Professor of Art History

katzmalr@jmu.edu

Contact Info

For the 2018-2019 academic year, Laura Katzman will hold the Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professorship at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Rosskam book cover by Laura Katzman         

Book Reviews

New York Times Article

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Laura Katzman teaches courses in the art of the United States, focusing on the history of photography; documentary photography; public art; and museum studies. She holds a B.A. in fine arts from New York University and an M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. in art history from Yale University. She was Associate Professor of Art and Director of Museum Studies at Randolph College (1995-2007); Guest Professor of American Studies and Art History at the University of Hamburg in Germany (2002-2003); Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Museum Studies for Smith College at the Smithsonian (2003-2007); and Visiting Curator of Photography at the Harvard University Art Museums (1997-2001).

GRANTS: Professor Katzman has received major research grants from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; J. William Fulbright Foundation; Judith Rothschild Foundation; Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art (CASVA); National Endowment for the Humanities; Henry Luce Foundation/American Council on Learned Societies; and Andrew Mellon Foundation.  At James Madison University, she has received two Edna Schaeffer Humanist Awards, a Cultural Connections Diversity Council Grant, and the 2013-2014 Madison Scholar Award for outstanding faculty scholarship.

PUBLICATIONS: Katzman is co-author of the award-winning Ben Shahn’s New York: The Photography of Modern Times (Yale University Press, 2000) and principal author of Re-viewing Documentary: The Photographic Life of Louise Rosskam (Penn State University Press, revised second edition, 2014). Other recent publications include: Drawing on the Left: Ben Shahn and the Art of Human Rights (Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art, 2017/2018); “The Fine Art of Memorialization: A Conversation with Gunter Demnig,” in Julia Lange and Marius Henderson, eds., Entangled Memories: Remembering the Holocaust in a Global Age (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2017): 39-68; and “Source Matters: Ben Shahn and the Archive,” Smithsonian Archives of American Art Journal 54:2 (Fall 2015): 4-33.

CURATED EXIBITIONS: As an independent curator, Katzman co-organized “Picturing Puerto Rico Under the American Flag: The Photographs of Louise Rosskam, 1937-1948,” Hunter College East Harlem Art Gallery (2012); “Re-viewing Documentary: The Photographic Life of Louise Rosskam,” American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center (2011); and “Ben Shahn’s New York: The Photography of Modern Times,” Fogg Art Museum/Harvard University Art Museums; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Grey Art Gallery at New York University, and Smart Museum at the University of Chicago (2000-2001). She has also curated exhibitions at the Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art at James Madison University; Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College; and Asheville Museum of Art, North Carolina.

CURRENT BOOK PROJECT: Mining the Archive: Photography, Modernity, and the Office of Information for Puerto Rico examines 1940s documentary photography in Puerto Rico, analyzing the role that government photographs played in the modernization of Puerto Rico and in the construction of its postwar political and cultural identities on the island and stateside. Katzman has engaged in extensive research at the Archivo General de  Puerto Rico, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and the Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín. In San Juan, she has conducted oral histories with dozens of key historical figures and cultural luminaries, including Ricardo Alegría and Teodoro Vidal.

 

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