In celebration of next year’s inauguration of traveling exhibition Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976, organized by the American Federation of Arts, this panel discussion will focus on the visible and invisible ways queer identity has been encoded into American art, past and present. It complements the exhibition, which originated at PAFA in 2022, featuring over 100 of the most acclaimed and iconic pieces in American art from the PAFA collection — including a number by League artists. Panelists include Jonathan D. Katz, PhD, Associate Professor of Practice, History of Art and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Anna O. Marley, PhD, Chief of Curatorial Affairs, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and Ksenia M. Soboleva, PhD, Andrew W. Mellon Gender and LGBTQ+ History Fellow, New-York Historical Society. This program will be followed by a light reception. Catalogs will be available for purchase.
About the Speakers
Jonathan D. Katz is an art historian, curator and queer activist. Professor of Practice in Art History and in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Katz is a pioneering figure in the development of queer art history, and author of a number of books and articles, often writing the first queer accounts of numerous artists. He has curated many exhibitions, nationally and internationally, including the first major museum queer exhibition in the US, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which won several national and international best exhibition and book awards. The first full-time American academic to be tenured in what was then called Lesbian and Gay Studies, Katz directed the Department of Lesbian and Gay Studies at City College of San Francisco beginning in 1989. He was then appointed Founding Director of Yale University’s lesbian and gay studies program, the first in the Ivy League. An activist academic, he also founded the Queer Caucus for Art of the College Art Association, the professional association of artists and art historians, co-founded the activist group Queer Nation, San Francisco, founded the Harvey Milk Institute, once the largest queer educational facility in the world, and co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Town Meeting, the organization that successfully lobbied for queer anti-discrimination statutes in the city of Chicago. Katz is President Emeritus of The Leslie Lohman Museum for queer art in New York.
Chief of Curatorial Affairs and the Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art, Anna O. Marley joined PAFA in March of 2009. Marley is a scholar of American art and material culture from colonial eras to the present and holds a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College, an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. At PAFA, Marley has curated over 16 exhibitions. Marley’s professional affiliations include serving as former Chair of the Association of Historians of American Art (2014-2016); US Liaison, AAMC Foundation Engagement Program for International Curators (2016-2018); Visiting Professor, Mellon Foundation Curatorial Track Ph.D., University of Delaware (2017); Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow (2020); Advisory Board Member of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College (2015-2020) and current Advisory Board Member of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Journal and University of Delaware Graduate College.
Dr. Ksenia M. Soboleva is a New York based writer and art historian specializing in queer art and culture. She holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, with a dissertation titled Fragments: Art, AIDS, and Lesbian Identity in the United States. Her writings have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, Artforum, and Hyperallergic among many other publications. She is in the process of co-editing the first monograph on the 1990s lesbian gallery and project space TRIAL BALLOON. Soboleva was the 2020-2021 Vilcek Curatorial Fellow at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and LGBTQ+ History at the New York Historical Society. She is a part-time faculty member at The New School.