Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art

Elsie Heung, Art History
Faculty Advisor: Gail Levin
Project Website: Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art

Bernstein-book-coverIn fall 2010, I and five other art history doctoral students participated in Distinguished Professor Gail Levin’s seminar, “Theresa Bernstein and American Realism.” Our ultimate goal was to mount an exhibition of Bernstein’s work at the Graduate Center’s James Gallery. Along with a published catalogue, this exhibition would make visible an important artist who has been erased from the history of American art. This project has since become much larger in scope and ambition, and after the New York showing, will travel to four other museums. “Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art,” will open at the James Gallery on November 12, 2013, with a related exhibition of works drawn from the Collection of Martin and Edith Stein opening at Baruch College’s Sidney Mishkin Gallery on November 13, 2013. Our catalogue, Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art, edited by Gail Levin, is published by the University of Nebraska Press and will be available November 1, 2013. It includes essays by Sarah Archino, Patricia M. Burnham, Michele Cohen, Stephanie Hackett, Elsie Heung, and Gail Levin. It features more than two hundred images, including full-color reproductions of Bernstein’s art, and rare documentary photographs, many published here for the first time.

As part of this overall project, I have created a website dedicated to the life and career of Bernstein with the hope that it will serve as a useful and enduring resource for scholars and the general public, and that it will encourage further research into this remarkable and prolific artist. I have been working at the CUNY New Media Lab since February 2011 and have accomplished much over this period of time. The site (created through WordPress) includes video footage and audio clips, which I digitized in the NML; paintings, prints and drawings spanning from the early 1900s to the 1980s; Bernstein’s personal documents and scrapbook; an interactive timeline created with TimelineJS; short memoirs of those who knew Bernstein; and other useful resources.

To learn more about the artist and to keep up-to-date on events and tour dates, please check out the website and follow us on Twitter.