Meet Our Speakers

Susan Earle

Susan Earle is an award-winning curator and educator who has organized many exhibitions on social justice themes. As Curator of European and American art at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, she works closely with students, artists, and community members in Kansas and beyond, with a focus on issues and artists that are sometimes ignored. Having organized more than fifty art exhibitions, she also oversees the Spencer's collection of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from Europe and the United States, ranging from Ancient Egypt through the present day. Originally from New York City, Earle earned a BA degree with distinction in English and art history at Williams College in Massachusetts, and a PhD in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Dr. Earle is an internationally recognized expert on artist Aaron Douglas, a Kansas native who became the most prized visual artist of the Harlem Renaissance. She organized the first nationally touring retrospective of Aaron Douglas's work and edited the accompanying book, "Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist" (Yale U. Press, 2007), named a noted book of the year by The New York Times. She has commissioned major works of art from both local and international artists, including, most recently, the exhibition and book "An Errant Line: Ann Hamilton & Cynthia Schira" (2013), which won a coveted Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2014. In spring 2017, the National Gallery of Art in Washington will include an essay she wrote on a Spencer Museum painting for the exhibition and book "America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting." Dr. Earle has published two books and contributed chapters to others, including for "Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance" (2014). In addition to her curatorial duties, Dr. Earle also serves as affiliate faculty in the Kress Foundation Department of Art History and in the department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, both at the University of Kansas. She held a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Getty Foundation in 2006 and received an Outstanding Educator Award from the Kansas Torch Chapter of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society in 2004. Her scholarship focuses on constructions of race and gender in African American art; European art; contemporary site-specific and community-based public art; and artist-led inquiry. She has lectured widely on a variety of topics, from women artists in the Spencer Museum's collection to 19th-century quilts to contemporary video art. As a part-time professor at KU, she has taught classes on feminist art, women and modern art, postmodern art, Impressionism, public art, and the Spencer Museum's collection.

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Stephen Mazza

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