Assistant professor of the history of art and architecture and of Afro-American studies at Harvard University, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw studies race, class, gender, and identity in American art of the last three centuries. Her forthcoming monograph, Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, focuses on the use of history and cultural memory in the work of a controversial contemporary African American woman artist.
While at the Radcliffe, Shaw will work on a project examining the role of various types of portraiture in the development of African American artistic and professional identity during the nineteenth century. Her study of a group of silhouettes, paintings, and photographs made between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War will form the basis of an exhibition and accompanying catalogue.
Shaw received her BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and completed her PhD in American art at Stanford University. Her honors include the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum fellowship, which supported her work at the Saint Louis Art Museum. She has helped to mount exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts.