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Eye of the Expert: It’s Complicated

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Reception to follow
Registration begins December 5 at 9 am
Members $35
Thomas Sully (American 1764-1854), Thomas Handasyd Perkins, 1831-1832. Oil on canvas. Boston Athenæum, Purchase, 1832

Eye of the Expert: It’s Complicated

Elizabeth Barker, Casey Riley, and Hannah Weisman

Stanford Calderwood Director Elizabeth Barker and colleagues Casey Riley and Hannah Weisman delve into the complex and sometimes troubling histories implicit in the Athenæum’s special collections. Members are invited to join the conversation as these scholars illuminate structures of power and gender in selected works of art and literature, including Thomas Sully’s portrait of Boston merchant Thomas Handasyd Perkins.

Elizabeth E. Barker is Stanford Calderwood Director of the Boston Athenæum. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale College and her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where her research focused on British art of the late eighteenth century. Before coming to Boston in October 2014, she served as director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, director of Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery, and associate curator of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; during the same period, she held temporary appointments as a visiting curator at the British Museum and as guest curator of the exhibition Joseph Wright of Derby in Liverpool for the Yale Center for British Art.

Casey Riley, is assistant curator at the Boston Athenaeum, where she is involved in the research and development of projects spanning the breadth of the library's remarkable collections. She has organized a number of collections-based exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is co-curator of the upcoming exhibition Henry James and American Painting (October 2017) organized in conjunction with The Morgan Library and Museum. She is a co-author of the Gardner Museum's forthcoming guidebook (Yale University Press, 2018) and a contributor to Elizabeth Edwards and Christopher Morton's edited collection, Photographs, Museums, Collections: Between Art and Information (Bloomsbury, 2015). A specialist in the history of photography as well as the visual and material culture of the long nineteenth century, Riley holds a PhD in American studies from Boston University, an MA in English from Middlebury College, an MAT from Brown University, and a BA in the history of art from Yale University.

Hannah Weisman is director of education at the Boston Athenæum. She has worked in museum education at a number of organizations, including Shelburne Museum (Vermont) and Historic Newton since earning a master’s degree in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY Oneonta). She holds a bachelor’s degree in German studies and Holocaust studies from Mount Holyoke College.

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