Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw Named Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Chair

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Chair

University of Pennsylvania’s Provost Wendell Pritchett and Vice Provost for Faculty Laura Perna have announced the appointment of Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Associate Professor of History of Art, to the Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Chair.

Shaw is an expert in art and visual culture of the 19th and 20th centuries in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean, with a focus on issues of race, gender, and class. She has served since 2019 as Senior Historian and Director of History, Research, and Scholarly Programs at the National Portrait Gallery. She is the author of Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, the forthcoming First Ladies of the United States, and a work in progress on 20th-century artist Sargent Johnson. She co-curated the landmark 2015 Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit Represent: 200 Years of African American Art and has curated major shows at the Arthur Ross Gallery, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Montclair Art Museum.

Shaw came to Penn in 2005 following five years at Harvard University, and has served as Director of Visual Studies, Undergraduate Chair of Art History, and Faculty Director of Gregory College House. In 2019, she received the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching, the highest faculty teaching honor in Penn Arts and Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in art history from Stanford University and a B.A. with High Honors in art history from the University of California Santa Barbara.

The Class of 1940 Bicentennial Endowed Term Chair was established by the Class of 1940 at its fiftieth reunion to honor outstanding young professors at Penn.


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