Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw

[content-profile-profile-firstname] [content-profile-profile-lastname]
Associate Professor & Undergraduate Chair
304 Jaffe Building
215/ 898-6203

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is Associate Professor of American Art and affiliated faculty in Africana Studies, Cinema Studies, and Women and Gender Studies.  She received her PhD in art history from Stanford University and then held an appointment as an assistant professor of History of Art and African and African American Studies at Harvard University for five years before coming to the University of Pennsylvania in September 2005. During that time she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.  Since coming to Penn she has served as a faculty fellow and faculty master in the College House system, directed the undergraduate major in Visual Studies, and spent a quarter as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Washington.  Beginning in the summer of 2012, she has organized and directed the College of Liberal and Professional Studies’ Art in the City Summer Academy.

Research Interests: 

Professor Shaw is interested in studying issues of race, gender, sexuality and class in the art of the United States and the “New World”.  Since coming to Penn, she has worked with students to organize exhibitions on Polynesian art, Brazilian art, and African American art.

Publications: 

Shaw’s most recent manuscript, Strictly A Negro Art: Biography and Belief in the Work of Sargent Johnson examines the work of the twentieth-century modernist sculptor and print maker.  Her first book, Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, was published by Duke University Press in the winter of 2004.  In 2006-07 Shaw organized a museum exhibition and catalog, titled Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century, was organized with the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts before traveling to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington and the Long Beach Art Museum in California.  Recent publications include, “Family and Fortune in Early African American Life and Representation,” in the exhibition catalog, Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed, from the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, and “Creating a New Negro Art in America,” in Transition 108, published by the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research and University of Indiana Press.

Courses Taught: 
  • ARTH009 Race in American Art
  • ARTH100 Spiegel Seminar in Contemporary Art
  • ARTH301 Halpern-Rogath Curatorial Seminar
  • ARTH294 Facing America
  • ARTH793 Biography and Art History