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Clayson Named Bergen Evans Professor

August 8, 2006

EVANSTON, Ill. --- S. Hollis Clayson, professor of art history at Northwestern University, has been named the first Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities.

Clayson, who joined the art history department at Northwestern in 1985, is a historian of modern art, specializing in 19th century European art, especially that of France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the U.S. Her current work centers on American artists in Paris (1870-1914) and their preoccupation with night in the “City of Light.”

Her first book, “Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era,” was published in 1991 (reprinted by the Getty Trust in 2003). Clayson is also the author of “Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege” (1870-71), published in 2002 (paperback 2005). She is co-editor of “Understanding Paintings: Themes in Art Explored and Explained,” a thematic study of painting in the Western tradition. Published in 2000, the book has since been translated into six other languages.

As recognition of her outstanding scholarship, she has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Kaplan Center for the Humanities, the Getty Research Institute and the Clark Art Institute. From 2003 to 2005 she chaired the editorial board of “The Art Bulletin.”

In 1987 Clayson received a distinguished teaching award from the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She was the first and only recipient of the College Art Association's Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award to a Junior Professor (1990).

From 1993 to 1996 she was Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, and from 2002 to 2006 the Martin J. and Patricia Koldyke Oustanding Teaching Professor. In fall 2005 Clayson was the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor in the Williams College graduate program in the history of art.

From 1995 to 1998 she served as associate dean of the Graduate School, and from 2000 to 2003 she chaired the art history department. Clayson was vice chair of the Board of Advisors for the Block Museum of Art from 2002 to 2006. From 2005 to 2006 she was a special project manager in the Office of the Provost. She has just been appointed director of the newly formed Kaplan Humanities Institute and its council.

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