Whitney Chadwick is a professor emerita at San Francisco State University. She has published on issues of gender and sexuality in surrealism, modernism, and contemporary art. Her book Women, Art, and Society (Thames and Hudson, 1990; fifth revised and updated edition, 2011) explores the history of women’s contributions to visual culture from the Middle Ages to the 21st century through an examination of the intersection of class, gender, race, and sexuality with culture, geography, politics, and criticism.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Chadwick will focus on the roles of same-sex relationships in the formation of artistic subjectivity, identity, and autonomy among artists associated with surrealism in the 1930s and 1940s. Drawing on a significant body of work by women—drawings, letters, paintings, photographs, and writings—she will trace the depth and complexity of female friendships in ways that challenge the current historical record and that draw on recent scholarship in the areas of animal/human interaction, cultural history, kinship, and sexuality.
Chadwick received her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University. In 2003, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gothenburg. Her research has been supported by fellowships at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Forum for Advanced Studies in Arts, Languages, and Theology at Uppsala University.