting is that of work by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ artists, with acquisitions that include major pieces by Wangechi Mutu, Ellen Gallagher, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Marie Watt, Willie Cole, John Wilson, Jacob Lawrence, Hugh Steers, and Hunter Reynolds.

Eileen Kinsella, senior market reporter, Artnet News, based in New York who has been covering the international art market, and the intersection of art and finance, for more than 20 years. After starting as a news assistant on the national news desk of the Wall Street Journal in New York, she moved to the paper’s “Money & Investing” section where she wrote about commercial real estate, mutual funds, equity markets and investment trends. In 1998. Kinsella joined the paper’s newly debuted “Weekend Section” where she began reporting on art. Kinsella subsequently spent over a decade at ARTnews as a contributing writer and editor of a newsletter about the international art market. A member of and moderator on art market panels throughout the world, she has spoken about art crime and covered high-profile art-fraud related cases and trials and has appeared as a guest on CNBC art market news segments and its “American Greed” series, on BBC News, BBC Radio, NPR, Reuters, and on podcasts including Artnet News’s own “The Art Angle” and “Ben Lewis’s Art Bust.”

Anna O. Marley, Chief of Curatorial Affairs, Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art at PAFA, whose numerous exhibitions include “Making American Artists: Stories from PAFA, 1776 – 1976” (2022), “Women in Motion: 150 Years of Women’s Artistic Networks at the PAFA” (2021), “William Trost Richards: A Mine of Beauty” (2012); the touring retrospective “Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit” (2012); and “The Artists Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887 – 1920” (2015) which toured nationally, all accompanied by multi-author catalogs.

Maria Nevelson, Founder, the Louise Nevelson Foundation which celebrates and educates about the work of her grandmother, Louise Nevelson, the pioneering 20th-century sculptor of iconic abstracted constructions of assembled wooden objects and Cor-Ten steel shapes. In 2022, the Foundation organized a 60-work exhibition of Nevelson’s art on Piazza San Marco for the Venice Biennale and Maria Nevelson donated her Louise Nevelson oral history, “The Welders of Lippincott” to the Archives of American Art. As a “sculptor of space”, Maria was the interior designer for Wesley Wei’s AIA Gold Award winning residence just outside Philadelphia. In 1988, Maria Nevelson established Nevelson LLC which includes licensing of Louise Nevelson works among their services and recently collaborated with CELINE, the Paris fashion house, on a long pendant necklace reminiscent of Louise Nevelson’s own jewelry designs. A graduate of George Washington University, Maria Nevelson was assistant director at Eric Makler Gallery and Lawrence Oliver Gallery, director at Galerie Nadeau, and Chair of the Board at Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art, Philadelphia’s first artist cooperative. A sculptor in her own right, Maria has had numerous art gallery exhibitions and has works in over 50 collections, notably the permanent New Hall Art Collection at the University of Cambridge.

Ferris Olin, collector, Distinguished Professor Emerita at Rutgers University, where she co-founded and co-directed (with Judith K. Brodsky) the Rutgers Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, and The Feminist Art Project, established the Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists and the Margery Somers Foster Center, and served as Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women. She was, in addition, curator of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series (1995 – 2013; founded, 1971 by Joan Snyder). The recipient of numerous awards including the Annual Recognition Award from CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts (now CAA’s Distinguished Feminist Award), she is co-creator of the Women Artists Archive National Directory (WAAND) and a member of the Advisory Boards of the Brodsky Center at PAFA, SoHo 20 Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery and, until 2021, the Feminist Theory Archives at Brown University. Her most recent book (with Judith K. Brodsky) is Junctures in Women’s Leadership: The Arts (2018).

Lisa N. Peters, an independent scholar specializing in American art who has published and lectured widely, particularly on the American Impressionist John Henry Twachtman, with publications including John Henry Twachtman: An American Impressionist (High Museum of Art, 1999), the online John Henry Twachtman Catalogue Raisonné (, the Greenwich Historical Society [GHS]) and the catalogue for “Life and Art: The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman,” a 2022 – 2023 exhibition at GHS that she curated. Peters is currently working on a book on late 19th- and early 20th-century allegorical paintings created independently by American women. Her article on Boston allegorist Mary Macomber is featured in The Magazine ANTIQUES (November – December 2022). Formerly research director at Spanierman Gallery, Peters taught art history (2013 – 2019) at St. Joseph’s University, Brooklyn. She has also taught at Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Timothy Peterson and Richard Gerrig, collectors of art together for 32 years. President and COO of Speir TV, Peterson serves as treasurer of the board of the art non-profit, Printed Matter. Gerrig is a Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University and co-chair of the Contemporary Drawing and Print Associates at the Museum of Modern Art.

Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz, public art consultant, curator, and lecturer with concentration in public art policy, contemporary art for architecture and landscape, and the implementation of master plans for urban revitalization that include public art as central to environmental and cultural planning. A founder and first Executive Director of the Rockaway Music and Arts Council in Queens, NY, in the 1960’s she established the first fine art gallery showing photography in New York City, The Photographer’s Gallery. In 1972 she became Director of Sculpture Commissions at The Pace Gallery, NY working with notable gallery artists including Louise Nevelson, Tony Smith, David von Schlegell, and Lucas Samaras. In 1982, she founded her own art consulting firm, Works of Art for Public Spaces, LTD, completing major public art projects internationally with artists including Alice Aycock, Vito Acconci, Romare Bearden, Andrea Blum, Jackie Ferrara, Maren Hassinger, Joyce Kozloff, Sol Lewitt, Maya Lin, Winifred Lutz, Robert Morris, Giuseppe Penone, Anne & Patrick Poirier, Michele Stuart, and Brian Tolle. She recently established a Public Art Archive at NYU Bobst Library, Fales Special Collections.

Suzanne Smeaton, independent historian of and consultant on American frames whose practice includes teaching, research, writing, and conducting appraisals and frame surveys. Formerly Director, Eli Wilner & Company, where she curated exhibitions on American frames, consulted with private and public collections, and framed artworks for institutions such as The White House, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), Yale University Art Gallery, and Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is the author of numerous related articles and essays in publications among them The Gilded Edge: The Art of the Frame, The Magazine ANTIQUES, Picture Framing Magazine, Life’s Pleasures: The Ashcan Artists’ Brush With Leisure 1895 – 1925, Auspicious Vision: Edwin Wales Root and American Modernism (with L. Koenigsberg; Munson–Williams Proctor Arts Institute) and MMA Bulletin (on the re-creation of the original frame on Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware”). A certified member of the Appraiser’s Association of America, an instructor for their CASP Appraisal Studies program and a member of the Board of Directors.

Shannon Vittoria, Assistant Curator of American Painting and Drawing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She joined the American Wing in October 2015 and specializes in American painting and works on paper, with a focus on landscape and work by women artists. Since arriving at The Met, she has contributed to the research and organization of “Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings” (2018) and “Art of Native America” (ongoing). She also curated the permanent-collection installation, “Artistic Encounters with Indigenous America” (2018) and co-curated the exhibition “Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo” (2021). She received her PhD in art history from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Brittany Webb, Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection, PAFA with responsibility for the Museum’s collections, exhibitions, and programs of 20th-century art with collectors.

Kenneth Woodcock, collector, began collecting art in 1971 with a focus on historic American etchers and lithographers. An intense period of business travel around the world provided him the opportunity to purchase art. Upon his 2004 retirement from a career in energy and environmental policy, government, and energy production as one of the founders of the AES Corporation, he saved a house in Matunuck, Rhode Island built for Reverend Edward Everett Hale in 1873, created an historic house museum, learned about the talented family of artists in the Hale family and has spent over a decade building a “Hale Collection.” Active with many non-profit institutions, he is a trustee of PAFA. and Council Member, National Trust for Historic Preservation at Lyndhurst.