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Harper Montgomery

Distinguished Lecturer and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor in Latin American Art

Harper Montgomery’s courses on Latin American art at Hunter College will focus on avant-gardism, social activism, institutions, and cross-cultural conditions for making and displaying art. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary Latin American art with focuses on Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and the Latino U.S. during the early twentieth-century and the contemporary moment. Her research interests include audiences, historiography, and relationships between popular and avant-garde art forms. She has written essays and entries for catalogs for the Museum of Modern Art, El Museo del Barrio, and Real Artways, and has curated numerous exhibitions, including the Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (as the North American curator) and solo shows of the work of Francis Alÿs and Felipe Dulzaides. An essay on exhibitions of avant-garde woodcuts in Mexico City during the 1920s appears in El Futuro: XXI Coloquio Internacional de Historia del Arte (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Mexico City, 2010). She is a critic for ArtNexus and has written for InterReview and the Chicago Art Journal; is currently co-editing Beyond the Aesthetic and the Anti-Aesthetic (with James Elkins), forthcoming in 2012; and is working on a book manuscript on efforts to recruit audiences for advanced art in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Havana during the 1920s.

Montgomery received her MA from Columbia University and her PhD from the University of Chicago. She has taught at the University of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and was an assistant curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art. She has given lectures on modernism and folk art in Mexico during the 1920s, the aesthetic theory of philosopher and activist José Carlos Mariátegui, and Cuban art of the 1980s at conferences at the Center for Latin American Visual Studies at the University of Texas and CAA. Montgomery has received fellowships from the Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations, and the University of Chicago.