Professor of Art History

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Ph.D.- History of Art Yale University, 1988
M.A. - History of Art Yale University,1982
B.A. - Art History University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1980

As a professor, Dr. Halpern's areas of expertise are 17th and18th century European Art, 17th and 18th century American Art, and History of Garden Design.

Dr. Halpern is Professor of Art History and has been the Dean of University Studies at James Madison University since 2006.  She was Dean of General Education 1996-2006.  Prior to that, she was a faculty member in the School of Art and Art History 1986-1995, teaching Art History classes and Freshman Seminar. From January 1992 to December 1995, she was the Art History Program Coordinator.

Dr. Halpern is a professional member of the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), the College Art Association (CAA), and the Garden History Society (GHS). She is also a member of the Collections Committee at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.  She also serves as Board Chair of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) and sits ex-officio on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Dr. Halpern has received several grants from JMU to support research and travel and in 2003 was the recipient of a grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art to support research travel in England.  As a graduate student, she received the Fulbright Scholarship for 1983-84 (re-awarded 1984-85), the Finkelstein Scholarship to Attingham Summer School (England) for 1982, a Kress Travelling Fellowship for summer 1982, the Anne S. Richardson Fellowship and a Yale University Fellowship at Yale University. While she was at UNC she received the Art History award for 1980, and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1978.

Dr. Halpern's publications include “Wrest Park 1686-1730s: Exploring Dutch Influence,” Garden History 30:2 (Winter 2002, published July 2003), pp. 131-152; two entries in the Encyclopedia of Gardens: History and Design, on the poet and garden designer Alexander Pope and on “The Garden in Visual Arts,” Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, London, 2001, pp. 1070-1072 and 1392-1395; "The Duke of Kent's Garden at Wrest Park," Journal of Garden History, June-Sept., 1995, pp. 149- 178; "The Uses of Paintings in Garden History," Garden History: Issues Approaches, Methods, ed. John Dixon Hunt, Dumbarton Oaks, 1992, pp. 183-202; three entries in Selections: Yale University Art Gallery, ed. A. Shestack, New Haven, 1984, Blast: The British Answer to Futurism, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1983, "Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Turner, and Stourhead," in D. Bull, Classic Ground, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1981, Chronology and incidental text, Fernando Botero, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, 1979; and a number of book reviews. Her professional papers include “Joseph Spence, Protestantism and the English Landscape Garden,” SECAC (Southeastern College Art Conference), Raleigh, NC, October 2003; "The Taste for Claude and the English Landscape Garden," SECAC, Washington, DC, Oct. 1995; "The Uses of Paintings in Garden History," Annual Symposium, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, May 1989; "The Duke of Kent at Wrest Park," SECAC, Knoxville, Oct. 1987; "The Art of Painting and the English Garden," Symposium for Art Historians in Virginia, Longwood College, April 1987; and "Pieter Tillemans and the Development of the Gardens at Wrest Park," Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, April 1984.  Additionally, she has published articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations and given workshops on topics related to general education, assessment and other issues related to higher education.

Dr. Halpern’s primary professional service is in her administrative role as Dean of University Studies.  While a full-time faculty member, she served on many JMU committees, including the JMU Collections Committee, the General Education Design Committee, the Goals and Objectives Subcommittee of the General Education Design Committee, the College C & I Committee, the College Faculty Advisory Committee, and Faculty Senate.  She has served on numerous search committees.  She has also served for many years as an officer of the Shenandoah Valley Association of Phi Beta Kappa Association. She was the Faculty Member in Residence for the Semester in London Program in the fall of 1994. Most recently, she co-chaired the application committee seeking a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at JMU.

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