Carol Ockman

Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art
email
413-597-3932
Lawrence Hall Rm 209

Education

B.A. Stanford University (1972)
M.A. Yale University (1975)
Ph.D. Yale University, Art History (1982)

Areas of Expertise

Carol Ockman is Professor of Art History at Williams College, with dual specialties in French art of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and contemporary art and culture. Her cross-genre work on bodies engages performance and the visual arts as well as creative writing. In addition to essays on the nude, portraiture, and stereotypes, she has published Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies: Retracing the Serpentine Line and Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, co-authored with Kenneth E Silver, with whom she also curated the multimedia exhibition of the same title at the Jewish Museum in 2005-6. Named best exhibition and catalogue by the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama was also a finalist for the Theater Library’s George Freedley Memorial Award (2006). Ockman’s work on Barbie and on Sarah Bernhardt have been the subject of podcasts (The Economist) and radio shows (NPR) in the United States and Sweden.

March 2015  Ockman interviewed as the great actress Sarah Bernhardt in “Wish You Were Here,” a series in which the subjects of Andy Warhol’s 10 Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century, all of whom are dead, supposedly came back to life.  Interview at 6:12 after the introduction by Deputy Director.  Jens Hoffmann. The Jewish Museum, New York, 2015.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Omzy2AM3NE

Ockman is finishing Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief, which consists of a personal narrative and a one-woman show about objects’ power to enliven, and to heal loss. Both were inspired by a collaboration with director Anne Bogart of SITI Company and actors Lynn Cohen, Lauren Flanigan, Cherry Jones, Ellen Lauren, and Debra Winger, also at the Jewish Museum in 2005. Ockman was recently invited to the museum to be interviewed as Sarah Bernhardt in a series devoted to Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (“Wish You Were Here,” March 19, 2015). While on sabbatical next year, Ockman will begin a new project on trauma and empathy in performance on the global stage, which will take her to Europe, Australia, Japan, and Cambodia.

Languages

Italian, French: Fluency, reading and speaking
German: reading, limited speaking

Courses

Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

ARTH 102(S)

Art Through Time

ARTH 253 / WGSS 253(F)

Art in the Age of the Revolution, 1760-1860

ARTH 254 / WGSS 254

Manet to Matisse

ARTH 451 / WGSS 451

Ideal Bodies: The Modern Nude and Its Dilemmas

ARTH 468 / WGSS 468(S)

Practicum in Curating: Visual Art for a Garden

Scholarship/Creative Work

PUBLICATIONS:

  • IN PROGRESS:
    Trauma and Empathy on a Global Stage (book-length manuscript or series of essays based on travel and research in 2015-16)
  • Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief (book-length manuscript about how a handkerchief passed on by Bernhardt to great actresses of the American theatre–including Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, and Cherry Jones—enabled me to confront the tragic loss of my father and its legacy, 175 pp.)
  • Publication of excerpt from Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief and full-length book manuscript
  • “Hermaphrodites for Hire,” an essay exploring the pivotal importance of the Borghese hermaphrodite for Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s nudes (1807 through 1862) and the targeted use of hermaphroditic imagery in Lynda Benglis’ notorious Artforum ad (1974) and little known video The Amazing Bow Wow (1976), 30 pp.
  • *
  • “At First Sight” in “A Tribute to Linda Nochlin,” The Brooklyn Rail: Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics, and Culture (July-August 2015), online
  • “Barbie Meets Bambi: Lauren Kelley’s New Moves” Usable Pasts (The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2010)
    “Ingres’s Legacy: Myth Under Fire,” Encyclopedia of Europe 1789-1914, ed. John Merriman and Jay Winter (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons/Thomson Gale, 2006)
  • Essay on Ida Applebroog, Boboli Gardens, 1987 and abridged reprint of essay on Paul Cadmus, Point O’ View, 1945, Encounter: Williams College Museum of Art Collection, ed. Vivian Patterson (Williamstown, MA: Williams College Museum of Art, 2006)
  • Carol Ockman and Kenneth E. Silver, with additional contributions by Janis Bergman-Carton, Karen Levitov, and Suzanne Schwarz Zuber, Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, exhibition catalogue (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and The Jewish Museum, New York, 2005)
  • “A Woman’s Pleasure: Ingres’s Grande Odalisque,” in Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History in the Postmodern Era, ed. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005)
    [reprinted from Carol Ockman, Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies: Retracing the Serpentine Line (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), 33-53; 64-65]
  • “Sarah Bernhardt: Death and the Icon,” European Theatre Iconography : Proceedings of the European Science Foundation Network (Mainz, 22-26 July 1998, Wassenaar, 21-25 July 1999, Poggio a Caiano, 20-23 July 2000), ed. Christopher Balme, Robert Erenstein, Cesare Molinari (Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 2002), 331-339
  • “Paul Cadmus, Point O’View, 1945”, catalogue entry for Object Lessons: Selections from the WCMA Collection of American Art Before 1950, ed. Nancy Mowll Mathews (Williamstown, MA: Williams College Museum of Art, 2001)
  • “Women, Icons and Power” in Self and History: A Festschrift in Honor of Linda Nochlin (New York and London: Thames and Hudson, 2001), 103-115
  • “Barbie Meets Bouguereau: Constructing an Ideal Body for the Late-Twentieth Century” in The Barbie Chronicles: An American Doll Turns Forty, ed. Yona Zeldis McDonough (New York: Touchstone Books [Simon and Schuster], October 1999), 73-88
  • ‘Cambridge “Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism, and Self-Representation,” MIT Visual Arts Center,’ Artforum (October 1998): 128-129
  • `Focus: “Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities,” Jewish Museum, New York,’ Artforum (September 1996): 106-107
  • “When is a Jewish Star Just a Star? “Interpreting Images of Sarah Bernhardt”, 121-139, in The Jew in the Text: Modernity and the Politics of Identity, ed. Linda Nochlin and Tamar Garb, (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995), 121-139
  • Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies: Retracing the Serpentine Line, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995
    (Selected Reviews: Art Book, Art History, Art in America, Apollo, Boston Book Review, Burlington Magazine, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Nineteenth Century French Studies, Oxford Art Journal, Revue de l’Art, Women Artists News)
  • “Profiling Homoeroticism in Ingres’s Achilles Receiving the Ambassadors of Agamemnon,” Art Bulletin (June 1993): 259 274
  • “‘Two Eyebrows à l’orientale’: Ethnic Stereotyping in Ingres’ Baronne de Rothschild,” Art History (December 1991), 521 539; reprinted in The Jewish Quarterly (Autumn 1992): 12 15, Issue on “Images and Voices of Jewish Women”
  • “Prince of Portraitists: Franz Xavier Winterhalter,” Art in America (November 1988): 45 49
  • “On Feminist Art Criticisms,” Art in America (December 1986): 99-100
  • “Astraea Redux: A Monarchist Reading of Ingres’ Unfinished Murals at Dampierre,” Arts (October 1986): 21 27
  • “Gleyre’s Destroyed Staircase Decorations at Dampierre: A Glaring Scholarly Error,” Gazette des Beaux Arts (March 1984): 111 114
  • Cikovsky, Jr., Nicolai, Marie H. Morrison and Carol Ockman, The White Marmorean Flock, with an introduction by William H. Gerdts, Jr. (Vassar College Art Gallery, 1972)

SELECTED LECTURES AND ACTIVITIES:

  • “Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief,” a one-woman show written and performed by  Carol Ockman, Theater Department, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, April 15-17, 2016; Stanford University, 2016-2017
  • Invited Interview as Sarah Bernhardt with Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, in “Wish You Were Here,” a series of
    interviews with the subjects of Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, The Jewish Museum, New York, March 19, 2015
  • “Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief,” One-Person Performance, Directing Studio, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, Williams College, December 10, 2013
  • “Why I Love Impressionism,” Reunion Talk, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, Williams College, June 7, 2013
  • “Sarah Bernhardt: Poster Child of the 1890s,” Dallas Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries, Dallas, TX, November 16, 2012
  • Gallery Talk in conjunction with Laylah Ali exhibition, The Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA, November 15, 2012
  • Reading from Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief for selected faculty of The Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA, May 3, 2012
  • Discussion of manuscript Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief with Professor Sheryl Kroen’s Honors’ Seminar “Writing Women’s Lives,” The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, April 25, 2012
  • Review of Ellis Avery, The Last Nude (New York: Riverhead Press 2012) for NPR, “You Must Read This,” submitted December 11, 2012
  • Interview with Keri Walsh, Assistant Professor of English (Fordham University) on “The Modernist,” KSPC , the Pomona College Radio Station, on Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama (The Jewish Museum, New York, 2005-06) and my current book project, Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief, March 2011
  • “Barbie After 50,” Vermont Humanities Council, Manchester, VT, May 2010
  • Mentor of Lauren Kelley, resident video artist, Critical Dialogues Program, The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2010
  • Interview on “Om Stil,” Swedish National Public Radio, “Sarah Bernhardt—den forsta och storska ododliga supstjarnan,” October 21-22, 2010, http://sveriges radio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=2794: SR-pl-shl_101022_123963.mp3
    podcast, “Barbie at 50,” The Economist,
    http://audiovideo.economist.com/?fr_story=82d115703744411f824e75ea0cae9802e340f0f2&rf=bm
  • “‘She’s Going to Sell’: Sarah Bernhardt and Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews” in symposium “Figuring Change, ca. 1900,” Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanities, April 2009
  • “‘Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?’ Sarah Bernhardt’s Professional Travails,” colloquium on “Writing, Performance, and Theatricality in George Sand’s Works,” Eighteenth International George Sand Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, September 2008
  • “‘She of the Famous Elongated Cello Back’: Ingres’s Grande Odalisque Meets Bernhardt’s Dame aux Camélias,” keynote address, colloquium on “Lire la Ligne,” Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris, June 2008
  • “Sarah Bernhardt’s Handkerchief,” colloquium on “High/Low: Nineteenth-Century French Cultures,” 33rd Annual Nineteeth-Century French Studies Colloquium, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, October 2007
  • Curator with Professor Kenneth E. Silver, New York University, Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, The Jewish Museum, New York, December 2, 2005-April 2, 2006
    (Selected reviews and press coverage: The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New York Sun, The Daily News, Newsday, Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post, The Forward, Vogue, The New Yorker, Agence France Presse, Jewish Exponent, Lilith, “New York News 1,” NPR: Saturday Morning Edition with Scott Simon), American Theatre, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, NYU Alumni Magazine, Williams Alumni Review, The Jewish Week, The Jewish Chronicle, Village Voice, Art News, Journal Français, Antique Week)
  • Consultant and participant, “Bernhardt and the Belle Epoque,” panel with Kenneth E. Silver, Amy Ogata, Ann Pellegrini, and Judith Thurman, in conjunction with the exhibition Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, The Jewish Museum, New York, March 2006
  • Narrator, writer, and performer, “Evening with Sarah Bernhardt,” Live Performance with Lynn Cohen, Lauren Flanigan, Cherry Jones, Ellen Lauren, and Debra Winger, directed by Anne Bogart, in conjunction with the exhibition Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, The Jewish Museum, New York, December 12, 2005.
  • “The Invention of the Female Nude,” colloquium on “Histories of Representation/Representations of History,” 31st Annual Nineteeth-Century French Studies Colloquium, University of Texas, Austin, TX, October 2005
  • “Androgino e progenie: Nouve osservazioni sui nudi d’Ingres “(“Progeny and Androgyny: Observations on Ingres’s Nudes,” conference on “Le Nu dans l’art: De la beauté idéale au corps en morceaux,” in conjunction with the exhibition, Maesta’ di Roma, French Academy, Villa Medici, Rome, May 2003
  • “Feminist Agendas: Ann Sutherland Harris’ and Linda Nochlin’s Women Artists, 1550-1950 25 Years Later,” Keynote Speaker, Kress Foundation Department of Art History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • “The Women Artists Exhibition (1976-77): 25 Years Later,” Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM, July 2002
  • “Jacques-Louis David, Artist of the Revolution” in Symposium on “Revolution and the Arts”, organized by Michael P. Steinberg, Professor of History, Cornell University, with Stanley Cavell, Charles Rosen, Scott Burnham, Joseph Kerman, and Tabetha Ewing, Bard Musical Festival: Beethoven, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, August 2000
  • “Sarah Bernhardt: Death and the Icon” in “Theatricality: Theatre in Images, Images in Theatre,” International Theatre Conference organized by Cesare Molinari, Professor, Dipartimento di Storia dell’arte et dello Spettacolo, and sponsored by the European Science Foundation, Poggio a Caiano, Italy, July 2000
  • Contributor to Artforum (September 1996-December 1999)
  • “Sarah Bernhardt on Stage and in the Studio” in “Demanding Attention: Women and Artistic Training in the 19th Century,” Symposium in conjunction with the exhibition Overcoming All Obstacles: The Women of the Académie Julian, Dahesh Museum, Cosponsored with the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and the Association of Historians of Nineteenth Century Art, April 1999
  • “Artist/Sitter/Masterpiece: Jewish Portraits by Sargent, Ingres and Klimt, ” Panel at The Jewish Museum, New York City, in conjunction with the exhibition John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family, November 1999
  • “Casting the Diva: Bernhardt, Mucha, Nadar, and Edison,” 1999 Ruth G. Hardman Distinguished Lecture Series in European and American Art, The Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in conjunction with the exhibition Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau, April 1999, and The Worcester Art Museum, November 1999
  • “Women, Icons, and Power,” Self and History: a symposium in honor of Linda Nochlin, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, April 1999
  • “Sarah Bernhardt Live!” Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, Harvard University, co-sponsored by Visual Representation and Cultural History (chairs: Norman Bryson, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth) and Lesbian/Gay Studies (chairs: Brad Epps, Jay Grossman, Ann Pellegrini), May 1998, and Department of History of Art, University of London, January 1999
  • “Dying Nightly: Sarah Bernhardt Plays the Orient” in “The Oriental Mirage: Orientalism in Context,” conference presented by The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, The Australian National University, in conjunction with the exhibition Orientalism: Delacroix to Klee, Sydney, Australia, February 1998
  • “Conversation with Kiki Smith,” New York Academy of Art, New York City, April 1997
  • “Gli accessori di Barbie,” Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Venice, February 1997
  • Curator, “Lessons for Looking at Women,” Williams College Museum of Art, October 26, 1996-February 23, 1997
  • “Defying Marble: Canova and Feminine Taste” in “Surpassing the Ancients? Canova and his Reputation in Early Nineteenth-Century Europe,” Symposium in honor of the joint acquisition of Canova’s Three Graces by the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Galleries of Scotland, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, May 1995
  • “When Is a Jewish Star Just a Star? Interpreting Images of Sarah Bernhardt and Rachel,” in “Prophets and Losses: Jewish Identity and Visual Culture,” a symposium at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, October 1995
  • A Woman’s Pleasure: Queen Caroline Murat’s Commission for the Grande Odalisque,” Daniel H. Silberberg Lecture Series, Institute of Fine Arts, New York City, October 1994
  • Chair and respondent, “Negotiating Stereotypes/Representing the Body” (panelists: Kathleen Adler, Sarah Cohen, Coco Fusco, Kenneth Silver, Tina Takemoto, Irene Winter), College Art Association Annual Conference, New York City, February 1994
  • Respondent to Linda Nochlin’s “Bathtime: Renoir, Cézanne, Daumier and the Practices of Bathing in Nineteenth Century France,” University Seminar on Women and Society, Columbia University, November 1993
  • “‘Two Eyebrows à l’orientale’: Ethnic Stereotyping in Ingres’ Baronne de Rothschild,” Department of History of Art, University of London, November 1990
  • “Body Boundaries: Feminizing Homoeroticism in Ingres’ Achilles Receiving the Ambassadors of Agamemnon”, Session on Male Homeroticism and Neoclassical Retrieval, Yale Lesbian and Gay Studies Conference, October 1989
  • “Women on Display: Critical Discourse and Society Portraits,” Symposium organized by Abigail Solomon Godeau in conjunction with the exhibition, “The Gendered Gaze: Sexuality, Representation and Art History,” Columbia University, April 1988
  • “Finding the Countess d’Haussonville in Ingres’ Portrait,” Symposium organized by Eunice Lipton: “Visualizing Women’s Lives,” Clark Art Institute, March 1986
  • “Astraea Redux: Creation and Restoration at Dampierre,”
    Symposium, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, October 1980

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

HONORS:

  • 2015-2016 Class of 1945 World Fellowship grant, research travel to Japan, Cambodia, and Australia
  • 2009 Norman Mailer Writers Colony, Workshop on Memoir, Provincetown, MA
  • 2008 Rockefeller Research and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy
  • 2006-12 Dennis A. Meenan ’54 Third Century Professor of Art
  • 2004, 1993, 1990, 1986-77 Powers Fund Grant, Williams College
  • 1997-98 Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute Fellowship, Radcliffe College (Radcliffe Research Institute)
  • 1982‑83  Mellon Foundation Faculty Development Grant
  • 1976-78 Samuel H. Kress Foundation Research Grant
  • 1973-76 Yale University Fellowship for Graduate Study
  • 1972‑73  Fulbright‑Hays Research Grant (Florence, Italy)
  • 1972  Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford University

AWARDS:

*Award for Exhibition/Catalogue, Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, 2006 for Carol Ockman and Kenneth E. Silver, Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, exhibition/catalogue (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and The Jewish Museum, New York, 2005)

*Finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award, Theater Library Association, 2006 for Ockman and Silver, Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama, exhibition catalogue

Professional Affiliations

Education

  • 1982  Ph.D.   Yale University, Department of the History of Art
    Dissertation: The Restoration of the Château of Dampierre: Ingres, the Duc de Luynes and an Unrealized Vision of History, Advisor: Robert L. Herbert
  • 1975  M.A.  Yale University, Department of the History of Art
  • 1972  B.A. Stanford University; Double major: Art History and Italian

Professional Experience

  • 2006-2012 Dennis A. Meenan ’54 Third Century Professor of Art
  • 2000-02 Visiting Professor and Chair of Art History, Bard College
  • 1994 Professor of Art History, Williams College
  • 1995-96 Chair of Art History, Williams College
  • 1991-94 Chair of Art History, Williams College
  • 1984-94 Associate Professor of Art History, Williams College
  • 1978-84 Assistant Professor of Art History, Williams College

LANGUAGES:

Italian, French: Fluency, reading and speaking

German: reading, limited speaking

Current Committees

  • Faculty Lecture Series Committee